One of my favorite aspects of fantasy writing is creating magic systems. The possibilities are nearly endless and I like to make each of my worlds feel unique. With Island of Lost Forevers I achieved this by juxtaposing Damian’s form of magic with Catilen’s more spiritual magick.
Despite his origins on our mundane Earth, Damian is a skilled sorcerer. He has spent his life scavenging the secrets of this ancient art and learning to master them. We used a traditional fantasy approach to depicting Damian’s abilities; when Damian tries to do something, it happens right away. Often you can see the effects of Damian’s magic, whether it be large and flashy or small and subtle. Likewise, Sentomoru practices similar sorcery, though on a higher level and with more ease than Damian.
On the other hand, Catilen is a witch. She makes no secrets about her religious beliefs and takes great pride in her regular practice of ritual and working magick. The most exciting thing about starting this fantasy novel in our world was the chance to portray these workings of an everyday witch in a tangible way.
I wanted to distinguish between magic and magick of course; magick is the act of putting good energy out into the world to do good things and bring good back to you. And I wanted to be as true to that portrayal as possible, since there are many people who share Catilen’s religious beliefs (myself included). Whereas Damian’s form of magic, being imaginary, allowed me to invent my own rules and limitations.
When magic meets magick, the two interact in interesting ways. Damian begins to note the similarities right away. For instance, his mage sight allows him to see the effects of Catilen’s magick, even when others can’t. When she draws a circle to perform her ritual, he sees a shimmering golden dome surrounding the two of them. Likewise, he senses the energy Catilen moves with her rituals, though the types of spells she works are vastly different from his. This leads him to believe that the two might not be dissimilar at their core.
But while Catilen and Damian use a lot of similar tactics, such as shielding themsevles to protect against outside influence, Catilen can’t achieve any of the flashy effects that Damian does. She certainly won’t be parting the ocean or leveling trees with her magick. But her spiritual approach allows her access to deeper, more complex insights than Damian can conjure with his workings, which often allows her to tackle problems Damian wouldn’t know how to start with.
The most important aspect of intertwining these two versions of spell working is that both Damian and Catilen have a tremendous respect for each other’s abilities. And that makes them a great team!
Is the island paradise or does a nightmare lurk beneath the surface?
When a mysterious island appears off the coast of San Francisco, two intrepid academics risk everything to discover its secrets. Catilen Taylor has struggled all her life with the ability to sense others’ emotions. Damian Cooke studies an ancient art he calls ‘magic.’
The island boasts an idyllic retreat, ruled by the enigmatic Sentomoru, who invites them to share the wonders of his bathhouse. But as the travelers strive to unravel the island’s secrets, Catilen senses danger stalking their steps.
Neither Catilen nor Damian know how long the island will remain on Earth. If they can’t solve its riddles quickly, they may be trapped wherever it goes when it vanishes.
Megan grew up in a small town in central Pennsylvania where books offered an easy escape from the mundane life of a rural highway town. In 2003 she married the love of her life and moved to Canada. Megan started writing full-time in 2011 and has since published four novels and several short stories, including the Mystical Island Trilogy. Her characters keep her up late and wake her up early, but she loves them anyway. Learn more at megancutler.net, or connect to Megan via Facebook and Twitter.