Warwick Gleeson’s new fantasy novel takes one of America’s favorite tales and transforms it into a dark and epic landscape. Imagine Potter meets Avengers in Emerald city and you’re getting close.

We caught up with the author to ask him a number of questions about his new novel.

How old were you when you decided that you wanted to be a writer, and why?

I wanted to be a writer in high school and endeavored to do what was possible at the time-write for the school newspaper and literary journal. Later, while existing as an avid SFF fan in 1984, I took my first serious stab at writing novel narrative. It’s hard to answer the why of it. I suppose it was more than one thing. I believed I could be a good writer (though my ambition failed to sync with my abilities at the time), and that I could begin a new life and write myself out of the nine-to-five job world. How naïve I was!

How long did it take for you to write your book and what were one of the challenges you faced while writing it?

Piper Robbin took overall around 15 months to finally make it to a very clean and tight draft. I’m always juggling writing time with business and personal time. As far as challenges? I desired to represent the three main characters with three varying points of view and then begin an oscillation process of these three povs throughout the novel.

Do you feel that your new novel, Piper Robbin and the American Oz Maker is fit for a summertime beach read or should this be an after dinner succulent to read over some scotch?

If by summertime beach read you mean a read that is fun-loving and light, then we have a non-starter. Piper Robbin and the American Oz Maker is NOT that book, not even close. I would highly recommend the Scotch, and a good Scotch, at least four fingers over ice.

A good story is all about the setting, the descriptiveness, and the raw energy that captivates, all coming together to have the reader turning the pages effortlessly. Your book includes all of them, what is one of the keys that you find is critical when getting into the writing zone?

It’s critical to journal, dissect, analyze, and riff around imaginatively with your setting before attempting to write the novel. F. Scott Fitzgerald once said that beginning with a proper setting was 60% of the task of novel development (or was it 70%?)-Hugely important. The more dynamic and original your setting, the more opportunities you create for the invention of powerful situations, complications, and intriguing characters.

While writing this book did you learn anything new about yourself?

I came to an understanding that Oz was a perfect vehicle for the invention of a whole new and meaningful fantasy world, and in doing so, realized themes that were the most important to me.

Piper Robbin and the American Oz Maker is available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/31sMwRJ