Reading and Writing Addiction was able to catch up with Lyn Michael Kalani McClenathan, Author of “The Excelsior Witch Chronicles”. We are excited to share this insightful interview today with our readers.
When did you first discover that you enjoy writing and wanted to become a published author?
It sounds ridiculously cliché, but I have always loved writing. However, I never dreamed I would become a published author. There’s something surreal and almost ethereal to see a book of your thoughts in print, in your hand. It’s incredible. I would encourage anyone who has ever thought about writing, to do so. Even if it’s just for you and your close person circle…write it!
What is your favorite and the most challenging aspect of writing?
Writing really did bring out my biggest insecurities. It’s so scary to write a book. So, I think that was the most challenging. Overcoming my own insecurities to want to share my thoughts and dreams with the world was also my favorite. I am now more proud of anything I have ever accomplished.
Tell us about your latest release.
The Excelsior Witch Chronicles is the tale of an 18-year-old girl named Bali who is trying to figure out who she is. She finds out she is a descendant of Tituba from Salem, but that the connection to black magic and voodoo isn’t true. Tituba brought light magic to the world and her descendants keep it going. She meets new friends that are also descendants named Leilani and James and through their friendship they learn to become powerful witches, as well as to learn about themselves. It’s really such a great story, with each of the main characters having their own personal journey to work through to be the best they can be. The Excelsior Witch Chronicles is full of magic, friendship, growth and diversity!
How did you come up with the title of your book?
I was on the subway in New York City and I saw an ad for New York City, and its slogan has the world excelsior in it, and it immediately clicked! It reminded me of Bali and the power that she has within her. She truly exemplifies #blackgirlmagic and has deep and powerful magic inside of her!
What do you hope readers are able to get from reading your story?
I would love for a reader to have a character to look up to. As a gay man, I grew up without a character in entertainment to really look up to. Most of the gay characters I can think of were some caricature of a gay man. I want a little African-American girl to read about Bali and see themselves as powerful. Or a James and think that there isn’t a mold for a gay youth, and that being yourself and being proud of who you are, is the most important.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have written fantastic books about their lives! I also love Nicola Yoon and Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I am also recently getting into Danielle Paige and the Dorothy Must Die series!
Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?
Be confident in who you are. Be confident in your writing and your talent. Also, edit, edit, edit and edit again.
The Excelsior Witch Chronicles: Book One: Finding Magic is available at Amazon.com
Lyn Michael Kalani McClenathan is a recent graduate of Arizona State University with his BA in Liberal Studies. He currently attends WNMU studying Social Work. He lives in New York City with his husband and two dogs. For more information follow Lyn on Twitter: @lynmkm and Instagram: @lynmkm