Allie Therin’s new book, Starcrossed, it out today. She stopped by to talk about the book. Thanks Allie!
When Smexy Books invited me to blog on incorporating the supernatural into my Magic in Manhattan series, the first thing I thought of was my recent privilege of speaking to author Dana Staves’s class about my (still very new!) experiences with publishing. They asked great questions, including whether I thought world-building/fantasy elements have their own development arc the way the plot and characters do.
What a great way to look at it! Because yes, I think they do. If you’ve seen the movie Star Wars: A New Hope, for example, you know we don’t learn everything there is to know about the Force in the opening scene. As the movie unfolds, so does the world-building, tied to the plot and characters. When Luke starts to use the Force, we’re invested. It means something personal to him, and by extension, to us. (I have a seven year old; Star Wars is my go-to analogy these days.)
Seeing the world-building develop across a series is something many romance fans love as well. In paranormal romance, we’ve got our love story front and center; whatever magical elements we add, we still need to give our readers characters that find their way to a happy ending. But it’s still fun to see supernatural elements play off each other, and the stakes getting higher or maybe more personal. Characters grow and change and the world grows with them. In Charlie Adhara’s Big Bad Wolf series, for example, we follow the protagonist, Cooper Dayton, as he slowly learns more of the world’s werewolf lore from the initially mysterious Oliver Park. In Jenn Burke’s Not Dead Yet series, we see the main character Wesley’s magic grow and change. In Jordan Hawk’s Hexworld, we follow a new couple in each book, but the fantastical alternate 1890s New York they live in–full of hexes, witches, and familiars–twists and deepens as the series goes on.
Incorporating a supernatural arc into the Magic in Manhattan series has meant trying to tie it to the romance–and everything else in the book, especially the 1920s New York setting. In Starcrossed, Arthur and Rory spend time in the upstate New York town of Hyde Park, a popular retreat for the wealthy in the early 20th century. It gave me a chance to tie Rory’s magic to the history of the Hudson River: which bridges existed by 1925 and how ice dealers and other cars still drove across the ice. Later in the story, we see how Rory’s magic has developed as he scries Lady Lennox, the name in 1925 for the beautiful marble lion now known as Fortitude that sits on the north side of the steps at the New York Public Library’s flagship location. In the 1920s, ocean liners were still the way people traveled across the sea, and as the story goes on, the supernatural arc grows enough to be tied to these giant ships.
Paranormal and fantasy romance are two of my very favorite genres, both as a writer and a reader. So many thanks to Dana’s class for getting my mind started down the path of supernatural arcs in romance!
About the Book
Title: Starcrossed, Magic in Manhattan, #2, by Allie Therin
When everything they’ve built is threatened, only their bond remains…
New York, 1925
Psychometric Rory Brodigan’s life hasn’t been the same since the day he met Arthur Kenzie. Arthur’s continued quest to contain supernatural relics that pose a threat to the world has captured Rory’s imagination—and his heart. But Arthur’s upper-class upbringing still leaves Rory worried that he’ll never measure up, especially when Arthur’s aristocratic ex arrives in New York.
For Arthur, there’s only Rory. But keeping the man he’s fallen for safe is another matter altogether. When a group of ruthless paranormals throws the city into chaos, the two men’s strained relationship leaves Rory vulnerable to a monster from Arthur’s past.
With dark forces determined to tear them apart, Rory and Arthur will have to draw on every last bit of magic up their sleeves. And in the end, it’s the connection they’ve formed without magic that will be tested like never before.
About the Author
Allie Therin is a writer and avid reader of sci-fi, fantasy, and romance. She also is, or has been, a bookseller, an attorney, a Parks & Rec assistant, a boom operator, and a barista for one (embarrassing) day. Allie grew up in a tiny Pacific Northwest town with more bears than people, although the bears sadly would not practice Spanish with her. Allie loves to hear from readers! Find all the ways to connect with her at her website, www.allietherin.com, or sign up for her “book news only” email list.