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Give Definition to Some of That Fear

A.R.C. Author Interview

The Call of Magic follows Emma who’s thrust into a magical world and must fight for survival. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling story?

I’m a huge fan of Sci Fi / Fantasy. I’ve been through (almost) every series I could get my hands on. I wanted to try and create something that could be flexible, told from many different perspectives and angles rather than the rigid, one main character approach. That was of course complicated by the decision to write in first person.

I think, inherently, there’s a fear of the unknown, the depths of the sea, the unexplored spaces of the world. I tried to bring together some of those elements within this book, to give definition to some of that fear and show the reader that, perhaps, there’s good cause to be afraid.

Emma is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some ideas that guided her character development?

Taken from another interview:

“When I first dreamed up Emma Lie, I tried to focus on qualities that I knew from strong individuals everywhere. I think there are key differences between strength and arrogance, confidence and narcissism that we as humans often miss. The two sets are so closely related that it’s easy to mistake on first or even fiftieth glance. But a strong person does not run roughshod over everyone around them. They don’t speak louder, and they aren’t more aggressive. They don’t need to manipulate to achieve their goals.

I tried to encompass those better qualities in Emma the best that I could, that quiet strength that leads without meaning to. Of course, she has other attributes. Ambition, certainly, talent without question, a thirst for knowing and the stubbornness to pursue those things she doesn’t know. Kindness, loyalty, ferocity, anger, and a deep and abiding sadness.”

If I were to fall a little further into the question, though, I wanted to write a character that would keep my attention for the length of this series. There are (almost) nine books already written and in various stages of development. One book a month requires preparation and diligence, but it also requires characters that you can grow with, and ones that have room to grow. And I think Emma is definitely one that has lessons life will hand her.

I enjoyed the adventurous fast paced nature of the book. What were some themes you felt were important to capture in this story?

I think a sense of displacement was probably key in my initial concept.

There’s a lot of that missing from the literary world now, this concept that made the old fairy tales so frightening. These children had terrible, fearful adventures, many that ended in their deaths. I wanted to set the stage for what the readers could expect from the Well. A new challenge every month, a fear of the unexpected, the real possibility of peril.

Beyond that, true connection to others across cultural barriers was important for me to drive across. Given a common goal and a united front, I believe great things can be achieved by humanity. It starts with the tenuous strands of friendship and grows through loyalty.

Last but not least, I think romance is very important to focus on. This series is intended to tell a romance story in every book, in an exploration of the many kinds of love and the ways we find them.

This is book one in The Fool’s Journey series. What can readers expect in book two?

From book three onward in the series, each book will revolve around a single tarot card. The two main characters will represent a side of the card, upright or reversed. The story has to find a way to reconcile those different sides of the card in love. Just as the meaning of the tarot deck, each card will have its own pacing. As a writer, I have a clear imperative walking into chapter one.

Book Two is the warming of the deck, still, and so the structure is a little more loose. As mentioned above, however, it will focus on a different main character (Kim Yong) and his pursuit of a lady love (Raya Monsalud) during the second half of the Legion basic training. And though Emma Lie is not the main character, she will be making an appearance.

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