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Archive for July 20th, 2020

Born on Vancouver Island, Canada, Misha Handman spent his early life immersed in the arts, with one parent a teacher and the other a manager of theatre and opera. Moving across the country to Ottawa, and then Toronto, he began writing at a young age – first writing comics and designing card games for his closest friends and then, buoyed by their approval, gradually expanding out to submissions to magazines and short story collections, and graduating from the University of Toronto with a classic English degree.

Misha has always believed in the importance of entertainment to our health and well-being. He is also interested in our shared fictional history, working in game design to develop collaborative games and story-driven experiences and exploring the new worlds that we are sharing. His fascination with these things led to the development of his first novel, Shadow Stitcher, as an exploration of the English classic “Peter Pan.”

When not writing, Misha spends his time in Victoria, Canada, working as a professional fundraiser for charities – a job he describes as “helping people to help people.” He continues to work on game design on the side, and is always excited to see the myriad ways that people approach story construction and creation, both as a voracious reader of genre fiction and a dedicated player of games.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website: www.mishahandman.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/frivyeti

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmhandman/

Interview

Would you call yourself a born writer?

Definitely. When I was in Grade 1, I wrote a science fiction story for our school’s short story competition, and I was the only student in my class who wrote fiction instead of talking about something they’d done or seen. I won my first writing prize for that story, beating out students two years ahead of me.

What was your inspiration for Shadow Stitcher?

The original idea that would grow into Shadow Stitcher literally began as a dream, as ironic as that seems. I had been re-reading Peter Pan as part of a separate project, and I had a dream in which I was a pest exterminator wrestling with the morality of killing fairies. I dashed off a flash fiction piece based on the idea, and then set it aside.

As luck would have it, though, a month later I became involved in my first National Novel-Writing Month challenge, and the idea of a world that created a counterpoint between childish Neverland magic and very real concerns drew me in. I created the framework for Shadow Stitcher then.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

All told, from the first word that I set down to the completion of the book took about two years, but there were definitely some gaps in the middle. I wasn’t sure that I was going to finish the book after my first frenzied month of writing, so it sat alone for several months. Then I came back to it, worked through a lot of it over a three-month period, and then got distracted by a smaller writing contract and set it down a second time! But the third time was the charm, and I wrote about

What do you feel is one of the most exciting parts of your book?

Ooh, no spoilers! But alright, let’s see… I think one of the most exciting parts of Shadow Stitcher is a sequence in which Basil Stark, the narrator of the piece, is going to investigate a source that he believes is connected to one or more murders. Basil accidentally walks into a trap left for his source, and winds up having to find a way to protect himself and someone who might be a dangerous person, without doing enough damage to lose all the evidence!

What other genres have you thought about writing? What genres would you personally never consider writing?

I once made a valiant effort at writing pure romance, and I’d like to go back and stretch my literary muscles someday by trying again. It’s a genre that really zeroes in on character and motivation in a way that I think makes every author better. On the other hand, I’m not particularly interested in pure dramas, especially those about individuals struggling with their own difficulties. Too much of my love of writing lies in world-building and playing with speculative elements.

What do you love most about being an author?

Sharing my visions with others. I can write for myself, but the real reward for me is when someone else reads something and finds resonance, or even builds on it to create something of their own.

What’s next for you?

Well, I have a few short stories and smaller writing projects in the work, and I’m currently working on the as-yet-untitled sequel to Shadow Stitcher, narrated from a surprising source! Hopefully, I’ll be back here to talk about it when it’s closer to release.

About the Book

Basil Stark isn’t the man he once was. A reformed pirate and private detective, he walks the line between criminal and hero, living in the corners of what was once the island of Neverland, its magic slowly fading into the new world of the 1950s.

When a routine missing-persons case turns into a murder investigation, Basil finds himself pulled into a tale of organized crime, murder, unstitched shadows and dangerous espionage. With only a handful of fellow outcasts and a stubborn determination to bring a killer to justice, will he survive the many people who want him dead?

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1770531998/

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadow-stitcher-misha-handman/1132633222

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