Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Author Interview + Giveaway: Daniel Cohen, Masters of the Veil

Hello everyone! Today I have the lovely Dan, author of Masters of the Veil, on the blog for a Q&A about his book, so enjoy! There'll also be a chance to win some awesome can jerseys (see pictures at the end of post) later on, so stay tuned for that.

Masters of the Veil by Daniel Cohen
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Released: March 1st 2012
Find it on Goodreads

Life can't get much better for Sam Lock. Popular, good-looking, and with a future as a professional football player, every guy at Stanton High School wishes he were Sam. That is, until his championship football game, when Sam accidentally links with an ancient source of energy known as the Veil and reveals his potential to become a powerful sorcerer. Sam is whisked off to Atlas Crown, a community of sorcerers who utilize the Veil as a part of everyday life. Once there, he trains beside a mute boy who speaks through music, an eternal sage who's the eyes and ears of the Veil, and a beautiful girl who's pretty sure Sam's an idiot. As it becomes clear Sam's meant for power magic-the most feared and misunderstood form of sorcery-people beyond Atlas Crown learn of his dangerous potential. An exiled group of power sorcerers are eager to recruit Sam, believing that he is destined to help them achieve their long-held goal. If they succeed, they could bring about the downfall of not only Atlas Crown, but all humankind. (from Goodreads)


Hi Dan, thanks so much for joining us!

Hey Liz and all of Liz’s readers. Thanks so much for taking an interest in my book!

Can you tell us a bit about Masters of the Veil?

“Masters of the Veil,” is the first in a trilogy about a football player who accidentally turns out to be an important player in a magical world. Instead of a traditional “outcast who finds his true home in an magical community story,” I wanted to see what would happen if a popular, sociable person ended up in a magical world and struggled there.

I thought it would be a lot of fun to write (and it was!), but I had no idea it was going to come out the way it did. I thought it would be a light, funny read about a football player bumbling around in a place he didn’t belong, but what ended up emerging was something much deeper; something I never thought possible. MoTV explores internal struggle, prejudice, self-sacrifice, and how deep friendship can go. I can’t tell you how proud I am that this book found me.

Why did you decide to write for a young adult audience?

In all honesty, it kind of just happened that way. When I started writing I just wanted to write something that would entertain me. After I finished my first book, “The Ancillary’s Mark,” I realized that I’m a YA kind of guy through and through. I never thought I’d actually get published and have people like my work. It’s been years now and it’s all still kind of surreal.

What inspired you to write about magic and sorcerers?

Harry Potter.
And others.
But mostly Harry Potter.

Like most everyone else, I am obsessed with Rowling’s work. Growing up, I was always the same age as Harry’s crew and I felt a special bond to him and his world. I knew I could never create something as world shattering at J.K. did, but I knew in the very least that I wanted my work to be in the same genre. I’ve also found out by trial and error that choosing to write about magic and sorcery is choosing to be free and chained at the same time. You can create anything you want, but you have to follow your own rules or the story doesn’t work. This genre can be unbelievably liberating and mind-bogglingly frustrating at the same time.

Harry Potter does tend to have that effect :P. If you had magic for a day, what would you do?

Oh man, why’d you have to go and throw me a hardball question? It depends upon what kind of magic we’re talking here. In the MoTV world there are three disciplines. Natural, mystical, and power magic. Natural magic is most common and has to deal with earthly things like plants, animals, and the elements. Mystical magic is rare and deals with things like memory, time, and intangible things and ideas. Power magic is incredibly uncommon and deals with might and control. I know what I should say (solve world hunger, work on world peace) and I would definitely do some good, but honestly, I’d probably fly around all day or turn myself into Brad Pitt.

Flying definitely sounds tempting! Did you have to do any research when writing Masters of the Veil?

When I first set out to write MoTV I made a promise. I promised myself that if I was going to do this, I was going to create everything from scratch. Everything magical (creatures, places, plants, games, theories) was going to be my own. I knew it would be insanely tempting to borrow from the greats like Rowling and Rothfuss, but I respect them too much to take anything from them. It took me a loooooong time to create this unique world and write this book, but it was worth it.

If you could do any job in the world (besides writing), what would it be?

It’s funny that you ask. I’m actually pursuing it as we speak. And I just up and changed just about everything in my life to do so. I play rock and r&b saxophone and I have for about fifteen years. I met a guy named Matt MacDonald in college and I have to say that he is one of the most talented singer/songwriters I have ever seen, yet alone played with. We formed a duo together called “Waking Fable” and decided to go for it. We moved away from all of our friends and family in NY and settled down in Austin, Texas (the live musical capital of the world) about three weeks ago. We have no connections here, so we’ve been playing outside, at open mics, and even people’s living rooms, trying to get our name out there. It certainly has been the start of what is shaping up to be a crazy adventure.

Wow that sounds great! Can you tell us about any other projects you have coming up?

I’m currently working on finishing the second book in the trilogy called, “Children of the Veil.” Then I have to tackle the final book, so I’ll have my hands full for the foreseeable future.

Looking forward to it. Thanks for answering questions today, it’s been great to have you on the blog!

Take care everybody! And if you pick up a copy of, “Masters of the Veil,” please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you.
Daniel A. Cohen was just your average business student. Microeconomics, finance, marketing… you name it, he had to do a PowerPoint presentation on it. One dark and stormy night, he was bitten by the radioactive realization that memorizing business jargon could possibly be the most boring activity known to man.

After gaining eagle-eye vision, abs that could grate cheese, and a talent for imagining things (including his cheese-grating abs), he wrote his first novel and began his epic battle against the formidable business jargon. He continues to fight the good fight by playing saxophone and writing YA fantasy, forever hoping his Veil trilogy will help inspire others to join his cause.
I hope you enjoyed the Q&A! Find out more on the Masters of the Veil Facebook page here. For a chance to win two can jerseys (pictured below), just fill in this form. US entrants only. Ends February 22nd. Good luck!

Aren't they awesome?


  1. Hehe, those jerseys are so cute!

    Of course, all good things come from Harry Potter ;) It's so amazing to think how many things J.K. Rowling has inspired... it blows my mind. I really like the sound of the 3 types of magic!

    Thanks for the interview! <3


  2. I like that he went the non-traditional path and chose the popular kid to be thrust into the magical world! I mean, we all like to see the underdog become someone special, but there's only so many times it can be used effectively. It's nice to see things changed up a bit :)

    And okay, mentioning Harry Potter in any interview is an instant WIN! I also admire how dedicated he was to creating this world entirely of his own, rather than use inspired ideas from elsewhere. That kind of worldbuilding would take a lot of time and effort!

    Fantastic interview!!

  3. I couldn't help chuckle on question number 4 towards the end ..."and turn myself into Brad Pitt." That was a hoot.


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