Interview with Obert Skye

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About the author:

The elusive Obert Skye was born a number of years ago in a town just about the size of the one you are living in. Obert read his first book at age 2. He wrote his first story at the age of 4, and he was nearly trampled by a herd of water buffalo at the age of 6. For a short time he lived on the Isle of Skye out of Scotland where he spent his time as a candy-taster.

Besides Traveling and writing. Obert enjoys solving mysteries and collecting old maps. He also enjoys roller coasters and water polo. Several years ago Obert Skye says he discovered the existence of Foo. Since then, Obert spends every chance he gets to help children discover and use their imaginations.

Obert is also the award-winning author of the bestselling Leven Thumps series. Obert currently lives indoors and near a thin, winding road.

Cheyenne Lopex: What was the inspiration for Wizard for Hire?

Obert Skye: I think being alive was the main inspiration for Wizard For Hire. Life can be fun, but I think that most of us would love some wise being to help us solve some of the stickier issues.  I remember being a kid and wishing that I had a wizard at my disposal to help take care of a few awful people in my neighborhood. It’s one thing for bullies to get caught and grounded for a couple of days, but it seems like it would be much more fitting to have them turned into a plant for a day.

CL: Which character do you relate to the most in Wizard for Hire and why? Which character do you relate to the most outside of the series?

OS: I think I most relate to Clark. He’s easy to write because he says things that are slightly unacceptable. I like his ability to change heavy moments into something less threatening. I wish I was more like that. Outside of the series I’d like to either be a sentient toothpick, or Archie Goodwin, the right-hand man in the Nero Wolfe books.

CL: In Wizard for Hire, books one and two, Rin places importance on the magic of things that have become everyday occurrences for us. Cellphones, Google, Uber and Lyft, the mail system, plumbing, etc. What are some of your favorite everyday magical occurrences?

OS: I still find mail enchanting.  I mean we stick something into a hole and most of the time it magically appears somewhere else.  Stairs are quite impressive, little shelves of progression. Google earth would make Merlin woozy.

CL: Rin is a huge advocate for breakfast foods as fuel for wizards. What is your favorite breakfast?

OS: I do love breakfast. I’m hoping that’s because of the wizard in me. My favorite is everything. There’s something about a plate filled with eggs, pancakes, biscuits, hash browns, green-chili, and bacon that evokes magic.  

CL: In the first book, Ozzy believes—or hopes—that his finger with a birthmark will be the cause of a superpower. This comes true by the end of Wizard for Hire and is explored more by the time the events of Apprentice Needed rolls around. What superpower would you want to have? Birthmark included or excluded?

OS: I’d like Ozzy’s birthmark.  A subtle wand. I would love the power to be invisible. There is something quiet and mysterious in the ability to sneak off and not be noticed. I wouldn’t mind flying, but if I was invisible I could just walk onto any plane without being seen.  So, it’s like a two for one deal.

CL: How many hours a week do you dedicate to writing on average?  What is your writing schedule like?

OS: Lately I have been writing almost non-stop.  I tour for most of the year and then write in the summer and during school breaks.  I seem to be up against deadlines constantly these days.  In a dream world I would write about four hours a day, in the morning, on the ocean.

CL: Which authors have inspired you in the past?

OS: Every book and author I read inspires me.  Some however inspire me not to be like them.  Roald Dahl changed my life as a kid. I love Rex Stout, Ray Bradbury, anything funny and exciting. I love the lonely book a friend recommends. Nothing like having your life changed by a title that the masses aren’t talking about.   

CL: What book are you reading right now?

OS: I just finished the Russian novel We. I am now reading the Goldfinch. It’s long.

CL: A question that wasn’t asked but you really want to answer?

OS: You have asked all the right questions. The words have been in order, the meanings clear, and the questioning seemed sincere.  You covered magic, wizards, breakfast, and Rex Stout. What more could I ask for? Oh, you didn’t ask me how I became such a phenomenal writer? Well, in all humility, I must say that I’m sure there are many contributing factors, but the fact is I find reality boring. I have always wanted to make reality more entertaining, and mysterious than it is. I’m lucky that all the books in my life have helped shape my thoughts in a way that is worth thinking about.   

Writer, Cheyenne Lopex

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