Title: MOTHBALL MAGIC
Genre: Adult Contemporary Fantasy, Ownvoices (LGBTQ)
Word Count: 78,000
How Did You Fall for Writing: The summer before high school, I went to my local bookshop to buy the latest Star Trek novel. They informed me the next book wouldn’t be out for another six months! Frustrated and in need of a Star Trek novel to start off my summer break, I went home and started writing the book I needed. All summer long I’d sneak down to the family’s electric typewriter and poured my words in. Turns out, I loved it.
Dear Fall Fest Agent:
I hope you enjoy my novel MOTHBALL MAGIC, an adult contemporary fantasy with the tone of OLD MAN’S WAR in a setting similar to THE MAGICIANS with a magical world hidden within our world.
During World War II, Ruth and her fellow wizards saved the world. When Hitler’s advances into magic and the occult struck a nerve with the Winter Queen, she swore to kick humanity back into the ice age. Ruth brokered a deal with Winter. She locked away the source of mankind’s magic. In exchange for giving up all magic, the Queen spared humanity. They sealed the accord in blood, and the Queen held Ruth’s life as forfeit should the contract break.
It’s been seventy years without magic, and the accords have held. When magic makes a sudden return while Ruth is cooking dinner, it’s such a surprise she catches her apartment on fire. Now her family is questioning her sanity and signing up for Welcome to Assisted Living seminars. But the Winter Queen’s memory is long, and her armies have been held ready for the day the accords break. If Ruth can’t button up magic by the next full moon, Winter will end her life before starting a new campaign to take the source of magic. In order to save the world—again—Ruth has to bust out of her overprotective family’s grasp and cross the continental US to where she hid the source. With a dwindling supply of diabetes pills and reliable cars to steal, she enlists her old friends as they dodge cops and fleece a pharmacy—all in the name of saving the world, of course.
There’s only one problem with her plan. When she and her friends locked up magic, it was a secret. As the last living wizards on the planet, only one of her friends could have released it. She’s launching her bid to save the world with a traitor in the passenger seat.
Inconveniently, magic returned as I cooked dinner. I’d closed myself off to even the hope of magic more than seventy years prior, or I wouldn’t have turned my back on the stove in search of my pills. If I missed my meds, my sugar’d be off, and my doctor would yell at me again.
I checked the stove in the bathroom mirror before I grabbed the medicine organizer on the sink. The lid protested. Stupid child proof crap. Like they don’t know anyone who needed a damned organizer for their pills didn’t have a hefty dose of cranky joints. I gulped back a handful of meds, jamming a cup under the faucet. I threw back the water like a shot of whiskey.
An odd shape moved in the mirror, lumpy and rolling like a balloon caught in a draft. My heart caught in my throat, beating so hard my breath died in my chest. A pillar of smoke and flame rose from my little stove, gold, blue, and orange mingled with soot and cinder. A shape swirled in the fire, rippling up the column, playing with the smoke.
I dropped my cup. It broke with the crash of porcelain on tile, spraying my leg with debris.
The kiss of power rushed through reality, shivering down my whole body. Magic trickled into my lines of power, channels dry and barren since the end of World War II. It spread like a spill through a paper towel.