A big welcome to Sonya Clark who is here to telling us about Magic off the map and celebrating the release of Trancehack, Magic Born #1 (published on October 28, 2013 by Carina Press). Want to win a copy? Enter via the widget below.
Magic off the Map
Trancehack, the first book in the Magic Born series, is set in a near-future world where witches are sent to live in urban zones, with no rights of citizenship. It’s part dystopian, part murder mystery, with a bit of political conspiracy, and a whole lot of steamy romance. As for the magic – I decided to venture off of the map of the magical world as it was previously known to me.
In creating the magic side of the world-building for Trancehack, I had to start with two questions: where does it come from, and where is it going? The first question involved looking at not only how witches are treated in this world, but what the consequences of that treatment might be. Their status is determined at birth with a DNA test. This essentially creates entire communities of orphans, stripped of their cultural and personal heritage. How are they able to connect with any magical traditions when they don’t know what tradition they came from?
Pretty much by any means possible, is the answer I came up with. The zones are a melting pot, not only of races and ethnic identities, but magical traditions as well. Information pieced together from surviving books and the memories of older witches serve as the only template for magical practice in the zones. There aren’t really traditions as we would think of them, like the older types of ceremonial magic or the various flavors of Paganism. Bits and pieces of the “old ways” have survived, but for the most part magic consists of whatever a witch makes of it. That can mean nature-based magic, as well as spells, glamours, and charms.
For some of the Magic Born, it means something radically different. What happens to magic in an urban environment? What happens when it’s fused with technology? Those were the ideas I was really excited to play with. Astral projection to enter computers and cyberspace was the key. A type of magic called trancehacking, it allows the small number of witches who can do it to be able to surf the internet and view digital files. It also allows them to craft spells within that digital world. Trancehackers have their patrons, too. Not gods and goddesses, exactly. More like…spirit guides. One is the Madman of the Wires (coughNikolaTeslacough) and the other is the Enchantress of Numbers (coughAdaLovelacecough).
Because I didn’t want to use any of the usual magical traditions, I didn’t have any real guidelines to follow. To be honest, I wasn’t all that interested in finding any possible guidelines, either. I wanted to see where the story and my imagination would take me.
What are some unique types of magic you’ve come across in urban fantasy and paranormal romance?
Sonya Clark grew up a military brat and now lives in Tennessee with her husband and daughter. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance with a heavy helping of magic and lots of music for inspiration.
One digital copy of Trancehack
Trancehack by Sonya Clark
Available on October 28, 2013 by Carina Press
It’s 2065. Those born with magic abilities live in government-run zones, without rights or freedoms. Fear of magic created this segregated world and fear keeps it intact.
A high-profile murder brings Detective Nathan Perez to Magic Born Zone 13. He’s had little experience with the Magic Born and isn’t sure what to expect during his first encounter with a witch, but he never thought he’d be so drawn to her.
Trancehacker Calla Vesper uses magic to break into computers and aid the Magic Born underground. She has no interest in helping a cop, even if he is smoking-hot, but money’s tight and Nate offers a tidy amount for help navigating the Zone. Calla’s determined to keep it all business, but sparks start flying before the investigation even gets started.
When Calla’s trancehacking and Nathan’s investigation uncover a conspiracy, Calla becomes a target. Nate can protect her by keeping her role a secret—but then who will protect Nate?
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