I was doing some research the other day. Of course, most romance writers do research now and then since we occasionally write about things we’re not familiar with. However, those of us who write paranormal and fantasy do research that’s a little more specialized. We deal in created worlds, but those worlds frequently have rules that we want to work with: vampires can’t be out and about during the day, werewolves have problems with silver, witches use animal familiars. That kind of thing.
My corner of paranormal is a little more specialized. My Folk series (Book 3, Found, will be released on February 13) concerns a group of modern-day fairies living in the Colorado Rockies. There are fewer rules concerning fairies, particularly fairies like mine who don’t always follow your preconceptions of what they should do. On this particular day, I was researching spells. Believe it or not, the internet is full of spell sites. Some are free from benevolent witches who want to make the world a better place. Others require subscriptions (the spell of the month club?) from slightly less benevolent witches out to make a buck. What I was looking for was a spell that would transfer one person’s pain to another. I didn’t exactly know what to call it, so I was looking for a transference spell. The spell sites didn’t help that much. The benevolent sites apparently shied away from spells that had the potential to be nasty, which this one definitely did. The less benevolent sites just didn’t cover the situation, or at least not under that name. What to do? I ended up combining several spells and throwing in a few frills of my own to come up with something suitably dramatic.
Why go to all that trouble, you might ask? Since a lot of magical spells are sheer imagination, why not simply make something up? Partly, it’s because I want my spell to be “realistic,” by which I mean I want people who actually know spells to agree that my spell isn’t entirely outside the realm of possibility. But I also feel a certain responsibility here. I’m maybe ninety-nine percent sure that there are no functioning magical spells out there. But what if I’m wrong? Shouldn’t I at least try to get my spells in the ballpark?
Recently Amazon (which obviously has my number) offered me a special deal on a collection of five thousand spells. I thought about it for around a minute. Ten years ago, I would never have bought a spell collection. Ten years ago, I wasn’t writing about fairies in the Rockies. Now I am. I snapped it up.
If you’re interested in my Folk, here’s the blurb for Book 1, Away:
Grim Morrigan, Guardian of the Ward and part-time private detective, polices the Folk, the clans of fairies who live in the foothills outside Denver. But his main job is concealing their true nature from the mortals around them.
Enter mortal Annie Duran, who hires him to look for her brother Richard, missing and presumed dead for ten years. Annie has seen Richard in the parking lot of the nightclub where she works. Now she wants answers, and Grim’s supposed to find them.
The quest for Richard ensnares both Grim and Annie in a sinister conspiracy involving kidnapped women and outlaw magic. But they also discover their own overwhelming attraction to each other. When Annie herself disappears, Grim’s need for answers becomes even more urgent. With the help of a dissolute prince and a motley crew of unlikely fairies, Grim confronts a rebellion among the Folk. And it may take more than just magic and luck to save both Annie and Grim this time.