Rummanah Aasi

  Today I have Shawn Thomas Odyssey on the blog today for his The Wizard of Dark Street Blog Tour This or That post. For those unfamiliar of this post, Shawn will respond to my questions as if he lived in 1876, a time period where his book is set in, in his preference of this or that. I hope you enjoy the post!

Do you like to spend your freetime: reading or going to social gatherings?
Reading. Everywhere and anywhere. Can’t get enough. “Even at social gatherings?” you ask. Well, my wife doesn’t really approve of bringing books to parties. She thinks if you’re going to a gathering, you’re there to socialize, not to read…but between you and me, sometimes it’s nice to have a paperback in my pocket. Just to know it’s there if I need it.

In your opinion, who is a better writer: Lousa May Alcott or Jules Verne? 

Which of them is a better writer? I can't rightly say, but I would be more partial to reading Jules Vern on concepts alone. Talk about imagination!
Which invention, the phonograph or the telephone, do you use the most?

Phonograph. No longer are we required to pay for an expensive concert, but we can enjoy a symphony right in the comfort of our very own parlor. It’s like magic.

Do you prefer listening to "In The Gloaming" or "La Jeunesse d'Hercule" by Camille Saint-Saens? 

As a great fan of popular music, I would have to go with “Le carnaval” actually. The “Aquarium” piece sets the tone for Dark Street quite perfectly. Have a listen and you’ll hear for yourself.

In the presidential race, did you vote for Rutherford B. Hayes or Samuel J. Tilden? 

I can’t remember who I voted for, to tell the truth. 1876 was such along time ago…It was either the guy with the beard…or the one without.

Which sport do you participate in: horse racing or baseball? 

In the mid 1800’s baseball was all the rage in New York City, so I’d have to go with the ball and bat…although, like the Wizard, I’m particularly partial to badminton. Give me a racket and a birdie, and I’m ready for some serious competition!

Is Dark Street located in New York City or Little Old London?
Dark Street actually exists in the space between New York City and the Land of Faerie. A place known as the Drift—the in between place. Its nickname is “Little London Town” because the majority of its inhabitants speak in British accents.

What do you feel most comfortable wearing: Copper Riveted Overalls (blue jeans) or regular trousers?

On an every day basis, I might just go with blue jeans. In 1873 a man named Levi Strauss, together with his partner Jacob Davis, created a kind of men’s work-pants with rivets around the pockets that could be worn day in and day out without fear of being torn or tattered. They could be washed regularly as well, though at the time few of the miners and workmen did so, hygiene not being of the utmost importance.
Of course when heading out for a night at the theatre, I would be wearing a pair of well-pressed trousers to match my fitted jacket and top hat. Yes, yes. Dapper indeed.

Are you most afraid of a witch or a faerie?

This is a fantastic question. Anyone who has grownup on Dark Street knows that the Glass Gates to Faerie at the south end of Dark Street have been locked for nearly five hundred years. Since the end of the Great Faerie War. The thought of those gates ever opening and an army of powerful, magic-wielding faeries spilling through onto the street is enough to give me bad dreams for a month. Though I will admit…the sheer mystery of what the witches do beneath Which Hill, and why the grown witches never show them selves topside is more than a little creepy.

If you couldn't be the Wizard’s apprentice would you be a detective, doctor, banker, or a teacher?

I would be a detective. Life is full of mysteries. I’d like to solve as many as I can.

Would you rather solve a mystery with logic alone or rely on magic only to solve a mystery? 

Well, this is an interesting question. While Oona Crate, the books central character, chooses to use logic only—and she has some pretty compelling reasons for doing so—personally, I would use as much magic as I could muster. Though first and foremost, I would use magic to clean my writing room right now. It is an absolute mess!

Would you prefer to be beautiful or smart? 

Smart. Because the smarter you are, the more you realize that beauty is a state of mind.

 Oona Crate was born to be the Wizard's apprentice, but she has another destiny in mind.

Despite possessing the rare gift of Natural Magic, Oona wants to be a detective. Eager for a case, she is determined to prove that logic can be just as powerful as wizardry. But when someone attacks her uncle--the Wizard of Dark Street--Oona is forced to delve even deeper into the world of magic.

Full of odd characters, evil henchmen, and a street where nothing is normal, The Wizard of Dark Street will have you guessing until the very end.
(Description from
5 Responses
  1. Lauren M Says:

    I'm quite partial to reading as well! ;) I don't go so far as to bring books to parties though; your wife is right! (Though I'll admit, sometimes when things get boring...I'll wish I had a book)
    Great this-or-that interview! I love that the character is from the 1800's. :)

  2. I totally agree with the reading anywhere and anytime! I'm never without a book haha great Q and A :)

  3. Jenny Says:

    Okay, I'm not going to lie to you, I'm kind of amazing at badminton. Give me a racket and a birdie and I will take you on! This was such a fun this or that list, love that he answered as though it were 1876:)

  4. This is great! I've never seen a This or That where the author did anything other than answer as himself or herself. I love the creativity of putting yourself in the past.

  5. Wow, oh wow! I'm totally swooning over the answer to that beautiful or smart question!

    Fun this or that! My favorite kind of interviews. Thanks for sharing. :)

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