Smoke & Summons (Numina Trilogy #1)
By: Charlie N. Holmberg
Publication Date: February 1st, 2019
A captivating world of monsters and magic from the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician Series.
As a human vessel for an ancient spirit, Sandis lives no ordinary life. At the command of her master, she can be transformed against her will into his weapon—a raging monster summoned to do his bidding. Unlike other vessels, Sandis can host extremely powerful spirits, but hosting such creatures can be fatal. To stay alive, she must run. And in a city fueled by smoke and corruption, she finds a surprising ally.
A cunning thief for hire, Rone owns a rare device that grants him immortality for one minute every day—a unique advantage that will come in handy in Sandis’s fight for freedom. But Sandis’s master knows how powerful she is. He’s determined to get her back, and he has the manpower to find her, wherever she runs.
Now, to outwit her pursuers, Sandis must put all her trust in Rone and his immortal device. For her master has summoned more than mere men to hunt her down…
1. Describe you book in 5 words or less
Magical fidget spinners meets pokemon.
2. A book goes through a lot of different versions and rounds of editing before it’s complete. What are some “fun facts” or behind the scenes info you can share about the characters from your book or the world you created for it that may or may not have made it to the final draft of the book?
The working title for the book was These Ethereal Chains.
Rone was a lot less proactive with his own problems in the first draft. The scenes with us actually meeting his mother, him going to see the warden, and his return to Ernst Renad’s home were added in later.
Originally, the grafters were a nameless, almost omniscient entity. I made them smarter and more human, as well as created individual grafters within their ranks.
3. Who was your favorite character to write and who gave you the most trouble? If you could ask a character of your choice from SMOKE AND SUMMONS one question what would it be?
I love both my main characters for different reasons. Sandis has so much to fight for. She is the embodiment of hope. Rone is more of a rogue, and any humor in the book tends to come from him. Honestly, the character who gave me the most trouble is only in one scene in this book. In book two, I had to completely makeover his character because he was so flat!
As for asking a question… well, I am their god, right? I already know all the answers. 😉
4. What scene from the book are you most proud of (because of how you handled the atmosphere, characters, dialogue, etc)? Is there a scene that you had difficulty with and just had to “power through” to finish the book? Or a scene that made you very emotional?
I love the scenes in the climax. So obviously I can’t give details, but I sadistically enjoyed really ripping into my characters, especially Sandis. I have never put characters through the ringer as much as I have in this book. Maybe we should all be disturbed at how much I liked it…
As for emotional… I can’t recall with this book, but I will admit to tearing up when I finish the third and final book. For reasons I won’t disclose, for now.
5. What is your favorite part of the world you created for SMOKE AND SUMMONS? Was there an aspect that you struggled with but still felt compelled to include?
I love what a hot mess their city is. I’ve never written in a world that’s so claustrophobic and industrial. Yeah, the history, the ancient ruins, and the criminals are good and fun, but the actual day-to-day working city was the most interesting to me.
There were some things I struggled with in the second book, but alas, that’s still down the road. (Sometimes it’s hard to separate them, because the Numina trilogy is all one big story. Each book starts right where the last one left off. So it’s like I’m limited to only talking about the first third of a story!)
6. What are the top five things we should know as a reader before starting SMOKE AND SUMMONS (about the main character, their love interest, the antagonist, their world/home town, their situation, etc)
1. This is darker than my other works, but still clean.
2. Yes, books one and two end on cliffhangers. I promise the read is worth it!
3. The magic is deeper and more connected than first appears.
4. Nearly everyone is a “villain,” in one way or another.
5. These characters have no idea what they’ve just gotten into. 😉
Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie N. Holmberg was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. She is a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and finally adopted a dog. Her fantasy Paper Magician series, which includes The Paper Magician, The Glass Magician, and The Master Magician, has been optioned by the Walt Disney Company. Her stand-alone novel, Followed by Frost, was nominated for a 2016 RITA Award for Best Young Adult Romance, and her novel The Fifth Doll won the 2018 Whitney for Speculative Fiction. She is a board member for Deep Magic Ezine and currently lives with her family in Utah. Visit her at www.charlienholmberg.com.
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