Dead Magic Release!

Witch-Born fans can rejoice today! (That’s right, I said “rejoice” because we really don’t use that word often enough these days.) The sequel and (likely) final chapter of the steampunk-magic-imbued saga has been released through Double Dragon Publishing. 

Yes, yes, I know … “But you just had your first science fiction (Deviation) released last week!”

Quiet, mongrels! You’re not rejoicing like I told you to! 

(I might be a little spirited today. The strap on my favorite purse broke and I am torn between grieving it and celebrating the new release. I apologize for any and all shenanigans.)

But no, seriously, Dead Magic is officially released. See its understated and quietly brilliant purchase link at the side of this post … Or if you don’t like sidebars you can follow this link to its brand new Amazon page

Marvel at the steampunky cover art (created by the ever-so talented Deron Douglas)

deadmagic-510

Why yes, that does appear to be a naked man in the background. See the tattoos? Witch-Born fans should automatically recognize them!

Bask, my lovelies, in the blurby thingy that must be placed on all books … 

Return to the Steam Punk world of Magnellum for the second book in the “Witch-Born” series.

Magic is gone and Valeda Quinlan knows it, she just can’t prove it. Determined to learn the truth, Valeda finds herself at the mercy of Elsie Delgora, the last known Witch to have ever seen Magic. Scrambling for survival amidst the noble Houses of Magnellum, Valeda agrees to help Elsie in return for Magic’s location. But the help Elsie needs is more than Valeda bargained for. Sent on a mission to find Lord Winslow Agoston, Valeda is confronted by powers far beyond any Witch-Born and forced to take on an even larger role in the fate of Magnellum.

In all seriousness this book was a joy to write. I had fun with Valeda and Winslow and I sincerely hope everyone else will too. 

Steampunk Flavor

So there I was trying to write a straight romance novel for National Novel Writing Month in 2008, bored to tears because … well, I guess I’m just not made to write romance novels … when my friend suggested I make the story “steampunk.”

I had no idea what “steampunk” was at the time, but in the spirit of NaNoWriMo I took up his challenge. The world of Magnellum, where Witch-Born and Dead Magic take place, was given a distinctly “steampunk” flavor in all its trains and dirigibles and telegrams, but it does fall short of being an actual “steampunk.”

Real steampunk would focus more on the steam-powered technology and how it works and how it affects the characters and … you get it. Witch-Born and Dead Magic do not do this. They focus more on the magic in the world, thus detracting from the steam-tech on the page.

That being said,  I enjoyed the flavor. It opened me up to new possibilities within the novels like the dirigible — because who doesn’t love a good dirigible? And it gave me Valeda Quinlan.

Valeda is a newspaper reporter. The distinctly steampunk flavor of the novels sort of threw the concept of a reporter at me. I mean, if they have telegrams then they have newspapers. If they have newspapers then they have reporters.

Yes, Valeda is unabashedly a character trope. She’s as nosy and tenacious as they come. But she gets thrown into a situation where her talents as a reporter can’t help her, which is what makes her so fun. I do love “fish-out-of-water” stories.

Valeda is also more at home with the steam-technology prevalent in her world. Where the Witches of Magnellum tend to avoid mechanical contraptions, Valeda sees nothing wrong with them, so Dead Magic explores these things a trifle more.

The original draft even had a massive clock with all its gears and shifts for me to play with, but in the end that was edited out of the book. It distracted from the main storyline and had no real purpose than to blare “STEAMPUNK FLAVOR” at you.

In fact, there were many such instances like that one where I had to walk the tightrope between too much flavor and not enough. Perhaps one day I will make a revised edition of Dead Magic that puts all of that flavor back in, should Readers desire it and I feel so inclined. For now, however, the work will stand as it is.