Do You Believe in Magic?
I do, and I’ll tell you why. Sometimes, when I’m deep into writing a story, I’ll make something up completely randomly just because it works in the story, and, later, when I think maybe I ought to do a little Intenet research, I’ll find a connection in the real world that takes my breath away.
In my Garnet Lacey series it was randomly deciding that Sebastian, the alchemist vampire, was from Austria. I found out later when I was researching alchemy for a later book that Vienna, Austria’s capitol city, is home to the world’s largest school of alchemy with a library that goes back centuries. Magic or coincidence?
Most days, I’d chose the latter, but you would not believe how many times this sort of thing happens to me when I’m writing.
It happened again while I was writing PRECINCT 13. I’d chosen the title of the book based on the fact that our heroine, Alex Conner, gets “transferred” to a new police precinct full of paranormal cops. Thirteen is one of those numbers that has always been associated with the occult so I thought it made a nice sort of shorthand for the reader to be able to say, “Ah, thirteen! The magical police unit!” Later in the writing process I needed to come up with a reason why all this paranormal activity was happening in such a small, South Dakota town as Pierre.
And, with only one stop to Wikipedia, I found a plethora of the number thirteen.
Pierre, South Dakota has a population of approximately 13,000 people. The size of the town: 13 square miles. It’s height above sea level? I’ll bet you’re starting to see the pattern, but I’ll tell you, anyway—that’s right, just over 1,300 feet.
Magic, I tell you. Magic!
I’m sure you’re still skeptical, but one of the things that happens to Alex in the course of the novel is that she starts to understand that magic is all around us, all the time. We just look away on purpose. We tell ourselves that we shouldn’t stare at the bag lady, so we never notice how she’s building a magical circle of aluminum cans and plastic bags. Mothers tell their children that it’s rude to stare at the guy with all the hair sprouting in odd places, so we never realize that we were on the city bus right next to a half-troll werewolf.
Alex starts looking… and I think you’ll be amazed at what she sees!
Recent college grad Alex Conner is thrilled to have landed a job as the Hughes County coroner/medical examiner in Pierre, South Dakota. But when her first day on the job ends with a missing corpse, Alex starts to wonder if she would have been better off collecting unemployment...
When the cops made some cryptic comments about being careful with the body they brought in, Alex just thought the boys in blue were messing with her. That is, until something freaky happens that no amount of med school could have prepared her for. By the time Alex gets herself together, the body has disappeared and the other residents of the morgue start talking her ear off.
After working up the courage to report the missing body, Alex is transferred to the mysterious PRECINCT 13 where she discovers that her new co-workers—including a cute technomage named Jack—are paranormals just like her. Now, Alex is being encouraged to use her ability to speak to the dead to solve crimes. And despite being in the middle of nowhere, Hughes County sure does have a lot of paranormal activity…
A Scorpio with a Leo Rising, Tate Hallaway is an amateur astrologer and practicing Witch. Tate has been a fan of vampire fiction since she first read Poppy Z. Brite in high school. Her first short fiction acceptance was to a vampire ‘zine called Nocturnal Ecstasy Vampire Coven. Tate lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with three black cats. TALL, DARK, AND DEAD is Tate’s first novel.