You know this already. You do. You see it every day, maybe even more often: that sense of wonder. We try to capture it over and over. Whether it’s depicted in a film, in commercials, or in a book, that feeling, that moment of discovery: that’s the magic.
In the contemporary fantasy/fiction writing, we are all under the influence of giants, standing on the shoulders of Tolkien, Lewis, Carroll, and Poe. And that sense of wonder they found in a wardrobe, down a rabbit hole, on the other side of a mirror, in a hobbit hole; that is what we all seek. That is modern magic.
The surprise in a child’s eyes at a birthday party that moment charms us, pulling at our own memories. When our main character finds a skill they didn’t know they had, or a marvelous item that unlocks a door to a new world, it’s all the same.
Discovering the new, finding the magic: we all search for that definable moment of wonder. It is the core of every journey we take, that hope that we will discover something new. That feeling becomes amplified if mixed with love. Or if it is blended with righteous defending anger. Over and over, we wait to be surprised. And we love those who manage to do just that.
Think about your favorite books and movies. It’s those scenes that pull you in, the ones that mirror the wonder you once felt. A return to innocence, the feeling of rightness in the world, the hero who rushes in regardless of personal cost these are primal human emotions.
These are how we connect with the reader. And how the reader connects with us.
Not everyone searches for the same emotions either, which is why even well written books do not appeal to every reader. As fallible, broken beings, we seek a glimpse into the Greater Good. Wonder. Magic. Surprise.
These are the things worth dying for. The friendships worth saving. Treasure beyond price.
In my novel Flying Away, Iolani Bearse encounters loss after loss. First, her father dies in a faraway war, then her mother in a car accident. Lani sees death up close, blood dripping down her mother’s face. And there is a fly there, in the car. Just like there have been flies on the windowsill of her bedroom where she waited for years for her father to return home.
But now, in Lani’s lowest moment, in the chasm of her grief, watching her mother’s eyes glaze over, shattered by her death the houseflies speak to her. Perhaps this is the first time she really listened. And they show her a magic that the insects have always kept hidden.
You’ve seen flies, zipping in the middle of the air, hovering for no apparent reason? Well, that was just so you wouldn’t see what they can do: flying fast enough they can open a portal to anywhere. If a fly has seen a location, any fly can find it. And Lani needs the houseflies and their magic, far sooner than anyone would have suspected. Because the memory thieves are coming. The green lanterns shine in dark of night, harvesting amino acids and draining away whole families, suburbs, and towns. Only the flies protect Lani. Only Lani sees the Stealers. With their help, one orphan girl can save our broken nation.
Caroline A. Gill went to school at UCLA and NIU. She married the love of her life. Facing the world with children made her aware of how vulnerable they are. Weaving tales of courage, she tries to find hope. Living near the great California Redwoods, she finds a sense of the finite and infinite touching. The creative world is like that, especially when authors feel inspired. She’s the author of Flying Away, a YA dystopian, supernatural paranormal fantasy. www.authorcarolineagill.com