Parker Foye on Research , Procrastination, and the new release Mage of Inconvenience (author guest blog)

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Mage of Inconvenience by Parker Foye
Dreamspinner Press
Dreamspun Beyond

Cover art: Aaron Anderson

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Parker Foye here today talking about writing, research and Mage of Inconvenience.  Welcome, Parker.

♦︎

 

Research …and Procrastination by Parker Foye

Hello, and thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting the final stop on my blog tour! It’s been a lot of fun celebrating the release of Mage of Inconvenience, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it too.

Today I’m answering questions about research: Does research play a role in choosing which genre you write? Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I’ve posted a bit on Twitter recently about how difficult it is to find methods of magic World of Warcraft hasn’t named already, so research has been on my mind lately. Honestly, it usually is; I primarily write speculative fiction, but set in the world we know. This tends to involve two threads of research/development: real world locations, and whatever I’m using as a magical system.

Though I’ve set spec fiction stories in historical periods before, Mage of Inconvenience takes place in a contemporary setting. When I started writing this story, I lived in a small town in Ontario, and this is where I located West’s home. Julian, meanwhile, has an office in Toronto, and a cottage elsewhere in the province. These locations were places I knew, or could easily research with added local insight, and I thought I was being quite clever to choose these settings. But then I moved over 4,000km across the country.

Thank you, internet.

The internet is less helpful when it comes to making up magical systems, aside from checking someone hasn’t done it first (see the comment about WoW above). But this is actually something I really enjoy doing, and one of the reasons I write in this genre. Making the impossible possible but flavouring it with things we can relate to—for example, with the magic in Mage of Inconvenience, I imagined something like a magical DVLA (DMV, for those of you across the pond!), with all the connotations that invokes.

Creating magical systems is one of the (many) areas where beta readers and editors are invaluable. Their insightful questions really helped draw out and solidify how magic and its corresponding bureaucracy worked in this story, cementing the foundation for how the marriage of convenience comes to be in the first place.

But, absorbing as it can be, the problem with research is knowing when to stop! I’m a chronic procrastinator and can trick myself into researching all day long, but at some point it’s time to close the browser and start cranking out words.

Or write a blog post or two.

What about you guys? Any favourite methods of procrastination? Asking for a friend…

Mage of Inconvenience

Can they find the magic in a practical union?

West is on the run from his werewolf pack, but if he cannot renew his magical defenses, he won’t get far. What he needs is a mage….

Julian is part of a wealthy and ancient family, and one day, his legacy will include his mother’s vast library of spell books—and the knowledge he needs to correct his past mistakes. But his inheritance comes with a stipulation: he has to be married before he can collect. What he needs is a husband….

West and Julian can help each other, and at first they don’t want anything further. But as they dodge meddling cousins, jealous rivals, and an insidious drug, it becomes clear that their lives are entwined in ways they never imagined—and they’re in greater danger than they thought possible.

Buy the book at Dreamspinner | Amazon CA/COM/UK | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Parker Foye writes speculative-flavored romance under the QUILTBAG umbrella and believes in happily ever after, although sometimes their characters make achieving this difficult.

An education in Classics nurtured a love of heroes, swords, monsters, and beautiful people doing stupid things while wearing only scraps of leather. You’ll find those things in various guises in Parker’s stories, along with kissing (very important) and explosions (very messy). And more shifters than you can shake a stick at.

Used to living out of a suitcase, Parker is currently of fixed abode in the UK but still travels regularly via planes, trains, and an ever-growing library.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

A MelanieM Review: Mage of Inconvenience by Parker Foye

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Can they find the magic in a practical union?

West is on the run from his werewolf pack, but if he cannot renew his magical defenses, he won’t get far. What he needs is a mage….

Julian is part of a wealthy and ancient family, and one day, his legacy will include his mother’s vast library of spell books—and the knowledge he needs to correct his past mistakes. But his inheritance comes with a stipulation: he has to be married before he can collect. What he needs is a husband….

West and Julian can help each other, and at first they don’t want anything further. But as they dodge meddling cousins, jealous rivals, and an insidious drug, it becomes clear that their lives are entwined in ways they never imagined—and they’re in greater danger than they thought possible.

Parker Foye developed a sizable agenda for themselves with Mage of Inconvenience.  Foye had to develop a large enough universe to contain both witches and werewolf societies  (I’m talking extended families, cultures, laws, set across a sprawling geographical map), then start to tunnel it down to encapsulate the two men at the heart of Mage of Inconvenience, West and Julian.  We get alternating povs that let’s us see the desperate situation that each man or being find’s himself in that leads up to their marriage of convenience. A great job in all cases with the world building.

Of particular note is the creation of the drug Rabid that’s spreading through the shifter population with devastating effect.  You see this drug through West’s eyes as he observes addicted shifters and through bits and pieces of his memories. It pulls on your emotions as you will make direct ties to today’s drug problems.  Julian’s needs seem completely separate and different…at first.  He wants to inherit his mother’s estate and keep it out of the hands of greedy relatives.  To do that he needs to marry and soon.  West fits the bill nicely.  Of course there is much more to it than that.

The characterizations are nicely layered, the plot has a great many twists and turns that will keep you suitably shocked and surprised, and, it’s still suspenseful  enough to keep you on the edge of your seat right up until the edge of the seat. While it did get a little soft around the middle, I still thought the writing was smooth and flowed all the way to the end.

I liked the slow build to trust and romance here and in some cases, it has the feel of a much larger story.

Love the supernatural?  And romance?  How about both together?  Dreamspinner Press’ Dreamspun Beyond is doing a fantastic job of combining both and Mage of Inconvenience by Parker Foye is a perfect example why.  Pick it up and try it out today.

Cover art:  Aaron Anderson.  Love the cover. Great Job.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 212 pages
Expected publication: March 20th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640802469
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL

A MelanieM Review: Wolf in King’s Clothing by Parker Foye

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

 

An exiled shifter. His alpha mate. And a desire so intense it could be the death of them…

York, England, 1912

Kent was a pack outcast. His shifter instincts cruelly muted, he was collared and kept as a stray. Until he was offered his freedom—for something in return. He must rescue Hadrian, an alpha held hostage in the wolf highlands. It’s a pleasure for Kent to follow the captive’s scent, one so wild and virile it gives him a rush. Though he despises being treated like a mutt called to heel, he’ll gladly fall to his knees for an alpha like Hadrian.

Hadrian has never met anyone like this damaged wolf warrior. His savior who licks the blood from his wounds and who arouses in him feelings he doesn’t understand or want to control. But Hadrian suspects that more than desire binds them. It’s betrayal. Pawns in an elaborate and feral deceit, they’re now caught in the deepening maze of a vengeful shifter world, where navigating the mysteries of the heart could prove just as unpredictable and dangerous as the enemies they face.

I thought Wolf in King’s Clothing by Parker Foye had many terrific elements to it.  Foye’s  writing was able to engage me in Kent’s situation and his need for Hadrian.  In fact, Kent is the best thing about the story.   He’s almost feral, a wild being yet one we are able to connect with.  Foye’s decision to make him a berserker was a good one that plays out against his size and constant state of disorder and more.  We feel compassion for Kent and that allows us to come to his side of the story and remain there.

Hadrian is more of a shadow character, elusive as we don’t have as much background on him and honestly, I didn’t believe in his character as I did Kent’s.  Or the ugly people and beings that surrounded Kent, they were very much alive.

I found it odd that  Foye decided to place his story in York, England, 1912.  There didn’t seem to be any firm reason for that.  This could have been any fantasy world or alternate world, there was nothing or no real reason other than to bring the Titanic into it (and that was sort of absurd).  Anything else, avalanche, earthquake, bomb, could have been used to the same effect…get rid of a bunch of leaders in one place.  Because the reference disappears and you really don’t care when the story is placed again.  It’s merely an oddity and a jarring one at that.

The pathos at the end of the real is real.  It tugged at my heart.  I felt for both characters.  But again, with the good comes the bad.  I was also let down because there was no comeuppance for the person who put Kent through all that.  It was “oh well, that happens”.  I’m all about the revenge here.   Ah well.

As I said, there were some good elements here, enough that overrode the bad that I’m giving it 3 stars.  The writing made me connect to one of the main characters, enough to pull at me at the end when it looked like he was going to die.  I only wish the author had built on the  good elements they had going, and scattered the others away.

 

Cover art is just so so.  Doesn’t speak to the era or  show the interesting characteristics of the MC’s. Could be any book.

Sales Links  

Carina Press – Amazon: CA / COM / UKKobo

Book Details:

This book is approximately 32,000 words\ebook

Expected publication: May 15th 2017 by Carina Press
Original TitleWolf in King’s Clothing
ISBN139781488078521
Edition LanguageEnglish