Cecilia Tan. She discusses the role of Tarot cards and magic in her recent works.
[See contest details at the end of the post]
Real Magic In Fantasy
by Cecilia Tan
In the Magic University books, which are my version of a grown-up, erotic "Harry Potter" type of story, I've invented a lot of magic, in particular the so-called "Esoteric Arts," which is the polite term in the books for sexual magic. But I also draw a lot on "real world" magic in various ways.
Whether you believe in magic or not doesn't matter. There are figures in our history, for example, from Pythagoras to Torralba to Mother Shipton who were ascribed magical powers by their contemporaries. As such, in Magic University, I proceed from the idea of what if Torralba really did possess magical healing powers? Would there now be a whole field of Healing Arts that young magic users would learn and study?
I've used the Tarot in many ways throughout the books. At the magical university known as Veritas, which is hidden inside Harvard, the students are divided into houses, just like real Harvard students are. In a nod to the four houses of Hogwarts, though, I have made them four, one for each of the Tarot suits, and the "sorting" is done by simply drawing a card. The house of wands are the studious ones, the coins are the industrious ones, the swords are the domineering ones, and the cups are the party animals.
In each book Kyle gets his cards read by someone and the reading turns out to be prophetic for him. Again, I do a real reading where I draw cards at random and see what I get. Each time the cards drawn have fit perfectly with the plot I have sketched out. Coincidence? Perhaps that's the real magic of storytelling, that everything will always end up coming together in the end.
Bio: Cecilia Tan has been writing professionally since she was a teenager, which she definitely isn't, anymore. She is the author of several romances for Ravenous Romance, including her "Harry Potter for adults" the Magic University series and Mind Games, as well as the BDSM sci-fi adventure Royal Treatment just released from Torquere Press.
Her literary erotica has been published nearly everywhere. She loves tea, baseball, cats, and books, and more of her thoughts on these and other subjects can be found at her blog: http://blog.ceciliatan.com/.
Read Cecilia's full essay on Tarot
NOW FOR THE CONTEST
Cecilia is offering an ebook copy of Magic University Book Two: The Tower and the Tears or Magic University Book One: The Siren and the Sword. Winners choice.
CONTEST IS INTERNATIONAL
*Ask Cecilia a question: One chance
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Contest ends March 30, 2010