Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Please Welcome Liz Long to Fang-tastic Books Today

Hi everyone! Thanks so much to Roxanne for having me on her blog today. She asked that I write something a little witchy-related and since my newest book is all about witches, I’m thrilled to do so!

I love magic. Most of my favorite books are fantasies that involve magic in some way and I adore witches (I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen every episode of Charmed). I love the idea of witchcraft, that there are people out there who can whip up a potion to help others or save the day (since we of course know that magic used for personal gain is always, always a no-no!)

            I also like to combine realistic circumstances with magic – sort of a balancing act to keep readers in the story despite being able to suspend their disbelief. We can read about Hogwarts all day long, but it was the way in which Diagon Alley was just on the other side of real-world London that caught our attention, that you could get to your train through a brick wall that convinces us to look for Platform 9¾. Much of the excitement in Charmed episodes was from the Halliwell sisters avoiding getting caught by humans since they had to operate in everyday San Franciso. Even while we know it’s fiction, we love the idea of getting caught up in it – with a realistic approach that twists magic in our everyday lives, we can imagine ourselves getting wrapped up in the world we’re reading.

In my newest book Witch Hearts, a serial killer hunts powerful witches for their magic. Witches in my world are powerful, but not in a flashy Hollywood way. The best part about it is that my readers helped me. I asked on Twitter what they would expect from a world of magic and they were surprisingly honest about keeping the magic realistic, so that they could keep reading without thinking it was too much or ridiculous. After taking their opinions into account, I built my world upon this idea:

Witch magic was powerful, but not nearly what the movies made it out to be. Humans could explain away most of their subtle magic. A witch’s magic was more natural with potions and rituals, no wands required. Each witch’s strength was different.”

Ruby, our protagonist, becomes one of the killer’s main targets due to her special abilities. She actually has the capacity to use mind control, though she likes to call them “mental suggestions” to avoid freaking anyone out.

In one scene, Ruby is at a crowded bar with her friend Cooper. While Ruby is not one to abuse her power, sometimes she can get away with it – in this instance, a way to get the bartender’s attention for a drink. Here’s how she does it:

            “She focused her gaze on the drunk guy who’d caught the bartender and let a wave of energy roll off her towards him. She narrowed her eyes, mentally suggested the man get a cab. A second later, the man paused mid-conversation, blinked as though waking up from a nap. He cut off the bartender, shaking his head, and walked out the door without another word. Ruby could see him through the window as he hailed the first banana yellow taxi down the block.

Then she turned her eyes on the bartender, who’d taken the opportunity to grab a sip of water. As soon as he felt Ruby’s eyes on him, he dropped what he was doing and looked around the area until he found her. Like a moth to a flame, he headed straight over, ignoring all the others who tried to flag him down for a drink.”

So while Ruby and others are certainly terrific witches with firepower behind them, I wanted to do it in a way that relates back to the reader as a normal human. Ruby’s gift is rare, but not as powerful as some might think. Most with her gift can only give suggestions in a thought or give people headaches. And most witches in my world perform self-protection spells to avoid getting caught in magical crosshairs, so it’s not even like Ruby can go around controlling everyone in her path.

            In doing things this way, I hope it’s easier for readers to get caught up in the excitement and emotions of the story. They can relate to the characters, but also see themselves in this normal city. Don’t we all like the idea of magic hiding right underneath our noses? 

About the Author:

Liz Long is lucky enough to have a dream career in magazine publishing as an editor and writer, yet still have time to create adventures on the side. If you catch her staring off into space or talking to herself, don’t worry – it’s just her imagination at work.

Liz graduated from Longwood University with a BA in English, though her professors might be disappointed to hear she reads more fantasy fiction than literary novels. She also loves action and thriller genres. This book probably won’t change your life, but she hopes it steals you away from reality for a while. 

Her newest release, Witch Hearts, will be for sale on Amazon on April 30th. Her first book, Gifted, a Donovan Circus Novel, is also available for paperback and Kindle on Amazon.

To learn more about Liz, visit her website:

Author Links:
Twitter: (Handle: @LizCLong)!/LizCLong

Amazon: NOT YET LISTED   Goodreads


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