Mad Magic (Mad Magic Saga #1)
By: Nicole Conway
Publication Date: November 14th, 2017
After being orphaned, high school student Josie Barton only has one person she can turn to when things get rough—a mysterious legal guardian who calls himself her Benefactor. “Ben” takes care of everything for her. He pays her bills, provides food, clothes, and even a cell phone. But there is one thing Ben doesn’t know: Josie Barton sees scary imaginary creatures everywhere she goes. Even her apartment is being haunted by an invisible monster! And just when Josie thinks things couldn’t get any worse . . . she meets the guy from across the hall.
Zeph Clemmont is a man of many faces. He’s a changeling with enemies in all the worst places, fighting to undo a magical curse that could end his life. He loves a good argument and has incredible magical power, but he may have met his match in Josie. So far, she’s the only one who seems able to rein in his childish tantrums and magical explosions. Zeph will have to swallow his pride and finally let go of all his dark secrets if he really wants to break his curse. And with Josie at his side, he might actually stand a chance this time.
BEHIND THE SCENES WITH ELDRICK AND ZEPH
MAD MAGIC underwent more rewrites and revisions than any other book I’ve written—mostly because I wrote it much earlier in my career and was ignorant of a lot of the fundamental skills and storytelling mechanics that authors tend to learn as they receive more and more professional edits. But even as the story changed, the main characters stood like pillars holding the story firmly to its original base essence.
Zeph’s role was crucial for the story. As the love interest, he is visually appealing and mysterious. His appearance didn’t chance from initial concept, and his purpose was always to embody that crucial theme of faerie mischief, the kind we expect to see from impish spirits who like to play pranks on humans and use their magic for their own amusement. He’s a hothead, considering himself an expendable “meat shield” for the people he cares about. Despite his tendency for the dramatic and well-earned reputation as a troublemaker, Zeph is a good guy. He’s got a huge heart, and rarely puts his own needs before anyone else’s. Never trust was he says at face value—he’s always got an angle.
Eldrick’s development was a little more … spontaneous. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard an author talk about characters who “write themselves,” but that was certainly the case for Eldrick. He stepped into my brain, and onto the pages of MAD MAGIC, and was immediately interwoven in the world as a crucial element. After all, what’s a faerie tale without a handsome prince? Physically, I modeled him after a young English professor I had for several of my courses in college, who was admired by his female students (myself included) for being the tall, refined, sharply dressed, mysterious sort. And his hair—he had perfect hair. I’m not positive he was even aware of the effect he had on us, though. Likewise, I’m not sure Eldrick would be quick to pick up on that kind of thing either. J
Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book. Other works include MAD MAGIC (Sept 2017), FAULBENDER (tbd), SCALES (tbd), and THE DISTANCE BETWEEN STARS (May 2017).
Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.
She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.
Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.
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