Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Talking Books with John Calicchia, author of MIRROR WORLD

I’m John Calicchia and I write stories of fantasy, action and adventure. In the fall of 2015 my book Mirror World was released! It's a story of two powerful young sisters and their epic battle against evil. But, this book has something in it most do not: hidden secrets. It's a teen and young adult fiction book with a self-help book hidden inside. You see… after publishing in psychology books and journals for decades I felt my writing was not helping the young people I love to work with. So, I took famous psychology studies and put it in the characters and plot in Mirror World. As you become part of the story you can learn about psychology or you can just enjoy the story! You can also get a free copy of the users guide to help you understand the psychology behind the book by joining my website

John Calicchia Ph.D. is a professor of psychology who also works with children and young adults as a licensed psychologist. He lives near Boston with his lovely wife and two amazing daughters. You can usually find him in the pool swimming with his two big dogs.

For More Information

Can you tell us what your book is about?

It’s a story of two brave sisters who fight against a dark Angel who has the ability to corrupt humans self-perceptions...When Cailyssa Larkin looks in a mirror she has an ominous feeling that someone is watching her. Stranger still, she has visions that foretell the future. While visiting her Uncle Spencer,
Cailyssa gazes into a mirror and sees a dark future that only she can change. With the future of her own world hanging in the balance, Cailyssa bravely enters the portal to the Mirror World. Here, the Dark Lord controls all the mirrors and bends reflections so all creatures see evil within themselves. With her sister Terry, her mysterious best friend Daemon, and a host of weird and wonderful creatures, Cailyssa embarks on an epic quest to overcome the evil forces trying to destroy her world. She can only defeat the Dark Lord by finding her true self and discovering the family secret that has led her to Mirror World.

Why did you write your book?

The inspiration for this book came from the things that I love in life. I have always loved reading and writing young adult fiction and fantasy, I am also passionate about my work as a psychologist with young people, and since I have two daughters that I love dearly, I have always been disappointed with the lack of strong female heroines in literature and movies. Although this has changed a bit recently, not long ago it was difficult to find a female lead character especially in strong action roles.  So I wrote a YA book with strong female characters, and elements of psychology are embedded within!

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Cailyssa Larkin is a 17-year-old strong female heroine, but she has always had problems fitting in. She possesses extraordinary martial arts fighting abilities and the ability to influence people. Despite her amazing abilities to understand others and see the future, she cannot understand herself. Her family secret is obvious to everyone but herself. She is also cursed to fall in love with a young man, sworn to always protect her, that she will never be with. Everyone’s favorite character seems to be her sister Terry. She’s Cailyssa’s sister and a ton of crazy fun, with wings like an angel and 12 inch razor-sharp blades that come out of her knuckles she takes on any evil foe! But like all superheroes,  she has hidden weaknesses.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?   

Of course, as an author I would say that they come from my imagination, but a psychologist I know that’s not quite true –  I think I might know a couple of those characters in my book.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?  

I always knew where I wanted to go, but some days I just wasn’t sure how I would get there.

Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

It is the last page of chapter 7  – one of my favorite endings. A Dragon and a Dwarf just became united after narrowly escaping death. They now share an unbreakable bond. “The Dragon and the dwarf, now one, flew on toward Castle Larkin. For the first time in a long while, they both felt something they had not in a very long time: love and hope.”

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?  

Spend more time with my family and of course read or write.

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?

Addicted to Chipolte.

Can you tell us about your family? 

 I know I am a lucky man. I have a wonderful wife, two amazing daughters, and two very cool dogs!

What do you like the most about being an author?

I love the escapism, and the ability to live inside an imaginary world.

What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?

I believe everyone has a book inside of them waiting to come out. Write what you love and you will love what you write – other people will too. You will become passionately addicted to the process!

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

My publishing experience is probably different from many authors who write fiction. I came from an academic background and have been traditionally published in the psychology field since the early 90s. However, I didn't feel that my academic books and journal articles were helping the young people I love to work with. So, I decided to write a teen and young adult fiction book that had famous concepts in psychology embedded in the characters and the plot; almost like a self-help book hidden within a fiction book!  Since I have been reading young adult and teen literature for my entire life – this book was the most enjoyable publication experience of my life!  Also, using Create Space and KDP  from Amazon  was a wonderful experience.  The editorial staff was top-notch and the platform is easy to use

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