Today I’d like to welcome Sonya Clark, the author of the totally awesome blend of urban fantasy/paranormal/dystopian romance that is Trancehack (reviewed here).
by Sonya Clark
Trancehack is set in a dark future where witches are identified at birth and sent to live in urban zones with no rights of citizenship. The reason they were sent to urban zones specifically is because of the lack of understanding of magic by Normals who made the laws. Normals believed that being forced to live in an urban environment would mute the nature-oriented magic practiced by witches. What they didn’t know is that magic in this world is about more than fire, earth, air, and water. For some witches in the Magic Born world, it’s also about neon, concrete, cyberspace, and music.
When I decided I wanted to play with ideas on urban magic, I knew I didn’t want to just transplant the usual stuff encountered in fiction into city environs. I wanted to see if I could stretch my own ideas about magic, where to find it, and how to use it. The first thing I did was figure out basic correspondences: fire = neon, earth = concrete and steel, air = cyberspace, and water = music. I played around with ways the city elements could be used. One in particular really set off my imagination: the idea of using astral projection to enter cyberspace. This is where the book gets its name – trancehacking.
I’d already drawn from one childhood influence in creating the Magic Born world – Blade Runner. Both the movie’s future-noir sensibility and the sprawling metropolis that is almost a character unto itself were in the back of my mind while writing parts of Trancehack. When I started thinking about what it would be like to travel through cyberspace as just an entity of consciousness, temporarily apart from the body, I thought of another movie from childhood – Tron. I’ll be the first one to admit Tron hasn’t aged as well as Blade Runner, but both movies left a mark on my young imagination. When I found out the sequel to Tron did not involve exploring the internet, I lost interest in the movie and never saw it. It’s just as well because then I was able to let my imagination run wild. Here’s the first time witch Calla Vesper trancehacks in the book:
“Enchantress of Numbers, guide my journey,” she intoned. With a push of her will she sent magic into her wand and from there flowing into the cable. While Calla’s body sat on the hard floor of a filthy abandoned building, her consciousness slipped into cyberspace with practiced ease. Familiar blue-white light formed at the edge of the darkness. Dots and lines not unlike the city lights at night glowed brighter as she settled more fully into the different environment.
The small handful of witches like Calla who are able to trancehack have to hide their abilities from Magic Born and Normal alike, lest they wind up lab rats or worse. Even so, they’re able to do a lot of good for the Magic Born by hacking for information, as well as doing other things with their unique gifts. The Magic Born are up against bigotry, poverty, and the law itself, so they need all the advantages they can get.
And I have to admit, combining magic and technology was a lot of fun, too.
Sonya Clark grew up a military brat and now lives in Tennessee with her husband and daughter. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance with a heavy helping of magic and lots of music for inspiration. Learn more at her website. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Sonya is kindly giving away a digital copy of Trancehack. To enter, use the Rafflecopter below.