Friday, April 18, 2014

[BLOG TOUR] Guest Post by Jo Schneider + Giveaway

I'd like to welcome Jo Schneider, author of NEW SIGHT to Short & Sweet Reviews Blog! On today's New Sight blog tour stop Jo will be talking about the magic system in her debut novel, which is set to hit stores and e-Readers on April 22, 2014! Also don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post!

 OUT APRIL 22, 2014
Pre-order the book on AMAZON|B&N|

 After succumbing to the sudden and terrifying urge to rip people’s eyes out of their sockets, 16-year-old Lysandra Blake finds herself tied down in a psych ward, convinced she’s crazy. The doctors have no answers, and Lys is ready to give up when the mysterious Jeremiah Mason appears, telling Lys that she’s not insane—she’s addicted to a rare and deadly drug that she has no recollection of using. Mr. Mason offers to take her to his facility where he can treat her. Desperate yet suspicious, Lys agrees to go with Mr. Mason to his facility where she meets with a fellow addict, the tall and handsome Kamau. Together they discover that Mr. Mason may not have told them the truth about their condition—they’re thrown headfirst into a world of daunting powers that are not only unbelievable, they are dangerous.

by Jo Schneider

I've never been a big fan of waving a wand and having every aspect of a story sorted out. Well, I wish I had a magic wand that sorted out my current work in process, but that's totally different.

Back to it. Any part of a story should have consequences. You use a gun and you run out of ammo, you punch a wall and break you fist, you tell a lie and get to live with the repercussions and you toss magic around and...what?

What happens?

My mother is a strict woman. I blame her for my need for order. That childhood scarring came out in the magic system for New Sight. I felt like the system needed strict boundaries for the outside, but some room to play on the inside.

I'll bet I have ten pages in a notebook (I still have to plot old-school with paper and pen) titled, “Magic System???????”

I went through a bunch, stealing what others had done and trying to twist them into unrecognizable systems of awesome. But that never really worked. I was drawn to the four elements. Yes, at the time I was watching a little too much Avatar, the Last Air Bender—the cartoon, not the movie. I liked the idea of each character having their own special set of abilities.

Which is what many magic systems are made of. Even the X-Men is like this, they're all mutants, but each mutation limits the person in their abilities. Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series also uses magic in this way. So it's a popular outline that I decided to fill in. Instead of using the elements or any part of earth's nature, I decided to use the five senses as the basis for the magic system of New Sight. Each character has a sense that is more powerful than their others. The magic channels through that, and manifests itself in slightly different ways for everyone.

For instance, there are two touch users (people whose sense of touch is infused with magic) in the story. One of them can touch a wounded person, feel what the problem is and fix it. The other one is less useful than a Band-Aid in the healing department, but he can manipulate the ground like it’s Play Doh. One sight user can send hallucinations into other people's minds, while another can see through other people's eyes. Both can see in the dark. But you only get one sense. No crossing over. It doesn't work that way.

And while I thought the above was pretty cool, I wanted to toss in a small complication. I remember thinking about what to do right before going to a sparring class for Kempo. All of the martial arts I've learned kicked in, and I thought, “What if you couldn't ever change the amount of power that you have? What if you're stuck with more power than you know what to do with? Or less than you need?”

Thinking about sparring, I came to the conclusion that those with more power were like the white belts in class—hit fast, hit hard and whatever you do, hit something. Pretty much the magic pours out of them at top speed, like a faucet turned on full. As opposed to me, who prefers to wait for my target to get close enough to hit them in just the right place to incapacitate them. (Wow, I sounded pretty cool there. Don't believe it.) The magic users with more control don’t get as much power, so they have to make it count.

So I came up with a power ranking system. It ranges from infant—more power and no control—to ancient—much less power, but a great deal of precision control.

Yes, the names are lame. One of the characters spends half the book trying to come up with better names for everything. The part that might be my favorite is that with your power level comes your eye color. When a character uses magic, their eyes will swirl either silver, blue, gold, red or black. That's how you can tell how much power they have. This becomes very important in New Sight when the main character is identified as a rare combination. Like having those universal donor blood types

The story goes into how magic interacts with our world, and what will happen if too much comes through at once. There are serious consequences for those who trifle with the balance in the world.

Jolly Fish Press is hosting a tour wide giveaway for 3 SIGNED ARC of NEW SIGHT!
To enter fill out the Rafflecopter below!

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Jo Ann Schneider grew up in Utah and Colorado, and wonders how people who live in flat places can tell where they're going. In her sixteenth year, Jo went with her family to Europe. This spawned a travel bug that will never be satisfied. One of Jo's goals is to travel to all seven continents--five down, two to go.

Perhaps the most challenging thing Jo has ever done (besides write novels) was stick with her Shaolin Kempo classes long enough to earn her black belt. Persistence, not an overabundance of mad skill, is what got her there, and she just keeps going back for more. An intervention may be in order at some point.

Being a geek at heart, Jo has always been drawn to science fiction and fantasy. She writes both, and hopes to introduce readers into worlds that wow them and characters that they can cheer for.

Jo lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her adorkable husband, Jon, who is very useful for science and computer information as well as getting items off of top shelves. By day she is a mechanical designer of disgustingly expensive hand-crafted steel lights, and by night she is a ninja. Woosh, woosh. 

Connet with Jo on Twitter|Facebook|Blog

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