The Magical Lands of Midendhil: The Mission of the Last Keeper received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.
Following find an interview with author Davide Simon Mazzoli.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
The Magical Lands of Midendhil: The Mission of the Last Keeper. It was published on October 11, 2022.
What’s the book’s first line?
The massive doors to the golden portal open wide, filling the temple with moonlight.
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
The first year of high school can be difficult, but for Leonardo, red hair like fire and a face full of freckles, it is much more than difficult; it’s a real nightmare. The school bully torments Leonardo and Maya, the girl whom he has a colossal crush on but continues to consider him just a friend. In short, it’s real crap.
Things could not get worse. Or could they?
In fact, the situation gets more complicated. It’s a clear day of May when Leonardo begins to have strange visions; visions that scare him and drag him into an unknown world. Upset, Leo asks for help from his parents and his adored Uncle Victor.
He discovers an incredible secret, which concerns him greatly: in the center of the universe lies a land called Midendhil, and he is the Last Keeper. Leonardo finds himself burdened with a responsibility that catapults him into a place he doesn’t know and doesn’t understand: a place where the enemies fight to the sound of deadly spells, the woods are populated by pesky goblins, mermaids from the lakes and the heavens by hideous monsters.
Without a guide and without a goal, Leonardo has to rely only on the help of Maya. Together, the two will face extraordinary adventures and realize their destiny is inexplicably linked.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
The idea of the Magical Lands of Midendhil saga, of which The Mission of the Last Keeper is the first book, came from a dream I had at a young age. I was on the shores of a lake and someone behind me, someone I couldn’t see, was describing that strange world to me, telling me I should talk about it. It sounds like an absurd story, but believe me, it’s true. From that moment I started writing, studying, and outlining the magical rules of that world, the cultures and customs of the creatures that populated that world. Then I outlined a hero, a little boy who didn’t have to be perfect. He had to be real. So I called him Leonardo, after one of my sons, and I gave him the soul of a confused teenager, in search of the man he wants to become. We all have a path to follow, maybe not in distant magical worlds, but life is still an extraordinary adventure.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
As a writer and film director, The Magical Lands of Midendhil: The Mission of the Last Keeper is a novel written on several narrative levels. We have adventure and magic, which are the two main narrative driving levers, but we also have an educational facet.
The greatest aspect of the novel is that it encapsulates profound concepts that, in a sober and fun way, allow various levels of reading, suitable and interesting also for an adult audience.
Before starting the writing, Midendhil’s world required seven years of in-depth historical studies: studies that led to a detailed characterization of all the geography of this magical world, its populations, its legends and customs, traditions, cultures and philosophies that give to the lands of Midendhil very solid and realistic features. In the novels, in fact, we talk about Vril, Annunaki, Elohim and many philosophical educational sparks that, if read with special attention, provide another level of meaning.
Midendhil can be appreciated not only for the adventure, but also for its message. Young readers will not capture philosophical references, but they will absorb the messages in order to perceive a different vision of life: a vision of hope, a vision in which the young reader becomes the protagonist of his own destiny. In Midendhil you are not born special, but you become so by believing in yourself and in your abilities.
As Uncle Vittorio, Leonardo’s first mentor says, “The strength of a man resides in his fear of never fulfilling his destiny.”
This is the main message I always put in all my novels, whatever the genre. The hope and cognition of the control that each of us have on our destiny. We are all special and all of us, through the understanding of our individuality, can reach our dreams.
What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?
The distinctive feature of Leonardo, the main character, is definitely imperfection. He is a fifteen-year-old boy who suffers pangs of love with resentment, who angrily succumbs to the harassment of the bully who persecutes him, who doesn’t feel right with himself, who believes he has problems even when he doesn’t. Who inspired me? From myself as a boy, to my friend and to a thousand other teenagers who, in the confusion of that age, are disoriented and imperfect, but their imperfection is actually perfection, purity. It is life, it is pure energy. It is that force that forges young people, shapes them and transforms them into the men and women they will soon become. Strong adults who know the darkest aspects of themselves without fearing them, but rather, bending and controlling them toward the continuous growth to be better people who are not afraid of life.
When did you first decide to become an author?
I started writing stories in elementary school when I learned to write. As a child I wrote short stories which I then illustrated in my notebooks. Growing up, I started writing plays, thrillers, biographies, children’s books and, of course, fantasy.
Is this the first book you’ve written?
I am a lucky person who has managed to make his passion into his job. This is my sixth book, and Midendhil’s fourth publication. I published in Italy, my country of origin, with one of the most important publishers in Europe, and then in Brazil and Eastern Europe. Finally, thanks to my friend Brunella Costagliola and to my wonderful publisher, JuLee Brand, I had the opportunity to release Midendhil in the United States, the great nation that I have chosen as my home, and where I have decided to have and raise my children.
What do you do for work when you’re not writing?
I work in the entertainment field. In addition to being a writer, I am also a film director, TV writer, screenwriter and developer of trans-media projects.
How much time do you generally spend on your writing?
I try to write every day and always have a book in the works on my desktop. Right now, I’m finishing editing a new collection of short stories that will be published in Italy in the first months of next year, by Mondadori: the largest publisher in Europe.
What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?
The best part about being indie is definitely the freedom to write the stories you want. The more complex side is related to distribution and the possibility of being seen. A book that has no visibility is a book that, after all, does not exist. The ultimate goal of a novel is not to be published, but to be read.
What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?
Don’t stop reading, don’t stop writing and never stop believing. If you don’t believe in yourself and what you write, no one ever will.
Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?
They are many, but I want to name only a few and all of them are alive. Stephen King, Joe Lansdale and Douglas Preston.
Which book do you wish you could have written?
No doubt. “IT”.