Guest Post: “Creating Crystal Magic” by Laurence MacNaughton + Book & Crystal Giveaway (INT)!
***The giveaway is now over, thanks to everyone who entered!***
Magic. Demons. Impending apocalypse. All this and more can be found in Laurence MacNaughton’s new urban fantasy novel It Happened One Doomsday, which is out now from Pyr Books! Dru, the story’s heroine is hardly one of the best sorcerers in the world, but she sure can do some impressive things with her nifty crystal magic. Sound like a fun ride? I thought so too. Today I am thrilled to welcome the author himself to The BiblioSanctum to tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the fascinating magic system in his book, and I hope you will enjoy Laurence’s post as much as I did! We’re also very excited about this cool giveaway opportunity, so be sure to check it all out!
CREATING CRYSTAL MAGIC FOR IT HAPPENED ONE DOOMSDAY
by Laurence MacNaughton
In my new book, IT HAPPENED ONE DOOMSDAY, I wanted to create an utterly unique system of magic. Something you’ve never seen before in an Urban Fantasy novel. But hasn’t it all been done?
Maybe not. By chance, I had a brief (and rather odd) conversation with Dan Aykroyd from Ghostbusters, who’s a big believer in the metaphysical properties of crystals. He uses Herkimer diamonds to filter impurities out of his private-label brand of vodka.
Weird. But weird stuff inspires me, so I decided to explore the idea of crystal magic. That’s something I haven’t seen anyone do before.
As it turns out, some people believe that a pure quartz crystal can cleanse your soul.
Or that amethyst protects you against psychic attack.
Citrine supposedly brings wealth, when you place it in the back left corner of your house.
Halite (rock salt) dissolves negative energy.
Interesting, I thought. What would happen if I dialed these properties up to a super-power level?
What if a sorcerer could use crystals to cast powerful spells: levitation, invisibility, and so on?
I decided to go out and do some research. And what I discovered was fascinating.
The towns in the Rocky Mountains where I live are rife with rock shops and lapidaries, some of them little more than a room in someone’s house. If you know where to look, you can find some pretty cool stuff.
Take galena, for example. It’s a blocky crystal that shines like chrome. Scientifically speaking, it’s a lead ore with a low melting point. It also contains up to 2% silver.
But from a spiritual standpoint, it was used in ancient Egypt to line the eyes of the pharaohs. It may have been intended to give them second sight, possibly to protect against evil curses.
The heroine in my book, Dru, can use galena to fight demons.
At one rock shop, I talked to a guy who had found some impressive galena crystals in a mine in Missouri. There was so much groundwater in the rock over that mine that it dripped everywhere, constantly. They had to rig up corrugated steel on scaffolding inside the mine shaft to shield the workers and digging equipment from the underground rain.
Weird. But as you know, weird stuff inspires me.
In my book, Dru Jasper is the bookish owner of The Crystal Connection, a shop that sells potions, charms, and enchanted crystals to the powerful sorcerers who fight against evil. The “real” sorcerers don’t give Dru any respect – but what happens when her crystal powers become the key to saving the world?
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
After a moment’s consideration, Dru picked up a shiny chunk of galena. Like most galena crystals, it looked like it had been formed from a half-dozen different little cubes all fused together, and it had a dark mirror-like sheen, like a highway patrolman’s sunglasses.
She took a moment to weigh the crystal in her hand, until she could feel the faint whispers of its energy synchronizing with hers. “Here. Let me have your hand.”
Greyson put his arm on the counter, and she pushed back the sleeve of his leather jacket. When she touched the galena to his wrist, the crystal popped with a cold blue flare of light, like an old-fashioned photo flash, accompanied by a sinister sizzling sound.
Greyson yanked his arm off the counter and sucked his breath in through his teeth.
“Wow,” Dru said, with a little thrill of triumph, mixed with a tinge of surprised fear. She’d never seen galena react so spectacularly before. “Bingo. Looks like we have a demon.”
I grew up in a creaky old colonial house in Connecticut that I was pretty sure was haunted. As a kid, I was a choirboy in a church that was built in 1754. I also pounded out stories on a black manual typewriter until I sold my first magazine article at age 19. Over the years, I’ve been a bookseller, typesetter, printer, copywriter and (somewhat randomly) a prototype vehicle test driver. When I’m not writing, I bike and hike the Colorado Rockies, explore ghost towns and wrench on old cars. But the whole time, I’m usually thinking about the book I’m going to write next. I love connecting with readers, so click here to contact me.
It Happened One Doomsday + Galena Crystal Giveaway
Interested in checking out It Happened One Doomsday? Well, you’re in luck! With thanks to the author and the publisher, the BiblioSanctum is pleased to be hosting this amazing giveaway for a chance to win one print copy of the book plus a genuine galena crystal like the one you see in the image above! This giveaway is open internationally, so come one come all! To enter, all you have to do is send an email to email@example.com with your Name and valid Mailing Address using the subject line “IT HAPPENED ONE DOOMSDAY” by 11:59pm Eastern time on Friday, July 22, 2016.
Only one entry per household, please. The winner will be randomly selected when the giveaway ends and then be notified by email. All information will only be used for the purposes of contacting the winner and sending them their prizes. Once the giveaway ends all entry emails will be deleted.
So what are you waiting for? Enter to win! Good luck!
***And there’s more! You can also visit Laurence’s website for details on an extra chance to win a demon-fighting galena crystal of your very own! To enter, just visit this page and subscribe to his author newsletter.***