Author Takeover: Shadow Magic and Slytherins by Joshua Khan

This month’s Author Takeover comes from Joshua Khan, author of SHADOW MAGICout this month from Scholastic UK. SHADOW MAGIC takes the idea of the Chosen One and flips it on its head…what if you were the dark side’s Chosen One? A Slytherin hero? Lilith wasn’t supposed to be ruler of Gehenna, but she is the last in a long line of dark sorcerers. Now she must embrace her heritage and practice the magic of the undead. But how can she when, as a girl, magic is forbidden to her?

You can find out more at Joshua’s website.

Or follow him on Twitter: @writerjoshkhan



Was there ever a House more misunderstood? A whole community of wizards tarred by the actions of a fanatical few? Or was there ever a House with more fashion sense?

So, this is about my love of all things dark and sorcererous. And guys and gals who look good in black.

If you’re writing about magic in children’s fiction, Harry Potter will loom large. You can’t ignore him. Much like every fantasy book needs to contend with Tolkien, so the moment you cast a spell you’ve got J.K. Rowling standing over your shoulder.

SHADOW MAGIC is my novel on what it would be like if a kingdom was ruled by dark sorcerers. Not the big, grand things, but the day-to-day concerns. Who would repair the zombies? How would you keep the ghosts in check? What would you do if your great-great-great-grandpa insisted on doing his party trick at your fifth birthday? The one where he juggles his eyeballs?

And how would you deal with the bats? You cannot have a haunted kingdom without an insane number of bats. It is a THING.

Lilith Shadow rules this kingdom. She doesn’t want to, being all of thirteen. But her family was murdered, and she’s now in charge. Sort of. The trouble is whoever did in her family feels they didn’t quite finish the job…

Thorn’s a peasant boy who’s been hired to work the stables. He comes from far away where the dead tend to stay dead (and buried) and is having serious trouble adjusting to his new circumstances. Fortunately he’s got talents of his own and a very good way with dangerous animals. He has trouble making friends but finds a great one in Hades, a massive (and I mean gigantic) 200-year-old vampire bat. Monsters can make excellent pets. Who knew?

I thought it would be great fun to write about the bad guys for a change. Looking at the world from the eyes of Slytherin, as it were. Sure, you’ve got your Voldemorts and Death Eaters, but for every psycho you’ve got some kid who just wants to do well at school, hang out with their mates, and survive Defence Against the Dark Arts. Oh, and have their House win the Quidditch Cup for once.

SHADOW MAGIC is spooky, funny, and dressed in black. The best party is Halloween, and it reminds you not to be afraid of the dark, for that’s where your dreams and your imagination lie…