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Sasha L. Miller - making magic happen

Today's guest is fellow author Sasha L. Miller on fantasy, her favourite genre.

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Making Magic Happen | Sasha L. Miller

I love making magic happen in my stories—literally. Fantasy is my absolute favorite genre. Building new worlds and settings around special, magical abilities is one of the things that first drew me to writing (another being the fun of matchmaking pretty men!).

magic bookMagic evolves within a story for me. I never go into a story knowing all of the nuances of the magical system I'm throwing characters into. I usually start with a scene or a single ability. In Living Words, the magic system began with the idea of a spoke spell latching onto the remnants of a previously spoken, but unfinished spell and the after-effects of that. That scene ended up being a small part of the story, but it was an important part of building the world. The magic evolved into a system of "living" languages used for spell casting and "dead" languages that could be spoken with no magical effect.

pocketwatch innardsAnother example was the magic I used in Stolen Hearts. The magic system in that book evolved solely from the idea of melding magic and mechanics to replace a vital organ—a heart. From that grew an entire system of magic—fairies and wizards, unequal magics, charms, and spells to keep a person from the brink of death.

Magic also helps me sort out the greater world in which a story is based. How is the magic taught? Do the mages put their magic to practical use, or go the more traditional route of research? How does the magic affect non-magic users and their daily lives and goals? What does the magic help and what does it hurt?

magic eyeI also find magic is a lot of fun in contemporary settings. I love throwing magic into a contemporary setting, either out in the open, as though magic is normal and has always been around, or clandestine, hidden away in the quiet corners of life.

What's your favorite part of fantasy? The magic? Fantastical creatures? Do you prefer contemporary fantasy, old-school, traditional fantasy, or something in between?

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Sasha L. Miller spends most of her time writing, reading, or playing with all things website design. She loves telling stories, especially romance, because there's nothing better than giving people their happily ever afters. When not writing, she spends time cooking, harassing her roommates, and playing with her cats.

To Get to You cover  Stolen Hearts cover  Living Words cover  Arson of the Heart cover

Website | Email | Books at LT3 Press

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From Clare: Like to stretch your writing fingers after Christmas' excesses? Fancy writing something for the visitors this month? It can be anything from a flashfic 3 sentences to a drabble of 100 or so, or even more. Any genre, any theme, any rating, any character(s). Maybe ones you already love, maybe the chance to try on a new character for size.
I'm holding a FREE FICTION DAY on the 28th, so send me new fiction - links to your existing work also welcome! - to clarelondon11 AT yahoo.co.uk and I'll post it all then :).

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FOLLOW the Birthday Blog so far:

Jan 09: Lee Rowan shares her healthy resolution.
Jan 10: Rowena Sudbury and the beauty of a blue moon.
Jan 10: Sandra Lindsay and her WIP characters.
Jan 11: Shelley Munro and a tour of bedrooms through the ages.
Jan 11: Dany Sirene and her love of Goth characters.
Jan 12: Sarah Madison and her decision to stop competing.
Jan 13: Alix Bekins shares her love of kink.
Jan 14: Janis Susan May on writing one word at a time.
Jan 14: Charlie Cochrane watches movies with hankies at hand.
Jan 15: Megan Derr and the inspiration in fairytales.

Jan 01: luscious_words shares some fabulous icons.
Jan 02: Jordan Castillo Price shares her experience of re-releasing books.
Jan 03: Mara Ismine wonders how important is continuity in fiction?
Jan 04: Jen shares her favourite Rom Com movies.
Jan 05: Karenna Colcroft introduces her unusual werewolf.
Jan 06: Stevie Carroll takes us on a pictorial tour of her favourite locations.
Jan 07: Tinnean quotes Jack Benny on age.
Jan 07: Josie makes a brave leap into a scary sport.
Jan 08: Elin Gregory finds inspiration at every turn.

Check up on:
Prior years fun HERE and
The 2012 Guest schedule HERE.


Want to join in but missed the original call? Email me at clarelondon11 AT yahoo.co.uk and I'll happily find you a space ♥

NOTE: most pictures chosen by me and credited where known, others may be used without direct permission, please contact me with any queries/concerns.

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Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
marasmine
Jan. 16th, 2012 09:49 am (UTC)
I prefer 'traditional' fantasy with magic because I'm not so picky about it. Contemporary stories with magic tend to make me think more about the mechanics than the story - how could they hide that? How would this affect everyday life?

That's not to say I haven't enjoyed contemprorary fantasies. It's just that I can lose myself in a traditional fantasy more easily and as I read to escape reality that is a good thing.

I really enjoyed Stolen Hearts with the mechanical magic. It was a very thought provoking combination.

Fantastical creatures are a very good thing too. I came across a mechanical magic powered dragon in one story - I did find myself more taken with the dragon than the characters at times though.

I hope you'll be producing plenty more magical stories for me to read in 2012.
sashalmiller
Jan. 16th, 2012 11:12 pm (UTC)
I agree, though to me, part of the fun is exploring all the ways magic affects everyday life. I still mostly stick with the more traditional settings though; they're more fun to me. ^__^

Thank you! I love that story, and I'm really excited to start working on the sequel soon!

Oooh, mechanical, magically-powered fantasy creatures, that's an interesting idea... /tucks that one away

I hope so too! <33 (Speaking of which, I need to be getting to the writing now. :3)
cdn_tam
Jan. 16th, 2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
I'm not a huge fan of fantasy, I think because I never read fantasy in any other form, i.e. outside romance. I enjoy wizards and witches in movies and TV, just not so much in books, maybe because there is often so much world building that I get bored. I like when it just kind of gets slipped in. If I had to choose, I suppose I like more traditional with elves and fairies and the like. Having a normal guy in 2012 use magic is okay, but I tend to associate it with more "otherworldly" types. Maybe elves who LOOK human. :-)

I did recently read the Forrester by Blaine D. Arden and it had magic CSI type stuff and I love that type of story, so combining it with magic was very cool and I really enjoyed it. It wasn't something I'd seen before, so it's always fun to see a rather modern twist but set in the more traditional fantasy world.

In other words, what do I prefer? I'm entirely unsure. :-)
sashalmiller
Jan. 16th, 2012 11:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, I completely agree with you there--if the author spends more time waxing poetical about the world than on the characters, then I usually can't get anywhere with the book. (Except maybe to sleep! ^__^) I love fantasy in romance books because it tends to keep away from that trap, plus in romance there's more of a focus on the characters and... I'm babbling, so I'm cutting myself off there. :3 Suffice to say, romantic fantasy is my favorite. ^__^

Oooh, that sounds really interesting! I love CSI type shows, and combining that with magic is right up my alley. ^__~
chrissymunder
Jan. 16th, 2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
You've done a wonderful job of detailling why fantasy appeals to you, and how it works for your writing. I also enjoyed Stolen Hearts.
sashalmiller
Jan. 16th, 2012 11:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked Stolen Hearts, too. ^__^
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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