The ups and downs of writing Warlock in Training
The easiest part of writing Warlock in Training was getting started. Angus was a character in a bit of flash fiction and that was all he was meant to be. I grabbed the first name that I thought of and that was that.
However I found it really hard to forget about him. What happened to him after he was taken across the void and he ended up in Demonside? What was his demon like? What was Demonside like? I envisioned it night be a novella at most. But then I started writing just to see where the story took me and I realized that it was more than a novella…so maybe three?
By the time I’d written fifty thousand words I was in deep and the human and demon worlds were very much alive in my mind and I knew this was no quick novella or even novella series, this was a full on urban fantasy series that would cover four books. I have since gone on to do a rough outline of those books so I know where I’m going. With book 2 written it’s all coming together.
This makes it sound like it was a magical walk in the park where I wrote a story and it got published.
And while’s it true I was lucky enough to get a publisher I did have to do a revise and resubmit (for those not familiar it’s where the publisher goes, well we really like it but it has a couple of major flaws preventing us from buying it. Fix this and this and then let us have another look). I was more than happy to make those changes, not that it was easy to do that. I think I gutted 10k of defective scenes and rewrote scenes that worked better.
That wasn’t the hardest part of writing Warlock in Training.
Creating two very different worlds that used the same magic but in very different ways wasn’t the hardest part either. I had a lot of fun creating Vinland and working out the history of how this alternative country came to be (Angus lives in our world, but it’s a place where magic exists and as a result the country borders we are familiar with don’t exist. I couldn’t add magic and assume that history followed the same path). I researched desert civilizations and ecosystems for Demonside. I also research the little ice age that happened in the seventeenth century.
The hardest part of this book was what started as a cute idea to ensure that the heroes got plenty of naked time (while I was reading plenty of urban fantasy most of it was very light on when it came to sexy times). Sex magic…because writing those intimate scenes isn’t hard enough already.
Sex scenes are a bit like fight scenes, there’s body parts doing things to other body parts and emotions are running at a high and if there are more than two people then you really need to keep count of arms and legs and other bits…. Adding magic and having to keep the ritual in mind was another level of complication.
Those scenes would take me forever to write. I’d go through once just to map out what was going to happen body wise, and work out what the change in the character was (and sometimes I’d decide that I needed to do it from the other POV), then I’d go through it again making sure I put in enough magical working.
There is one big group working which I actually just skipped in the first draft and left myself the note: orgy here. Needless to say when I was doing the second draft and I found the note I hated my past self for being such a lazy so and so. I’m glad I left it though as I knew what needed to happen because I’d written the fall out—writing is weird like that sometimes. Sometimes you have to know what happens in the future to go back and fix the past.
TJ Nichols is an avid runner and martial arts enthusiast who first started writing as child. Many years later while working as a civil designer TJ decided to pick up a pen and start writing again. Having grown up reading thrillers and fantasy novels it’s no surprise that mixing danger and magic comes so easily, writing urban fantasy allows TJ to bring magic to the everyday.
With two cats acting as supervisors TJ has gone from designing roads to building worlds and wouldn’t have it any other way. After traveling all over the world and Australia, TJ now lives in Perth, Western Australia.
Angus Donohue doesn’t want to be a warlock. He believes draining demons for magic is evil, but it’s a dangerous opinion to have—his father is a powerful and well-connected warlock, and Angus is expected to follow the family tradition.
His only way out is to fail the demon summoning class. Failure means expulsion from the Warlock College. Despite Angus’s best efforts to fumble the summoning, it works. Although not the way anyone expects.
Angus’s demon, Saka, is a powerful mage with his own need for a warlock.
Saka wants to use Angus in a ritual to rebalance the magic that is being stripped from Demonside by warlocks. If Angus survives his demon’s desires and the perils of Demonside, he’ll have to face the Warlock College and their demands.
Angus must choose: obey the College and forget about Demonside or trust Saka and try to fix the damage before it’s too late. Whatever he does, he is in the middle of a war he isn’t qualified to fight.