Posts Tagged ‘Shadowmagic’

Book Spot Central Reviews Shadowmagic

10,November, 2008

bookspot has posted a very nice review of Shadowmagic.  It’s a lovely site that has just become one of my favorites.  Have a look.


John L

A Secret Chapter

9,October, 2008

A pair of socks goes to osirisoflight as the first person to notice that in fact there is a chapter in the printed version of Shadowmagic that is not in the podcast.  When my publisher Scott read the manuscript he felt it needed one more adventure.  So I elaborated on Fergal and Conor’s meeting.  The episode introduced a new race of characters who are becoming very important in book two.  I’ll fill in the listeners in a prologue of podcast two – when I get there.

I posted socks to Matt today.  If I owe you socks remember to email your snailmail to  john(at)gratuitoussocks(dot)com 


PS thanks osirisoflight for alerting me to my websites being down.  I’m paying the bill now.



A Movie Moment

8,October, 2008

I was driving down the road and flipped on  BBC London Radio and heard Danny Baker say this:

So I pulled over and called the station:

My voice was a bit squeaky but I was excited – it was like one of those moments in a movie when the bank robber turns on the radio and there is a news report about the heist.


A pair of socks to the first

1,October, 2008

I’m being remiss in keeping track of my own blog.  The award (and maybe a pair of old socks) for the first Shadowmagic book review goes to my old podcast fan, Craig Anderson on his fine blog – Reviews and Other Stuff.  Have a look here.


A Cracking Review

30,September, 2008

Mark Robson, my new favorite author, has written a cracking review of Shadowmagic on his blog.

I first heard about Mark on Scott Pack’s blog, where I discovered that he is one of the rare breed of self-published authors that has broken through to the mainstream.  In Scott’s interview he recommends that the first book of Mark’s to read should be Firestorm.

I just bought a copy today and you should too – he’s got great taste. 

John L

Shadomagic copies are arriving

22,September, 2008

Waterstones Books still has Shadowmagic as a pre-order and when I asked about it in their Leeds branch the clerk looked at the computer and said it was “Unorderable.”  Then someone else said they saw a copy in a store – so who knows? 

What I do know is that Shadomagic copies are arriving from  The Book Depository and Amazon UK.  I got an email from an Irish reader.  Any of you yanks get one yet?

Shadowmagic orders from The Book Depository

12,September, 2008 – the online book seller that I recommended about 400 people to buy their copies of Shadowmagic from, is now sending out emails canceling the orders.  My publisher Scot Pack and I are trying to get them to wait until the Harper Collins warehouse delivers the books before they do this but I just found about it late on Friday and couldn’t actually speak to anyone there.

Hang in there guys – it’s worth it – trust me.  If you have problems email me at john(at)gratuitoussocks(dot)com and Scot and I will make sure you get a copy.

John L

Lighten Up

12,September, 2008 has a comment page where I have received over 100 comments for my Shadowmagic podcast.  Almost every one of them has been enthusiastically positive but then I saw the most recent one:

Good book/podcast and it makes a fascinating listen. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t recommend this to any young’uns of mine, and I’d actually steer them away from it. The problem is that Conor is such a cluessless pansy, wholly devoid of any initiative and always being acted upon by outside forces that surprise and baffle him. Does he actually learn a damn thing while as he’s undergoing his various tribulations? Sorry, but I like the rug rats to pick up something useful as they’re entertaining themselves and a hapless, naive lad without initiative doesn’t do it for me.


The performer in me knows you can’t please everybody and I should just ignore him but I couldn’t.  Here is my reply:

After receiving over 100 glowing revues on this web site, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t tempted to see if I could get the previous comment erased from the system.  But maybe Mike is doing me a favour and preparing me.  Since Shadowmagic has just been published by Harper Collins here in the UK, I guess this won’t be my first stinging review.  Saying that I wouldn’t have minded as much if he criticized my writing or my plot construction, (ok maybe I would) it’s just that I very strongly disagree with each of his criticisms.  He has made three:

1 – That Conor is a “Clueless pansy… wholly devoid of any incentive and always being acted upon by outside forces that surprise and baffle him.”

Well yea – that’s the point.  The basic plot of Shadowmagic can be summed up as: an ordinary kid thrown into extraordinary circumstances.  (Have you never read the Hobbit?) It’s a story as old as storytelling.  The protagonist’s job in this plot is to survive the situation as best as he or she can and possibly bring a conclusion that is to his/her advantage – in a comedy, or fail – in a tragedy.  In the case of Conor I am offended by the “clueless pansy” line.  I think he weathers the hurricane that his life becomes with wit and aplomb.  It’s not his job to show up and force a constitutional democracy on Tir na Nog.  (You need an army for that and as we are learning, it doesn’t work.)

2 –  Conor doesn’t learn a damn thing during his various tribulations.

As Billy Joel once wrote, “I find that just surviving is a noble fight,” but beyond that I think Conor learns a lot.  He learns the joy and importance of family, the comradery of friends, the sweetness and pain of young love, and most importantly for me, he learns that he has underestimated his father all of his life.  A lesson that most of us only find out when we have a family of our own.  Did Dorothy learn much more?

Sure he makes mistakes (most notably his last decision seems to be a big mistake) but he’s a teenager.  Can you imagine a teen character that is faultless?  How dull would that be?

3- Mike wrote: “I wouldn’t recommend this to any young’uns of mine, and I’d actually steer them away from it… I like the rug rats to pick up something useful.”

Firstly, as stated in the podiobooks blurb, Shadowmagic is designated for an audience of 12 and up.  Even though I am sure I would never use the term “rug rat” for a child of mine, I certainly wouldn’t use it for a 12 year old.  If you want a story for children who are still crawling then Shadowmagic is not for you.  Shadowmagic is also not a fable.  You will find no hidden or obvious messages about global warming or nuclear proliferation or even how to deal with bullying (actually a banta stick would work for that.)

I have spent over twenty years as a professional comedian/magician.  While my colleagues would step onto comedy club stages and attack the government of the day or the hypocrisies of society – I did tricks and told jokes.  I believe that life is heavy enough and an audience deserves at least one act on the bill that takes their mind away from their hard lives – as opposed to putting a magnifying glass to it.  I have extended that philosophy to my novel.  As far as difficult lives go, I truly believe that being a teen and a tweenager is much more difficult than “grown-ups” remember.  We look back on our youth with rose tinted glasses and forget that every emotion is a new one and that every interaction has major consequences in where and how the teen places within the pecking order of his or her world.  I wonder how us old guys would last under such scrutiny.  Being a teen is very hard.

If you are a dad Mike I’d like to give you a piece of advice – lighten up.  There are few things better than getting lost in an adventure for adventure’s sake.  If you make sure everything your child reads is worthy – you are almost surely going to raise a non-reader.

John Lenahan

You too can get a copy of Shadowmagic!

10,September, 2008

Shadowmagic is actually out and here’s a picture of me actually holding it.

It’s gorgeous – a limited edition (1000 copies), signed, numbered, hardback.  The demand has been so great that there was a worry there wouldn’t be enough to cover the Amazon order but because of Borders UK delaying their order, that’s no longer a problem.  If you have pre-ordered from Amazon then they say things should be working by the end of the week.  A company called The Book Depository is offering free shipping worldwide.

Thanks in advance to all of you who are buying one for yourselves and then buying one for everyone you know.
John L

Shadowmagic is in Hardback!

4,September, 2008

It’s arrived!!!!!! It’s really real.  Saying that I haven’t seen it yet.

I’m on a cruise ship but my Refol opened a package today and this fell out.

Nadene says they look beautiful.  Now don’t go inundating me about where to get a copy.  I won’t have any details until next week.  But in the meantime I think I have to find me a bottle of champagne.

John Lenahan – Author