The Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy is a 3 volume tale of magic and wonder that recalls the cherished values of friendship, loyalty and courage. These timeless tales of Oz reminds us of the value of overcoming our deepest fears and conquering the challenges that might otherwise defeat us.

Volume One; Magician of Oz, Volume Two; Shadow Demon of Oz and Volume Three; Family of Oz are now available for your reading enjoyment, as well as The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu.

The Emerald Slippers of Oz
, featuring an Introduction by Roger S. Baum; great grandson of L. Frank Baum, as well as Tails of Oz and Even More Tails of Oz are also
available for your reading enjoyment.

Nomes of Oz is a wonderful adventure for anyone who loves the 1939 MGM film, The Wizard of Oz.

The newest adventure in Oz, entitled: The First Witches of Oz is now available and fast becoming a best-seller in the Land of Oz.

All are available in both paperback and Kindle.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

A Sad Start To A New Year

It was with great sadness that I learned today of the passing of William A. Dando, Ph.D., former Chairman of the Geography, Geology and Anthropology Department at Indiana State University and a mentor to me during my tenure at ISU’s Hook Memorial Observatory.

I have been fortunate enough to have had 4 mentors who were crucial in shaping the man I am today.

My father was my most important mentor, for among the many things he taught me was the overwhelming value of good communication skills and how to use humor effectively with those skills.

Second was David Cassady, Director of Education at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, who was instrumental in shaping my skills and talents as an educator and mentor to youth.

Third is Chris Fitzgerald, President of Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc., who has continuously overseen my education in business matters, both in matters of what to do and more importantly, what not to do.

Dr. Dando helped me immensely by supporting my work as both undergraduate and graduate Student Director of the Hook Memorial Observatory at ISU. Although I was a Physics student, the observatory was operated by the Geography, Geology and Anthropology Department, which I nor Dr. Dando could ever figure out.

I first met him during my second semester as a Physics student when he took over as Chairman of the Geography, Geology and Anthropology Department. As Student Director of the observatory, he requested a meeting with me and Dr. Howe, the Faculty Director to determine where things stood with the observatory and how he might facilitate our success. Dr. Howe made it clear to Dr. Dando that he supported whatever I felt would serve the observatory’s mission. I explained my vision regarding public astronomy and I was instantly impressed with Dr. Dando’s eagerness to embrace my vision. He asked what I needed and I mentioned the need for a new deck since our visitor attendance was growing. 6 weeks later, I had a new deck. The following year, I asked for a new telescope and by the end of the semester, I had a new Meade 10” computerized telescope, which made my mission so much easier and successful. Not once did he ever question my needs other than to ask if whatever request I made would further my vision.

When I graduated and was looking into graduate programs around the nation, I found that none satisfied my desires in astronomy. Everything was theoretical and I was more of an applications kind of scientist. I explained that to Dr. Dando one day and he suggested I stay at ISU and consider transferring into his department. “Try Remote Sensing, James” he said to me. “The only difference is that you’ll be looking down instead of up… and you might find something to tweak your interest.”

How right he was. Soon, I was discovering Native American burial mounds that were astronomically aligned and making a name for myself in the Archaeology world.

The only thing Dr. Dando ever requested of me, as well as all his other graduate and undergraduate students, was to present our current research projects to any relevant conferences and to represent the department in doing so. As such, I got to present research at Argonne Labs in Illinois, CalTech University in California and I even presented at a conference on Computer Applications in Archaeology in Iasi, Romania. I was the only American in attendance. Of course, Dr. Dando saw to it that all of us were financially supported in order to make these appearances possible.

When I chose to accept a position at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis rather than pursue my Ph.D., Dr. Dando not only accepted my decision, he encouraged it.

When I ran for Mayor of Terre Haute, I went by the nickname of Jimmy the Wad. Dr. Dando asked me why I was running for Mayor and I explained to him my desire to bring awareness to why Terre Haute, with 3 major colleges, wasn’t embracing the college dollar like Bloomington, or other college towns. “But why Jimmy the Wad?” he asked.  I explained to him that it was a funny nickname that he was responsible for. He didn’t understand, so I explained to him that his initials were W.A.D. and I liked the sound of it. He laughed for weeks over that one, but was glad when I dropped out of the race.

Were it not for Dr. Dando, I would be a far lesser man than I am today, and thanks to his lovely wife, Carolyn Dando, I also learned to love Borscht… Go figure!


Sunday, February 2, 2020

The End Of An Era

So yesterday, Feb. 1st, 2020 was a sad day for me as I witnessed the end of an era. It had actually began a month or so ago when I learned that John Newman, a local auctioneer at Shadow Auction Barn had passed away.

I had known him for many years and attended his auction regularly where I purchased numerous items, many of which I sold on eBay. Other items were related to my Oz writing work.

Of particular note was this cobbler's tool for cutting leather, which inspired me to develop a character called Cobbler the Dog for my 3rd book, Family of Oz.

The drawing is by Dennis Anfuso, who I had met at my first Oz festival. His ability to take my vision and images and create this unique character is amazing. 

In addition, in Family of Oz, the Diggs family visits the Umbra Auction, Umbra being Latin for Shadow, and meets numerous people there, including the auctioneer, John Newman, who reminded the young magician of Santa Claus. John had also spoke of the song of the auctioneer, which is how he treated his auctioneering style and which I wrote about as well.

Anyways, I attended the final auction at Shadow Auction yesterday where I ran into many old friends and acquaintances. We reminisced about John and the old days and the fun we had bidding on this or that or even some of the other.

So, it is with great sadness that we bid farewell to a fine man, a wonderful auctioneer and the source of many an inspriation for work in the Land of Oz.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Wizard of Oz Days in Hannibal, Missouri

Last Saturday, Amanda and I attended our last Wizard of Oz festival for the year, the Wizard of Oz Days.

Needless to say, we had a great time. Overall, the festival was very well attended and book sales were awesome. We sold out, which has never happened before.

This particular festival made its home indoors at the Hannibal Inn in Hannibal, Missouri, which is the first time we've attended an indoor festival. It even features Lake Quad, the largest lake in Oz.

The Spirit of Oz: Wizard of OZ Characters Troupe were in full Oz mode and very well received by all in attendance.

There were, of course, numerous other Oz characters wandering about and bringing great joy to the throngs of kids and their families.

In addition, there were loads of people dressed up in various Oz outfits as part of a Guinness Book of World Record's attempt for the most people dressed up in Wizard of Oz costumes.

This particular lady really nailed it with her costume, which was also an entry in the Ozziest Hat contest.

Bob Walls (aka: Puppet Dude) of Stephen's Puppets was there with a traveling Wizard of Oz  marionette show. I wasn't able to attend his performance, but I've seen it before and he is always one of the top attractions and most popular part of any Oz festival we have attended. Kids love it, especially since most of them have never seen a marionette show before. And of course, Bob has a warped sense of humor that plays very well with kids and their parents alike.

Vincent Myrand, a very talented artist was there with his very impressive body of work in oil-on-canvas Wizard of Oz material.

Mary Ellen St. Aubin, Munchkin-by-Marriage was there too, but I was unable to get over to see her. A shame too as she is such a sweet person and a wonderful Ambassador of Oz.

There were numerous performances by The Spirit of Oz: Wizard of OZ Characters Troupe, who delighted audiences with songs, dance and recreations of beloved scenes from the Wizard of Oz movie.

If you wanted any kind of Oz memorabilia, Dorothy's Marketplace was the place to be.

Overall, attendance was robust, steady and quite happy to be in the Land of Oz.

While there were a few minor glitches, which usually happens with any festival of any nature, overall, Amanda and I thought it went well.

We want to take this opportunity to thank Jack Bishop for including us in the festival, as we have for the last 5 years. We always enjoy ourselves and look forward to next year's Oz festival.

James & Amanda Wallace

Friday, August 16, 2019

2019 Mapleton Wizard of Oz Festival

Last Saturday saw Amanda and I attending the Mapleton, Illinois Wizard of Oz Festival, now rebranded as the Oz Festival Illinois. We've been attending as Guest Authors since the festival began 6 years ago and are always treated like royalty.

What sets this wonderful Oz festival apart from all other Wizard of Oz Festivals is a dedicated Yellow Brick Road, which pays tribute to the 1939 MGM film, The Wizard of Oz.

It all starts at Uncle Henry and Aunt Em's old farm.

Watch out though for Elmira Gulch, who's on the lookout for a mangy little dog that loves chasing her dumb 'ol cat!

A new addition is Professor Marvel's stage, which hosted Magic Matt, a fellow magician performing for festival attendees. 

Soon, a Rainbow appears and beckons visitors into the Land of Oz.

Looks like Munchkin City is a happy place.

In time, Glinda drops by to wish us well on our journey to see the Wizard.

 Soon, the Scarecrow shows up in his cornfield, ready for an adventure.


Now it's time to venture into the dark forest. Who knows what we'll find along the Yellow Brick Road.

 Be careful not to stray from the path of yellow brick or you might wind up in a scary place.

If you listen closely, you'll even hear the screeching of Winged Monkeys. How about a little picture, Scarecrow!?

What's this? Could it be a witch's castle perhaps? Be careful crossing that bridge!

I wonder what we'll find inside?

At last, as we leave the forest, a field of poppies greets us as the Emerald City beckons us home.

And of course, what do find in the Emerald City? A broken bell, a wizard and a humbug! But all is well as our adventure along the Yellow Brick Road comes to an end.

The rest of the festival had some wonderful experiences, including a petting farm;

Great performances by the Spirit of Oz characters,

And Stephen's Puppets, performed by Bob Walls (aka: Puppet Dude). He does a Wonderful Wizard of Oz show that is a must see.


One of the best parts of the Illinois Oz Festival are the folks who dress up like their favorite characters from the Land of Oz. 

There's the Scarecrow as a Winkie Guard.

Polychrome; Daughter of the Great Rainbow

A family done up in their favorite Oz characters.

And of course, Dorothy. This is Teresa Phillips, who we see every year. She is a wonderful person who truly embodies the spirit of Oz.

 Near the end of the day, Puppet Dude came by with a friend who seemed quite enamored with our Ruby Slippers.

Overall, it was a wonderful time for Amanda and I as we introduce people to our unique vision of Oz.

We would like to thank Jim Robertson and all of his volunteer staff for putting on a great festival and treating us so kindly. 

We look forward to next year, when our next 2 books, Aquareine in Oz and The Twin Witches of Oz make their debut.

Per ardua ad alta!!!