Why do you like writing about Harry Houdini?
It’s because he's more than just a historical figure—he's a legend. And, as with most legends, it's sometimes hard to know what’s true and what isn’t. Ever since he started doing his incredible tricks, people have been spinning wild tales about Harry Houdini—he's one of history's true larger-than-life figures. And Houdini himself was happy to encourage those rumors and whisperings—all part of creating his spectacular reputation.
So when I set out to write some novels about what might have happened to Harry as a boy, I decided to write an alternative history. Not what did happen—but what might have done. I knew, of course, that his boyhood had actually been quite peaceful, growing up in a small Wisconsin town. But what if, instead of that, my young Harry became separated from his parents? What if he was forced to fend for himself —and learnt his magical skills while investigating intriguing mysteries? What if he fell in with a couple of equally resourceful friends, not to mention an international crime-solving investigation?
Not remotely true, of course. But that's what so fun writing about Houdini—he's more than a man, he's a legend. During his lifetime, and afterwards too, almost anything was believed of him—he was thought to be an international spy, to have done deals with supernatural powers, to have dabbled in the affairs of kings and queens. And, as I've said, Houdini was happy to let these rumors build—he even commissioned the popular writer H. P. Lovecraft to write a made-up tale about him investigating sinister magical forces beneath an Egyptian pyramid…
So what writer could resist, a hundred years later, adding a few more rumors to the mix?
Title: The Demon Curse
Author: Simon Nicholson
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Series: Young Houdini, Book 2
Young Harry Houdini is a master magician, an impressive performance artist who dazzles crowds with his daring feats. But when Harry and his friends Billie and Arthur are called to New Orleans by the mysterious Order of the White Crow, the trio is faced with magic of an entirely different kind.
Whispers of voodoo and demonic spells rip through the streets as the city’s mayor continues to suffer from a strange, zombified coma. What’s more, the town is turning blame on the local fisherman—the very community that helped raise Billie. But it soon becomes clear there are other evils at play, and the three friends know something even more sinister is afoot.
To save the city from this truly terrifying evil, Harry will be forced to pull off his most spectacular escape yet!
Praise for The Magician’s Fire:
“A fast paced mystery. Middle-grade readers [...] will gallop through this spellbinder.” —Kirkus
“Nicholson smoothly blends Houdini’s prowess as an escape artist with his fictional hero’s sleuthing skills as he tracks down a missing elderly magician... A cliffhanger ending will leave readers eager for the next installment.” —Publishers Weekly
“Action-packed and fast-paced…will appeal to fans of the ‘39 Clues.’” —School Library Journal
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/
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