Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail, Author Interview

Magdalena Gottschalklooks like a great young adult fantasy novel. Do you plan for this to be a stand alone book or part of a series?

Thank you! It will be part of a series. Book #2 is currently in the works and should be released middle to end of November, Magdalena Gottschalk: The Slippery Slope. There will be a book trailer coming out soon.

What do you think makes a great story?

For me personally, I love a story that captures every emotion I can think of and incorporates it into the storyline. I don’t mean that I necessarily realize each emotion as it is happening, but when I finish a book, it stays with me for days and I can’t help but think about the story. I feel there should be happy moments, sad moments, scary and apprehensive moments that leave me on the edge of my seat, and moments of discovery. A great story should be able to teach and/or enforce every day happenings in life as well as draw the reader into the story. In other words, if the story is written well, even though the environment may be make-believe, as a reader I should be able to picture myself in the storyline. Being able to take an imaginative world and creating a realistic setting is nothing short of magic in my mind.

What inspired you when writing Magdalena Gottschalk?

My youngest daughter, Penelope, was my biggest inspiration in writing this novel. She is nine years old and has that sparkle of childhood magic in her eye. She is an avid reader and loves anything mysterious and suspenseful. I wanted to write something that would capture her attention and make her excited about reading it. Lucky for me, she loved the book! I watched her emotions as I would hand her a few chapters at a time while I was writing. I could judge from her responses how exciting the book was and how children her age would relate to the book. According to her, I should be on about book four. Working on that! She is constantly asking me what will happen in book two, which means I captured her interest.

What are your ambitions for your writing career? Full time? Part time?

I am a designer by trade, an artisan I believe it is called. Writing is just a form of art that I love. However, in the foreseeable future, writing will become front and center. So, for now, full time.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I have dreamed of being a writer since I was twelve-thirteen years old. Hence, the main character of my book is also thirteen years old. It is an age I truly related to and I can remember the sense of magic I felt when I used to stay up to the wee hours of the morning over middle school summers, just to read. I didn’t take the concept seriously until about a year ago. I just woke up one day and said, “I’m going to do this. Now.”

When writing Magdalena Gottschalkdid anything stand out as particularly challenging?

The most challenging part for me was writing for an audience of all ages. My goal was to write something that would entertain eight to nine-year-old children, to teens, to young adults, to adults! Even though my novel is marketed to middles grades and young adults, I wanted something that I could pick up and read as well. That brings a new level of challenge for me personally.

How did you come up with the story of Magdalena Gottschalk?

Being an artisan, I typically create the ambiance first. In other words, I feel the book first. Is it spooky, sinister, or happy go lucky type of thing. Same thing when I design costumes. I first try to gauge what I am feeling first. Then, I develop the costume (in this case the book) around the ambiance of the setting in my mind. The intimate book details will come naturally as I push through the outline of what will happen.

What do you like to do when not writing?

Design! When I am not writing, I am usually designing baby gifts or costumes. Most of the time, I am doing something creative or I go nuts. Sometimes that involves just re-decorating one of my children’s rooms or changing curtains. It never ends…. So, I am better off writing 😊

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

I try to keep my website up to date,, and of course they can find me on Facebook (MelindaGailAuthor) and Twitter (@MGailGrant). I have a blog on my website as well where I try to post sneak peeks.