Rucker Moses is the pen name of Craig S. Phillips and Harold Hayes Jr. They both hail from Atlanta and started telling stories together at the University of Georgia. Together, they’ve been nominated for three Emmys for writing in a children’s program and have written for TV shows based on books by R. L. Stine and Christopher Pike.
They also make virtual reality experiences and own a production company named SunnyBoy Entertainment. In no particular order, their favorite things to write about are ninjas, magic, space, and abandoned amusement parks. When not doing all that, they are hanging with their wonderful families at home in Los Angeles.
Voyage: What was the inspiration behind your novel, Kingston and the Magician’s Lost and Found? What made you want to tell this story?
Rucker Moses: We wanted to tell a story that was grounded in a familiar world that readers could relate to but then slowly teasing a magical world at the fringes. We love stories that ride that line, and when you blast off and turn that “real-world” upside down, it feels like it could be you right there. We also always imagined this story of young Kingston as an inspiration for other young Black kids. We wanted to make a unique story with Kingston, one that draws on Black history that not many people may know about and gives young kids in these communities stories that empower them to find magic in the world.
V: When you write your stories, what is the one thing you hope readers will take away?
RM: We hope they have fun. We hope they get lost in the writing and they feel swept away into this little world we created. That’s why we became writers. We had that experience first as readers when we were young and we’re still looking for it when we pick up a book as adults.
V: What was the hardest scene of Kingston and the Magician’s Lost and Found to write?
RM: The ending for sure. There were many elements converging that we had to bring together in a way that did justice to everything we had built before it.
V: If you could tell your younger writer self anything, what would it be?
RM: Write more. Write often.
What are your writing must-haves?
RM: Coffee, music, kids running around the house to bounce ideas off of.
Head to our Instagram page (@voyageya) to hear Rucker Moses read the first page of Kingston and the Magician’s Lost and Found! Find Rucker Moses’s video under the IGTV tab.