Monday, March 15, 2010

Guest Author - Devon Monk (Guest Post & ARC Giveaway)


My guest today is Devon Monk, author of the popular Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy series which includes Magic to the Bone (2008), Magic in the Blood (May 2009), Magic in the Shadows (November 2009) and the forthcoming Magic On the Storm (May 4).  She is also a member of the Deadline Dames group blog along with authors Rachel Vincent, Lilith Saintcrow, Jenna Black, Karen Mahoney, Rinda Elliot, Toni Andrews and Jackie Kessler. A pretty talented bunch!

Devon is pretty excited about Magic On the Storm (coming May 4) and thinks you will be too. So much so that we have not one, but two (2) Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) of the book ready to be won by some lucky commenters (details at the end of the post). Anyone winning a copy is welcome to do a guest review of the book here at SciFiGuy.ca (optional but not required to enter).


I asked Devon if she would  do a guest post talking about the rich world-building and magic system that she employs in the series, and of course I was also curious to know what other interesting projects were in the works (steampunk anyone?). Devon was happy to accommodate and I think readers new to her books and those already fans will find something that piques their curiosity.

Devon will be happy to answer your questions, so the comments floor is now open. With that said, welcome Devon!


Thanks for having me here, Doug.

One of the great questions I’m asked about the Allie Beckstrom series, is how I came up with the world building, and how I am handling what is (hopefully) a nine-book story arc.

The Allie Beckstrom books started out as a short story–which was rejected. Why is this important (besides being a reminder to never give up, never surrender?) Because writing a short story takes a different frame of mind than a novel-length work.

A short story needs engaging characters, original world building, and a tight conflict, in under ten thousand words (in the case of the Allie Beckstrom short story, six thousand words.) Which means you must know your world on an instinctive and intuitive level and also on a practical, logical level. A short story only hints at the bigger picture, but those hints must impact the story and paint a full, richly detailed world.

So my basic world building was done on a short story level. I needed a character in a modern city where magic and business collided. I came up with three or four ideas I liked but decided were too common-place. And then I found Allie.

She isn’t a police officer or a private detective or a bounty hunter. She isn’t all powerful. She’s a woman trying to help the people she cares about by Hounding (magically tracing old spells back to the user who cast them) despite the demands and expectations of her rich, controlling father, who owns one of the most powerful magic-and-technology integration companies in the world.

I got to thinking that if magic were real–as common as electricity or natural as water–it would probably cost us something to use. There’s no free lunch in real life, and I wanted to treat Allie’s world with the same rules as the real world. So magic is easy to access and anyone can use it. But magic costs something. And that cost is pain.

The ramifications of that kind of power and that kind of price available to *anyone* blew open a world of possibilities. What would be worth using magic for, if magic made you hurt? Saving a child’s life? Curing disease? Revenge?

When Allie uses magic, she not only pays the price in pain, she also sometimes loses her memory. Magic use, for her, comes at a very high price. Additionally, her father has made enemies with shady, powerful people who use magic in ways never imagined. Allie gets thrown into a situation with illegal magic that’s way over her head.

That was the basic set up for the short story.

When the short story was rejected, I breathed a sigh of relief. I’d been thinking about the world a lot, and about Allie and her father and Zayvion. There was a larger story hinted at–a whole series of events the story (chapter) sets up. I knew it would take nine books to tell the full story.

That is not to say I had it outlined, scene-by-scene, but I knew who was ultimately behind the evil-doings, and good-doings, and what they wanted. I knew what other people wanted and would risk. I knew what Allie wanted and would risk. For her to reach her goals, she must question her love, trust, and sense of identity, while fighting for her life and the life of the people she cares about. But Allie never gives up no matter how badly the odds are stacked against her. I love that about her.

Right now I am contracted for six books in the series. MAGIC ON THE STORM comes out in May. Book five, MAGIC AT THE GATE will be out in November. STORM opens up a whole new layer of problems for Allie, and pushes her to make decisions that will change her life. GATE focuses on the fall-out from those choices, and introduces a deeper danger she must face. I am currently writing the sixth book (untitled) that will tie up some of these conflicts, and push forward the conflicts introduced in book one, MAGIC TO THE BONE.

I hope to write books seven through nine, which will finally answer all the questions and get Allie to that ending I’ve had in mind for her all along. That is not to say they will be the last books in the Allie Beckstrom world. Book nine will introduce new challenges for Allie and the gang, but the big story first introduced in the short story and first chapter of MAGIC TO THE BONE, will finally be resolved.

And while I am so excited to share Allie’s world with readers, I do have a couple other projects in the works.

I’ve sold another series that is also a blast to write. Set in the steampunk American West of the 1800's, the first book, (tentatively titled Deadman’s Moon) won’t probably be out until 2011. It features Cedar Hunt, a cursed bounty hunter in the wilds of the west where steam technology, magic, and gunslingers collide. Not exactly “urban” fantasy, this story is told in a slightly different style than the Allie Beckstrom books, but has strong characters who love, risk, and aren’t afraid to fight, in what I hope will be one heck of an adventure. Plus, there’s a new and different take on magic in these books.

My other project is a collection of short stories, (tentatively titled, A Cup of Normal) that will be out from Fairwood Press in the fall of this year. This collection of dark fantasy, science fiction and humor stories will also include short stories that have never been printed. Again, these stories aren’t “urban” fantasy, but they explore fears, hopes, joys and interesting “what-if” questions that come from looking at our real world through the lens of the fantastic.

Thank you again for having me, Doug! I’ll be checking in to answer questions, or to just spend a little time chatting.

GIVEAWAY GUIDELINES:
  1. Two (2) ARCs (thats the one without the fancy cover) of Magic on the Storm to giveaway courtesy of Devon Monk.
  2. Leave a comment or question for Devon or for the fun of it, suggest a title for Books 7, 8 or 9 in keeping with the titling used so far Magic...
  3. Open to US and Canada.
  4. Leave a way to notify you if you should win.
  5. Blog, tweet, post on Facebook or other social network sites for an extra entry. Leave a comment here to let me know.
  6. Giveaway open until Midnight, March 22, 2010 EST.
AUTHOR and BOOK SHOWCASEOfficial Devon Monk Website

Read an excerpt.

Penguin Group (USA)
Published: May 4, 2010
ISBN #:  9780451463272
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368

Allie Beckstrom/Magic Series
  1. Magic to the Bone (2008)
  2. Magic in the Blood (May 2009)
  3. Magic in the Shadows (November 2009)
  4. Magic on the Storm (May 4, 2010)
  5. Magic at the Gate (November 2010)
  6. Untitled (5/2011)

Biography:
Devon Monk has one husband, two sons, and a dog named Mojo. She lives in Oregon and is surrounded by colorful and numerous family members who mostly live within dinner-calling distance of each other. She has sold over fifty short stories to fantasy, science fiction, horror, humor, and young adult magazines and anthologies. Her stories have been published in five countries and included in a Year's Best Fantasy collection. When not writing, Devon is either knitting, remodeling the house-that-was-once-a-barn, or hosting a family celebration.

98 comments:

  1. I'd love to see how you handle a steampunk novel. Deadman’s Moon is going on my wish list :)

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  2. Devon, This sounds like a great serial and I can't wait to begin reading. I hate to admit I had not heard of your work before. Your new project also sounds like a winner. Did you think that you would be as well known as you are? Do you enjoy writing?
    Thanks for stopping by.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  3. I've heard you used to write a lot of short fiction. Was it difficult to jump from primarily short fiction to a career writing novels?

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  4. I love this series and can't wait for the next installment! Allie's world is so diverse and her character is so gritty and easy to like - a very sexy heroine you just find yourself cheering for. I loved hearing how you started with a short story. I just can't believe you were able to build that world in such a small amount of text. It's a fantastic world!! And I must say I have dreams about Zayvion :D He is HOT! Anyone in particular you based his character on?

    wendyhines (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  5. What a great post. Thanks for that and the giveaway. I have some ideas. Magic of the Soul.
    Magic in the pain. Magic in the Aura. What do you think?

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

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  6. Oh yes, I put this on my facebook.

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=name&id=100000384250939

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

    Magic of the windows of the soul.
    Magic in all Hours.

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  7. What a awesome post and thanks for the giveaway. I just [this past Friday] got your first 3 books in the mail and I can't wait to start reading them. I've heard such wonderful things! Your new projects sound interesting, I'll have to tell others.

    I've heard your a crochet lover, how did you get in to doing that?

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  8. How about Magic On the Run or Magic in the House?

    I am really enjoying your series - very much. I'm looking forward to the next book, (and the next, and the next, etc)

    Your new series also looks very interesting. Already somehting to look forward to in 2011. Nice.

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  9. Definitely adding this series to my TBR list.

    My random ideas for titles
    Magic of the Soul (I think someone already listed one similiar to this)
    Magic in the Mind
    or Magic in the Memories

    brittanynoelleATgmailDOTcom

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  10. How about Magic on the Hoof? Magic in a Cup? Magic After Hours?

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  11. Devon,

    I've really been enjoying the Magic series and I'm glad that you have more planned. Do you have any plans to move into Young Adult fiction in the future?

    sgiden AT verizon DOT net

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  12. Wow, so many great comments already!

    Abigail--Thank you! I'm really loving the steampunk book, and hope readers like it when it comes out.

    Misskallie2000--Thank you for stopping in and taking a look at the books. I love writing. Even on the bad days, it's still the favorite job I've ever had. I don't know how well known I am yet. It still surprises me when someone working at a book store recognizes my name when I'm buying books, Lol! :)

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  13. Katherine--I always wanted to write novels, so that was the career I was aiming for. It wasn't a difficult jump, but there is a different kind of "hustle" involved in each career. By "hustle" I mean deadlines, editorial input, submission process, revision process, marketing, research, etc. And some of that you can't learn until you're doing it--i.e. are selling short fiction or novels on a regular basis. There was a lot to learn in a short time after I sold the novel, even though I'd been doing my due diligence learning about the writing industry for years. You never stop learning in this biz, which is one thing I love about it. :)

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  14. Wendy--Yay! I'm so glad you are enjoying the books! Zayvion just showed up for the part. Literally. I wasn't planning him in the short story, but he just came strolling up on scene like he owned the place. He's not based on anyone. Man has a mind of his own. :)

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  15. Dor--Great title ideas! I actually pitched Magic of the Soul for book three, but we went with Magic in the Shadows instead. I am totally writing down your other suggestions though, thank you!

    (I tried the facebook link, but it won't open for me.) :(

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  16. I love these novels. The covers are so great. How about Magic in the Mountains?

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

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  17. DollKittnLuv--Oh! I hope you like the books! I do crochet, but I'm much more of a knitter. I knitted as a child, and re-taught myself a few years ago, and find it both stress-relieving and frustrating, Lol! I discovered I like knitting fun/strange things, like toys, fingerless gloves, cthulhu soap cozies, and odd stuff. I have a gallery on my web page of some of my knitting, and even a couple photo "stories" featuring my knit projects.

    Mardel--Thank you so much for reading! I am also stealing your title ideas to add to my list. :)

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  18. Britt--Thank you for the title ideas! I hope you like the books when you get a chance to read them.

    Zita--Great suggestions! They are on the list now. (And they are much better than the one my friend suggested: Magic up the Wazoo.) Lol!

    SandyG265--Thank you for reading! At the moment, I don't have any plans to write young adult novels. For the next couple of years, I'll be writing three novels a year (two Allie Beckstrom, one steampunk) and I can't see how I'd fit another novel in there time-wise. But if a really cool YA idea hit me, I'd totally go with it.

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  19. Sounds great! How about Magic in the Fire
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

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  20. Hi Devon! Any plans to take Allie out of her comfort zone? Go on a road trip somewhere else?

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  21. I can't wait to read.
    Please enter me.
    Thanks

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  22. Hi Devon,

    glad to see a title for your steam punkish western so excited to read it and all the new books. I am not going to suggest any titles for books because I am not good at naming things. well except for my animals.

    vickie

    vbarton24 at gmail dot com

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  23. If you haven't read the first three books, you need to! I love Allie and her friends. My hubby just finished them and can't wait for more *hehe*

    My favorite character to date? STONE! I'm really hoping to see lots more of him in the next books.

    BTW, I Tweeted this for you. {{{Hugs}}}

    debbie_mumford at hotmail dot com

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  24. hi Devon, new fan here, just started your Magic series! i have to say im really enjoying it :) also have just started following you on Twitter :) thank you for your works!

    i retweeted this contest! :)

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  25. I love all the Allie Beckstrom books. Can't wait 'till May!

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  26. I made sure to mention this blog at Facebook!

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  27. Hello Devon,

    Magic up the wazoo? lol. That just begs for a joke short story. Perhaps a fantasy match up between Allie and Cedar.

    I am surprised that Zayvion was not planned from the start. While I think Allie is a great main character I absolutely love the supporting cast.

    Has the addition of characters like Zayvion or Shame (or even stone, yeah stone!) altered your thinking about the main story arc?

    Magic From/In the Pain
    Magic Worth the Cost/Price

    mundanename gmail

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  28. Awesome Event! I have a title idea!
    "Magic in the Mist"
    "Magic at Midnight"

    Shared event link on facebook
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/Kate.and.Norm.Leger?ref=profile

    Kate
    aka YzhaBella
    http://www.yzhabellasbookshelf.blogspot.com/

    mleger0546 (at) rogers (dot)com

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  29. Bethie--thanks for reading! I love the covers too. Larry Rostant is the artist, and he is amazing! Thank you for the title suggestion, I'm putting it on the list. :)

    Throuthehaze--Magic in the Fire is a very nice title. Thank you! (it's on the list now)

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  30. SciFiGuy--Allie ends up getting away from Portland for a short while in book 5, MAGIC AT THE GATE. But it's not a traditional road trip. I did have a road trip on mind when I first envisioned the books, but it hasn't panned out yet. If I get to writer seven through nine, I might have a chance to get her and the gang out of the city and/or state. It'd be fun, that's for sure! Maybe I should send them somewhere I want to vacation--for research purposes, of course! ;)

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  31. Michael--Thanks for stopping in!

    Vickie--I'll let you in on a little secret...none of my books are the titles I first came up with the exception of MAGIC ON THE STORM. And I have a hard time naming my animals, Lol!

    Debbie--Great to see you here!Thank you so much for tweeting! And Stone is such a fun character. He showed up out of the blue too, and now I can't imagine the books without him. :)

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  32. I love the Allie Beckstrom books and I can't wait to read Deadman's Moon. How about Magic for Life? By the way, I posted a link to this on facebook.

    mirandawrites at comcast dot net

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  33. Also, can I just apologize for my lovely typos today? Lol! I'm low on coffee consumption. I'll remedy that and see if I can't keep the typos to a dull roar.

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  34. Jennzah--Pleased to e-meet you! Thank you for reading and for tweeting the contest. (I'll try to find you to follow you back on Twitter)

    Kari--Thank you for reading! Maybe you won't have to wait until May if you win an ARC here! Oh, and thanks for posting this on Facebook too.

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  35. Mundane--A joke short story mash-up? Don't give me ideas. No, wait...I could totally see this working. Good grief, I have a plot forming in my head already--and no time to write it, LOL!

    Zay showed up pretty quickly even in the short story, so even though I didn't plan him, he feels like he's always been a part of the book. I knew Shame was going to show up (he's seen very briefly at the end of book 2, MAGIC IN THE BLOOD) but yes, the additional characters have made me rethink how the main plot will resolve. I even have some first drafts wherein I killed off certain characters who are very much alive in the final printed version, and I think the books are better for that choice.

    Thank you for the great title suggestions!

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  36. Kate--Great title suggestions! They're on the list now. Thanks for posting on Facebook!

    Nichole--Thank you. I'm glad you're enjoying the books. Deadman's Moon is rocking fun to write, but then, so are the Allie Beckstrom books. :) Oh, and thanks for the title suggestion!

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  37. Hey Devon! :)
    I've really enjoyed the Allie Beckstrom series thus far though Magic in the Shadows didn't really capture me as much and I can't figure out why. One of the things I LOVE about the series is how you write Portland itself. For me it's almost another character. My great-grandparents lived in Portland when I was a kid so I remember visiting there from time to time. Was it important for you to use Portland as your setting or did you even consider other locales?

    (TY for having Devon over Doug!)

    -- Rhi

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  38. Rhianna--Maybe MAGIC IN THE SHADOWS was just too awesome to bear? *blinks innocently* LOL!! I am totally kidding!!

    Actually, that happens to me sometimes--one book in a series won't quite do what I expect/hope for, or sometimes I just don't "click" with the story when I'm reading it. I hope sometime you'll give MAGIC ON THE STORM a try and see if it "clicks" with you.

    As for your Portland question, when I first imagined the short story, I put it in a generic modern city. I don't even think I named it. But I'd had Portland, albeit a grittier version, in my mind all along. After I sold the book, my editor told me I needed to pick a city, or at least name the city where the story took place. That's when I officially chose Portland, then gleefully added in Portlandy details. Now I can't imagine it set anywhere else. :)

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  39. I love this series! Really interesting post.
    Magic to the Core?

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  40. Oh, and posted a link to the contest on facebook- http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?v=feed&story_fbid=369455553074&id=1625972197&ref=mf

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  41. Hmm...titles, never my strong suit! I always figure the title can come later when I'm working on my own. I want to be a writer really soon, have like 2 months left of college of getting my BA in English and a minor in writing.

    Anyway...Magic on the Rise?
    Magic Rising? (Don't know why I like "rise" so much! ;) )
    Magic on the Edge?

    Question for Devon: What kinds of books do you like to read in your free time?

    Will put a post on my blog before the end of today @ http://jessica-agreatread.blogspot.com

    Email to contact me: jessbess2505 at yahoo dot com

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  42. Hey Devon,

    It is amazing that you've managed to have Allie maintain her sense of personality through all the memory loss. I wish we'd get to see more of Allie's childhood somehow, because it tends to be the childhood things that are personality forming -- will we get that chance later?

    I like "Magic Bolts," or "Meridian Magic," but it sounds like some of the titles have been longer, so perhaps "Magic in the Threshold"?

    kimicat at gmail dot com

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  43. Bethany C--I think I pitched Magic to the Core once.*scratches head, trying to remember* I'll put it on the list just in case. Thank you, and thanks for cross posting to Facebook.

    Jessica--Congrats on almost being done with school! I like that title suggestion--on the list it goes.

    In my free time (when I'm not researching non-fiction text for writing) I like to read fantasy, urban fantasy, or anything with a paranormal twist. I'm also part of a book club, so I'm reading things I don't usually read, like biography and young adult. I think we're looking for a good mystery to read next month. Any suggestions?

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  44. Kimberkit--Ah, the memory issue. That is a polarizing subject for many readers, Lol!

    To answer your question: yes, we get to see more of Allie's past. Some bits in book five, MAGIC AT THE GATE, and, um...it's a nine-book series...so I don't want to say anything else, Lol!

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  45. Thanks for answering my question Devon!!

    kittn.paperbackdoll(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  46. Oh, Devon, I can't *wait* for that steampunk book... *counting down the days*

    I don't really have a question, so I thought I'd give some titles a try.

    I thought of: "Magic in the Moonlight" right away.

    But each of your titles seems to be 'raising the stakes', so to speak, and that doesn't really fit.

    "Magic In Madness" - maybe
    "Magic on the Flame" - hm
    "Magic at the Door" - It's the next step up from gate, but too similar probably.
    "Magic at the Threshold" - instead?

    Wow, this is hard.

    But maybe by book 9, Allie will get some time off, hm? Then we can call it: "Magic Curls Up on the Couch With a Book and Maybe a Spot of Tea & Some Knitting" ... Too long, you think? :)

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  47. Love this series. Just finished book one.

    Title ideas
    Magic on the Ground
    Magic in the Way
    Magic in the Lines

    I follow you on twitter.
    Page P.

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  48. Read all the books. Ilona's website recommended you. Love the series. Also, you are on my google reader, like your knitting work too

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  49. Posted on Twitter
    Page P.


    pagewrites@yahoo.com

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  50. I have been watching these books for some time on my to be read list.

    Book titles:
    Magic through my heart
    Magic turned to black

    Tweeted here: http://twitter.com/IntenseWhisper/status/10540035859

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

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  51. I'm hearing a lot about this series and I'm really eager to get started on it. I'm definitely putting the Allie Beckstrom series on my wish list. I always enjoy it when there are several books to a series out so I can read them all at once - I just bury myself in the books and don't stop until I've finished the last one. And then of course, I have to wait for the next installement, which is so hard!

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  52. I love the Allie novels and I can't wait 'til May! Thanks for the post Devon!

    ashley (dot) newcomb (at) asu (dot) edu

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  53. I haven't read any of these yet but they're on my look-out-for list.

    After reading your titles my head's spinning with Magic..., so I guess I'll throw out a few... Magic underwater, Magic in the dark, Magic in the stones...

    sdeeth at msn dot com

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  54. Dollkittnlov--sure thing!

    Kiaras--I'm counting down the days to the steampunk too. And you win Best. Allie. Beckstrom. Title. Evah! I totally want to use it, Lol!

    PageP--Thanks for the follow on Twitter. I'll try to find you and follow back! Great title suggestions. I have officially stolen them now.

    Sheyla--Thank you for reading and liking the books. I love Ilona's books too!! (and thanks for following!)

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  55. Robin K--Terrific title suggestions, thank you! I hope you enjoy the books when you get a chance to read them.

    Barbara E--Oh, Yay! Allie's on a wish list! Thank you. I love it when I stumble upon a series in progress so I can have plenty of books to read too!

    Sheila--I hope you like the books if you get a chance to read them. I have chapter excerpts on my web page if you want a quick taste. :) And thank you for the title suggestions. They're on the list!

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  56. Hey, Devon, Haven't read all the comments yet, but how about this for a Title...
    Magic on the Lam

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  57. nkarenf--Hey there! I like it! But it makes me want to go all noir. Think Allie could handle a Sam Spade monologue? (ooh, that would be fun!)

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  58. Devon.... Like Allie ISN'T noir?...with her memory problems she's ALWAYS in the dark! lolol Oh, there you go, how's this for titles?
    Magic in the Bed
    Magic in My Head
    Magic in the Dark
    Magic in the Park

    Take care, can't wait to read the next installment! Karen

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  59. Is Zayvion based on a person you know, like can you connect some of his personality to a particular person, or is he just a creation out of your mind? He's my favorite character in the series by far. His dual natures and loyalties fascinate me.

    Let's see, book titles...
    Magic on the Street
    Magic through the Lines
    Magic against the Wind
    Magic against the Odds
    Magic from the Ground(ing?)

    Anyway! I also advertised on my blog: http://www.ashleycrosby.com/blog/2010/03/15/magic-on-the-storm-arc-giveaway/

    e-mail: ashcro85(at)gmail(dot)com

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  60. Devon, I love these books and can't wait for May. (Here's hoping I don't have to!)

    Allie and Zayvion are two of the best urban fantasy characters. But I also fell in love with Shamus in Magic in the Shadows. The book mentions that he had the chance to see if he had a soul complement, but didn't take it. Was his potential soul complement Terric, who was mentioned at Allie's training session? If so, will we find out why he did not go through the test?

    Thanks!

    -Brooke
    bashton78 at gmail dot com

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  61. I have all your books and it would be absolutely awesome if I didn't have to wait till May! Call it an early birthday present because my birthday is on April Fools (1st). LOL. Anyways it would be amazing if you liked any of these possible titles:
    Magic in Mayhem
    Magic under Darkness
    Magic as the Moon Rises

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  62. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  63. thanks for the great interview and the chance to win an ARC.

    my suggestions (if someone else posted them already, sorry, didn't want to read through all the comments)

    Magic under the skin
    Magic from the heart
    Magic until the end
    Magic from the soul
    Magic for all time


    http://cheesebk.livejournal.com

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  64. I haven't read any of the books in this series yet but they have been on my wishlist for awhile. Though I absolutely love series, I'm a series wh*** and insist on having 3 or 4 in my hands before starting. Now with 4 out and 5 more to look forward to, time to take the plunge.
    I hate to wait for that next book in a series and will often collect them for years before picking them up. As much as I am looking forward to this series though you have certainly got me interested in your steampunk series. I love historical fiction also and can't believe that there aren't more books out there that combine the two. So "Deadman's Moon" is going to the top of my 2011 list. Any planned # of books for this series yet or too soon to tell?

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

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  65. How can I pass up a chance to read Magic on the Storm early? And of course, now that I'm here, I'll have to take a look at the rest of SciFiGuy's site. :)

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  66. Nkarenf--Hee! (and thanks for the title ideas too!)

    Ashley--Zayvion isn't based on anyone I know. As I said somewhere upstream in the comments, I hadn't expected him to be in the story. He just strolled onto the page and took his place. And I'm glad he did. :) Thank you for the title suggestions!

    Brooke--Ah, Shamus. He's too much fun, Lol! You'll find out why he refused to take the test in MAGIC ON THE STORM. You'll also find out who may have been his Soul Complement. Because that person shows up. Shame gets quite a lot of page time in STORM, actually. :)

    Jennifer Ebba--Thank you for reading and happy almost birthday! Very nice title suggestions--thank you! I'll put them on the list.

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  67. Cheesebk--Thank you for stopping in! Great title ideas, I'll get them on the list!

    Lisa R--I hope you like the books when you give them a try. I know what you mean about wanting to read more than one book in a series, but I usually can't wait that long before I dive in, Lol!

    Right now, I'm contracted to write two steampunk west novels. I think they'll come out one a year, as opposed to the Allie Beckstrom novels that come out two a year. Could there be more? It's certainly a rich world with characters I love. So I'd be willing to write more, but it all depends on if readers like it, buy it, and ask for more. :)

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  68. Anthea--Welcome here! He has a fabulous site. And good luck in the drawing!

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  69. I haven't gotten the chance to pick up the Magic books just yet but I really like the concept. There's definitely something intriguing about the concept of having magic and the consequences of using said magic.

    I am curious though, did you always know how many books you were going to finish the story in? How do you keep all the tibits and bits of info correct?

    Thanks so much
    chichai_haha at hotmail dot com

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  70. How behind am I? I haven't heard of this series yet (it's because I took a "fun book" break while being studious in college, I swear!)... Now my TBR list is like a block long, and yet I won't hesitate to add this series!

    Please enter me in the giveaway! Thanks!

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  71. I love this book series and can't wait for the next one to come out. It would be awesome to get it ahead of time too!!

    Some title ideas: Magic on the Wind
    Magic in the Water

    lilytiger at hotmail dot come

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  72. How about Magic on the Brain for your next title?

    angel28140 (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

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  73. ChiChai Hana--I hope you like the books if you give them a try. I knew from the start that it would be a nine-book series, or at least I knew it would take three sets of three books to tell about all the shenanigans going on. Keeping track of the details is a challenge. Also, new exciting ideas show up as I'm writing each book, so I'm constantly adding to the details.

    I outline a lot. And I fill up many spiral notebooks with notes. I even resorted to using a spreadsheet (by this time I was writing book 5, MAGIC AT THE GATE pretty much the middle book of the entire series) because I didn't want to forget anything.

    That being said, I have probably forgotten things, Lol!

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  74. Christa--I'm so happy to hear the fun book break is over (but good on you for putting education first!) I hope you'll enjoy when you get a chance to read them!

    Alexis--Thank you for reading!! And great titles too. I'll put 'em on the list.

    Angel2840--Totally putting that on the list too! Thank you!

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  75. Hiya Devon! I'm looking forward to Magic on the Storm! Will Larry Rostant also be doing pretty covers for your steampunk series or are cover art decisions super far into the future? :)

    mentioned this over here:
    http://unpissenlit.livejournal.com/34033.html

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  76. I've read the first three books and #4 is already on my 'to read' list (though I have to admit that my list is 250 titles strong...yes, I'm a bit over the top there).

    I have to say that while I like Allie and Zay and the rest, Stone is my favorite! He seems so cool and interesting. I'm really interested in finding out how he came about and what he'll get into in the future.

    Some title ideas:
    Magic in the Mind
    I was thinking heredity - but Magic in the Genes doesn't sound quite right. Nerves? Cells? I don't know.
    Magic in the Memory
    Isn't there something called a historical or genetic memory? Instinct? No, something like that though.
    Magic in the Instinct

    In any case, I saw some good ones above too. Best of luck on all your projects. As soon as the steampunk is published it will be on my list too. It is my new favorite subgenre.

    Also - I really love that magic has a specific price and that the user can pick that price. Makes lots of sense.

    Happy writing!
    dwndrgn@hotmail.com

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  77. Pissenlit--Thank you for reading! I don't have a clue who will do the art for the steampunk book (but I *love* Larry's art). You're right--that's pretty far ahead yet for this project. But as soon as I know, I'll post it on my blog. Just a wild guess? I might see art by the end of the year. Or not, Lol!

    Dwndrgn--Thank you for reading! I love Stone too. He gets some great page time in MAGIC ON THE STORM. We'll be getting more on his back story...Oh! I don't want to say when. :)

    Thank you for the title suggestions! I'm adding them to my list.

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  78. I can't wait for the 4th. I really enjoy reading your books. I can't wait to see what is going to happen.

    purpledelphini@gmail.com

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  79. Love the Magic series!!! I am so glad you never gave up! How about Magic on the Wind for the name of a book? I'll be thinking of other names.

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  80. Hi Doug! Hi Devon! I would like to first say you are one of my favorite authors and I absolutely love the Allie Beckstrom series. Not to mention the covers are fabulous! Which book cover is your favorite? I once read a post on Deadline Dames where you said "If you’re writing, you’ve made it.If you’re dreaming of writing, rolling it around in your soul and wondering if that’s the path for you, you’ve made it. " and I agree with you completely because following your dreams is a great acomplishment in it's self:) Thanks for a great series and the inspiring words! Oh I really like how your new upcoming series sounds. Can't wait:)

    Thanks!
    Steph M.


    Possible titles-(someone said this but I like it) Magic of the Soul
    Magic in the Depths
    Magic in the Air
    Magic Surge

    Shared this giveaway on twitter, blood bank and my blog.
    http://twitter.com/papercutreview
    http://bittenbybooks.ning.com/group/devonmonkfans
    http://papercut-reviews.blogspot.com/2010/03/current-blog-contest.html

    papercutreviewer(dot)gmail(dot)com

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  81. Sorry this is my email
    papercutreviewer(at)gmail(dot)com.

    Thanks!

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  82. *Squeeee* i love finding new authors!!! This series sounds awesome!!!! Thank you for the Interview. My title suggestion would be
    Magic of Destiny
    Magic of the Path
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    JoJo
    jojosbookcorner@gmail.com

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  83. Magic is the Word
    Magic in One Breath
    Magic Lives Here

    Lol, some suggestions!

    faked_sugartone at hotmail

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  84. This is the first I have heard of this series but I am definitely going to get them.

    Shared on Facebook
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100000594583971

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  85. Ali--Thank you! I'm so glad you're liking the books so far. STORM was one of my favorites to write. It really starts "upping the ante", as it were. :)

    Susan--Thanks so much! I like that title idea! It's totally on my list now!

    Steph M--Oh my gosh! Thank you (I'm blushing up a storm here!) My favorite cover of the series so far is MAGIC ON THE STORM. Aliie just looks so fierce. But I got a sneak peak at MAGIC AT THE GATE, and it's starting to win me over as my favorite cover. I'll try to share it as soon as I have an approved copy. Thank you for the title ideas, and for cross-posting the giveaway!

    JoJo--Glad to e-meet you! Hope you like the books when you get a chance to try them! And I've added the title ideas to the list, thank you!

    Diana Dang--Thank you for the title suggestions! I'm adding them on.

    Jellybelly--Thank you for stopping by! I hope you like the books when you try them. If you want a peek at the first chapters, excerpts are posted on my website.

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  86. Hi Devon,

    I'm looking forward to digging into your series. it sounds great.

    How about 'Magic in the Soul'

    heatwave96(at)hotmail.com

    tweeted - http://twitter.com/Heatwave316/status/10700395990

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  87. Just read MAGIC TO THE BONE and loved it! Can't wait to read the rest of the series, but really can't wait until 2011 to read the start of the new steampunk series.

    I liked the tit for tat (for lack of a better term) for the magic repercussions. Luh-huv Zayvion. More please.

    Title suggestions:
    MAGIC FOR THE PEOPLE
    MAGIC IN THE EYES
    MAGIC IS THE COLOR

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  88. I think you should name a book Magic in the Night. That would be cool.

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  89. Loved the first book but haven't started the rest of the series yet. My suggestions (which may already be in the comments - there's already so many!) are:

    - Magic under the skin
    - Magic on/at the edge
    - Magic in the deep
    - Magic to the end
    - Magic to the coil

    jennifer (dot) thorburn (at) gmail (dot) com

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  90. "Magic Under the Moon"
    "Magic over the Rainbow"
    "Magic in the Mist"

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  91. Thanks Devon for the great post!! What about "Magic in the Wind"? It sort of has a sense of change to it LOL.

    Twitter: http://twitter.com/jmspettoli/status/10796255039

    spettolij AT gmail DOT com

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  92. wow. just realized after all this that I never put my email down. LOL. it's
    ebbx07@aol.com

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  93. srry ebbax07@aol.com

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  94. Heatwave--Thank you for stopping by. I hope you like the books when you get a chance to read them. Thanks for the title suggestion!

    Vickie--Thank you for reading! I love that Zayvion Jones too. :) I'll be sure to keep updates on the Steampunk rolling through my web page as time goes on. Great title ideas. I've put them on the list!

    JustMe--I like that title idea. Thank you!

    Jenn--I'm so glad you liked Magic to the Bone! I hope you like the rest when you get your hands on them. Terrific title ideas! Thanks--I've added them to the list.

    Pacey1927--Great list of title ideas! Thank you!

    Jmspettoli--I like that title idea too--it does have that sense of change to it. Thank you!

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  95. I'm just getting into steampunk, and I look forward to checking out your new book!

    sleepingaurora at gmail dot com

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  96. With all the stuff that was going on with her dad I think Magic in the Family would have been a good title.

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  97. I tweeted.
    http://twitter.com/dawnpnr/status/10876542359

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  98. I can't wait to see what happens in the future
    Magic on the Wind
    Magic in the Rain

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