October 31st, 2012


Enchanted Questions, Halloween Edition

Happy Halloween! It's Enchanted, Inc. question time again!

Where did Owen get the magic-detecting necklace he gave Katie for Christmas? At one point James started to ask about it, but Gloria cut him off like she didn't want the subject brought up. It seemed like the necklace's origins might be rather interesting…

Sorry to disappoint you, but that bit was more about illustrating character than setting up a plot point. Owen bought the necklace and then put a spell on it. Owen gets his magical geekiness from James, even though they're not biologically related, so James was all eager to talk theory and technique about the exact spell Owen came up with. Gloria shut down the conversation before they went off into a rabbit hole that would bore everyone else. It was sort of a "don't even get him started on that subject or we'll never hear the end of it" situation.

I wondered about the crystal balls in the Enchanted, Inc. series. Are they only used inside the building of MSI or do they work like a network as the internet for the magic community?

They're sort of the magical Internet, though I have to admit that I haven't really done much with that concept. It's difficult to explore it in much depth when they don't work for the viewpoint character. The crystal balls are a remnant from my first envisioning of this magical world, when I was trying to depict what a magical office would be like and finding magical equivalents for ordinary things. In other words, it looked cool and was an instant sign that magic was afoot. I think I was trying too hard to be like the Harry Potter universe, where the magical world and the normal world are totally distinct and have entirely different technology. Since then, the development has gone in different directions, but I make sure to keep the crystal balls there so I don't just drop it entirely. In a way, it's very convenient that they don't work for Katie because I can stay vague about it and still keep them in the picture.

And then a question I've been getting a lot of lately:
I'm frightfully curious if you have any idea as to whether you'll be digitally publishing Book 7, or if it will be exclusive to the Japanese publisher?

I don't know for sure yet. I'm still writing the book, so I haven't made any decisions, and it will have to be something I discuss with my agent, since I'm doing the digital publishing through her platform. Books 5 and 6 have been fairly successful, but I don't know for sure what the return on investment has been, and I don't know what else might happen between now and when I'd even have the book ready for publication, so I'm not going to say anything definitive, though I would say that it looks likely, but I have no idea what the timetable would be. Vague enough for you?

I think that's all the questions I had that I haven't answered yet, though I've let my e-mail get way out of control, so I may have lost some.

In other news, speaking of book 7, I had a bit of a breakthrough yesterday, one of those things that seems kind of "duh" in retrospect, but that somehow didn't occur to me until now, and it will really change things for the better. It was so big that it took me a while to wrap my brain around it and figure out how the ripple effect will go.

So, my Halloween plans mostly involve writing. There's no choir, and I seldom get trick-or-treaters. There aren't a lot of kids in my part of the neighborhood, and my house faces a courtyard instead of a street, so the front door isn't visible from the street. There may be some goodies for me, and when I'm not writing, I've got a good ghost story to read.