Q&A with children’s author Laurie McKay

Next up on Moontrug’s Wednesday Q&As is middle grade author, Laurie McKay, whose debut, VILLAIN KEEPER, came out yesterday. We’ve got a bio and book blurb at the end of the post but right now we’re skipping straight to ogres…


1. You wake up to find a massive ogre in your bedroom. If you had to choose one MG character to fight him off who would you choose and why?

Hermione Granger. Who else? She’s tough, smart, and would know the exact spell to use. She’d defeat an ogre in the wave of a wand.


2. Having defeated the ogre, you find that your car doesn’t start. Bummer. Would you rather ride a dragon or a unicorn to work? Why?

I’m going with the dragon. One, the dragon can fly me to work and I’m betting riding a dragon is faster than riding a unicorn. Two, I have dragons in my books and I have to stay loyal.


3. After arriving at work late, your boss asks you what your most embarrassing childhood memory was. You have to tell him. 

When I was a shy middle-school honor student, I had to do a report on a famous person, dress up as him or her, and go to a program at a local school. I choose Diane Fossey – a scientist famous for studying gorillas and whose life was portrayed in ‘Gorillas in the mist’. Anyway, I don’t like a lot of attention, so I was nervous about wandering through the crowd and answering questions.

The night of the program, my dad arrives home for work to take me there. I get in the car, look at him, and he’s dressed from the neck down in a gorilla costume. The gorilla head was in back. If he could have driven with it on, I’m certain he would have.

I was shocked silent. Not the reaction he was going for, by the way. Of course, then we got lost on our way to the school. My poor dad was sweating, gorilla head in the backseat, ungrateful and mortified daughter beside him. Finally, for better or worse, we found the school.

My dad spent the entire night lumbering around, jumping out at people, and generally being gorilla-like. I have to admit, it ended up being memorable. And I finally got over my need to hide in the shadows. (Although, I wished I’d done it sooner.) In the end, I had one of the best costumes – due solely to the fact I also had the best – and only – gorilla.


4. You’re pretty fed up now so when a time machine appears offering to take you to any historical event, you agree. Where do you go and why?

I’d like to travel to the future, actually. I want to see what’s happening in 500 years. What will we have accomplished? What will travel be like? I’d really like to see where technology will be then.


5. There is light at the end of the tunnel. As a Fearless Fifteener, your debut is out this year. Tell us about your book in 15 words or less.
It’s a reverse portal fantasy – a prince and sorceress become stranded in Asheville, NC.




“Unexpected magic, villainous teachers, and dragons in disguise await readers in the first book of a delightful new tween adventure series by debut author Laurie McKay.

 All his life, Prince Caden has dreamed of being sent on a quest to slay a dragon. But before he has the chance, he is ripped from his home in the Winterlands of Razzon and finds  himself in Asheville, North Carolina—a land with no magic and no dragons. But a prince must always complete his quest. And the longer Caden is in Asheville, the more he realizes  there is magic in this strange land after all. More important, there may just be dragons here, too. But what if Caden’s destiny isn’t to slay a dragon, like he’s always believed?

Fans of Soman Chainani’s The School for Good and Evil and Chris Colfer’s The Land of Stories will be transported by this first book in an epic new series for middle  grade readers about a brave young prince’s quest to find answers, honor, friendship—and what it really means to be a hero.”



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Laurie McKay is an author and biology instructor who lives in Durham, NC. When she’s not working, she spends time with her family and her two elderly dogs. You can find out more and see pictures of her dogs at lauriemckay.net or by following her on twitter, facebook, or pinterest. Her debut MG fantasy novel, VILLAIN KEEPER, will be available from HarperCollins on Feb 3rd, 2015.


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