Interview with Middle Grade Fantasy Author & Filmmaker Mike DiCerto

A filmmaker and writer since childhood, Mike DiCerto has directed numerous shorts, music videos, documentaries, promotional videos and two feature films (NO EXIT and TRIPTOSANE). His first novel, Milky Way Marmalade, received rave reviews and was the winner of the 2003 Dream Realm Award. He is very excited about the release of the first of his exciting new kid-lit series, Rupert Starbright: The Door to Far-Myst.

Mike has many interests including yoga (practicing for over ten years), gardening (loves growing chilli peppers in his rooftop garden), playing guitar (and trying hard to get better), cats (long-time volunteer at NYC’s Ollie’s Place Adoption Center and cat whisperer), really good and really bad movies and 70s TV as well all kinds of geeky stuff. He is a dedicated MST3K fanatic. He thinks of music as his religion—especially Classic Rock. He lives quite contently in a NYC apartment with his wife and soul mate, Suzy and their rescued kitty, Cosmo.

You can visit his website at or his blog at Connect with him at Twitter at and Facebook at

About The Door to Far-Myst

The Door to Far MystCan a boy who has never even heard of the word “imagination” save a magical world from an evil force using his own imagination?

Rupert Dullz isn’t very happy. His grandmother’s coffus is getting worse, school is boring and there’s nothing to do on his days off but rake up endless piles of leaves. Everything in Graysland is, well, gray, and every day is just like the one before it, and the one before that. That is, until a strangely dressed man named Pie O’Sky swoops out of nowhere in his multicolored bagoon and offers a special reward to whoever can open his mysterious door. When Rupert succeeds, he’s thrilled when Pie O’Sky carries him beyond it to the brilliantly colored land of Far-Myst. Adventure calls, and Rupert discovers a wonderful world full of something he’s never heard of before–imagination. But Far-Myst is in danger, and it may be that only Rupert has the power to save it. Is he the one whose imagination is powerful enough to stop the evil that is destroying the beautiful world beyond the door?

A filmmaker and writer since childhood, Mike DiCerto has directed numerous shorts, music videos, documentaries, promotional videos and two feature films (NO EXIT and TRIPTOSANE). His first novel, Milky Way Marmalade, received rave reviews and was the winner of the 2003 Dream Realm Award. He is very excited about the release of the first of his exciting new kid-lit series, Rupert Starbright: The Door to Far-Myst.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Mike. Can you tell us what your latest book, The Adventures of Rupert Starbright: The Door to Far-Myst, is all about?

At the core of the story it is about the power of the human imagination and love. A bored kid. A door to a magical world. A mean dragon-man who wants to destroy the beauty of the world. Toss in bizarre and wondrous (and some dangerous!) creatures, a mean bully and a first love and we are set for some real fun! Rupert Starbright will face tough and very dangerous challenges in an adventures of anyone’s lifetime!

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Rupert Dullz (aka Rupert Starbright) is an eleven year-old kid like most kids until he realizes that there is something magical called the imagination that he ever knew existed. So once he begins to taste the joy of its possibilities he wants to jump head first into this new exciting world. But he is also has a good heart and care about his grandmother and her sickness (called “the cuffus”). His dream is to use his imagination to help find a cure for her.

Dream Weaver is the royal gardener in the Kingdom of Far-Myst. Once one of the Twelve (a special group of men and women who protected Far-Myst from those who would use imagining powers for bad) he now lives peacefully tending the wondrous Garden of Dreams. But he is sad and worried as his two children (as have ALL the children of Far-Myst) have been kidnapped by the terrible Murkus. The Queen puts Dream Weaver in charge of protecting Rupert and their adventure begins as Weaver tries to find a way home for Rupert.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

I, like I would imagine most writers, form my characters from bits and pieces of people I know but mostly, of aspects of my own personality. The cast of characters of a writer is the ultimate Rhorshack test.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

YES. I cannot imagine starting a novel without knowing the plot. Having said that, I do not do an extensive outline but rather a general beginning, middle and end plot-point layout. THEN I take the adventure with my characters and see what develops.

Q: Your book is set in Graysland and Far-Myst.  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

The story begins in a sort of “any town” USA. It’s a mythical town called Graysland where the imagination does not exist. But it does not exist in the same way a heart did not exist in the cowardly lion. It is there lying dormant and unused because of the fear in the hearts of the adults. We then go to Far-Myst – a land that over-flowed with imagination but is now in serious trouble because a fear-filled baddie is trying to destroy it.  Both places need the pure heart and wide open imaginations of a “young at heart” soul to save them.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

YES – the locations are in themselves characters in a way.

Q: Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

We are in the middle of Rupert and Weaver’s first night around a campfire. Weaver, in his grumpy way, is teaching Rupert about waterbustles (a fruit that contains drinkable water) and camper grass (a special water plant that ignites into flames when it dries! Rupert is finding it all very UN-boring!

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

            They made their way through the gardens, walking without rest for a solid half hour. Rupert could only catch glimpses of the many, many wonders growing all around. There were flowers who’s petals fluttered about like swarms of moths and trees that danced with the music of the birds. Large bushes of firefly berries flashed messages across the gardens while Carpenter Trees grew fully formed tables and chairs that hung like bizarre fruit from their branches. Carpets of Orchestra Grass performed great musical works as the deadly Dragon Shrubs awaited a passing bird or large insect to roast with its fiery blast for tasty meal.

They walked under avenues of Waterfall Pines who sent refreshing mists into the air from the great cascades of water that fell down their barks. Sadsack bushes whispered mournful tales, Merry Mint plants giggled and bloodybarks frightened all their little saplings with tales of horror. Finally Weaver came to a rest in a small clearing beside a pretty pond that was enclosed in a ring of tall trees with immense barks. Many bushes and tall plants surrounded the clearing.

“We’ll set up camp here. Near the Spectral Oaks.”

Thank you so much for this interview, Mike.  We wish you much success!

Giveaways, Contests & Prizes!

Join Mike DiCerto at the Pump Up Your Book Live! November Author Chat / Book Giveaway Party on Friday, November 18 starting at 8 p.m. eastern!

Mike will be giving away a copy of his book! You could win a paperback copy of  The Door to Far-Myst simply by attending the chat and asking him a question. All there is to it!

For details on chat, visit the official chat page for the November authors at Pump Up Your Book Live!


What kid wouldn’t like to have his 15 minutes of fame in a real live book!  Well the book isn’t live but the stories Mike creates are as real as a child’s imagination can take it.  Mike is giving all kids a chance to have his or her name inside the third book of his series.

Click here to find out how your kid can win!







1 Comment

Filed under Author Interviews

One response to “Interview with Middle Grade Fantasy Author & Filmmaker Mike DiCerto

  1. SUZY

    The imagery is amazing! I can’t wait to read this!

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