In paranormal fiction, magic is generally thought of as belonging in the realm of nature. Spells are cast with herbs. Wands are handcrafted of wood. Candlelight adds a romantic glow and ancient, dusty tomes contain vast arcane knowledge. All that’s awesome, and if there was a Dusty Arcane Knowledge Book of the Month Club, I would totally join. But it wasn’t what I wanted for the Magic Born series. Set in a dystopian future, this world combines magic with cyberpunk.
To build a foundation for that, I started with the basic magical elements. Instead of invoking fire, a witch in this world would call on neon or streetlights. Earth shifted to concrete and steel. Healing water became the music in the city’s nightclubs, the emotions carried along in crowds of people. And the intellect of air – that translated to electricity and cyberspace.
Trancehacking is when a witch uses astral projection to send their consciousness into cyberspace. For a witch who’s an outlaw and leader in the underground, that’s a kind of magic that proves to be incredibly useful. Search spells, hex viruses, and spells fused with code to create magic apps are also used. Old laser pointers and stylus pens are repurposed as wands.
But the old ways haven’t been completely left behind. Every year the fictional city of New Corinth experiences what local witches call Corinthhenge, when the rising sun aligns with the street grid and shines gold across the canyon of skyscrapers. (Manhattanhenge was the inspiration for this.) Natural magic and urban magic meet in one of my favorite scenes in Witchlight.
What would you feel more at home with-natural magic or urban/tech magic?
Magic Born book two
In 2066, the Magic Born are segregated in urban reservations. The laws do not protect them, or their allies.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Marsden is a powerful player in New Corinth politics, but a closely guarded secret could destroy her life—she’s a hidden Magic Born. Her family has gone to great lengths to erase all her magic-related records, until a trancehacking outlaw discovers the last remaining one…
Vadim Bazarov smuggles Magic Borns through the underground railroad and threatens to reveal Elizabeth’s secret unless she helps him access blank ID cards. Elizabeth wants to hate him for having a stranglehold on her life, but can’t help being attracted to someone so sure of who and what he is.
Vadim initially sees her as a political ice queen, but is intrigued by her suppressed magical abilities. He trains Elizabeth to use her magic, and before long finds himself falling for her. But their newfound love may be shortlived; an anti-magic ordinance forces one of them to make a choice that will change both their lives for good.
Sonya Clark grew up a military brat and now lives in Tennessee with her husband and daughter. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance with a heavy helping of magic and lots of music for inspiration.