Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with the characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you—Mackenzie Flohr!
Mackenzie Flohr grew up in the heartland of America, chasing leprechauns and rainbows and dreaming of angels. Her parents nurtured a love of fantasy and make-believe by introducing her at a very young age to the artistic and cultural opportunities that the city of Cleveland had to offer.
From the time she could hold a pencil, Mackenzie was already creating pictorial interpretations of classic stories, and by the age of nine, she and a childhood friend were authors and reviewers of their own picture books.
While following her love of adventure, Mackenzie found a second home, the Beck Center for the Arts Children’s and Teen Theater School. It was there that a world of wonder was only a script and a performance away.
Yet it wasn’t until she was on a trip to Indiana, viewing a Lord of the Rings exhibit, that the innermost desire of her heart became clear to her. She wanted to write a fantasy of her own, one that could inspire imagination in others and lead them into a magical world of their own making. She hopes The Rite of Wands will do just that.
Wherever we live and wherever we come from is our individual heartland. Anything is possible and everything can happen. Pure imagination is in all of us—we only need to discover it, and sometimes story telling helps.
Have you always wanted to be a writer? Honestly, I have had interest in writing ever since I was young, but never thought of it as a career. Growing up, my best friend and I would create our own stories and critique each other’s work.
In my teen years, I attended the Beck Center for the Cultural Arts in Lakewood, Ohio. There, I studied about the entire process behind a production including the writing, casting, building, lighting, directing, etc. It was then when I started to realize I was meant to be a writer.
Why did you choose to write your genre? I always felt this series would fall into Fantasy, however, I actually wasn’t expecting it to be Young Adult. The reason it ended up being Young Adult is because of my editor. She felt the story would really appeal to a younger audience, and after considering it, I felt she was right.
What are you currently working on? I am editing two short stories in The Rite of Wands universe. The first is an origins story, and introduces the reader to Professor Mortain McKinnon before the events of The Rite of Wands. And the second story, is about how Mortain first met Clarinda and a hidden treasure they come upon. The first story will be debuting at Rust City Book Con this upcoming weekend. And the second story will be appearing in the Literary Escapism magazine.
What motivated the plot of your latest book? That’s a good question! I wouldn’t say I came up with the plot, it more like came to me! I was on my way to the state of Indiana to see a costume exhibit from The Lord of The Rings movie trilogy. I passed by a sign on the expressway and then it was like I was struck by lightning, I had this amazing story in my head. [Awesome!]
What is the strangest subject or topic you’ve ever written? Slugs…slugs that go to your brain!
What was the hardest story for you to write? Honestly, The Rite of Wands was very difficult for me to write. I cannot tell you how many re-writes I did to get it just right. A lot of the issues had to do with Mierta due to him not believing I was worthy enough to write him. He wasn’t convinced until I met actor Matt Smith. But that’s another story!
What process do you use to plan your novels? I write both with an outline and by the seat of my pants. It makes writing more challenging by allowing my characters to dictate their story to me.
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? I would have to say that is Mierta because he is a discovery character. By that I mean I really don’t know what is going to happen in one of the scenes he is involved in, so it makes writing fun and challenging!
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? Yes, there are certain traits my characters possess that are similar to mine, but not enough that they are actually me. I’m similar to Mierta in that I am eccentric and have an exuberant amount of energy. And, like him, I tend to obsess over things if I am bothered by it. And while I have never said this before, I’m similar to Orlynd due to being an empath. I can pick up energies and feelings of other people. Technology in particular malfunctions all the time around me and so do lights (lol). I also have PTSD and as a result, have experienced the same disturbing dream/event over and over again.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? I have though it was more because I couldn’t understand what the problem was in order to resolve it. There are various ways to overcome writer’s block. In fact, I wrote an article on Our Author Gang’s blog all about it!
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? Actually, I have already written a story in another genre, which will be coming out in October. I wrote a short story for a horror/comedy anthology, which can only be described as Ghost Adventures meets Dead Files. I wanted to challenge myself plus have the opportunity to have something else available for new readers.
Which authors inspire you? J.R.R. Tolkien, JK Rowling, Christopher Paolini and Michael Ende.
What novel would you read multiple times? I would and I have. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? (Person could be a fictional character) Frodo from The Lord of the Rings. I really feel I understand and relate to him based on the trials and tribulations I have encountered in my own personal life. I think he would be a wonderful companion to have as a friend.
What is your favorite quote?
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? Dolphin
What is your favorite color? Blue
When you’re not writing… I wish it was full-time! However, I am like many other authors who are unable to support themselves based on the sales of one book. So, until that time comes, I work full-time in a call center for a bank.
You can find Mackenzie online at…
Thanks for hanging out with me today.
Join me next week when Tish Thawer will be dropping by!