So you may wonder—just what magic am I referring to?
Without pursuing an in-depth discussion of religious beliefs, have you ever looked for a sign? A premonition perhaps? Or a series of odd circumstances too weird to shrug off. The kind of clue that let's you know, "I'm on the right track." Often, as in my case, these signs occur when you are not even looking for them. Allow me to explain.
Three instances have happened to me while I have been writing my trilogy. I expect there could eventually be more. It's a rather lonely endeavor, writing. As a self-published, freelance author, building one's self-confidence can be difficult and very fragile. Sometimes a sign can provide a much needed inoculation against self-doubt.
As I was writing The Great Cicada Ball I was trying to come up with the kind of events appropriate for my bug-fellow characters. After all, if they are staging a festival, I needed events. That's when I came up with my Ground Beetle Fight idea and my ex-champion, Stag Beetle. But Stag Beetle needed opponents. I did a Google search to see what kinds of beetles could become his adversaries. Lo and behold, I discovered that beetle fighting is a really big deal in Asian culture. Like in my story, the fight involves one beetle pushing another off a ledge, a branch or in my case—out of a ring. That was weird I thought. My idea was a phenomenon in another part of the world.
I don't want to give away the ending of the trilogy with this one. Suffice it to say, that in my final book I created a collaboration between a major museum and a local university. The two institutions formed an agreement which involved an ecological preserve and a major wildlife conservation grant.
Well, to my eventual surprise, the museum and the university I chose actually do have an educational relationship and its pretty much exactly as I described in the book. My choice of these particular two institutions was random and I had no idea the two institutions shared a real world relationship. Weird again.
This is the weirdest one. I needed a free photo of a book louse for my website. I couldn't find one, so I decided to use one from a website I often visited called, BugGuide.Net. I found a great photo there and wrote the photographer for permission to use it.
Ok, normal so far. But the photographer's name is Ashley. The same name as the young girl from my book. The photographer's last name is Bradford. Yeah that's me! She lives in the state which I had already decided would be Meadowfield's location. And without having to announce a spoiler alert—she lives in a city within that state that is Ashley's last name. Quite a string of coincidences—or something a little more magical?
So, do I believe in magic? Why not?
Sometimes it's exactly what you need to brighten your hopes and keep on truck'n.