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Spell of the Black Unicorn

Spell of the Black Unicorn

Book excerpt

FROM THE AUTHOR:
My First Fantasy


Years ago—possibly 2002—just coming off the high of reading the latest in the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling (don't recall which one, but I had become a huge fan, waiting for the next book), and went to a local bookstore hoping to find something in the same sort of genre, but more aimed at adults. Something that had characters who I could really care about, laugh and cry with. Something that had the fantasy elements, but not so seeped in fantasy that they used different words to call things by—like a horse is called something else (talk about confusing the reader)—or hard to pronounce names (ug) for your main characters.  I looked and looked. Sure, there were fantasy books, but nothing that caught my eye, or interest. Nothing that fit what I had in mind.

Then, I thought—duh—I'm a writer. Why not write one of my own? I had some ideas that slowly formed in my head. I made copious notes (and I mean boxes of individual notes and notebooks full of ideas, scenes and dialogue), of ideas, what I wanted, characters, plot, etc. I eventually began putting a fantasy tale together. I decided to combine elements from both TV, movies, and fantasy genre such as dragons, ghosts, vampires, oh, and a unicorn. I had invented engaging characters like Zofia, the very talented, but somewhat oxymoron sorceress; her husband, Dorian, her wizard-turned-vampire husband (turned by the evil sorcerer Blood) who turns up at her front door after 5 years of no word; their teenage daughter, Blanch, who is learning sorcery, and isn't that good at keeping a secret about it; and her younger bother, Elton, who is a pretty typical kid, and seems amazed at all things magical. Her crazy Aunt Tilly is a talented sorceress, and finds ways to help when the need is there, and she really dislikes Dorian. Let's not forget unusual creatures—like Aazel, the demon in the mirror, and Biddle, the invisible spirit helper—who more times than not less than helpful (okay, more destructive, and there is a scene where he does his poltergeist impression and scares the pants nearly all the way off of a fix-it guy). Put simply, Biddle likes to scare humans whenever he can.

I liked the idea of a more humorous approach rather than something serious, as in many fantasies. Similar to “Bewitched” where the normal, everyday situation can go awry merely because Zofia and family are capable of magic. The slight difference is they are stuck on Earth (they are from a different planet), where they must keep their magical abilities a secret from all humans (as in Bewitched, or Harry Potter). But this proves difficult, if not downright impossible at times, as they live in a small town. And like all small towns you've got your typical nosy neighbor who has nothing better to do than to snoop, and call the police about every little rule breaking she thinks she sees on the other side of the fence.

The back story is since Zofia has lost her husband (she thinks) to sorcery, lonely, she finds a strong, handsome (human) man to help her cope. Richard's a cop, and of course, she realizes she can't possibly stay with him because she wouldn't be able to explain a bunch of things that happen from day to day—like the ability to levitate. But, as in any break-up, some people can't just let go, and there is sexual tension between Richard and Zofia. When Dorian shows up at her doorstep as a vampire who needs refuge, Zofia is beside herself.

Speaking of sexual tension, Dorian, being a vampire, isn't allowed to be with Zofia, as her husband, it's considered against their Code. It doesn't help that he's commandeered the one bathroom on the second floor of their house. So, things heat up along the way for the two. The scene where they are to work a spell, and he must take a mandrake root and carve it to look like him—like a man. Zofia scoffs at how large he has made the genitalia, and he accuses her of not recalling his size, telling her, “Its to scale.” I made Dorian somewhat cool and aloof, and somewhat daring—being a vampire, why not? When I wrote his character, I imagined Pierce Brosnan playing his part.

But when a murder has been committed, and Dorian fits the description, Richard is more than happy to haul him off to jail. The family realizes that Dorian can't simply disappear, or turn into a bat because of the spell and potion he had to take in order to change him back to a sorcerer. So, they have to figure out a way to spring him.

Zofia's only reason for being on Earth is the fact she is Keeper of the Stone of Irdisi, the most powerful, magical implement of her world, and the evil Vesselvod Blood, who's magical abilities were taken away by the powers that be (because he is so evil), is after it, so as to regain his powers. Rather than face him, she is in hiding on this planet. But he has found her.

Enter the black unicorn, known for being in the same general area as Blood. Zofia and Tillie are startled to find it munching on petunias and cabbage in their backyard. A number of strange happenings and at least one murder occurs, leading them to believe Blood has definitely found her. Meanwhile, something strange is happening to Dorian and he can't help her when her son, Elton, suddenly disappears. Zofia must go and search for him herself, get past a dragon and an evil witch. Eventually, she must make a deal with a demon in order to get her son back.

It took me years to develop the idea, their world, their language, and ideas, and decided that came from another planet. I researched spells, and magic for the rituals they performed. I had to decided what they could and couldn't do, and how.

Take one evil sorcerer, a vampire, sorcerers with rules, add a pinch of humor, danger, dealings with demons, nosy a neighbor, a cop that aims to hunt Dorian down for murder, stir in a black unicorn, and after five years of working on this, my own fantasy  “Spell of the Black Unicorn”, was born.

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