Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Magic & the Writer

Posted by: Susan Edwards
Susan Edwards ~ Myth, Magic & Wonder

When I first started writing historical romances, there wasn’t any magic or paranormal in my stories. After all, I wrote straight historicals. Right? Wrong! In keeping with Native American elements and beliefs, my hero’s mother had the gift of sight (White Wind Nov 2011). Okay, that was part of their world, this connection to the land, animals and spirits. In looking back, my second book also had this aspect and my third.... See a theme growing here?
In each book, I was pulling in more of the Native American spiritual/mythology into a non-paranormal world. Up to this point, I still hadn’t really considered those type of traits or gifts as magical or paranormal.

But a funny thing started to happen by the time I was writing my tenth and eleventh book. I was now ACTIVELY seeking more of the mystical elements to include in my world yet what I used still fit into the historical/Native American world. I was just using more of it, going deeper with it and expanding it. My books were immersed in paranormal and yep, might as well say it, magic! I was towing a fine line between Native American and Paranormal--and loving every minute of it for it was truly a creative process.

By the time I finished book eleven, I was hooked. I loved what I was doing within my boundaries and now I wanted to really write using paranormal and magic freely. I did so with book twelve, Summer of the Eagle (April 2012) which features a race of people who could DO cool things.

What changed from my early books? Well, the internet certainly opened more doors and with it, more possibilities! Then came the world of internet and the wealth of information at my fingertips! Suddenly I wasn’t just writing about characters in a historical setting but about the magic of living with an open mind to possibilities.

And possibilities is where I believe magic truly lies. The magic in my writing spilled over into my life as I discovered the magic that surrounds each of us, each day if we only open our eyes and mind.
Don’t believe me? Go for a walk and don’t just look at your neighbor’s houses or cars. Focus in on the beauty of the neighborhood trees, the flowers, the tiny blooms we seldom pay attention too. Lift your eyes as you walk to your car from the asphalt to the sky. Maybe you’ll see the faint shape of the moon looking down at you.
Spend a few moments gazing out your kitchen window. Can you see the birds perched on a tree or bush? How about that tiny hummingbird sitting on that very thin branch? What about the fact that we wake up to a new, bright day. Everyday. And that new day is filled with possibilities: a caring word, a child’s hug and kiss, a long awaited phone call (The Call)? So much is possible yet we seldom give it thought. The freedom to just be.

And if you are a writer, how about the magic of sitting down at your computer to write, doing something that we love (even if it is work at times). We create worlds that whether or not there is magic or paranormal elements, there certainly is magic. Connecting with even one reader in a meaningful way (even to just give that reader time away from the mundane world) is magic. And in the true style of connecting back to the Native American world that I love, I bring you back full circle: to your books and mine and the magic they contain.

So even if you do not write in the paranormal or magical genre, you have the chance to write magically. And if you are not a writer, you can live magically. Smile at a stranger, offer a few kind words. Who knows, you might bring magic into the lives of others. And you know what? It just keeps going. The magic we call life.

What’s magical about your life? Your writing? If you could do anything, be anything, write anything, what would it be, why and what is magical about it to you? Inquiring minds want to know <g>.

Coming November 2011, Carina Press (no new covers yet) look for White Dawn, White Dusk, White Shadows and White Wind. Check out my website at for updated news and excerpts along with a member only area for my readers. You can also sign up for my newsletter. Note: New covers should be available for view during August!
Original White Covers


  1. Like you, I enjoy the magic of the everyday--nature, the kids (even when they make me nuts). When I write, I can often hit that magical groove whether I'm describing a woman interacting with the ghost of her best friend or explaining how different mining techniques work on a far-off planet. It's the best feeling in the world as a writer : )

  2. You're absolutely right, Susan. The small details in our world make all the difference.

  3. Cathy--maybe the gift of an imagination and the abillity to translate that to words on a page is also magic. It certainly is a gift.

    Cindy-- when it come down to it, it's the small details that make the difference between wow and blah.

  4. I find my vegetable garden magical. And not because it contains the odd fairy or magical herb. It never ceases to amaze me how a tiny seed can be stuck in the dirt and end up as the carrot or lettuce I eat for dinner.

  5. A wonderful post. I agree -- take time to enjoy/celebrate the small things

  6. I know what you mean about native cultures. My first teaching job was on the Lower Sioux Dakotah community, in MN, and My ex-husband is full-blooded Ojibwe. I was very fortunate to be included in many ceremonies not often attended by non-native people, including tow sun dances. I developed a very healthy respect for all things spiritual and mystical.

  7. Oh, totally agree. And if you can't see the magic in the world around you, you can't communicate that sense of wonder in your writing. Great post:)

  8. Thank you everyone! I enjoyed writing this post!


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