When John’s father dies, he finds a box hidden away in his father’s things. Opening it changes John’s life forever when he is suddenly initiated to the dying world of magic. Followed by a half-naked tribesman (that only John can see), stalked by powerful mages, and faced with his own failings he still has to find a way to pay his rent and keep his sanity. He would also like to not lose the girl of his dreams in the process.
Targeted Age Group:: 16 to adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I saw a documentary about fractals and string theory while sleep deprived. It got me to daydreaming about different things kinds of magic. Then when I sat down to write it I decided that it needed to look at some of the bigger issues that mages might face.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I walked around Chicago and tried to imagine the kinds of places my main character would go and who he would meet there. I also wanted found characters just announcing themselves in the story.
The cold winter air was a welcome slap in the face. It was bracing and reassuring as he walked to the Brown Line stop on Montrose. It was a long walk, and he could have taken the Red Line and transferred, but there was a screaming urgency for direct lines in John’s mind. It was reinforced when he sat down on the L, and the Tribesman was in the window seat next to him. For a brief instant, John was enraged, and he could feel himself getting hot on the back of his neck. He opened his mouth to let his imaginary friend have a few choice words, when he noticed how startled the Tribesman looked and slowly realized that he was startled about John. In a flash of realization, John knew that the Tribesman knew somehow that he was different.
There was a silent and awkward moment that was broken when the Tribesman picked up a bright plastic bag that had been tucked by his feet, pulled out a doughnut that was apparently filled with over sweet fake jelly, and offered it to John with a sorrowful smile. John accepted the doughnut; it was fresh, still warm. He took a bite of it without taking his eyes off the Tribesman, who fidgeted with his spear and plastic bag.
“I’m sorry,” said the tribesman, with a British accent better suited to high tea than doughnuts and spears. John was so shocked he stopped in mid bite. “We had no idea you had a complete Primer. We . . . I thought you just had a fragment, like Owen’s. Had I known . . .” He shook his head sadly, and his iron gray dreadlocks swayed gently. They reminded John of a weeping willow.
“Help me with this,” John asked.
“I can’t yet. You have set in motion a storm of events that is still gaining strength. If you survive it, we’ll talk. I’ll tell you this, though: There is no turning back.” With that, the Tribesman’s pattern folded itself flat, then bent in on itself and he vanished along a thin golden thread that arced south and over the horizon.
John sat there in a frustrated silence till it was time to get off the train.
Owen’s pawn shop was surrounded by police cars with their lights on. There were a few news vans across the street and directly in front of the door was an ambulance with its lights off. John was filled with a sense of dread as he walked towards the yellow police tape that kept a small crowd at bay and was watched over by a young officer.
“What happened?” John asked, trying not to sound anxious.
“Nothing, move along.” It almost sounded like a damn joke.
“I work here; what happened?”
“Wait here.” The officer stepped back and conferred with his radio in hushed tones. After a few moments, he stepped forward and asked him; “You John Carter?”
“Yeah.” John answered, wondering how bad it could be. After all, the FBI was supposedly already watching him.
“The detectives want to talk to you.” The officer lifted the yellow tape and escorted him into the store, where a number of plainclothes cops were leaning against the counter talking. The door to the back room was open, and John could see a lot of activity, but had a hard time figuring out what was going on.
“You Carter?” asked one of the cops. He had on a cheap winter coat over layers of clothing and looked anything but police-like.
“Yeah. Is Owen OK?”
“When was the last time you saw him?” asked his partner, who was dressed like he either had just left or was on his way to a dance club.
“A couple of days ago, when I was at work. I called yesterday, but no one answered. Is Owen all right?” John was getting fed up with having the police in his life so often.
“He was shot and killed this morning. Do you know anyone that would wanna hurt him?”
“No, he’s dead. I’m real sorry, but did he have any enemies?” The detective’s tone of voice didn’t change, he was being patient with John, or as patient as he could be.
“No.” How was he gonna explain that there was some model perfect bitch that threatened to kill them both without explaining why. What was he supposed to do say; “Oh, yeah. There is this one woman who is pissed off because we weren’t discrete enough when we killed a magical madman that I created somehow.” John was a lot of things, but dumb enough to say that was not one of them.
“How long you been working for him?”
“A couple of months.”
“You own a gun?”
“Why don’t I believe you?”
About the Author:
Andrew lives in Chicago with his small family that consists of two cats (one seems to be an ancient vampire and the other a reincarnated serial killer), a dog (she works part time as a lake monster), and his amazing and supportive wife, Karen. She is also his editor, proof reader, and test audience. When he explains how he comes up with his ideas he usually says; “I cheat! I have ADHD and work in a locked psychiatric unit.”
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