Hangin' Out with Calvin Westbrook: Urban Fantasy Author

Today I’m continuing with my streak of conversational indie author interviews. My latest victim… ahem, guest, I mean, is LGBTQ Urban Fantasy author, Calvin Westbrook. I sat down with Calvin to discuss his books, his love of the supernatural, and finally reveal to the world exactly how it is genies are allowed to grant wishes.  

Christina McMullen: Hi, Calvin! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. Let's go ahead and get the easy stuff out of the way: tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

Calvin Westbrook: Hi Christina, It is my pleasure to talk to a fellow author. My name is Calvin Westbrook, and I mostly write supernatural urban fantasy with hints of homosexual romance.

I published my first eBook on Amazon back in 2012, after I had some brief experience with FictionPress and Smashwords. Before I decided to publish my original work, I wrote several pieces of fan fiction based on the Harry Potter series, and various other franchises such as the UK version of Being Human.

CM: Interesting! Urban Fantasy is a favorite genre of mine. I like the melding of supernatural with the everyday modern world. What's your draw to this genre?

CW: My love for this genre probably started when I started watching TV shows with superntural elements such as Charmed, Buffy and Mirror Mirror. The last of these is a little known New Zealand produced drama with a mirror that provided a link between 1995 and 1919.

I've always had a love of discovering that new species of creatures exist, or finding magical items that can change the very core of reality. So I guess putting the two into our reality is a way of compensating for the fact that the real world sometimes needs a little bit of magic.

CM: Okay, I'm going to go ahead and say I probably know this one, but what's your favorite supernatural creature?

CW: I guess it isn't exactly a secret. My answer would have to be genies. There is something very intriguing about a being that can alter the universe depending on their own desires, or those who make a wish to change their own lives. There is the slightly disadvantage of the living quaters being a little spacially challenged in some mythologies, but I like to bend those rules a little bit so they have room to breathe.
If genies do breathe that is. Not entirely sure if they would need to.
If they did exist in our world that is.
In second place, it would have to be were-shifters such as wolf shifters and lion shifters. In third place, it would be the humble vampire.

CM: Okay let's talk about the genies (I was right! I win a cookie!). You mentioned altering the universe to their whim. That's an interesting take. I always wondered if genies had the ability to just pull things out of thin air or do they have to play by the rules of science? Where do you think the wish fulfilment comes from?

CW: The way I see it, they have been given the powers of the universe that was left over from the creation of the world. There isn't really a science to it, as the amount of logic needed to decipher the chaos of a wish would probably drive even the smartest person insane.

I guess what I am saying is, I think that the magic comes both from the person making the request, and the genie who is making their dream a reality. :)

CM: So, if you had just one wish, what would it be? ;)

CW: To be able to transport myself anywhere in the world within a few seconds. There is so much beauty on our planet, and thanks to the rising costs of travel, it would be a shame to not be able to see it all.

CM: Oh! I like that answer! If I ever run across a genie, I might steal it. Though knowing my luck they would be one of those trixie types who would make me a flight attendant. :)
So your new book, genies or no genies?

CW: There are several genies involved in A Treasured Find, but only a few of them drive the plot forward. I specifically chose not to put them in the description of the book, so they would be a surprise to the reader when they turn the page. 
Hopefully a pleasant one, unless they have the image of Jonathan Freeman instead of Robin Williams.

CM: Oops! Spoilers then!
But there are plenty of other types including witches, right?

CW: Absolutely. There are witches, sorcerers and an especially hunky merman on the menu.

CM: Hunky mermen. Now there is something you don't see every day. This is intriguing! Tell us a little about what this story is about.

CW: A Treasured Find focuses on Caleb Grimaldi, a young witch who has been outcast from the magical world after his family commited a heinous crime against the magical community. He has been forced to become the fiance of a sorcerer named Michael, who is essentially a heartless man who will do anything to get his own way.

In order to make ends meet, Caleb works as a caretaker at the magical academy owned by Michael's family, and as a treasure hunter unveling magical artefacts.

Caleb is invited to attend a treasure hunt by Zarik Zenbar at his island home. The man is a world class treasure hunter, and is rumoured to hold very powerful artefacts.
Along the way, Caleb encounters one of the afforementioned genies, and things take a turn for the intense to say the least.

CM: Intense! I like intense!
And as I hear it, you have some original art of some of these characters, including hunky mermen on your website?

Calvin Westbrook
Indeed I do. Some of the characters were co-created with a friend on deviantArt named AuldMisdone, and we collaborated together to afford pictures of the characters we imagined. I think you will agree that they all are splendid pieces, especially the one with Caleb's first meeting with the genie in question.
In case you are curious, the genie's name is Varron Sevarine, and he is the prince of the Northern Kingdom. In the book world, that is the main home of the genie species as a whole.
(Christina’s Note: You can go check all that out here:

CM: So now that we've talked about the books, how about we talk about the writer? You mentioned Harry Potter fan fiction, so I can assume you've been writing for a while?

CW: For several years yes, I think since I was in primary school. I also remember drawing levels for Sonic the Hedgehog games in my spare time. None of them were especially amazing, but they definitely inspired my creative flow.

I didn't start writing fiction with gay characters until I read my first eBook with gay characters in it. That honour goes to a novella by Shelley Munro named Last Wish. As you might guess. it contained a genie. His name was Zane in case you are wondering. The story opened my eyes to a literal new world of experiences that I could not have pictured before.

CM: This is why I love ebooks and indie authors in general. There's so much creativity within the community. And we are definitely seeing a lot more gay and otherwise underrepresented characters now.

CW: Absolutely. It is great to see characters who are just like everybody else, instead of the stereotypes that have flooded the mainstream channels for several decades.

I would like to make a shout out to a fellow authors named CB Archer and Dawn Sister, who have been instrumental in giving me the courage to continue writing, as well as the motivation to produce this book which I have been working for a few years. And of course yourself Christina

CM: I've heard of that CB character. A ruffian if ever there was.

CW: Indeed he is. A slippery elf to be sure when he doesn't use protection. :)

CM: I'll have to check out Dawn Sister as well.

CW: Thank you, I'm sure she would love that.

CM: So I've noticed that you've skillfully swerved away from my intention of asking more about the author. How very author-like of you. So aside from writing, what are your interests? Go any fascinating hobbies or a secret life we should know about?

CW: My other hobbies include video games and cooking delicious food. My favourite game series include the Shin Megami Tensei franchise, particularly Persona, the Sonic the Hedgehog series and the Kingdom Hearts franchise.

CM: Oh! Games! I like games! Even if I was terrible at Sonic. So one last silly question: You're sucked into a videogame and there is no genie around to help you cheat, but you can bring a merman companion for the water levels. What game do you find yourself in and what random object are you holding that becomes your primary weapon?

CW: It would definitely have to be the Persona 4 world, and my weapon would be the Bus Stop Sign that you can fish out of the river! :) 

CM: That is definitely random!
Well Calvin, thank you so much for putting up with me.

CW: My pleasure Christina. Thank you for allowing me to chat to you. 

CM: Calvin’s latest book, A Treasured Find, is now available on Amazon. You can also find Calvin on Twitter and Goodreads



Comments

  1. That was a great read! My favourite part was learning more about how to protect yourself against slippery elves!

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    1. You would definitely be the expert in that department! Thanks CB for everything you have done. You truly are a muse in the form of a video game erotica author. :)

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  2. Hey, great post/interview/blog thingy. Thanks for the shout out. Good luck with your book, Calvin. It's been a fun journey.

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    1. It certainly has Dawn, and one that I hope will continue. :)

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