Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Way Of Majick

It is not often that I hop on and talk about my current writing endeavors. But I decided to take some time to update people on what's going on. My first novel, The Rise Of Majick, has received some great reviews and some average reviews. Good news is all have been 3-Stars and higher. If you haven't taken time to read it, due so. I think you will enjoy it.

The question I get frequently is, what is your book about? I smile and feel a little embarrassed (I have no idea why this embarrasses me but it does nearly every time I am asked.) then I say....
It is a Fantasy novel but I call it Future Fantasy. No not Science Fiction because that is about technology and my book is about magic, demons, dragons, betrayal, elves, war, future America, dwarfs and most of all, people. But it is in our future.
I mean c'mon! Elves living in a palace in the middle of Central Park as New York crumbles around them! Dwarfs finding a steam locomotive and getting it to work! Statue of Liberty holding a dragon's egg! This is future fantasy!
Overall, the book is about seeking a place to belong. The search for security and family. It is the longing in each of us for a since of home.

The current book in progress is The War Of Majick. It takes place with the majority of the characters from The Rise OF Majick and it adds a few new faces. It starts a few years after The Rise Of Majick ends. It has many surprises just like the first book. But it is more about our urge to save those we love and to protect what we have. It is about how wars and conflict can be cause by misinformation or pride. It is also about how ignorance is a dangerous thing.

Below is a bit of a teaser for you. The book won't be out for a while but I will share some with you now.
Keep in mind, it is a first draft and may be a bit rough around the edges.... Enjoy!

The Sheltering Forest

Arinel’s boots padded along the thick branch from which many sleeper cocoons hung suspended. The vines created a frame and the skins were large leaves coaxed into ever larger forms. The inner portion was lined with the skins from the herds of cows they raided and of game they had hunted. Her passage caused the branch to bob.
The large, dark green cocoon sleeper bobbled and Nihara awoke. She moved the flap on her sleeper and peered out. She unlaced the leaves of her sleeper, climbed out and smiled as Arinel offered up a cup of cooled ginger root tea. From a hidden pocket in her broad, woven belt Arinel produced some dried beef and a handful of mushrooms.
“The sun’s fully up. Why’d you allow me to sleep so long?” Nihara asked.
“Even a Queen such as yourself needs to sleep once in a while.”
“I’ll sleep when we’re secure,” Nihara said and sipped her tea. “Thank you for this. I needed it more than you know. Is there a dazzle on it?”
“I know you needed it and yes. A bit of healing is in order after that bull nearly gored you in last night’s raid.”
“Nearly gored me? Isn’t the same as it goring me?”
“No but being stepped on requires a bit of attention,” Arinel said, “So drink up. All of it, my Queen.”
Nihara smiled again and looked inside her sleeper pod. She absently stroked the sleeve of a red robe. It was once her signifying attire. The silver threading hemming the sleeve was quite bare but the heavy cloth made a great pad for sleeping. The only time she donned it now was to go out on raids or into battle. But even that was ending.
“Will we ever get past it, you think?” Arinel asked.
“We elves have long memories.” Nihara finished her tea and popped the mushrooms into her mouth. She grabbed the lacing cord on her sleeper pod and pulled it tight to keep the bugs out. “But we have to get past it eventually or we will die just like Perrynell and the rest did.”
A short while later they were in the Dome. The most secure of the structures they had conjured with the help of the trees. It sat midway up the trunks of several trees that had been dazzled or as some claimed, allowed themselves to be dazzled, into weaving their branches together. The growing branches were so tightly bound that neither wind, light nor water could invade.
Nihara sat at the round table in the middle of Dome. She had a map of sorts in front her and a few other elves, one being Arinel, gathered close in as they discussed the map.
Farein folded his arms across his chest and huffed, “I agree that we have the trees to our advantage but some of us are neither swift enough nor stealthy enough to evade the giants for long if they find us. That’s why we need a wall surrounding us, not just on three sides. And tunnels to the cliffs and river too.”
The group had been debating the plans for hours. Nihara refused to be a dictator but the negotiations made every decision laborious. Building a village by committee was tedious at best. She excused herself and exited the woven room.
She sat and dangled her feet over the thick bough, kicking them in the breeze. She loved the green dappled spots of light on the forest floor far below. There were two young elves playing hoopsie with a vine they had fashioned into a wheel and two long sticks. The objective was to see who could keep the wheel rolling the longest by using only one stick. She sighed and wished for the days she and Perrynell played the same game. But what was her life now? Stealing from the giants to keep her people from starvation and not much else.
“Can I join you?” Farein asked as he walked along the branch.
“Not my tree.”
They were silent for a bit then Farein said, “Queen Nihara, I have a thought but you may not like it.”
“Why’s that stopping you?” She asked. “I don’t like your plans for defense either but you keep shouting them in my ear.”
“Sorry about that. I do tend to be a bit emphatic about such matters.”
“Water that has already smoothed the stones long ago,” she said, “Share your thought.”
“Thank you my Queen,” he paused. “It is against tradition, you see.”
“Get on with it. Please.”
“Very well. I will.” Farein cleared his throat. “I. That is to say we have ran into the centaurs or at least a few of them here in this forest. Right?”
“And they’re much stronger than us and nearly as good with bows as we are.” He said, “So I was thinking that perhaps we could send a high-ranking, special delegate to invite them to sit with us and discuss how they could protect our village.”
“I’m sure they will gladly canter on up to our place with no hesitation.” Nihara said as she stood and dusted the backside of her pants. “They have long memories too. Do you think they have forgotten? They still call King Treori-Sior, the king of feall.”
“Yes, the king of betrayal.” Farein said, “But he is dead and you are not him. The Tír Dhúchais Cogadh was in another time and world.”
“But the homeland we fought for was not ours. It was theirs we just stole it. The risk isn’t worth it.”
“It’s worth the risk. I’ll go,” Farein said. “Please, Nihara. We’re out of options.”
Nihara was silent for a long time. She watched the people below.
Suddenly she leapt to a higher branch and higher ones still. Farein followed close behind. She launched herself to thinner branches that flexed beneath her feet. She used them like catapults to launch herself to the highest branches. Her head emerged from the green canopy and she breathed deeply.
Nihara balanced and swayed with the breeze. From here she could see the rolling forest from one horizon to the other. And to the north she saw the mountains holding the sky aloft. This could be their land but not until they were secure. She was their leader and she would have to pay for all of their past arrogances.
Farein joined her in the canopy. He was near enough to read her face. “Queen Nihara, I will go. I can do this.”
“You will go but you’ll not go alone,” she said, “I’m coming with you.”

Many of the other elves shared Nihara’s worries over contacting the centaurs. There was not only the Homeland Wars but there was the time when King Treorai-Sior had enslaved the centaurs. They had been used as beasts of burden and treated as livestock. Had it not been for the dwarfs, the centaurs may have never been freed. After much discussion and with trepidation, eventually they all agreed that the centaurs were their best hope against the giants.
The next morning Nihara and Farein set out to find the centaurs. It didn’t take them long before they were following a well-worn centaur trail. They stayed in the forest and walked along the trail’s edge. Walking on one of these trails invited being trampled by a twelve foot tall half-horse half-human. Had they cared to avoid trampling somebody on their trails, the limited visibility and their speed would make it impossible not to.
The trail led them to a wide prairie sloping down toward a crystalline lake. The white clouds reflected perfectly on the glassy surface and from a distance they seemed to race so fast they should pull themselves apart. Instead they roiled forward and sped from one side of the lake to the other.
“This is as likely a place as any to be ambushed.” Farein said, “Do you see anything?”
“I can’t tell for sure. No smoke puffing from the ground. Probably no cook-fires.”
“Shall we skirt the prairie or brave it down the middle?” He asked.
Nihara shaded her eyes with the flat of her slender hand. “The grass is higher than our heads out there,” she said, “let’s go around the edges and see if we get a better view.”
The two stayed as much to the shadows as was possible. Farein would ascend a tree every now and again to get a better view. He would look about and report to Nihara. It took a much longer time than they had anticipated. By the time they had made it almost to the lake, the sun was setting.
They arrived at the last tree that could still be considered as part of the forest. A few trees dotted the stretch between the forest and the lake but they were smaller and spread far out.
Farein said, “I’ll go up and take another look. But I think we should settle here regardless.”
“Let’s not make decisions before we have all of the questions answered. Go up and get a good report.”
He quickly climbed the tree. Moments later Farein was back on the ground. “We have some structure up ahead. It looks like something the humans built.”
Nihara didn’t wait for more of an explanation. She launched herself up through the branches to get a look at the structure. Farein followed close behind and passed her to reach the vantage point first. He pointed, indicating where the structure stood.
Nihara had already spotted it. The building was squat and squared at all points. It didn’t have the pointed roof of the small homes nor were there any windows. The building was unremarkable and nearly the same color as the tall grasses growing to its door. It appeared that some pipes or part of the building extended out and disappeared into the water.
She said, “Do you think we can make it to that building before dark or should we wait to make our move after dark?”
“I would rather be there before full dark so we can get a better look around,” Farein said, “Or we can wait until morning. Your choice really, my Queen.”
“I’ve lived so long in the trees that I dislike buildings. And a strange building after dark is probably my least favorite. Let’s rest. We’ll make it to the building in the morning.”

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait for WOM, Jay! Your writing is excellent! It wraps you right in. Keep up the great work.