I was excited to be hosted over on Matt Doyle’s blog where we talked about A Mage’s Power, One Bullet, my crazy array of interests, and more.
The blurb for the book confirms that Rowan works as an enchanter, dabbles in herbology and also makes use of blood magic, which is seen as fairly controversial in the book’s setting. Were any of the magics in the book based around documented practices? I know that there are a few religions that have their own rituals, so I wondered if there was a cross-over at all?
Oh, I took inspiration for the magic in this book from everywhere. Any fellow geeks out there will certainly recognize the structure from any number of fantasy-style games. I created Schools of Magic that are indicative of the gaming world – tabletop and video games alike – along with spells that wouldn’t feel out of place there or in a fantasy movie.
That said, I also borrowed from the real world as well. While the formal structure of mages was heavily influenced from fiction – like the Schools and the guilds – I did take a lot of ritual from history and even modern day witchcraft practices. I used a lot of Celtic and Nordic traditions – I actually named my alternative universe Eiocha, after the white mare made of sea-foam in the Celtic creation myths, and the major holidays are all based on the Pagan Wheel of the Year. Things like the herbology and runic practices are actual practical magic applications that have been used through history that I weaved into my lore.
Does magic come at a price for mages in the book?
Absolutely. Mages are born with a specialized organ that creates mana, which powers their magic – can you see the gaming influence? Haha. There’s only so much mana they have and it takes time to replenish. Through training, they can use less mana for certain spells and help regulate their systems to make mana faster. There are also marketed mana replacement tablets and the like, but most guilds frown on their casual usage. An alternative to using mana is blood magic, where a mage can use their blood or another’s in place of mana to power their magic. It’s part of the reason why blood magic is such a controversial practice.
Shaw is an inquisitor, who is tasked with keeping magicae in order. With the Inquisition under scrutiny and magicae disappearing, Shaw is stepping in to find out what’s going on. Can readers expect the two character’s jobs to be a natural source of tension between them?
Oh, for sure. A lot of magicae (the races with magical abilities) are naturally leery of the Inquisition. They’re a government sponsored organization with very little oversight that gets to police their kind – what’s not to be suspicious of? Now, Rowan is surrounded by a distrustful Mages Guild and a best friend who Rowan claims is “paranoid” and full of “wild conspiracy theories” but that all tends to rub off, so Rowan isn’t exactly fond of the Inquisition and would prefer to steer far clear of them.
The fact that Shaw isn’t exactly going along with the status quo, however, is really going to work in his favor as far as getting his foot in the door’s concerned. That doesn’t mean that the fact he’s on the “wrong side” isn’t going to come up.
What are the primary differences between the two leads in terms of personality?
Shaw is something of a devilish rogue and quite the charmer. He’s adventurous and daring, with strong protective instincts. On the flip side, Rowan is more comfortable alone or with small group, preferring solitary, quiet activities. His focus is on his studies, having ambition to spare.
Basically, Shaw’s a Chaotic Good Gryffindor and Rowan’s a Neutral Good Ravenclaw.