Houdini, Halloween, National Magic Day, and Me!

Harry Houdini and Bess Houdini
Harry Houdini and Bess Houdini

On Halloween in 1926, the magician Harry Houdini died.  Magicians honor Houdini each year on this date, and it is known as National Magic Day.  In 2010 on October 31st, I did my part by publishing a tribute novel to Houdini titled “Rosabelle, believe.”  When the book was originally released, I gave an interview talking about the book’s premise and Houdini’s influence.  To celebrate the anniversary of Houdini’s passing, National Magic Day, and the third anniversary of the release of my novel, below is an excerpt from that interview:

The basic plot of “Rosabelle, believe” is about a man who believes he is the reincarnation of Harry Houdini.  He meets a girl who could be the reincarnation of Harry’s wife Bess, but convincing her of this is not so easy.

It is a love story, albeit a magical one, but it is more a tale of hope, of desire, of a longing for a more romantic and mystical existence.   As the character Eric Pilot mentions in the story, when it comes to romance, there are no shy winks or tips of hats anymore.   We live in a world where love is like fast food, gobble it down quickly without thought or feeling.   I would like to see a return to courting, but even more so, I would like people to read my novel and long for a great love story of their own.   There’s nothing shameful or childish about love, and it has a very spiritual and mystical quality that makes life worth living.  People so often call relationships “work” and that is a shame.  I don’t “work” at my relationship with my mother, or my sister, or my friends.  I just love them and express it.  Romantic love should be the same, although romance should radiate a special type of magic as well.  I hope my book expresses that.  I want to bring a mystical and magical quality back to love.

Magic is a perfect metaphor for love.  Love is magical.  At least it feels so.  This is a tale about what appears to be a miracle.  Life and death are illusions.  I used Houdini in the book, because he was such a great showman that people believed he was really magical, that he was supernatural.  I wanted Eric to represent that same quality with romance and love.

I also think magicians are charming.  I love magicians, because they have no misconceptions about illusions.  They know it’s all flash, smoke, and mirrors.  They fool us with our permission.  I think they’re great, and I’m so flattered if they enjoy my book.  My novel is very much a tribute to their craft, and especially a tribute to the greatest magician of all time, Harry Houdini.

The cover of the novel "Rosabelle, believe" by Michelle Cushing
The cover of the novel “Rosabelle, believe” by Michelle Cushing

If you’re intrigued about “Rosabelle, believe,” pick up a copy at either Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com … or I’ll conjure the spirit of Houdini to haunt you!  Hahaha!

Or read an excerpt here!

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