Monday, September 23, 2013

A Grownup Harry Potter? Maybe. Meet Justus

Spotlight on me at Matthew Keith Reviews! And here I am so reclusive that my daughter claims she's seen me wearing camo gear when I go to the store.

CD COFFELT burst onto the urban fantasy scene on August 27 of this year with her wildly successful debut novel, Wilder Mage. It has received rave reviews from all over the net and has created quite a buzz in fantasy circles.

CD came back to MK Reviews for an interview to discuss herself and her novel. What a great chance to get to know such an amazing talent!

If you're a writer, stop by and visit her blog, where there are some amazing resources available. UnicornBell.

Harry Potter, step aside and meet Justus Aubre—Wilder Mage.

* * * *

Q: What was your inspiration behind Wilder Mage?
A: Authors of urban fantasy, Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, Richelle Mead, Charlaine Harris; they are the storytellers that make a person dream and think What if? They are the masters of this field, these writers of fantasy.

Q:Why did you become a writer?
A: After reading a beloved series, I wanted more. I wanted to know what happened after the books ended. I needed to know how they began. And so I composed my own bit of Fan Fiction to learn the secrets. I asked a good friend if the articles I wrote were any good and the friend said, “You should be published.”

That started the whole shebang. I dropped the Fan Fic and wrote a manuscript that had been rumbling around in my head. Then I wrote a second, a third, and fourth. Musa Publishing picked up the second manuscript, Wilder Mage.

Q: What is it about writing that you love?
A: Oddly enough, it is the community of writers. Writing is like air. I have to have it to survive. But the wonderful people I’ve met along the road to Published are amazing. These writers give their time, expertise, and wisdom to help newbies learn the trade.

I do the same with my critique site, UnicornBell. We live the phrase, Paying It Forward.

Q: Is Wilder Mage your only novel? If there are others, what are the titles? Tell us about them.
A: Wilder is my debut as Published Author. My first manuscript is still the love of my life but it needs work. My third has “published” on the horizon. Number four, Diamond Black, is a wip, but the sequel to Wilder Mage is taking over my life right now.

Q: What projects are you working on currently?
A: The Magic Denied (working title), sequel to Wilder Mage. Plus I spend a chunk of my day reviewing books and blogging.

Q:Wilder Mage is speculative fiction. Do you write books outside that genre?
A: Anything and everything fantasy is my meat and potatoes, but I doodle with Sci-fi also.

Q:What is your favorite genre?
A: Fantasy. Epic, high, swords and sorcery, dark, urban: all subgenres of fantasy have me hooked. All flavors, first to last.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself. Hobbies, talents, family, where you're from.
A: I grew up in the Midwest, small town America, with one dream. I wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder and live the farm life. I achieved that dream after marrying my farmer hubby. But meshing that life with Middle Earth took a little doing. I had lots of Magic of course and plenty of imagination. Then, in a way, my dreams came full circle. Ms. Wilder started out as a farmer and then became a writer as she matured. I like that idea.

Q: When you read, what kind of books do you read? What are you reading now?
A: Nearly everything I read is fantasy or one of its classmates. Right now, I’m reading a great collection of short stories called Passing Time by Ellie Garratt. Great stuff, great writing, and very challenging. A definite five-star novel.

Q: What is the most challenging aspect of writing for you?
A: Time of course. Life keeps interfering.

Q: Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans?
A: My dearest wish is that Wilder Mage will launch my fans to a place of wonder. No writer could ask for more. Everything else takes second place.

Q: How do you feel about Wilder Mage, personally? Is there anything you would change now that it is finished?
A: Definitely. I don’t think there’s a writer born who wouldn’t change something in their books. Personally, Wilder is a fascinating place for me, a different outlook on the magical elements that surround us.

Q: What is your process when you write?
A: Movie soundtracks like Star Trek, video game music like Halo sets the stage. Clearing my mind is important also. If a scene isn’t working out or I’ve hit a snag, I walk. Sometimes around the house, sometimes on a treadmill. Driving down the road at sixty mph works well also but I hate pulling over every ten minutes to scribble down what my weird mind has envisioned.

Q: How do you get to know your characters? Give an example.
A: Breaking down their reticence can be difficult. The Voices. Sometimes we don’t talk to each other. Finding them and learning to listen is most important. Doing a character interview, writing a short story about their early life, or asking them questions tends to break the ice.

Q: Who designed the cover art for Wilder Mage?
A: An angel disguised as artist Kelly Shorten at Musa Publishing. She listens to an author’s description of what they want in a cover then brings the ramblings to life. Really, she must have a touch of clairvoyance. Professional and right on target, every single book cover at Musa.

Q: Who is your favorite character in any book you've ever written? Why?
A: A preternatural rapier in my first manuscript, Of Oak and Dragons. The need to protect its master, Leah, collides with its delusions of grandeur.

Q: What popular book would you compare Wilder Mage to? Why?
A: It is a cross between a grown up Harry Potter and Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. Magic is the theme of both Harrys, but my character, Justus, uses the elements without wands, spells, or charms. It is a different world, a new way to see the magic around us.

Musa Publishing

Update: Wilder Mage is #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases and made it to several Best Sellers lists including #1 at Horror/Occult. 


  1. There's always something we want to change. That's why I never re-read mine once they are published.
    Didn't know you began writing fan fiction.

  2. Although I haven't written fan fiction myself, I've been told it's a great way to begin the writing process. I'm glad you decided to take your writing further :-)

  3. Cool interview. I have Wilder Mage in my kindle library now, and I can't wait to start reading! Just got to finish the book I was in the middle of, first.

  4. Such a great book and fab interview!

  5. Love the way you began writing.
    Great interview!

  6. Really enjoyed this interview. Interesting that you started out with fan fiction, I did too as I always wanted to imagine more for the characters I loved. I've been doing that in my head since I was a child and finally started writing the ideas down.

    Congrats on the great publicity for your book!


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