Tank & Fizz: The Case of the Missing Mage— As the eve of the great Wizards’ Summit approaches, wizards from all over Rockfall Mountain descend on the school at Shadow Tower to refine their craft. When professors start disappearing, it’s up to magic-fearing monster sleuths Tank and Fizz to solve this spell-packed mystery and find the missing mages. Aleetha, their detective partner and a wizard-in-training, has dragged Tank and Fizz into the heart of the Shadow Tower, where libraries fly, spells fill the air, and an ancient army of darkness stirs, when she receives a mysterious message from her missing teacher. Using their detective skills, a pinch of magic and a trickle of technology, the friends stumble into a battle that’s been brewing for decades. And what starts as a simple missing-persons case turns into a clash of light versus dark magic. Can Tank and Fizz overcome their fears and track down the missing mages before the black magic makes them disappear for good? The Case of the Missing Mage is the third book in the Tank & Fizz series about two crime-solving monsters living under a mountain, following The Case of the Slime Stampede and The Case of the Battling Bots. Stay tuned for book four, coming spring 2018.
What was the hardest scene to write in your new book?
The final battle at the end was tough because there are so many characters doing different things at once. Splitting it up was tricky, but thankfully my awesome editors helped make sense of it all.
What comes first for you, the plot or the characters?
For the series, it was definitely the characters that came first. I had wanted to write a story with a goblin as the main character for a long time. I started one where Fizz was a wizard but abandoned it. Then, it was a sci-fi story where Fizz was a computer hacking goblin. It died around Chapter 4. Then, finally I hit on the idea of having a goblin who is a detective. It’s been monstrously fun ever since.
What part of a book is your favorite to write?
I love writing the openings of my books. I get to drop the characters in a world of trouble. The last half of the book, figuring how to get them out of trouble, is the tough part.
What are 5 words that best describe your writing process?
Butt in chair. Much coffee.
Which author, living or dead, would you want to have coffee with?
Agatha Christie. I’d like to know how she came up with so many ideas to commit crimes, hide clues and entertain readers.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever googled for book research?
For Slime Stampede, I googled to see if slime can be used to clean surfaces in real life. I don’t think they can.
What’s the most unusual job you’ve had (besides writing)?
Definitely a juggler in a theme park when I was a teenager. While my friends were spending their summers flipping burgers, I was outside throwing stuff into the air and (sometimes) catching them – and getting paid to do it!
How do you select character names?
Tank & Fizz has fantasy elements to it, so I take regular names and substitute letters or add new endings to create real, but magical, names.
What do you do to combat writers block?
I tell the editor in my head to be quiet and let me write! Or I do the dishes. One of those usually works.
Tank & Fizz: The Case of the Missing Mage is available now!
Liam O’Donnell was born in Northern Ireland and came to Canada when he was five years old. He studied media at Ryerson University and has worked on film sets in Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom. He is the author of the popular Max Finder Mysteries. Liam now teaches elementary school in Toronto. For more information, visit www.liamodonnell.com or follow him on Twitter @liamodonnell.