On Writing Magic

When Miss Mabel’s School for Girls started, it was just a short story for a contest.

I had no idea how big this world would become.

Let me bring you back: Husband and I lived in the South. It was hot as blue blazes, my hair was a frizzy mess in the humidity, but I was outside anyway. On a hike in the forest, I had this crazy idea about a stubborn witch.

Bianca and her world took up a tiny cave in my brain.

But she nagged at me. And I liked living in her world. I found myself imagining all kinds of magic, towering dragons, and political intrigue. So, Bianca grew into a book. And then into some short stories. And then an entire series.


Bianca raced through the forest, spinning her brave, brilliant, and heartbreaking stories, and it was all I could do to keep writing them up.

If I had known what my hike would turn into, how that one little idea would change my life, I’m not sure I would have gone.

I mean, I love my life. I love the #authormom gig. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But I also think I would have been scared out of my mind if you told me I was destined to publish upwards of 10 YA Fantasy novels (and just as many Chick Lit books).

The biggest thing I’ve learned is to accept that you are more than you believe and push through.

I am more than I ever thought I could be. And I’m not done.

Stacy Horan and I talk about these things and more in this podcast, The Bookshop at the End of the Internet #24. She interviewed me about my writing journey, my deep love of all things magic, and the equilibrium I’ve negotiated between writing about everyday life and fantasy worlds.

Writing is, as they say, like an onion. Layer after layer, chapter after chapter, these beautiful, delicious worlds are built up.

As the Network Series, The Dragonmasters Trilogy, all the novellas and stories layer together, their world becomes bigger than I’d ever dreamed.

That’s just to say: choose to follow those gut feelings.

Run into the woods after the magic.

Chase dragons.

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