Clockwise Press                                                                                                                                                                                                Connect with us
Marty Chan is a popular presenter and author for young people, as well as a playwright and radio personality. His first hi/lo fantasy series, Keepers of the Vault, launched in October with Fire and Glass.

1. Why were you interested in writing a fantasy series for hi-lo readers?
When I was a kid, I was a reluctant reader. My parents were immigrants from China who could speak a little English but couldn’t read it. They didn’t have the ability to teach me to read, so I was behind the other students when it came to literacy levels. Some of the books other kids were reading were far beyond my abilities, and I was stuck reading the kinds of books that were more suitable for young kids. It was embarrassing walking around with these books. When I became a writer, I wanted to make sure there were books that reluctant readers could read and not feel embarrassed for having them in their lockers.

2. What elements were important for you to include in the Keepers of the Vault?  
I wanted to set the book in Edmonton because that’s where I live. The city has many old schools, and some are rumoured to be haunted. I couldn’t resist using one of the schools as the setting for my book. For me, it was a chance to play out my fears of my old elementary school. For readers, this might a familiar sight in their neighbourhoods.

3. When you write a series like Keepers of the Vault, do you have an idea of where the series is going as a whole, or do you plan it out book by book? Do the characters and their stories surprise you as you go along or do you know where it's all heading?
I have a general idea of where the series might go, but I don’t know all the details. I like having a vague idea of direction, but I love having the freedom to explore and get lost in the story and characters. Some writers loathe the idea of getting notes on their drafts, but I welcome them, because they give me a chance to revisit the world and play with the characters. I compare the process to playing a beloved video game. Even though I’ve finished the game, I like seeing if there’s anything I missed, and I always get a thrill when my editor points out something I didn’t notice before. Sometimes, I’ll make a discovery about a character or story as I’m working on the draft, and it will change the story. In the case of Keepers of the Vault, I was looking for something the students could be studying in class, and I decided to use the novel Frankenstein. As I wrote the teacher’s dialogue, I realized I could use the thematic connections in Mary Shelley’s novel to connect with the theme in my book. I hadn’t planned this; it was just a happy discovery. The way I look at this process is that I will find the story I need to tell while I’m trying to figure out the story I want to tell.

4. You've written funny stories, mysteries, picture books and teen fantasy in the past. How have your past, real-life experiences been helpful to you in writing this series?  
An urban legend about my old elementary school inspired the book. I attended classes in a four-storey convent that had been converted to a school. The kids heard rumours that the fourth floor was off-limits because it was haunted. Some claimed that the ghosts of people who died during the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918 walked around the fourth floor. While this myth was the starting point for the book, I took my story in a different direction. I like having an anchor point in something real. I guess it’s my way of being able to connect to the story. I often picture myself as the protagonist in the story so I can drill down into the heart of the story and make it real for readers.

5. What sorts of books did you like to read when you were a "tween"? What sorts of books do you wish had been available to you back then?

I lived in a small town with a tiny school library, so the options were few and far between. I read non-fiction books about VTOL planes and the Hobbit. With all the great books around today, I wished even a fraction of them existed when I was a tween. I look at books by Arthur Slade, Kenneth Oppel, Susin Nielsen and Susan Juby, and I think, “Why couldn’t you guys have been around when I was a kid?”

6. You are going to be touring Ontario as part of TD Book Week. What are you most looking forward to?
For me, school and library visits are a chance for me to connect with readers. While I love meeting fans, I’m particularly interested in meeting the kids who don’t know my books or me. My greatest joy is to stand in front of group of surly and bored kids and then slowly but surely win them over with my presentation until they’re talking about my books for days after the visit. My presentations incorporate storytelling and stage magic to illustrate key points about the writing process. I love the look of wonder in the kids’ eyes when they realize writing is more interesting than they assumed. That’s the fuel that keeps me going through long road trips, restaurant food and uncomfortable hotel beds.

7. Can you give us a hint about what will happen to Kristina and Dylan in book two?
In book two, Kristina and Dylan are going to chase down the person who broke into the vault, but they will run into a bit of musical trouble, and they may have to pay the piper.

Want to book Marty for a school or library visit? 
Visit his website at Also, check out how to book an author visit as part of the TD Canadian Children's Book Week Tour! Applications are being accepted now.

A fourth floor that is only pretending to be a storage space, stairs that lead to an abyss, and a Goth djinn stalker with an attitude who likes to play with fire... As if life wasn’t hard enough for Kristina Mah being the new kid in school. The adventures of the Keepers of the Vault are just beginning. 

Keepers of the Vault is a hi-lo fantasy series for reluctant readers ages 12+ and uses a dyslexia-friendly font.



02/21/2017 12:52pm

These author questions and answers you have shared here are really good, I mean this entire interview you have shared here is really impressive. Your author life have inspired me to write, even though I am a beginner aim to be like you

04/10/2017 1:15am

I am a lover of books and I really love fantasy series. I already completed the series of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Right now I am following the series of I am Number Four. It has a great story and it really stimulates my imagination. I am looking for great authors and I will try this one.

05/16/2017 5:02am

Nuvega Lash you heat in winter however additionally cool in summer. Nuvega Lash wool doesn't appeal to dust mites or mildew. it can likely through the Nuvega Lash years become compacted and sense more difficult but steam cleansing Nuvega Lash will frequently puff it again up again.Nuvega Lash every time we speak.

I really love reading books, with that I salute every author. There will no wonderful books if there is no wonderful and amazing author just like you. I really admire you. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post to us, I am really glad that I had read it.

04/17/2017 10:09am

Nice blog.

05/17/2017 5:53am

Endurance Test X the underground sea is taken into consideration to be the maximum Endurance Test X favorite and very crucial twin land cards. it turned into revealed Endurance Test X completely in alpha beta limitless and revised version. Endurance Test X it a completely valuable dual land cards specifically Endurance Test X because both of.

nice post very interesting post and users have nice experience by reading these posts.

05/18/2017 4:07am

Bio Rocket Blast health and because of this herbal libido vitamins for ladies have Bio Rocket Blast ingredients that increase stimulation of the muscle mass Bio Rocket Blast inside the genital regions and facilitates with the hormonal Bio Rocket Blast imbalances of ladies in particular at menopausal stage.Bio Rocket Blast as soon as a lady starts.

I am very much overwhelmed by your thoughts for this particular story. A more deeper and staged knowledge would be good for me

Thanks for the great post .Loved every part of it.

05/19/2017 3:57am

NO2 Core this maximum performance by building up your muscle tissues and NO2 Core education harder than ever. this is called body building. however on NO2 Core the subject of constructing your muscular tissues there may be NO2 Core a right manner to perform this task and there NO2 Core may be additionally.

Microsoft Outlook Support is here to help. Contact Microsoft Outlook Support by phone for all kind of technical and support queries. Call 1-877-722-8183

04/21/2017 10:10am

Great site and great writing.

05/22/2017 2:55am

Epic Male Enhancement the aero turbine muffler made by way of aero exhaust Epic Male Enhancement is the made of technological know-how and era advances. this overall performance Epic Male Enhancement muffler is the primary product to mix the overall performance benefits Epic Male Enhancement of a instantly thru muffler without insulation that breaks Epic Male Enhancement down over the years.

05/23/2017 2:59am

Bio Rocket Blast androgenetic alopecia or male pattern hair loss is implicated in of hair loss instances. Bio Rocket Blast the key's a hormonal byproduct known as dht testosterone. Bio Rocket Blast the more dht that gets placed into your body the greater your hair follicles end up thinner Bio Rocket Blast and finer until the hair is permanently misplaced.

05/24/2017 3:33am

Bio Rocket Blast it's far the scientific term for hair loss or baldness. androgenic refers Bio Rocket Blast back to the influence of androgen male hormones and genetic Bio Rocket Blast predisposition to balding can be the reason of any such hair loss. Bio Rocket Blast genetic is not that easy and also the hair loss case.

Comments are closed.