Cover Reveal for Wizardmatch by Lauren Magaziner
Here’s the thing about my brother: we are very similar, but he’ll never admit it. We are best friends, though we fight all the time. I support him endlessly, even when I want to win. And I love him more than anything, even though he’s an expert at getting on my very last nerve.
Sibling relationships are STRANGE, and they are full of contradictions.
Growing up, my brother and I could go from getting along to NUCLEAR WAR ZONE in the blink of an eye. And after words were screamed or punches were thrown, we could go back to being best friends just as quickly. My mom used to call us “tussling puppies.”
Wizardmatch was inspired by this weird, complex, wonderful relationship I have with my brother, and the rivalry I felt growing up so close with him. There was competition over big things—like getting recognition from our family. My brother and I still occasionally grill our parents about who the favorite child is. When I ask, my dad says, “Michael.” And when Michael asks, my dad replies, “Lauren.”
But our antagonism can get even pettier than that. For example, we are no longer allowed to play Settlers of Catan together, because the game always gets tossed across the room. Yes, this still happens in 2017. And yes, we are fully-grown adults.
When I first pitched Wizardmatch to my editor, over bibimbap in December 2015, I said, “I want to write about sibling rivalry that’s exacerbated by a competition.” Siblings are naturally competitive anyway, so a competition could make all these underlying tensions explode right into the foreground.
But Wizardmatch ended up going even further than I expected. Because it’s not just about siblings: it’s about a large, magical, slightly-dysfunctional but well-meaning extended family… kind of like my big extended family, which involves a feud among my parents’ generation that lasted nearly 20 years, a cousin of mine who has disliked me since before I was born, other cousins I count among my closest friends, different cultures and races brought together, and a joking battle between my mom and her brother over which one of them is the favorite child (just like what my brother and I do!).
I think Wizardmatch is my most ambitious book yet. The main character Lennie has nuanced relationships with her brother, mother, father, grandfather, cousins, aunts, uncles, a great-uncle, and even a snarky talking cat. There is humor and absurdism. There are different magical powers. And there is a strong feminist theme running through the novel. Between these deep and difficult themes and the numerous characters, it was a lot to juggle, but so interesting to explore. Lennie’s family, like mine, is complicated, messy, full of struggle, and full of love. My greatest hope, dear reader, is that the dynamic of the Pomporromp family feels close to home.
Lauren Magaziner is a graduate of Hamilton College, and wrote her debut book, The Only Thing Worse Than Witches, while studying abroad in Scotland her junior year. Lauren lives in Brooklyn, New York, and writes full-time.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Wizardmatch by Lauren Magaziner on sale March 6, 2018 from Dial Books
Eleven year old Lennie Mercado loves magic. She practices her invisibility powers all the time (she can now stay invisible for fifteen seconds!), and she dreams of the day that she can visit her grandfather, the Prime Wizard de Pomporromp, at his magical estate.
Now, Lennie has her chance. Poppop has decided to retire, and so his grandchildren are coming from all over to compete in Wizardmatch. The winner inherits his title, his castle, and every single one of his unlimited magical powers. The losers get nothing. Lennie is desperate to win, but when Poppop creates a new rule to quelch any sibling rivalry, her thoughts turn from winning Wizardmatch to sabotaging it…even if it means betraying her family.
Comedic, touching, and page-turny, Wizardmatch is perfect for fans of Mr. Lemencello’s Library, The Gollywopper Games, and The Candymakers.