Friday, December 23, 2022

Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Wrong Kind of Magic by Hilary Hauck @HilaryHauck @RABTBookTours

Book one of Trevor Made Christmas Stories

Middle-Grade Fantasy

Date Published: 09-27-2022


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The house is shaking, colors are sparkling, things are starting to break... and did that toy start moving?

Thirteen-year-old Marley is convinced that Christmas is just for little kids and that magic doesn’t exist, but when she and her siblings tiptoe downstairs in the middle of the night to take a sneak peek at their stockings, she’s about to discover that magic is more real than she ever imagined...

When the children’s toys start coming to life, Marley will need to think fast if she’s to protect her siblings from rampaging dinosaurs and wild monkeys. The fate of them all depends on whether she can find the right kind of magic.

This thrilling and heartwarming adventure is a beautiful tale of a big sister who has forgotten the joys of Christmas.

Interview with Hilary Hauck

    How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

    Well, it all started when I was planning to take my oldest granddaughter, or as I call her, my oldest grandorable, to a social event with other writers.

    She was ten and mingling at a grownup event can be intimidating, so to prepare her, I let her know they might ask her questions like who’s your favorite author.

    “That’s easy,” she said. “You are!”

    My heart melted, as you can imagine. But after a while, I realized very little of my writing is accessible to my grandkids. My stories are more targeted for adults, even though I have written a few children’s stories and poems that have not been published.

    When some author friends were talking about writing their annual Christmas stories, one happened to mention that she sometimes draws on her grands for inspiration. Boom! All of a sudden, the spark for this story flashed before me and would not simmer down until I wrote it.

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

In the story, I wanted to put the kids in a fantasy world but one that would test them and push them to rise to the occasion, without adults coming to their rescue.

I did this for two reasons. First, people don’t always automatically feel the magic, even at Christmas time. Sometimes it takes effort, and sometimes we need to be the ones to bring the magic to others.

Second, as conscientious grandparents who take their job very seriously, we try not only to have fun with our grandorables, we also like to give them experiences they might not otherwise have, such as travel. And we like to make it more fun. For example, we like to put them in charge of navigating the airport to find our gate. Luckily, we haven’t missed a flight yet! So, I just wanted to expand on this, encouraging kids to take charge and showing them that they can be the ones to bring the magic.

    What was the hardest part of writing this book?

    The hardest part was probably how I used sound in the story to heighten action. I got in rather a pickle with it until I made a sound chart of which characters made which sounds.

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    The stories I loved the most as a kid were about what the world could be like, such as The Borrowers. I just loved the idea of an entire world carrying on under our very noses and not knowing about it. They were the kinds of stories I made up in my head all the time.

    So, in this story, I really enjoyed coming up with a world that was going on that the grownups wouldn’t be able to see or believe.

    I also enjoyed coming up with the twists and turns, setting it up so you weren’t sure who was friend and who was foe, and then, when the kids thought they had it figured out, not making it crystal clear so they had to trust their instincts.

    Where there alternate endings you considered?

    The big question for the ending was how much trouble the children would get into. The grandparents wake up to find the house wrecked, all the cookies gone, and the children only have a completely implausible explanation for what went on. They couldn’t get away with it scot-free, but neither could they be punished too greatly because they had done nothing wrong.

    Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

    The research for some stories has taken me far and wide, but for this one, it really was a case of spending time with and observing children, mostly my grandorables, even though the characters are different from them.

    For the story, but also for life, I feel it’s important to be aware of how not all children are cut from the same cloth. Some thrive on noise and chaos, others look for the quietest place in the house and waiting for the chaos to be over, even covering their ears to block the noise out. I wanted to make sure these kids were represented.

    What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

    I read across genres, including MG. I really enjoy stepping into other worlds and seeing other people’s perspectives so I can learn something new about the world I live in, so I’m particularly drawn to character driven stories, whatever the genre.


About the Author

Christmas has always been Hilary Hauck’s favorite time of year. Growing up in the United Kingdom, Christmas meant family gatherings, turkey and stuffing, crackers, mince pies, charades, and the Queen’s speech in the afternoon.

According to Hilary, every child should have magic in their life, and stories enlighten us with the endless ways magic is all around. Why did she write this story about the wrong kind of magic? Well, because sometimes we need to feel the wrong kind of something before we know what the right kind looks and feels like.

Hilary is also the author of From Ashes to Song, inspired the true story of three Italians who immigrated to Pennsylvania ninety years before she did. She has written short stories for Like Sunshine After Rain and anthologies in the Mindful Writers Retreat Series.

She grew up in the UK and has also lived in Italy. She lives on a small patch of woods in rural Pennsylvania with her husband and a cat with a penchant for laundry. Visit her at

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