Magic in the Book World . . . Ann Macela!

Hi, all,

Congrats, Lila, on the publication of Awakened by a Kiss and A Princess in His Bed! Folks, Lila and I met at an RWA National Conference a bunch of years ago. It’s always so much fun to get together with her in person, even for a few minutes, at the next one. Sometimes, e-mail just doesn’t cut it like face-to-face communication!

Anyway, what to talk about here? How about magic?

I write contemporary paranormal with magic. My stories are “light,” set in a contemporary world without the darkness of vampires, shapeshifters, demons, or creatures with gods-given powers. I love to read those, but I can’t write them. Not my voice. Not my crazy thinking process.

I came up with my magic world in bits and pieces, by asking what-if questions and seeing where they took me. I started all this before paranormals became a Big Thing in the romance genre.

Almost everyone knows or has heard of someone with a tremendous talent or skill or knowledge. We usually call these people prodigies or geniuses. Whether it’s the ability to play an instrument or think up a theory of the universe or build a building. We know we could never do what they do so effortlessly, and we stand in awe of them.

But what if their talent or skill came to them because they can use magic? What if they used magic in their everyday jobs? What if each person had “specialized” magic, attuned to their profession and they could cast spells to help them do their jobs?

That was the start of The Magic Series and my world of magic practitioners.

And, wow, did the world get complicated after that.

It got so complicated that I had to write it all down and develop rules about how it worked. What my practitioners (they had to practice their magic skills) could do and couldn’t. What limits they have and how did those limits work in the story. Was the magic logical and consistent? If you want to read my rules, go to my website and under articles is “A Theory Of Magic.”

Now, you can say that this is all make-believe, so why worry about logic or consistency or rules?

First, because I’m a logical kind of person. I obey the rules of physics—sort of.

Second, I’ve read books where the magic holds no rhyme or reason and wizards do whatever they want—cast the spell that’s needed at the moment, but with no prior hint they have the power. Wait a minute, how did they do that? Why didn’t I, the reader, know they had that power to get out of this tough situation? And where did the power come from?

Third, if your magic doesn’t have limits and costs, then your magic beings are omnipotent and can crush any opposition, and you have no conflict, no story. The limits are almost more important than the actual powers, as they help provide conflict and excitement as the characters have to overcome them or get around them or figure out a way to use them. Even Superman has kryptonite.

Fourth, I wanted to be able to develop the magic itself from book to book. It gets more complicated, more dangerous, more exciting with each story. Until finally the magic will save the world from great evil!

QUESTION: So, after all this, what kind of magic and paranormal world do you like? What works for you in a story? What turns you off in the paranormal world? What books are your favorites for how the paranormal world works?

I will mention three recent books where I loved the development of their worlds and the use of magic—as well as many other aspects of the books.

Blood Born by Linda Howard and Linda Jones involves vampires in a present-day world that really works for me and gets past the “undead” problem that I have with vamps.

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber creates a Victorian London unlike any other. A fascinating fantasy.

And especially Jayne Ann Krentz’s (and her pseudonyms) Arcane Series and worlds. All of them.

I’ll give away one copy of your choice of my books: The Oldest Kind Of Magic, Do You Believe In Magic?, Your Magic Or Mine?, or Wild Magic. Or the non-magical contemporary, Windswept.

Happy Reading!

Ann Macela

WEBSITE

Welcome to the PRINCESS BLOG PARTY, Ann!

CORRECTION—-Everyone, her awesome GIVEAWAY is WORLDWIDE!!!

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To win you must:

1. Answer Ann’s questions below in your comment.

2. You MUST be a follower/subscriber of Lila DiPasqua’s blog (through Google Friend Connect).

**. You do NOT have to repeat any extra points you’ve earned if you’ve already stated them in prior posts for this blog party.  Only post NEW points as in new tweets/facebook comments about the Princess Blog Party.

* Winner will be selected from a random commenter on SUNDAY.

NOTE: The more you comment on the posts during the month-long PRINCESS October Blog Party, the more points you earn toward winning a signed copy of the next in the sexy Fiery Tales series, THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED…plus SIGNED copies of Nora Roberts’ BLACK HILLS and Eloisa James’ A DUKE OF HER OWN!

Read a yummy EXCERPT of THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED HERE.

Ways to increase your odds of winning are found at the very bottom of this blog.

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  • Hi Ann!
    I absolutely love the covers of your books… very cool:) How awesome would that be if everyone had “specialized” magic!?! Your magic building seems very well thought out and imaginative.

    I really like Blood Song by Cat Adams. Just about all the paranormal creatures you can think of are blended into this book. The heroine herself is described as an ‘abomination’ because of her mixed blood. When you put that many creatures together there is bound to be non-stop action and lots of magical goings on. For me, I don’t have any specific favorites… ok, maybe I lean a little more toward the shifter side of things, but I won’t turn anything paranormal down as long as it’s well thought out and keeps my attention. If the author wants to create new rules like vamps can only walk out in the sun between the hours of noon-2pm then that’s fine by me… keeps things interesting:)

    yadkny@hotmail.com

  • Hello, Ann! Your “Magic Series” sounds delightfully imaginative! From your comments, I can see that you have crafted your stories with great care and creativity. More good reads for my wish list! Our contemporary world could certainly use magicians of talent and skill : ) Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance is based on a harsher, darker world with escalated drama and violence. The heightened tension leads to more intense sensual situations. All of these elements combine for a knockout punch, but they have to handled just right to avoid overkill and remain readable. The villain should be intelligent, intriguing, and multi-layered in shades of gray. A villain is always much more interesting and the evil more intense when a touch of humanity shows through ; )

    US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  • Hi Ann! I’m very interested in checking out your Magic Series. It sounds right up my alley. I’m relatively new to paranormal romance, though I’ve read a few YA urban fantasy/paranormal/whatever they’re called and tend to enjoy the Fey and witches stories. I’m not as into the darker vampire/werewolf/demon thing. In fact, when a paranormal story came to me a few months ago, the non-human beings were elementals, rather than any of the darker types. And I’m really glad you mentioned making the rules of your world, because that’s something I’m working on now.

    Anyway, I’m happy to know there are stories out there that aren’t vampire-ridden for me to look to as “research” (that’s what I tell the hubby when I buy new books) for the genre.

    @Lila – +2 for tweeting. And +2 for mentioning it on FB.

  • Hi, yadkny, I have a couple of Cat Adams books in my TBR pile. If you ever get a chance to meet the two of the authors, you’re in for a treat. I totally agree about the well-thought-out and keep-my-attention necessities. Nothing pulls me out of a paranormal faster than a “surprise!” way out of a problem.
    Cheers,
    Ann

  • Hi, Virginia C,

    I agree about urban fantasy and darker paranormals, except in one regard. I do think my love-making scenes are just as sensual as most paranormals, light or dark. To me, it’s all about the emotions in those scenes, not the explicity of the language. My goal is to stimulate my reader!

    In the darker stories, I do like villains with shades of gray. Mine don’t have much gray in them, but once you throw an evil magic item into the mix and it has a mind of its own, well, things do get complicated.

    Cheers,
    Ann

  • Hi, Noelle,

    Yea for the non-dark side. I believe we have room for all kinds of paranormal stories. It’s a big universe!

    Whatever you write, I believe you need rules for your world. I read a lot of sci-fi/fantasy before I read romance. The good ones there all have built their worlds to be consistent and clear in the beginning so that they essentially fade into the background and the reader takes them for granted once the story gets going.

    Check out my website under Articles for A Theory Of Magic and you’ll see what went into my developments. It’s a table and what I actually used and added to with each book.

    Good luck with your writing and happy reading.

    Cheers,
    Ann

  • Hi Ann,

    Love all your Magic books! I can see why you’d need a “bible” to keep it all organized–lots of rules to follow.

    Please don’t enter me in your giveaway–have ’em all!

    Best wishes,
    Tracey

  • Hi Ann,

    Actually considering I’m a big fan of yours, I already have all of your books. I decided to answer the question anyway.

    I love any and everything having to do with paranormal. I especially love vampires and psychics. Give me magic and you have me.

    Dyanne

  • Morning everyone! I’ve just made a correction—Ann has generously opened up her giveaway INTERNATIONALLY.

    Sorry for the error.

    Thanks, Ann! It’s great to have you here today! :)

    Hugs,
    Lila

  • Hey, Tracey and Dyanne!

    Dyanne, you keep up with the vamps! Nobody does them quite like you do.

    Tracey, I’m really looking forward to your debut book!

    Cheers,
    Ann

  • Hi Ann,

    Great post!

    As for me, I read everything but I love when someone has created a new world or puts an original spin on old legends and that’s why I love the fact that you put together a “bible!”

    I like it when the character has a flaw or weakness and you know sooner or later it will be exploited but you keep hoping no one finds out.

    No real specific turn-offs. I’m pretty easy going so if it’s worked in well I’m OK with it.

    My faves, too numerous :)

    Thanks for sharing,
    Savannah

  • Hi, Ann,
    I love your magic series and the logic of your world. It does get more complex with each book, but to me that’s just the natural growth of a series.

    I always have all your books, so don’t enter me in the giveaway.

  • Hi Ann,

    I’m so glad you chose to visit and discuss your magic. I’ve enjoyed all of your books, and I’m convinced you are a practioner specializing in storytelling! (Want to share a magic spell with us?) Thanks for being here and for creating stories that take us away from our worries for a bit.

  • Hi, Savannah,

    Original twists and new approaches to old problems are absolutely essential to me in the books I’m reading. I think the word “Fresh” has been overused, but you really know it when you read it. Even the darkest books become “fun” then.

    The “bible” was necessary to keep it all straight. The interesting part for me was that when somebody asked a question like “why do they do this or can’t do that?” the answer was always to be found in the way my world worked.

    Cheers,
    Ann

  • Hey, Keena and Kelle!

    The only real life magic I can truly attest to came when my now husband and I met at a Halloween party. He was a wizard and I was a witch . . . and somebody’s spell worked! LOLOLOL

    Cheers,
    Ann

  • I am actually a big fan of paranormals. I won’t read contemporaries unless they are paranormals. I love everything about them. I am amazed at the worlds some authors are able to create.

  • Hi, Danielle,

    We love readers, especially of paranormals. If the world is built right, when you come back to it as a reader, you feel right at home.

    Cheers,
    Ann

  • Hi Ann, can’t wait to read your Magic series. Was raised believing in the paranormal so I’m open-minded about magic and the supernatural. Historical romance is my favorite genre and historical paranormal romances are my kind as well. I’m presently enjoying Donna Grant’s Forbidden Highlander. I also prefer contemporary romances with a paranormal element. My favorite: Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series.

  • Hi Ann i don’t read many parnoraml books i usually go towards the mainstreem type ones. But the few that i have read but i have read Lora Leigh Breed series which i did enjoy

  • Thanks, Mrsshukra and Elizabeth. I’m not familiar with those series. Now I have more to add to the TBR pile. Mine are contemporary paranormals. Even though I have history degrees, I prefer writing in the present day. But I love reading historicals, paranormal or not.

    Cheers,
    Ann

  • Hi Ann! Thanks for the fabulous post; it was fun to read :) I think any sort of magical world is wonderful, to be honest. Whatever’s not in real life makes the “fantasy” part better! It’s pushing it when everything begins to sound unrealistic, but I love when the author describes a paranormal world so vividly, I can imagine it being my own life!

    Have a fantastic rest of the week :)
    Stephanie

  • Anonymous

    I love all things paranormal, its my favourite genre!!

    I really enjoyed your post.

    Of course, my all time fav is Lord of the Rings…what fantastic world and character building that is…wow!!!

    Valerie
    in Germany
    valb0302@yahoo.com

  • Hi, Stephanie,

    The tagline in my stories is:
    If you could cast a spell that would help you in your everday work, what would it be?

    Warning: You can’t turn your boss into a toad because the cost in you to your energy would kill you. How’s that for a rule?

    Seriously, I love tweaking the “real world” in my stories.

    Cheers,
    Ann

  • Hi, Stephanie,

    The tagline in my stories is:
    If you could cast a spell that would help you in your everday work, what would it be?

    Warning: You can’t turn your boss into a toad because the cost in you to your energy would kill you. How’s that for a rule?

    Seriously, I love tweaking the “real world” in my stories.

    Cheers,
    Ann

  • Hi, Valerie,

    LOTR is world building on a galaxy scale. I’m not about to try to create a new language and alphabet!

    All this world creation really is hard, but when it comes together right, readers really know it. And when it doesn’t, they throw the books against the wall.

    Thanks and Cheers,
    Ann

  • I would like a world shifters who can fly and beings who can heal.

    Why that combination? I have no idea! LOL

    Thanks,
    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  • Tracey D!
    What an idea!
    Can the shifters carry the healers? Or is it the other way around?

    Gets complicated, doesn’t it?

    But, it’s funnnnn.

    Cheers,
    Ann

  • Hi Ann! I love your Magic Books! And the covers are so different and suit your stories so well. There are quite a few paranormal worlds I love: J.R. Ward’s vampire world, Twilight, Christine Feehan’s Carpathian world – basically I just love the element of magic and the unexpected. And the vampires.:) Carolyn

  • I, too, love the Jayne Castle books (I love all of the Arcane Society ones, but the dust bunnies win, hands/paws down).

    I like the characters to be mostly human and the paranormal world to have some rhyme and reason for everything. If the world is too random, then it’s hard for me to care enough to finish the book.

    ironss[at]gmail.com
    retweeted today’s contest +2
    and etc.

  • Victoria

    Hi, Ann. Met you years ago and you were so delightful! Your books sound wonderful–can’t wait to read them all. Any kind of magic is fun in my book, but I think yours is particularly interesting because your world building seems to have consequences. Love your explanation of how you developed the magical world.
    My paranormal limit is extreme violence. I prefer that ‘off the page’ and I’ll get the horror of it all without the details.

  • Hi, Carolyn,

    I had to go to a meeting, so I’m catching up now.

    I love my covers. Jim Tampa is a terrific artist, and the covers are in such keeping with what the story is.

    I have to tell you, I’m a little tired of vampires, but Blood Born made me care again.

    Cheers,
    Ann

  • Sheree, Hi!

    I’m definitely with you on the rhyme and reason in magic worlds. I’m afraid of magic beings or people able to do magic having too much power. Like I said, Superman had kryptonite.

    I read Jayne Ann’s first for the story and then I read them again to watch what she does with the paranormal elements. She really stays in her world–or worlds, as the case may be.

    Cheers,
    Ann

  • Hi, Victoria!

    Where did we meet? Thanks for the good words.

    All the violence in some books doesn’t bother me. But it has to be well done. Just like the love scenes. With attention to details and pacing and most especially emotions. Done for a reason, not just to fill pages.

    The violence in mine is really minimal, but there is a big fight at the end of Wild Magic, and more big fights in Unexpected Magic and Legendary Magic, the last two of which are looking for a new publishing home. I’m testing the publishing waters, and if no one takes them, I’ll put them out myself as e-books.

    The times they are a-changing.

    Cheers,
    Ann

  • Everyone, thanks for dropping by.

    Lila, you have a great blog here and wonderful readers. May your books sell many copies. I’m waiting for my copy of Princess to arrive!

    I’ve been at a boring meeting, and I’m calling it a night, but I’ll stick my head in in the morning to answer any later comments.

    If any of you do pick up one of the Magics, let me know what you think of it. It’s better to read them in order, as you can then watch the magic develop.

    Happy reading, everyone.

    Cheers,
    Ann

  • magic and other worlds honestly i cant say i have found a book i wa sturne doff from something the world had in it but im addicted to paranormal worlds with magic and all of that

    one of my fav books is Casting Spells

    then of course Joey Hill and her worlds

    the price sisters and their books

    your a ne wto me author ur books sound awesome

  • Thanks SiNn for your comment. If you do try one of my books, let me know what you think, good or bad.

    I’m going to look up Casting Spells.

    Happy reading to all!

    Ann

    ann@annmacela.com

  • I love books with shifters, vampires, demons, and witches. Some of my favorite series are Dark-hunters, Immortals after Dark, Changeling/Psy, and Guardians.
    marlenebreakfield(at)yahoo(dot)com

  • Your books sound really good. I love paranorml book. I really like a variety. Two paranormal author’s books I love are Jeanine Frost and Kerrelyn Sparks.
    Sue B
    katsrus(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Your a new author for me, but these books sound amazing. I love paranormal and Urban Fantasy and I love being taken to a new place that’s not in a world like our own. The descriptive words and the world building never cease to amaze me and I love feeling like I’m in a totally different reality. I love the Demonica world and the League series

    june111@att.net