Madagascar and magic with AM Leibowitz

Thanks to A.M. Leibowitz for having me on their blog to talk about Myths, Moons, and Mayhem and my writing in general. Here’s a little sneak peak of what we talked about:

What inspired you to write your latest story?

I’m going to answer this in a roundabout way.

One of the benefits of my non-fiction career is that it’s enabled me to travel to lots of places I wouldn’t have otherwise had a chance to visit. One of those places is Madagascar, a country I’d wanted to go to ever since I’d read about it in Ranger Rickmagazine when I was seven or eight years old.

Madagascar is about 200 miles off the eastern coast of Africa, but it is a world apart. Its language, Malagasy, isn’t related to any African languages but rather to Pacific languages like Indonesian, Hawaiian, and Māori, and its culture has a mix of Asian, African, and Arab influences.

Oh, yeah. Madagascar also has lemurs.

We don’t hear a lot about Madagascar in the US unless it’s about a Dreamworks movie. Even the current outbreak of bubonic plague in Madagascar’s capital has barely made headlines thanks to us always getting distracted by some crazy guy in the White House who’s unable to control himself on his unsecured Twitter account.

I wanted to share a little of the country I had come to know and love, including both cultural and natural aspects. So I decided to base my story for Myths, Moons, and Mayhem around a paleontological expedition in western Madagascar, in an area I modeled on Anjohibe Cave, part of a limestone karst where scientists have dug up the bones of many now-extinct animals, including gorilla-sized lemurs and pygmy hippopotami. In a bout of hypercreativity, I called the story, “The Cave.”

While a short erotic story doesn’t allow for a deep dive into any of these subjects, it did give me a chance to include snapshots from my time in Madagascar, including people I’d met, words I’d learned, food I’d tasted, trees I’d leaned against, and—you guessed it!—lemurs.

We also talked a bit about gay Mormons (when do I not talk about gay Mormons?), and there’s an excerpt from Rebecca Buchanan’s hilarious, heartwarming adventure “The Secret of the Golden Cup,” which is the second piece in Myths, Moons, and Mayhem.

You can read the full post here: Blog Tour: Myths, Moons, & Mayhem anthology.

Myths Moons and Mayhem bookcover

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