An interview With The Last Magician Author Lisa Maxwell

We are thrilled that New York Times Bestselling Author Lisa Maxwell took the time for an interview with Anneke Schrijft.Where did she get the idea for The Last Magician? What are Lisa her ambitions for her writing career? Lisa tells all.

Photo: Cameron Whitman Photography

 lisa tell us a little about yourself and your background? 

I’ve spent most of my life around books—as a teacher, a bookseller, an editor, and now as a writer. I started writing in 2010, when my family moved to a new town and a new state and I had two small kids at home and needed to do something to keep myself sane. My first book was published in 2014, and I’ve had five out so far, with more in the pipeline.

Where did you came on the idea for The Last Magician?

I came up with the idea for a thief who could see in bullet time a few years before I actually started to write the book. I knew I wanted her to be tough and super talented, but it took me a long time to figure out where and when her story was—all the things I came up with originally didn’t really feel right. When I hit on turn-of-the-century New York, I realized I finally had the kind of story I wanted to tell—something big and sweeping with a rowdy cast of characters that readers could fall for.

Lisa: ”My first book was published in 2014, and I’ve had five out so far, with more in the pipeline.”

How do you select the names of your characters?

The names are a combination of historical accuracy, names I just like, and names that I like the sound of or that have some meaning. Esta, I stole from an older woman I met at our church. Harte, I’ve liked since I read Hart Crane’s poem, “The Bridge,” and I thought it was fitting—kind of an inside joke for myself. Dolph Saunders was a name I stole out of history. It takes me a while to find the right one—it has to work for the time period and the character.

Do you write for readers or for yourself?

I write first for myself and the story, and I hope that by doing that, the readers will love the characters as much as I do.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I’d love to keep writing. I never expected to hit the NY Times List, so that was a surprise and a complete delight. I’d love to keep making stories that readers want to read. I hope that my publisher will keep buying them. Beyond that, I really just want to do good work—write things that I think speak truly about something in the world and to constantly improve my craft.


The Last Magician has 524 pages. How do you as author of the book remember all the story and events that you already written?

I have an amazing editor, an outstanding copyeditor, and a really thorough set of spreadsheets for myself.

How long did it take you to write The Last Magician?

It took me years to figure out the main story, but once I actually started writing, it was about a year from drafting to a very intense revision process.

If there would be made a movie from The Last Magician. Which actress would you like to see playing the lead character?

I’d really love to see someone new – not a big name.

What are you writing right now?

I’m working on the third -and final- installment of the series.



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