I've never had a guest post. Rayne Hall's main character, Dahoud, was supposed to be the second interview of the writerly show Under the Fireworks with Father Dragon. Due to different commitments and obstacles, I couldn't continue with my original idea of the interview. However, I'm very happy to still be able to have Rayne as my guest today. She is promoting her book Storm Dancer (which I highly recommend) and picked up a very appropriate subject for the occasion. For a dragon, magic is very real. Please welcome Rayne Hall.
Note: British English.
People all over the world have always believed in magic. Most cultures and periods had professionals who studied the craft and followed its rules. Only in our modern western society do people think that magic does not exist.
What if the vast majority of people in the world and in history have known something we don't? What if this is simply a knowledge that eludes most modern westerners? What if magic is a scientific phenomenon that's still waiting to be discovered?
Magic, to the modern westerner, is like electricity would have been to someone in ancient Greece. Imagine explaining to someone in 1000 BCE how electricity works and what it can do. Lightbulbs? Telephone? Television? Internet? Carts that move without being pulled by animals? The good folks would either laugh at your gullibility, pity you for your madness, or whip you out of town for your lies.
Electricity existed in their world and the effects of it were all around them, but they explained these in ways that fit their view of the world. When they saw lightning in the sky, they assumed it was their God Zeus hurling lightning bolts in anger.
Perhaps even in our modern world, magic is all around us, although we don't understand it and attribute its effects to other causes. Perhaps we are as ignorant about magic as the ancient Greeks were about electricity.
When I write fantasy fiction, I base my stories on the premise that magic is real, but it needs skill to harness its force, and abuse brings danger.
The wizards in my yarns are highly trained experts, each specialising in a field of their trade.
Merida in Storm Dancer is a weather mage. By dancing, she can bring storms, rain or sunshine. She has travelled to a distant country where droughts ruin the harvests and the people are starving. Her gift of rain will bring relief.
The ruler has promised her everything she needs: privacy for preparations, a date when the right planets align, an energy-rich location at a river mouth, and an orchestra playing a specific tune. On arrival, she finds the conditions are not as expected. Her ritual is treated as a public spectacle in the arena, the date is wrong, and the only musicians are two drummers who have not rehearsed and don't know the tune.
The only way to raise the needed power is to draw energy from the spectators - an unethical method Merida has sworn to eschew - and to enter an extreme level of trance, potentially lethal, that will leave her vulnerable to attacks. What will she do?
Storm Dancer is the story of Dahoud, a demon-possessed siege commander who needs to atone for his dark past. When their lives intertwine, Merida and Dahoud are drawn into a whirling spiral of darkness. They have seared each other's hearts with betrayal. Now the only way they can stand against evil is as allies. Can they learn to trust?
ABOUT RAYNE HALL
Rayne Hall has published more than forty books under different pen names with different publishers in different genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction. Recent books include Storm Dancer (dark epic fantasy novel), 13 British Horror Stories, Six Scary Tales Vol 1, 2, 3, 4 (creepy horror stories), Six Historical Tales (short stories), Six Quirky Tales (humorous fantasy stories), Writing Fight Scenes, The World-Loss Diet, Writing About Villains, Writing About Magic and Writing Scary Scenes (instructions for authors).
She holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing. Currently, she edits the Ten Tales series of multi-author short story anthologies: Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Scared: Ten Tales of Horror, Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates, Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft, Spells: Ten Tales of Magic, Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies and more.
Do you believe in magic? If not, do you enjoy reading about magic in fiction? What makes fictional magic real to you, so you can suspend your disbelief? What's the most convincing magic you've read about in fiction? Leave a comment, and I'll reply.