Author’s name: Linda M. Crate
Title of book and/or series: Dragons & Magic (Book Two of The Magic Series)
Brief summary of the story:
Syn Seifer has never been one for confrontation or problems. Despite the faerie's capacity to turn into a dragon, she would much rather fly away from her problems until they go away. Yet this time it isn't an option. Syn must learn to deal with her problems and face reality and its ugly truths or risk losing the friendship of her dear friends Morgan and Byrant.
It doesn't help that she has a crush on Morgan d'Ernos whose heart belongs to the corrupt and vile princess Cinder. Yet Syn is the only one that truly knows the evils of this girl’s heart. In order to protect Morgan, however, she hasn't said a word. However, some secrets aren't meant to be kept.
Syn Seifer must learn how to be brave or watch as her friends go down in the flames of destruction.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Atriel is a vast country containing many little countries as well as larger size ones - including a sub-country where the High Queen and King reside in which is also named Atriel.
If we were to visit Atriel as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
There are many countries each with their own customs and cultures so I would recommend visiting as many as possible to get to know the people and the places better. There are lots of friendly people, musicians, bards, and writers in Atriel. There are also taverns, food stands, and festivals that take place at different times of the year.
What dangers should we avoid in Atriel?
Well, there are evil people among the good so be careful of them. The vampires are a monsterous lot so remember to lock your windows and don't invite anyone in at night that you don't know. Also one must be careful of dragons, wyverns, demons, and monsters (including Lotus Monsters).
Also avoid the Well of Forgotten Souls - it's an ominous pool of water so it's a bit hard to miss, but if you're not paying attention whilst walking in the wood, you could easily fall in.
Then there's the evil witch Matilda - just pray that she never crosses your path.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Atriel?
Not that I can think of. Most of their food is much like ours, however, there are some baked goods in Atriel that we wouldn't have such as: moon spear cakes which I'm told taste a lot like pomegranates and star flower pies which taste like a mixture of apples, cinnamon, with a hint of cherry. They also make wines out of star flowers and moon spears which are rather popular among commoners and nobles alike.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Atriel?
Swords, sun-soaked weaponry to defeat vampires, pure silver weaponry to defeat werewolves, bows and arrows, stakes, etc.
Fencing, archery, and hand-to-hand combat are the most common fighting styles in Atriel.
There are a lot of magic users, as well, so magic is oft used.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Atriel?
People can use magic to appear and disappear (but they have to be careful because if they use more magic than they can produce it can kill them), horses, and horse-drawn carriages.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Atriel that we don’t see on Earth?
Moon Spears, Star Flowers, Weredragonflies, Wyverns, Phoenixes, Dragons, Lotus Monsters, Centaurs, Shapeshifters, Werewolves, Vampires, Dwarves, Druids, Nymphs, Giants, Trolls, Goblins
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Atriel? If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Magic plays a huge role in Atriel. It is used for fighting, technology, transportation, cooking, healing, and pretty much anything anyone can or could do in the basis of a normal or extraordinary day.
However, there's a catch. You cannot use more energy than you have. If you use more energy than you possess then your own magic will kill you.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Atriel.
There are festivals that are held surrounding holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc. full of costumes and whimsy.
Every once and a while the High Queen and King will hold balls or masquerade balls.
There is a lot of sword fighting and fencing, sometimes for entertainment purposes. There are singers and bards.
Some of the magic users entertain children with their abilities.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Atriel as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
They celebrate the same holidays as we do.
Is there a particular religion practiced in Atriel? Please describe what it involves.
There is no one religion in Atriel. Much like on Earth there are many different peoples practicing different religions and some people who don't practice religion, at all.
What is the political or government structure in Atriel? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
There is a High King and Queen and then many other queens and kings beneath them governing their own countries. The High King and Queen reside in the country Atriel whereas the other kings and queens have their own seperate kingdoms in the continent of Atriel.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Atriel?
Just be aware as you travel through the countries. Each one is different and so what one country may not deem offensive another one might be offended by. There are local guides, however, who are friendly and willing to teach outsiders about their country should they be willing to listen.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
Some of the characters (especially the nastier ones) were inspired by rude customers that made me cry at work or people I generally dislike. I always tell people to be nice to me because if they're not I might kill them off in a book. It's true of some of the rude people I've encountered.
None of the locations or cultures, persay, were based on anything I've encountered in my life as of yet.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
In Dragons and Magic the hot button issues I deal with are pro-life vs. pro-choice and I try to show each side of the story and show the pros and cons of both through my different characters, there's also the issue of overthrowing a government that doesn't serve the people but rather themselves in a way that hurts the people.
Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. Recently her two chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014) were published. Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. Her novel Dragons & Magic is forthcoming through Ravenswood Publishing.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books?
The first novel of this series Blood & Magic can be found at these listings:
Here's a listing of where you can find Dragons & Magic: