by Alex C Vick
GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy
Shannon thought there was no such thing as real magic. Until that day. The day that changed everything.
Put yourself in her shoes. Would you open your eyes, if you were the one that heard them? Two magic-takers from another world, arguing about whether they can collect what they came for before you wake up. It sounds like a crazy dream, or a practical joke.
But what if the air around you started to vibrate with an invisible force field? What if, all at once, it felt scary, yet familiar too? You would have no way of knowing that this discovery would set you on a path no-one from our world has taken for centuries. Towards a deadly enemy, and a fight you will almost certainly lose.
All you know is that your heart is beating so fast you’re worried they will hear it, and your brain is starting to buzz as the force field reaches it. Would you open your eyes?
Join Jax and Shannon as they live through the most exciting and terrifying ten days of their lives!
“I knew it!” shouted the voice triumphantly.
Shannon nearly jumped out of her skin at the unexpected words. Abruptly the force field seemed to snap back inside her head, leaving her hands and the surface of the tree completely back to normal.
She scrambled to her feet to confront the owner of the voice, knowing already who it was.
“Jax, I presume?” she said, as calmly as she could manage, though her heart was still jumping from the shock, and she was already half-smiling in amazement at what was happening.
Jax, standing with his hands in his pockets, and smiling the same mischievous, slightly mocking grin that she remembered from last time, raised his eyebrows.
“You have the advantage over me, Terran,” he said. “I don’t know your name.”
“Shannon,” she answered. “And you knew what exactly?”
Jax gave a half-bow. “Pleased to meet you Shannon. And I knew you were a magician.”
Shannon’s mouth fell open. Before she could reply, he continued.
“I shouldn’t even be able to travel here on my own. You see this symbol on my shirt?”
He pointed to the star, the centre of which was spinning again just as it had the week before.
“It wasn’t until I met you that it started to spin. It’s not supposed to be able to do that until I come of age. In four years’ time.”
He paused, to make sure she understood the significance of this fact. “Who are you? Why is this happening?”
Shannon laughed. To think that Jax was the one asking questions of her!
What inspired you to write this story?
I hadn’t planned to write a book at all! Becoming an author was a long-cherished dream that I always thought would stay just that – a dream. Stealing Magic started out as a short story. I was encouraging my daughters to enter “500 Words”, which is a brilliant writing competition run by the BBC in the UK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00rfvk1
My daughters were telling me that it was too difficult. I was telling them that it wasn’t. I eventually decided that the only way to settle the argument was to sit down and write a 500-word story myself. I heard the voice of Jax, one of the main characters, the minute I tried to come up with an idea. The first words he said were just there. “She can’t hear us. Look, she sleeps. And besides, I’ve never been caught before.”
I wondered who he was, and what on earth he was doing. That’s when I imagined the title, Stealing Magic. Then Jax carried on speaking. “The portal will stay open for me anyway. My spellstation is stronger than yours.”
I loved the idea of writing about magic, and it all grew out of that. Shannon was the girl who was asleep, or at least Jax thought she was asleep. Darius was the second underage magician that Jax was talking to. Androva was where they came from. They were magic-takers. The short story ended with Shannon discovering them.
There were far too many unanswered questions for me to leave it there! I didn’t plan the story, I just tried to have fun writing it and see what happened. I didn’t know how it was going to end until I actually wrote the ending.
What was your favorite part to write?
It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I think it was when Shannon and Jax meet properly, the second time. She’s just discovered that there is a force field of magical energy inside her head. She can project it outwards, and she can see it. It’s not her imagination, and she isn’t going crazy.
And suddenly Jax is there, shouting “I knew it!” and telling her not only that she’s a magician, but that she’s causing strange things to happen. When she steps through the portal with him to Androva, there’s no going back. It’s when their adventures really begin.
What was the hardest part to write?
I never enjoy it when my characters have to face horrible situations. That might sound odd, given that their challenges only get scarier as the Legacy of Androva series continues, but I live through it with them!
In Stealing Magic, there is a certain adult character on the Androvan Council called Marcus, who causes the three underage magicians a few problems. I had to make him pretty awful, for him to be believable as an obstacle. I really felt for Jax, Shannon and Darius when they had to face Marcus.
How did you come up with your characters?
The main characters almost presented themselves to me. It’s hard to explain, but it’s as if Jax and Shannon were already inside my head, waiting to have their story told. Now I know them as well as if they were real people.
Some of the other characters developed along the way. Darius, Jax’s friend, became more important than I thought he was going to be. He was originally there to show that there was more to Jax than the over-confident, mischievous rule breaker we first meet. But Darius broke out of his background role quite quickly.
Sometimes it’s a challenge to only show parts of the characters at a time. For example, I know that Jax’s father Revus comes across as quite inflexible in Stealing Magic. And as we only see him from Jax and Shannon’s points of view, that’s the way it must be. Yet I know his backstory, and I sympathize with him.
Do you have anything coming up and can you tell us about it?
I recently released the fourth book in the Legacy of Androva series: Controlling Magic. I don’t have a fixed idea yet as to how long the series is going to be, because all of the stories are self-contained. If a villain in a particular book gets defeated, I want them to stay defeated!
I’ve been asked by a couple of readers to stick with the characters until they come of age (which is at the age of eighteen on Androva). I certainly haven’t run out of ideas yet, so we’ll see. I’m already working on the fifth book, which I hope to release in the first half of 2017.
Before I go, I’d like to say thank you so much for featuring my book Stacey, and for the interesting questions. I really enjoyed answering them!
About The Author:
Alex writes contemporary fantasy books for a middle grade audience and older. There are three (self-contained) stories in the Legacy of Androva series so far, with a fourth on the way. You can contact Alex, and find more information about Androva, including a character interview, at http://www.alexcvick.com
Alex lives in the South of England with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not working, or writing about magic, she also loves reading and photography.
Stealing Magic Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXQEPYR
Stealing Magic Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LXQEPYR
Stealing Magic will be $0.99 during the tour.