Kid in Chief & Professor Atlas and the Summoning Dagger by Paul Maguire – Interview & Giveaway

Welcome to Author Paul Maguire

PAUL MAGUIRE lives with his wife and three children in New York City, a place he has called home since 1990.  After working on the New York Stock Exchange for more than two decades, he decided to dramatically shift gears and pursue his lifelong dream of writing.  Professor Atlas and the Summoning Dagger is Maguire’s first effort in this endeavor.  The second installment in this exciting new adventure series, Professor Atlas and the Jewel of Enlightenment, will be available January, 2013.


Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?

— I have recently completed the second installment of the “Professor Atlas” series, “Professor Atlas and the Jewel of Enlightenment”.  It is currently being edited, and it will be available in January, 2013.  My next project will be for an older audience.  It will be a story in the dystopian genre…  NOT because it’s a “hot” genre but because I believe I can produce something with a unique tone.  It will be liberally infused with black humor.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?

— One evening I was telling my son (age six at the time) a bedtime story.  When I threw a meaty plot twist at him, he let out an almost deafening gasp.  I knew I had him hooked!  Clearly, it was time to start putting it all on paper.

Who are your favorite authors of all time?

— Ken Follett, Edward Rutherfurd, Charles Dickens, Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, and J.K. Rowling.

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?

— When I was about five years old, I couldn’t get enough of “Nothing Ever Happens on My Block” by Ellen Raskin.  In it, Chester Filbert sits on the curb complaining about his boring life.  Meanwhile, a variety of exciting dramas are unfolding right behind Chester, although he fails to take notice.  As a child, I was drawn to the funky four-color illustrations and the weird, random fonts used for dialogue.  Today, I’m intrigued by the message: take care not to miss the stories happening in your world which you can enjoy for free!

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world.. which would it be?

— “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

— Learn all of the rules of good writing and effective storytelling, and then figure out how you can violate those rules in a creative and intelligent way.  If you can break from convention without messing it up, your readers will remember your work.

What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?

— Three hundred pages of free-flowing thought.  Topics hurtle from the page with no logic or organization.  Simply putting down whatever pops into my head as I type.  It might have been fun, but I’m kinda happy I didn’t devote the time to it as very few people would have had the patience to read it.

Pet Peeves?
— People who sit on the stairs in busy subway stations.  People who snap their gum. People who ignore children.  People who say “literally” when they mean “figuratively”.

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?

— A shipbuilding kit, a shipbuilding manual, and a bazooka.

If you had 24 hours alone how would you spend it?

— Sleeping.  I have three young children.

Favorite quote from a movie?

— “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room.” — Peter Sellers in “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964)

Write a Haiku about your book.
— Can I cheat and write haikus for two of my books?  Great…  Thanks.

Summer vacation
Two boys chosen to explore,
They travel through time.

September field trip
Kid wins a game of checkers:
He’s President now.

Kid in Chief by Paul Maguire

When third-grader Bobby Barton visits Washington, D.C. on a class trip, he doesn’t know he will walk away with a chance to become the leader of our nation. It’s on that trip that Bobby finds a missing part of the United States Constitution that tells him how he could become President! Soon after making his discovery, Bobby lives in the White House… as the youngest American President in history. With his friends Maria Cagney (Bobby’s Vice-President) and Kevin Sawyer (his Chief of Staff), Bobby is faced with many important decisions, confusing situations, and exciting adventures. Bobby quickly finds out that being President is a very tough job, but he and his friends have loads of fun along the way as they learn all about how the government works.

Professor Atlas and the Summoning Dagger

In 1342, an old wizard stands atop a pile of rubble that was once a bustling village, complete with happy citizens, a vibrant marketplace, and a mighty castle.  Cursing the conflict that brought this civilization to an untimely end, the old wizard bestows his last bit of magic on a spectacular dagger.   He buries the dagger deep within the earth, praying that one day it will be found by somebody brave enough, and smart enough, to save the village from ruin.
Centuries later, Tyler Gerard and his best friend Brandon Giles enter a contest, the prize for which is the opportunity to join legendary explorer Professor Fielding Atlas on his quest to find the Summoning Dagger of Mercastus.  Although both boys have the full and active imaginations that are typical of seventh graders, nothing will prepare them for the incredible adventure that lies ahead…
Professor Atlas and the Summoning Dagger will plunge you into a long-forgotten world and then make you feel at home, with a colorful cast of benevolent noblemen, plotting traitors, an obnoxious jester, and a teenaged girl who is as sharply insightful as she is handy with a crossbow.  Professor Atlas, with his extensive academic knowledge and his impressive resourcefulness, serves as the perfect guide who will steer you through all of the perils and pitfalls.
Join Tyler and Brandon as they embark on the adventure of a lifetime.  Starting out as two ordinary seventh-graders with a shared admiration for a clever, yet thoughtful and considerate role model, they eventually learn that the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.  In order to save the village of Hallswich, though, they must successfully navigate a strange world filled with thuggish henchmen, scheming evildoers, and one seemingly vicious knight.
Professor Atlas and the Summoning Dagger is a thrill ride that never disappoints.  It is a story of friendship, loyalty, and honesty, with danger lurking behind every corner, and a whole lot of fun every step of the way.
Look for the second installment of this exciting new adventure series, Professor Atlas and the Jewel of Enlightenment, coming January, 2013.

Netgalley Users – Both titles are currently available for review.

Giveaway Details
2 winners will each receive a copy of both Kid in Chief and Professor Atlas.
Open Internationally
Ends 12/3/12

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