The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic
by F.T. Lukens
Duet Books, the YA imprint of Interlude Press
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Hi everyone! This is F.T. Lukens, author of The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic, and today I would like to talk about my upcoming release and highlight the roles of two of my favorite supporting characters in the novel.
The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic is a young adult urban fantasy novel that features Bridger, a bisexual protagonist who is struggling with changes in his life that come with being a senior in high school. Bridger is also struggling with decisions around his crush, Leo, and if he wants to be in a relationship and subsequently come out to his friends and family. Amid his romantic drama, Bridger also finds a job working as an assistant to an intermediary between the human world and the world of myth.
Accompanying Bridger on this journey is his best friend, Astrid. Astrid is also a senior and she’s a field hockey star. She’s described as being almost as tall as Bridger, athletic, and muscular. Astrid was one of the last characters I created, but she is easily one of my favorites. I wanted to give Bridger a best friend to comfort him when needed, but also to call him out. Astrid does both throughout the book. (Bridger refers to Astrid as the Bucky to his Captain America.) But Astrid isn’t just defined through her relationship with Bridger. She has her own life and her own needs. She has a group of friends outside of Bridger and she has goals and dreams that don’t include him. Through Astrid, I wanted to show two things. One is that teenagers of the opposite sex can have close relationships with each other that aren’t romantic in nature. They are platonic best friends and that friendship runs very deep, to the point that Bridger confides in Astrid things he doesn’t tell others. And two, that being best friends doesn’t mean that things are always perfect in the relationship. Just as any other relationship, friendship has its ups and downs. And being a best friend means being honest and telling the other person what you need from the relationship to ensure its equal, fair, and no one feels taken advantage of.
Also on this journey with Bridger is Pavel Chudinov—his employer and mentor. Pavel is tragically dressed and a few decades behind on pop culture. He’s bookish, claims he’s bad at comforting people in distress (he’s not), and is just an all-around good guy. He spends his time immersed in folklore and myths and helping cryptids navigate the human world to stay hidden. His relationship with Bridger was one of my favorites to write. At first, Pavel resents that he even needs Bridger as an assistant, but warms to Bridger over the course of their adventures. Pavel is the adult that accepts Bridger’s sexuality first. He’s the one who assures Bridger that he is loved and wanted by his friends and family after a nasty run in with a malicious myth. His response to Bridger’s fears about coming out and losing people close to him is the reason Bridger is able to tell the other important adult in his life—his mom. Bridger remarks that he’d heard that it was okay to be different from tv and media, but being accepted by an adult he trusts was wholly different and life changing. Bridger needed that acceptance to be more confident in himself and his decisions.
Astrid and Pavel are just two of the supporting characters in The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic. There are also meddlesome pixies, a lesbian werewolf, a charming hero, and a rampaging unicorn. I hope readers enjoy these characters as much as I enjoyed creating them.
Desperate to pay for college, Bridger Whitt is willing to overlook the peculiarities of his new job—entering via the roof, the weird stacks of old books and even older scrolls, the seemingly incorporeal voices he hears from time to time—but it’s pretty hard to ignore being pulled under Lake Michigan by… mermaids? Worse yet, this happens in front of his new crush, Leo, the dreamy football star who just moved to town.
When he discovers his eccentric employer Pavel Chudinov is an intermediary between the human world and its myths, Bridger is plunged into a world of pixies, werewolves, and Sasquatch. The realm of myths and magic is growing increasingly unstable, and it is up to Bridger to ascertain the cause of the chaos, eliminate the problem, and help his boss keep the real world from finding the world of myths.
THE RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR MEDIATING
MYTHS & MAGIC ~ EXCERPT
* * *
Leo laughed. He had trudged out to where a few of the braver football players and cheerleaders bobbed in the water. Leo turned and spread out his arms and fell backward, disappearing under the water before emerging, sputtering, with his dark hair plastered to his head.
“It’s not that bad!”
“Are you kidding? I’m turning blue.”
Leo circled back and splashed Bridger. Then he swam away, laughing as he kicked enthusiastically and doused Bridger with lake water.
Bridger wiped the droplets from his face. “Oh, I see how it is. Splashing then running. Very brave there, Leo.”
Leo stood in the water to his shoulders and beckoned to Bridger with a sly smile. “I’m right here. Why don’t you come get me?”
That was flirting. Wasn’t it? That had to be flirting. Right?
“Oh,” Bridger said flushing, warming internally at the thought of Leo flirting with him. “It is on. It is so on.”
He waded in until the water was at his chest and pushed off from the bottom. He swam after Leo and splashed and laughed. The rest of the group in the water were dunking each other, and the football players were throwing a few of the lighter girls and guys around, creating froth and waves.
Bridger and Leo circled each other, splashing and diving. A beach ball landed nearby and Leo grabbed it and flung it in Bridger’s direction. It plopped near Bridger’s outstretched arm.
“What kind of pass was that?” Bridger said, gliding toward the ball. “I thought you played football?”
Leo laughed. “I’m not the quarterback. I just catch and run.”
Bridger hit the ball back. “Good to know. I’ll lower my expectations.”
“Has anyone ever told you that you’re funny?”
“Yes,” Bridger said. “Usually accompanied by crossed arms and a frown, though. Not many people appreciate my kind of humor.”
“I do. It suits you.”
Bridger blushed to his hairline, and it wasn’t from the sun beating down on them. They hit the ball back and forth before Bridger sent it sailing into a group of the others. A girl squealed.
“Sorry!” Bridger called.
Then there was a panicked shriek. Leo looked over his shoulder and called to his friends.
Bridger felt something brush his leg. He flinched and kicked away, startled. He looked down in the water and realized he was surrounded by lake weed, dark and light green blending together in a swirl. Long tendrils of it undulated around his legs.
His heart caught in his throat, and he shuddered. Who knows what could’ve touched him. Ugh. Creepy. Another weed swiped along his waist, and he violently brushed it off. He started to move away, to untangle himself from the slimy vines.
Bridger looked up to find Leo with the big group. The commotion reached a crescendo, and Bridger realized it was no longer playful yells, but turmoil and fear.
“There’s something in the water!”
* * *
Connect with author F.T. Lukens at authorftlukens.wordpress.com on Twitter @ftlukens, on Tumblr at ftlukens.tumblr.com and on Goodreads at goodreads.com/ftlukens.
About the Author
F.T. Lukens is an author of Young Adult fiction who got her start by placing second out of ten thousand entries in a fan-community writing contest. A sci-fi enthusiast, F.T. loves Star Trek and Firefly and is a longtime member of her college’s science-fiction club. She holds degrees in Psychology and English Literature and has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and writing. F.T. lives in North Carolina with her husband, three kids, and three cats. Her first two novels in the Broken Moon series, The Star Host and Ghosts & Ashes, were published by Duet Books.
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