BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: In Search of the Magic Theatre by KARLA HUEBNER

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In Search of the Magic Theatre by Karla Huebner

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Welcome to Books By My Friends, Karla! We’re excited to hear about your new release In Search of the Magic Theatre!

JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

KH: Why, the rather staid young cellist Sarah wonders, should her aunt rent their spare room to the perhaps unstable Kari Zilke? Like the nephew in Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf, Sarah finds herself taking an unexpected interest in the lodger, but she is unable to stop at providing a mere introduction to Kari’s narrative of mid-life crisis and self-discovery and develops her own more troubled tale of personal angst and growth, entwined with the account Kari herself purportedly left behind. Generational tensions, artistic collaborations, and even a romance steeped in Greek myth follow as Kari and Sarah pursue their very different creative paths in theater and music. And while Kari seems to blossom post-divorce, Sarah must grapple with the question of what the role of mothers, fathers, aunts, mentors, and male collaborators should be in her life as a young musician.

JH: What inspired you to write In Search of the Magic Theatre?

KH: In part, moving into my middle years prompted me to think about writing what became Kari’s midlife shift. I needed a change and so I came up with a character who made one. The novel also takes inspiration and some of its shape from Hesse’s Steppenwolf, another examination of midlife.

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

KH: I think that the thing I love most about writing is experiencing the story develop–partly the thrill of seeing my concept take form and read well, but also the excitement when it takes on life and does unexpected things. For example, in this novel, there was originally no Sarah, but once she came into existence, she took on a major role.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?

KH: I’m working on several new projects (some more than others), but it looks like the next in line for publication is a novel currently titled TOO EARLY TO KNOW WHO’S WINNING, under contract for 2023 with Black Rose Publishing.

JH: How can readers contact you?


Karla Huebner


Karla Huebner has lived on a boat and worked in factories, offices, theater, publishing, oil refineries, private investigation, and adolescent drug rehab. Over the years, her fiction has appeared in such places as the Northwest Review, Colorado State Review, Magic Realism, Fantasy Macabre, Weave, and Opossum; she teaches Art History at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and her prize-winning book Magnetic Woman: Toyen and the Surrealist Erotic is available from University of Pittsburgh Press. Her novel In Search of the Magic Theater just came out from Regal House, and her collection Heartwood was a finalist for the 2020 Raz-Shumaker award.

JH: Thanks, Karla. Please come back soon to bring us up to date on Too Early to Know Who’s Winning when it is available.

All good things,


Note: Heat rating-The sex is mostly not very explicit, and there’s not a lot of it.