Welcome to Episode 120 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans. In this episode we continue our triptych of shows on the work of Lev Grossman, focusing on his breakout novel The Magicians. During the course of a remarkably frank discussion Lev talks about growing up in New York City, the ways he has both been inspired by and resisted the influence of works like The Chronicles of Narnia and the Harry Potter series in his own writing, and how his own insecurities and growing pains affected the construction of his characters and the ways they experience magic–more with realism than wonder. He also touches on his career as a literary critic and shares some of his unique marketing savvy; all in all, we found it a really enlightening chat, and we hope you’ll feel the same. If you like what you hear, please check back next week for our final show of the triptych as we look at a few of the writing techniques used in the novel. And as a reminder, both our writing technique shows and Good, Bad and Ugly segments are only available to our Patreon supporters of $3 and up, so please head over there to get more from and about Lev. Thanks as always for your support, and Happy New Year!