Yup, it sounds fabulous, if you ask me, and I can't wait to read it.
So, here's the blurb:
It’s 2065. Those born with magic abilities live in government-run zones, without rights or freedoms. Fear of magic created this segregated world and fear keeps it intact.
A high-profile murder brings Detective Nathan Perez to Magic Born Zone 13. He’s had little experience with the Magic Born and isn’t sure what to expect during his first encounter with a witch, but he never thought he’d be so drawn to her.
Trancehacker Calla Vesper uses magic to break into computers and aid the Magic Born underground. She has no interest in helping a cop, even if he is smoking-hot, but money’s tight and Nate offers a tidy amount for help navigating the Zone. Calla’s determined to keep it all business, but sparks start flying before the investigation even gets started.
When Calla’s trancehacking and Nathan’s investigation uncover a conspiracy, Calla becomes a target. Nate can protect her by keeping her role a secret—but then who will protect Nate?
So of course I had to hunt Sonya down so we could have a little Q&A. Welcome, Sonya! Tell us more about your two lead characters – why do you like them?
Magic Born witch Calla Vesper grew up in the zone, nicknamed Freaktown. The Magic Laws have shaped her existence but she’s worked hard to carve out the best life for herself she could. She’s smart, tough, and she’s a talented jewelry designer, something that allows her to make a bit better living than many other Magic Born. She’s also loyal and generous, spending much of her time and money helping with the underground. I think what I like best about Calla is her fearlessness - she’s not afraid to mouth off to authorities or take serious risks. Her biggest risk is getting involved with a Normal cop.
Detective Nate Perez is a good guy. He’s solid and dependable and believes in doing his job to the best of his abilities. He’s also fascinated by Calla, and by magic itself. He didn’t grow up in a city with a zone so this is new to him and he doesn’t harbor the prejudices many Normals have against the Magic Born. I like the fact that he wanted to get to know Calla for herself, rather than making assumptions based on stereotypes. I also like that when it came down to it, she was more important to him than his job.
Tell us more about the magic in your world.
There are two kinds of magic in this world. One is the more familiar type - glamours, enchantments, charms, things of that sort. Then there’s the secret kind, something that Calla and very few others can do - astral projection as a means of entering computer systems and cyberspace. Let me give you a bit of backstory on the world-building:
The Magic Born were revealed when hacktivists released documents showing that not only did governments know about them, but also used witches as agents in what came to be known as “black magic ops”. Most countries recovered from the shock but some fundamentalist places didn’t fare so well, the US being one of them. Mass killings of witches and people simply accused of witchcraft took place, until finally the government stepped in and offered a solution to stop the death and allay fears: the Magic Laws. Magic Born were sent to live in urban zones - urban because Normals believed magic to be related to nature. This was thought to be something that would weaken the Magic Born. By 2065, roughly fifty years after the Magic Born were revealed, some witches are displaying some decidedly urban-oriented magical abilities.
Why do you think magic wielders are feared?
The first revelation of the existence of magic in this world wasn’t some kindly woman blending a good luck spell into a cup of tea, it was the existence of secret agents wielding terrifying magic at the behest of governments. Think about the type of rampant paranoia one can easily find by scratching the wrong corner of the internet, or striking up a conversation with the wrong relative. It wasn’t hard to imagine a situation where that got out of control. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who are afraid of things they don’t understand, or things that they misunderstand.
What's stopped the magic wielders from rising against their unjust treatment?
There’s a bit of backstory mentioned in the book that talks about a period of Magic Born terrorism. The overwhelming response to it is also mentioned. Basically, the Magic Born are greatly outnumbered, and they just want to survive. They’ve been through so much bloodshed already. They have the desire to change things, and certainly some skills to bring to affecting change, but they don’t have basic rights of citizenship like voting and legal emigration. What it would really take to change things is Normals deciding they’ve had enough of turning over their Magic Born children to live in zones.
I hear there are sequels in the works... Can you share more?
There’s a secondary character in Trancehack named Vadim, a witch who runs the notorious zone club called Sinsuality. The second book, which I’m working on now, is his story. He’s a fantastic character to write. His book will involve blackmail, a deeper look at the Magic Born underground, and worsening tensions between those in New Corinth who want to let go of old fears and those who use those fears to hold on to power. Book three will take a look at those “black magic ops” rumors, and also have rolling street battles and a desperate effort to change the course of history.
Make no mistake, though. For all the action and intrigue, forbidden love is at the heart of these stories. The right to be free and equal, the right to love and build a life with the person of your choosing - those ideals have inspired this trilogy from the beginning. And also some really cool ideas about mashing up magic and technology, like combining disco and industrial rock. ☺
TRANCEHACK will be released by Carina Press on October 28 and is now available for pre-order for Kindle and Nook. Find author Sonya Clark at her website, Twitter, and Facebook. Subscribe to her newsletter for updates.
About the author: Sonya Clark grew up a military brat and now lives in Tennessee with her husband and daughter. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance with a heavy helping of magic and lots of music for inspiration. Learn more at www.sonyaclark.net.