An Interview With "Handbook For Mortals" Author, Lani Sarem
Handbook For Mortals is a new book by Lani Sarem that explores the world of magic and mysticism. The book is the first in a series that Lani plans on turning into a set of movies as well. The book tells the story of Zade, a young Magick user who leaves her small town in hopes of forging her own unique path in the world. Her journey is complicated by the presence of love, disbelief from non-magick users, and the dizzying pace of Las Vegas show life.
I met Lani at the Wizard World convention in Sacramento this year which is where I first heard about the book. As the release date got closer I reached out for a short interview and she was kind enough to indulge me on a few questions about the project.
- What inspired you to write the series?
"My ex-fiance and I broke up. So I needed a place for my emotions to go. I also love magic, magick, tarot and fun stories. I just wanted to put that all together."
- Does the story reflect any real life happenings from your time as a band manager or working with film?
"It definitely reflects some real life happening(s) but less from band management and film and more in other places."
- How did Thomas get involved with the project? Did you guys know each other before?
"Yeah, we had worked together on other things and (we) were friends. One day I asked him to look at the script..."
-I know you have plans to turn your books into a series. Any idea as to how many books there will be and have you started writing them?
"It's probably 5 books... but we will see"
- Any talks yet as to who will be directing the movies or which studios (if any) will be involved?
"We've tossed around some names in regards to directors but we haven't locked anyone in yet and we haven't deicded on a studio yet..."
- When you sat down to write the books, was the initial intention to transform them into a movie series or did those thoughts come later in the process?
"I wrote it as a script first so the idea was to ALWAYS make it into a film, the book idea came later. I had a book publisher read the script and (they) loved it and encouraged me to turn it into a book."
- I noticed the girl on the cover art resembles you a bit. Is it you?
"Yeah, she is :)"
- You seem to have surrounded yourself with a team who has strong personal ties to magic. I read in the Reporter that Thomas' uncle was actually a Hollywood magician. Was this trait important to you when you were building your team?
"Sometimes life just works out that way. Maybe that's the way it was supposed to be. I actually didn't even know that about Thomas until he read the script and he told me."
- What connections/ interests do you personally have with magic?
"I used to work in David Copperfield's theater and I've always been fascinated with it."
- I know you've been busy touring with Wiz Con. I met you and Thomas at the event in Sacramento. How has your tour been?
"It's been a blast. Everyone is so nice, from the staff of Wizard World, to the other celebrities that do the cons with us. We are just one big family and it's really fun."
- How has the reception of the book been so far? Are people enjoying it as much as you had hoped?
"Well, the people that have read it have loved it. The kind (of people) who like these types of books, anyways."
- Anything else you'd like to let people know about your book or movie project?
"We are filming later this year and the film will be out next year....go get the book :)"
At the time of writing I haven't heard any concrete news on filming dates or anything like that but I'll be sure to keep people posted as the news develops. In the mean time you should go check out Handbook For Mortals and see what you think!