Clara’s life is fairly unremarkable. She goes to school, prepares for college, and spends her free time writing fanfiction about Liam and Blane, her ship in the popular Hierarchy Of Magic book series.
But everything changes when she discovers the world from the Hierarchy of Magic, including Liam and Blane, is all real. Not only is it real, but she’s stumbled into the world in the middle of the soon to be released, final book in the series. Her knowledge of the series is a big advantage for not only Liam, but the reigning Hierarchy Party, who seeks to dispose of any magician who doesn’t fall into line. And Liam is the biggest target of all.
But how much of Clara’s knowledge is helpful versus a hinderance? Who can be trusted? And are Liam and Blane really falling for each other? As Clara gets swept up into the politics and danger of this magical world, she can’t help but wonder...is she meant to be a part of the story, or is her presence the force that will make Liam, and everyone except a select few, lose everything?
Hello everyone! Today I’m super excited to present you with an excerpt of the first chapter of FanFact, my novel that is currently in development. For those of you who subscribe to my email newsletter you already know a bit about this world. For some of you, this will be brand new! No matter who you are I hope you enjoy this sneak peek into my upcoming novel.
Don’t be afraid to offer your opinions and feedback! Remember any good author loves criticism.
If you want to read more, all email subscribers receive access to a bonus short story titled Before The After. This short story focuses on Liam and Blane within the context of The Hierarchy Of Magic book series that is mentioned in this excerpt.
Okay that’s enough from me. Enjoy!
I’d been waiting for this moment for years.
It was surreal to be sitting where the Maine branch of the Magic & Specialty Training Academy was meant to stand. Right here, along this cliff, in this town, was where the idea for The Hierarchy Of Magic series had been born. I’d done more than read the books; I’d poured over every bit of canon information I could find.
I knew what students learned at different grades. I knew what the magical specialties were, and what field you were likely to go into based on those specialties. I knew the layout of the school and the nearby town. I knew about the three levels the Hierarchy Party had organized magical specialties into, based on how useful they deemed your magic to be. I even knew Principal Sander’s background, down to what her nickname had been in school. Knowing all of this, I could stare off into the ocean and almost feel the school behind me.
I’d barely started my sketch when something caught my eye just a bit down the shoreline. For the most part the rocks climbed over each other, leaving the occasional gap where small tide pools had formed. But a way down, not too far from where the edge of the ocean began, I could see what looked like an opening in the rock.
For a second I thought my heart had stopped. It looked just like the small, ocean-side cave that Liam frequently escaped to when he wanted to be alone . He’d go there to think about his training, to practice magic, and just to get away from everyone around him. I knew the book series was supposed to take place in this area, but I had never heard of this cave actually being present before.
I shoved my sketchpad back into my bag, my pencil slipping from my grasp and clattering down the rocks in my rush. I stood quickly as my eyes scanned for a route that could get me into that cave opening. The rocks were sharper than those I was used to on the shores of Lake Michigan. These had not been placed, they simply were, and so there were no smooth corners to cling to. I stepped slowly from one uneven surface to the next.
It seemed to take forever to reach the opening but I finally made it. The spray from the ocean had left me damp, the cold water seeping through my clothes and chilling my skin. Goosebumps rose along my arms as I peered into the cave. It was dark, but not impossible to see inside. The ocean was licking at my feet, so I slipped in through the cave opening.
It was a shallow cave, just as it was described in the books. The walls were dark and rough, and most of the cave was wet from the occasional rush of water. As I walked, the ground beneath me grew drier, until finally I had made it. This was where Liam sat, against the wall of the cave where the water didn’t reach.
I pulled my phone from my bag and flipped on the flashlight app, pointing it at the cave wall. A grin broke across my face at what I found there. The image of runes, the ones that Liam had discovered when he first found this place, had been drawn here.
My fingers reached out, brushing the runes carefully. The stone was rough and sharp. I had no idea how the images had been created. It didn’t look like spray paint, but that was the only thing it could have been. Probably the paint had just faded over time. I wasn’t the first one here, but maybe I was one of the only ones. After all, I’d never heard from other fans that this cave actually existed, before.
I sat, leaning back against the cave wall, and took a moment to just breathe. There was something magical about this place, and it wasn’t just the runes that a fan had drawn on the walls. It was something in the air. Maybe it was simply the sense of how completely alone I was- that feeling was hard to come by. There were almost always other people around. For all I knew there was someone looking over the ocean above me right now. But here, in this small, isolated cave, there was nothing. No people, no distractions, and no sound save the roaring ocean outside. It made me feel oddly at peace.
Feeling this peaceful wasn’t something I was used to. I’d been anxious for almost as long as I could remember, but it had gotten much worse when the money from my mom’s artwork had dried up. For a while we could barely afford to pay the bills. So even though my family insisted I could do whatever I wanted, I knew I couldn’t just go to school for say, drawing. I needed to go for something I could pursue a stable career in.
Blane was like that. Blane reminded me of myself, actually; he knew what he was good at and he had a plan. I liked Liam for the opposite reasons; he was impulsive and tried new things. In a way I liked the order that the Hierarchy Party had brought into the magical world. It meant that your magic dictated what you were supposed to do. There were no questions, there was no failing.
It was such a good idea in theory, but then Blane had overheard what they intended to do with people like Liam. And while us fans could debate day and night about whether Blane and Liam belonged together or not, there was no denying that Blane was going to do something with this knowledge.
My eyes traced after the slow push and pull of the ocean. I could see why Liam sat here to think. The ability to be left alone, completely uninterrupted, allowed your thoughts to flow freely. But the water was creeping further into the cave now, so I’d have to come back some other time. Luckily I had a whole week here to enjoy the places The Hierarchy of Magic series was based off of. I made my way back out through the opening, grimacing as the cold water rushed into my shoes.
It took all my concentration to scramble back up the rocks towards flat ground. That was probably was why it took me so long to notice that something seemed off. The rocks were different-- still rough, but in another configuration. The ocean was darker than I remembered, the clouds angrier in the sky. The air itself felt… charged. As if a lightning storm was imminent. With my attention on not breaking my neck, however, I didn’t notice any of this.
Until I saw the building.
It was massive, constructed of precisely cut stone that was stacked at least six stories high. Dim lights glowed softly in the windows, not square but partially rounded, like I was used to seeing on old churches. I could see several balconies jutting away from the otherwise flat, smooth surface of the stone in front of me. The shock of finding a building that had not been there before was overridden by the shock of something else I had realized.
This looked exactly like how the school from the Hierarchy of Magic series was described.