Today's guest is L.W. Herndon, author of The Mark of Kane, a Thaddeus Kane urban fantasy novel. Here is a quick blurb of the new novel:
My name is Thaddeus Kane. I exist in Los Angeles, the city known for the hustle of Hollywood, an average 266 days a year of sunshine, and smog.
That’s not my L.A. I operate under the mantle of the city as a troubleshooter for the demon clan who saved my life. Not a bad job if I can stay alive, but I have my limits. I refuse to risk innocents, which causes me problems. That one line I won’t cross for anyone. Loyalties—I have them. I’m pretty sure none of my associates would approve of my particular choices.
Human sorcerers are murdering my clan to harness superpowers and I’m the only one capable of finding the evil. A tough assignment, made harder by my secret alliance with a rival demoness to save prophetic teenagers from the same horrible fate. I’m all they’ve got.
Rachel, thank you for having me at Jacob’s Beloved’s Blog today.
Creating Rules for Magic
One of the things all writers of fantasy genres struggle with is creating magical rules that are interesting, yet believable within the boundaries of the story.
From my standpoint, a writer is fairly safe as long as they consider three things in creating their magical grimoire. Whether it is for the construction of magical beings, supernatural creatures or alternate histories, we are wise to consider physics, chemistry, and biology. Yes, science. But I’m not talking about obsessing or being exacting over the physical laws of nature or the universe. Heck, people used to think the world was flat. Science shouldn’t be a holdback. The tough part is creating believable reasons for breaking well-known rules.
I’m not saying that an author has to explain the hows and whys of werewolf creation, magical spells or time travel. The story just needs to have some supporting details that make the incredible seem believable. And not everything needs to be laid out like a ten course meal upfront. Layering of descriptive details to support the world and the supernatural alterations can change something outlandish to a fun and interesting read.
As an example, in The Mark of Kane, the fault lines beneath the earth’s surface function as a pipeline for demon travel. By the magical rules imposed in the Kane novels, many of the demons are restricted from daylight travel, depending upon their age and power. With the fault lines riddling the earth, and connecting the various territories of the demons, it provides an available scientific, if magically contorted, solution.
Now I will admit, that I was a bit surprised when I was researching the actual phenomenon to find out that there were so many fault lines. It was also a little unsettling to find out that I lived in an earthquake zone. That had me looking for other tangents to the science that I could use later. Two days after I started researching, I was back to figuring out how I wanted to integrate this into the Kane world. Yeah, research is a big black hole that sucks time from a writer, but I love it and so do most writers.
That cycle of research, brainstorming, and twisting reality is part of how I evolved an easily accessible mode of travel for several main characters in the story. Is there magic? Yes. Does this mode of travel hold up under scrutiny of people with a Bachelor of Science degree? Doubt it. Is it reasonable for fiction in the framework of the series? I like to think so.
What are some of the most outrageous rules your favorite authors have created for their fictional worlds?
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For the giveaway: A $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour as well as to the host with the most comments. Additionally, two random drawn winners will receive the 2nd Thaddeus Kane ebook, on its release date, Fall 2012.
Readers can follow the dates and locations for the Mark of Kane Sizzling PR Book Tour @ http://sizzlingpr.com/2012/04/02/the-mark-of-kane-by-lw-herndon/
I tend not to study too closely the rules of magic in the books that I read, as long as something is not too glaringly obvious, I'm just along for the ride, but thank you for the tips on this!