Saturday, August 13, 2011

Twins...Aliens...And Finicky Library Books!

These are the things that author P.H.C. Marchesi writes about! Sound like your cup of lilac tea? You can win a SIGNED copy of her book, "Shelby & Shauna Kitt and the Dimensional Holes", just by leaving your comments for her on this post! (Details following the interview).

So, without further delay, let's see how Ms. Marchesi answers the standard questions, shall we? (By the may have noticed that I'm using the same questions in all of the Authorpalooza interviews. I just thought it'd be fun to see how many different answers we could get. Plus, I might be lazy...just sayin'.)

LC: Happy Saturday, P.H.C. and welcome to the blog! Can you share a quick synopsis of "Shelby & Shauna Kitt and the Dimensional Holes" with us? Oh, and tell us the genre, too.

P.M. Shelby and Shauna Kitt and the Dimensional Holes is a young adult fantasy/sci-fi novel.

It tells the story of two seemingly ordinary kids (13-year-old Shelby and his twin sister Shauna) whose lives change drastically when a planet from a different dimension, Miriax, recruits them to seal a dimensional hole that allows evil aliens to travel beyond their dimension. From that moment on, Shelby and Shauna Kitt find out that the universe is full of life-draining Klodians, space ghosts, cities in jungles, books that choose their readers, walls that can spit on you, and lilac tea served with mushrooms. They also discover certain special powers they have, and realize that those alone aren’t enough to defeat evil and save Earth.

LC: Sounds intriguing, and like you have some pretty groovy characters. So if you were stuck on a desert island with one of your characters, who would you want it to be, and why?

PM: It would have to be Lendox, Vice Consul of Miriax. He’s smart, wise, and brave. He is also a Master-Healer, which means that if I got sick or injured he would be able to cure me with his own energy. On top of everything, he’s great company! To be honest, I’d probably never want to leave that island if I were stuck there with Lendox.

LC: Hey, as long as you can still write fun books, stay on the island as long as you want! :o) How long have you been writing? Have you always known that you wanted to write?

PM: As a kid, I remember writing little picture books that I illustrated and put together myself. I also remember writing for different occasions: for example, one of the earliest things I wrote was a eulogy on the death of a beloved pet fish. I didn’t know it was a eulogy back then, of course. All I knew was that I had to write something, because it was the only way I could deal with the situation. As I grew up and continued writing, I found that I preferred fantasy and sci-fi – especially since I spent a great deal of time daydreaming about different worlds! I learned to put my feelings, experiences, and life observations within the fantasy worlds I created.

LC: Speaking of traveling to different worlds, where is the most exotic or strange place you've ever visited on this planet?

PM: I was actually born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and lived there for several years. Rio de Janeiro, with its amazing flora and fauna, became the inspiration for Valmorax, the capital city of Miriax. Valmorax is a highly advanced city within the jungle – technology and nature blend in its organic architecture – and has many exotic creatures and plants.

When I was a young teen, my family moved from Brazil to Austria, which gave me the opportunity to study at an international school (formerly a British school), learn other languages, and meet kids from around the world. This also influenced my writing, since some of the customs and manners on Miriax are a blend of the many cultures I experienced growing up.

LC: That's great. How wonderful that you've been able to incorporate your own life experiences into your book. As a now published author, what, would you say has been your greatest triumph?

PM: There are two aspects of Shelby and Shauna Kitt and the Dimensional Holes I’m particularly proud of: the characters, and the world of Miriax. The characters, as a recent review in The Book Addict pointed out, were “balanced and authentic.  It was easy to see them as normal thirteen-year-olds” who are nevertheless quite complex in feeling and motivation. But the world of planet Miriax is probably my favorite creation, with its lilac tea and explosive mushrooms, giant bats, living architecture (walls that might spit on you if you’re not careful), and a myriad of other characteristics that make it unique. I’m delighted that reviews so far have noticed that: The Book Addict said “Miriax is magical,” and The Book Blog Experience called it “A whole other universe, a place where you can get lost in forever.”

LC: It certainly sounds to me like you've earned some bragging rights! So, what do you like to do when you're not writing?

PM: I love teaching literature to undergraduates, which is what I actually do for a living! I also love reading and going for walks with my dog.

LC: And do you have any strange habits or rituals when you write?

PM: Not really. A cup of coffee or tea near the computer is about as exciting as it gets, unless the cat overturns it…

LC: Anytime pets are around things can get interesting in a hurry. Okay...just for fun...what is your favorite movie of all time, and why?

PM: I don’t know that I have one favorite…as a child, ET and Star Wars were my favorite movies, and I was completely hooked on sci-fi shows such as Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers. Later, I really enjoyed the series Babylon 5 and Star Trek:Voyager.

LC: I admit it, I'm a little bit of a Trekkie myself. While we're on the subject of movies, if a big-shot Hollywood producer offered to turn your book into a motion picture, who would you want to play the lead roles?

PM: Hmm. I hesitate here because I’ve always found that novels encourage the imagination (we all imagine differently), whereas film limits it by showing us images based on someone else’s interpretation (the director’s, for example). Once someone is cast as a character, everyone who then reads (or re-reads) the book usually imagines that particular actor as the character. So I prefer not to mention actors’ names…I want audiences to create their own mental pictures of what the characters in Shelby and Shauna Kitt and the Dimensional Holes look like – at least for now! 

LC: Excellent. Alright, last, but not least, here's your opportunity to SELL IT! Tell us why we should read your book. (Your new nickname is "The Persuader", buah ha, ha!)

PM: You should read it because (in no particular order):
it’s action-packed and you won’t want to put it down
it has a different premise and interesting characters
it promotes friendship, teamwork, and courage
it will take you to Miriax, a world you will never forget
it has a boy and girl as co-heroes, and a story where they are equally important
it can be enjoyed by young adults and adults

In case you’re still not sure, here are some Shelby and Shauna Kitt and the Dimensional Holes reviews:

"I do not read a large amount of science fiction, but Shelby and Shauna Kitt and the Dimensional Holes  may change that for me.  The characters are realistic and engaging.  The setting is magical – I want to take a trip to Miriax.  The story drew me in and kept me guessing until the last page.  I hope there is more to come for Shelby, Shauna, Jit, Vanessa, Marian and Lendox because I very much want to see them all again." The Book Addict

"Not only did I love this book, I couldn't put this book down. P.H.C. Marchesi has created a whole other universe, a place where you can get lost in forever." The Book Blog Experience

"Marchesi combines magical genius and some science and take us on a ride with these young characters. Young adults and adults will love the  story alike. A great read to devour this summer."The Pen & Muse Book Reviews

"[. . .] this is a really fun read that has adventure, humor and a few hidden messages about the power of positivity that are worth considering. While I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I suspect that the intended audience (MG) will enjoy it even more!" A Reader's Ramblings

"I would recommend this book to people who like adventure and fantasy. . .It was very entertaining and I didn't want to put it down until I finished it." 13-year-old Ben Weldon, Reader Views Kids

I hope you will be encouraged to pick up a copy today!

Who would want to have tea with mushrooms, when it’s a hundred degrees and humid out? As Shelby and Shauna Kitt find out, quite a few people. These are, of course, people from Miriax, a planet in a different dimension where nothing and no one is anything like what the thirteen-year-old brother-and-sister twins expect. On Miriax, lilac tea is served with explosive mushrooms, agitex leaves cure motion sickness, stick insects patrol the jungle, and library books carefully choose their readers, refusing to leave the shelf for anyone else. And, if you’re not careful, the walls spit on you.

Shelby and Shauna's lives change drastically when planet Miriax recruits them to seal a dimensional hole that allows Klodians - nasty aliens - to travel to Earth. In order to succeed in their mission, Shelby and Shauna discover skills they never thought they possessed, make friends they never expected to have, and face enemies they never imagined existed.

Okay everyone, as promised, here's the scoop on the giveaway. Just show your support and leave your comments for P.H.C. Marchesi. Sometime around August 28th she'll pick one lucky commenter to receive a signed copy of "Shelby & Shauna Kitt and the Dimensional Holes"! Entries must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on August 27th. Only one comment per person will be entered to win, but you are certainly welcome to comment a multitude of times! Just be sure to leave your email address or other contact info so we can notify you if you're the winner!

     P.H.C. Marchesi has a Ph.D. degree in English and teaches British literature to undergraduates (she loves her job). As a child, she lived in many different countries, and experienced many different cultures. She studied at an International School and had friends from all over the world. In many ways, these experiences shaped her writing and the fantasy world she created in Shelby and Shauna Kitt and the Dimensional Holes. She is currently working on the sequel, and has many adventures in store for the Kitt twins.


  1. This sounds like a fascinating book, I'm going to put it near the top of my TBR list. From looking at your sci-fi enjoyment background, I think you'll like my book "Assignment to Earth". It should be out sometime in the next month or so.


  2. Hi Marie,

    _Assignment to Earth_ sounds interesting. I will definitely put it on my to-read list!