Sex and Magic
To continue this week’s theme of romance and sex, I thought it was a good time to discuss how I bring the fantasy elements into my fantasy romance.
Often in fantasy stories, the mages or supernaturally-inclined folk are more open about sex and sexuality. I think this might be a holdover from the real world, when free-thinking men and women were accused of witchcraft by the church and their narrow-minded neighbors. But whatever the cause, I embrace this trope utterly. It allows me to give my female characters more sensual experiences prior to the story, when at this point in the real-world history, Victoria’s repressive views of femininity forced any expression of feminine desire into hiding.
Of course, the woman herself was an example of the hypocrisy innate in such actions. The queen was a passionate woman, who flew into rages and was obviously quite sexually active with her husband. But that was in private. In public, women were expected to be circumspect, moral, and largely silent, deferring to their husbands in all things.
Clan Fay does not operate that way. For my world, I have emphasized a real-life Scottish tradition that allows the females of a bloodline to hold titles and power in their own right. I have also pushed a little harder on matrilineal descent as the most important factor in a magical family. But there’s real-world precedent for that, too. In ancient times, the Scottish kingship passed not from father-to-son, but uncle-to-nephew. The women were seen as the consistent bloodline because the father of a babe could not be proven. I’ve taken that a step farther, though, and given the women the right to rule.
Because of that history of female leadership, the Scottish Clans never embraced the patriarchy as their English neighbors did. Women in Scotland are free to take lovers, and any children born of such unions are raised by the clan no differently than any born to a married couple.
In Essential Magic, I show some of the problems that arise when families from both heritages mix. Viola (sister to the hero, Malcolm) takes a lover, and no one on the Scottish side of the family cares when she gets pregnant. But when her English father and her socially-conscious mother find out, she is forced to marry Ian, the father of her twins. (This isn’t a spoiler – it comes up in chapter two).
So on the one hand, we have a society that embraces female sexuality. On the other, we have a close facsimile to the real Victorian England.
And then we add magic into the mix. For my main characters Etta and Mal, they quickly discover that literally mixing their magic can bring intense pleasure. I’m writing book two now, and I’m enjoying the way that magic adds a fresh layer of description and emotion to my sex scenes. I can describe the characters literally feeling what the other feels while they make love. It’s a great way to bring depth and character development into the scenes.
If any of this sounds intriguing to you, Essential Magic is out today! You can get it at all of the major internet book retailers.
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