True Magics is the third book of the Thomas Flarety stories. Set in a Renaissance-era world where magic is nearly non-existent, these books tell of Thomas's discovery of magic and the consequences that come from it. In True Magics, Thomas and his friends are recovering from fighting in a war in the north and are attempting to make Eileen the first girl to attend the Royal Academy in 200 years. Everything changes, though, when stories of Thomas's magic reach Hawksmouth. Suddenly, Thomas's friends start disappearing. The king orders Thomas to hide his magic and find the other magicians in the city. The Cult of the Daughter wants Thomas to join them. The Archbishop of the High Father wants Thomas to surrender to the Inquisitors and redeem his soul. Preachers are raging in the streets against witchcraft, the Academy, and the King. The city itself is falling into chaos, and it's up to Thomas to find a way to fix things before the struggle between the king and the Archbishop turns into an all-out war that will destroy everyone and everything he loves.
2) What inspired True Magics?
True Magics is the third book in the series, so part of the inspiration was to finish telling the story! It was also inspired by a lot of stories of survivors of war trying to put their lives back together, and by the struggles of individuals with differences in societies that do not accept them.
Also, once you've written two books about fantasy characters, you really have to write a trilogy or the other writers make fun of you (Joke. Mostly).
3) Is there a specific way magic is depicted?
In this world, my magic is depicted as rare and small. It's also really despised by the church and called witchcraft by those who don't like it. Our hero's magic is greater than most because of the events that happened in Small Magics and in this book he needs to understand the true nature of magic if he's going to survive.
4) Is this your first work of fiction?
This is my third published novel and the eighth I've written. I have published two other novels (Small Magics and Cold Magics) in this series and have written three more under my own name: My first novel (which will never see the light of day), another one that I intend to revise and self-publish in the near future, and a new one that I am happy to start shopping out to publishers in the next couple of months. I've also ghostwritten two other novels.
5) What song or music piece would you put on a soundtrack for True Magics?
Anything by the Chieftains, as that's the music I mostly used when I was writing it. Boil the Breakfast Early is a favorite.
6) Which character was easy to write? Which was the most difficult?
The most difficult was probably Thomas, our lead, because he goes through a lot of changes in this book and I wanted those to read as real and not contrived. The easiest was probably Henry, because he's fun in a very dangerous kind of way.
7) What is your writing space like? Or can you write anywhere?
I can write anywhere, but I'm usually at my kitchen table, facing the wall that has my whiteboard, calendar, and project list to keep me on track.
8) Any odd writing habits?
Not sure if it's odd, but I have a terrible time writing when there's an internet connection, so I use a program called "Antisocial", which blocks access to social media and to whatever other sites I find myself browsing when I should be working.
9) Do you outline?
I do now. True Magics is the last book I wrote without an outline. Since I started ghostwriting and since I made the decision to make my living solely from my writing, I've found the need for speed has taken over and I no longer have the luxury of exploring my characters during my writing process. Now I do those explorations in the outline, so I don't have to re-write hundreds of pages if something goes awry in my books.
10) What is your favorite fairy tale, myth, or folk tale?
The Odyssey by Homer. It's a wonderful adventure.
11) What is your favorite ficitonal world, one you'd want to visit?
My current favorite is the world in Patrick Rothfuss's King Killer Chronicles. As for which to visit, I want to visit all of them (except for the world of Game of Thrones, because really those folks are mean), but I'd probably start with the Shire in The Hobbit, because I could use a vacation someplace quiet.
12) What is the best writing advice you've ever received?
From the fine author Douglas Smith: "Bum in chair, fingers on keyboard, cursor moving to the left."
Also Stephen King's On Writing is a great read for anyone trying to produce popular fiction.
13) In True Magics, are there any hidden acknowledgements to friends, places you've lived, favorite writers, etc;
Not really, though the weather is a tribute to the springs I remember from my childhood in Nova Scotia.
14) Can you tell us what we have to look forward to after True Magics?
Right now I'm working on a horror/humor novel tentatively titled The Forces of Darkness vs. Bill Righthands Construction and Restoration, which I am hoping to self-publish before the end of the year. I am also shopping around a new YA horror series set in Victorian London, and working on several short stories as well.