As I sought beta readers, I tried to get a wide variety of people so I could have multiple perspectives reacting to A Cursed Enchantment. I intended the novel to be a book for all ages — and both boys and girls.
Liam is my youngest beta reader, just coming out of the 3rd grade. I was concerned that Liam might not like reading a fantasy, especially since it involves doll characters. Liam is an avid reader of nonfiction. He loves to read about history, science, and, believe it or not, medical know-how. He is dedicated to baseball and Star Wars – so I didn’t know if A Cursed Enchantment would be the right fit for him.
It turns out that Liam loved the book! One of the first things he said was, “Wow! For just writing your very first book for kids my age – You DID it!” (I wish I had my camera on then!) Liam was thrilled to find out that I had already started to write book number two in the Dolls of Mahogany Manor series, He said, “You really left it on a cliffhanger. I was dying to know what would happen to Fascinare.” He was also glad to find out that I took pity on the readers and included the first chapter of the second book, A Doomed Victory, so there would be less of a cliffhanger while readers wait for the sequel.
Enjoy this interview with Liam!
As you were reading, what made you frightened for the Mahogany Manor family?
When Corbin gets really hurt after being crushed by the worm, the mother has to strip his clothes from him to check his injuries. I was afraid of how hurt he was.
And, I was afraid that the family would be taken away. Big time!
What did you like about A Cursed Enchantment?
Every character in this has different traits, different characteristics. They have their own feelings – things that humans have, but they are just dolls. And that is technically what the book is all about. A curse can change into an enchantment — and an enchantment can change into a curse. It’s all about their perspective.
When you named the chapters after the characters, that just told me what perspective of character it was from. I liked that too.
What would you like to see in the sequel?
If they would meet more characters, another squirrel, a cat, a dog, OR A BEAR! And they might meet Fascinare!
Was there anything mysterious about the book?
The mysterious thing about the book was Fascinare. Because Fascinare was on the run. He was technically on the run. Because that spell on the family just brought the whole thing into place. The book doesn’t tell you more about Fascinare and Mora – it tells you about the whole [dollhouse] family. It showed you that one moment in time can change everything! Yes, everything!
Who was your favorite character?
I just have to say Aurelia. Because the voice of her is adorable. Just adorable! And the words she says is just how kids her age talk.
What about Livie? What did you think about the fact that she wasn’t perfect?
Well, no one is perfect. Nobody’s perfect.
That’s what I liked about her too. I like that she realized when she had messed up and wanted to work on it, but it is just the way she is. She’s impulsive at times – but she has a good heart.
She has a good heart, yeah.
What did you think about Felix’s relationship with Livie? When he would lose his patience with her?
It’s just being a big brother. Being a big brother is hard. And, I’m not even a big brother!
But you can put yourself in his shoes. I am sure you have seen big brothers in your life and how they have to deal with their little siblings!
Yes! Yes! I have! I have!
So… It’s just one of a kind. The book is just one of a kind. It’s so good that I have never read a book like that in my life. It’s just so good.
Do you think other boys will like the book?
Boys would like the book because the two main characters are [boys]. Some of the deep stuff comes from them. And sometimes some of the most important parts of the book comes from them. Like when Felix goes missing…
Boys would like when they have to try to climb up on different places. Because they are really, really small. They had to eat the stuff from stuffed animals, like the rice and the beans that were used to fill them.
What about when they had to go outside to try to get food when they were still at Fascinare’s cottage?
That was a big issue because if a dog came out, it could easily eat them. And when they had to eat the worm – that was – (Liam gulps) EW!