When Magic Betrays with Anne Marie Lutz

Not too long ago I came across the novel “Taylenor.” Not knowing anything about the author, I took a chance and enjoyed the way it upended a familiar fantasy trope. Sure, there’s a young, idealistic female mage. But what happens when she learns the system she’s been faithfully supporting is actually corrupt and killing people? It was intriguing enough to want to talk to the author, Anne Marie Lutz.

So, who are you and what’s your deal?

I’m an author of fantasy novels and short stories. My novels are epic fantasy, and my short stories all have a touch of the supernatural about them – fantasy or even a touch of horror.

For some reason, I’ve never been interested in writing fiction set in the real world. I remember my early attempts at building a fantasy world — all the complex interactions that go into making a world that seems real. I was so excited when I went to a convention where there were panels on worldbuilding, and people actually talked about fantasy maps, the realities of long-distance travel on horseback, what to consider when describing an alien planet, and similar topics. I was in my element!

I was raised in Youngstown, Ohio, leaving to go to Ohio State and major in journalism. A few years later I went back to school for my MBA, and worked as an office manager and an operations analyst. I left that world years ago, and I’ve fulfilled a lifetime goal by writing fantasy novels. My Color Mage novels, Black Tide and Sword of Jashan, were recently reissued, and my newest stand-alone novel is Taylenor. I’ve always wanted to write a space opera, so maybe that will be next!

What’s the story behind Taylenor?

Taylenor is a fantasy novel about Jaena, a young traveling priest of her peaceful goddess, Imn-ashu. Jaena finds a boy with a rare mage talent that is linked to a terrible illness. She takes him to the city to try to save his life, only to find that she has delivered him into the hands of the Mage Defender, who rules by stealing the magic — and the lives — of children. 

Desperate to right the wrong she has done, Jaena races for aid to save Wiel and destroy the Mage Defender. At stake are the lives of the last remaining taylenor as well as Jaena’s own survival – and the destruction of an ancient scourge that has reawakened to threaten all the people of Cassahn.

What is it about that form of magic or the story that intrigued you?

This is such a good question! Since I’m a discovery writer (EDITOR’S NOTE: MUCH NICER WORD THAN PANTSER!) who finds out what my novel is about while I’m writing it, the roots of Taylenor developed slowly.

Jaena, my main character, is a strong woman in spite of being a priest of a peaceful goddess. She discovers that she has unknowingly led someone into great danger, and takes it as her duty to rescue him and others who have fallen into the Mage Defender’s trap.

I was fascinated by the kind of heroism so many ordinary people show in real life – not swinging swords in battle (though there are a few battles in Taylenor), but fighting in her own way, out of a sense of duty and love. Although it turns out that Jaena has her own special ways of fighting.

As for the details of the magic – it’s a bit of a spoiler, so I’ll leave that for those who choose to read the novel!

Who do you read in this field that people should know about?

I’ve read and enjoyed many authors’ work – in and out of my favorite genres. I’ll have to pick only a few, because I could go on and on.

I started with the classics: Bradbury, Heinlein, C.S. Lewis. “The Mote in God’s Eye” by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle was a favorite, a great first-contact novel. I also loved Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern. Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan books are addictive space-opera reading with complex characters, and some of my favorites.

More recently, I’ve enjoyed N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, as well as Martha Wells’ All Systems Red. I always laugh a lot when reading one of Jasper Fforde’s humorous novels featuring literary detective Thursday Next. I am watching, but haven’t yet read, The Expanse series, which I think is some of the best science fiction I’ve seen on television. I appreciated George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books as well – would recommend them to anyone as essential epic fantasy.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog! I’ve enjoyed your questions. Readers can follow me and check out reviews and events at any of the places below. Also, I occasionally post a free short story on my Facebook author page and my blog.

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Anne-Marie-Lutz/e/B00CF67TEM/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

My blog: https://annemariesblog.wordpress.com/about/

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/authorannemarielutz/

Twitter: @color_mage

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6569602.Anne_Marie_Lutz

Speaking of free stories. In a month or so I am going to be offering a FREE story, not seen anywhere else, for subscribers to my newsletter. Please use the form on the side of the page to get on board and learn more about my work, including the upcoming novel, Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk.

And you can see all my current work on my Amazon Author Page!

There’s Gonna Be Some Changes Made Around Here

Admittedly, the Venn diagram of people who care about Syrian orphans, tarot-card reading junkies and how to do Skype meetings is fairly small, but this will be the place for all of that

As you may have noticed if you’ve been poking your head in from time to time, things are changing pretty quickly in my writing world. In fewer than five years I’ve gone from having a few self-published business books, to writing my first novel, to co-writing a business best-seller and three more novels. Plus a bunch of short stories plus… well, it’s been a lot.

And, as I look back, not much has changed on this site since then. It’s been interviews with fellow indie historical fiction writers, the occasional update on a book signing, and that’s about it. Well, I need to make some adjustments, and here’s why:

  • My new book isn’t historical fiction. How do you feel about werewolf detectives? The novel I’ve finished writing (and there may be publication news on this very soon) is not historical fiction. I have dropped huge hints before now but it won’t be the third book in the Lucca le Peu series. It is an urban fantasy series of three projected novels, the first being “Johnny Lycan and the Anubis Disk.” Trust me, you’ll hear all about it in the coming months.
  • I’ll be expanding who I interview on the blog to authors in Urban Fantasy and other genres. Just as I greatly expanded my network of writers with historical fiction books, I’m going to be reaching out to those who write Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, and all the other niche genres of weird stuff. I’ll still include historical authors, but there’ll be more of a mix. Watch for the first new interview in a couple of weeks.
  • I’ll include more updates on my business writing and other efforts. Since my ego won’t let me write under a pseudonym, I may as well just come to grips with the fact that I write pretty good business and non-fiction work as well as my novels. Admittedly, the Venn diagram of people who care about Syrian orphans, tarot-card reading junkies and how to do Skype meetings is fairly small, but this will be the place for all of that, with lots of links to whichever direction you want to go from there.
  • This is all about selling more books. You got a problem with that? I am not ashamed to admit that I need to do a better job of marketing and selling my books. While I’ve worked hard, it hasn’t been (from a book marketing perspective) particularly smart or successful. Plus, the Duchess is about to retire and I need the bread. I need to get better and I’m going to work smarter. This will look fairly crass, but a brother’s got to eat. If you enjoy something here, please share it with your friends. If you hate it, tell me.

This is going to start right now, and it’s going to start with an attempt to build up my mailing list. I promise, no spam and only occasional updates but this is the year 2020 and this is how it’s done. In a couple of weeks I”m going to make a special FREE offer of content to those who sign up for my newsletter list. You can get a jump on that by clicking here. Otherwise, watch for updates to my website and the chance to get free stuff by getting on my contact list.

For those of you around the world who follow me on Twitter and Facebook, thank you and please tell your friends. I’m excited about where all this is going. Hopefully, you’ll come along for the ride.

The Long-Distance Leader is in Polish and Italian. Cool, huh?

Those of you who read my blog but don’t read my business books may not know that The Long-Distance Leader, Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership is an airport best-seller and a pretty big deal in the management and leadership world. How do I know?

Because the rights have been sold to the book in Italian and Polish. Take a look:

It’s in Polish! Djakuje
In Italian.Molto grazie

Not for nothing, but we’re waiting for the cover of the book in Mandarin, which would be amazing.

We are currently hard at work on the sequel, The Long-Distance Teammate- Stay Engaged and Productive Working From Anywhere. Cover reveal is coming soon!

If you haven’t checked out my day job and the good work we’re doing at The Remote Leadership Insitute, click and learn more.

Meanwhile, if you want to see all my work, fiction and non-fiction, you can find it on my Amazon author page by clicking here.

Memory Lane: The First Story I had Published

“You took my uncle to a cockfight?” There was no arguing the point, and it really wasn’t a question so much as an opening statement so I kept my fat mouth shut. My wife didn’t slow down even a bit. “…My 75 year old uncle… To a cockfight… That you found on Instagram?”

Tio Fernando’s Field Trip

So since there hasn’t been a lot of new activity, I thought I’d share some of my short stories that some of my new readers might not be familiar with. This is the first piece I had published in a real honest-to-God magazine, the now defunct eFiction.

It’s about cockfighting, marriage and goofy old men. Enjoy.

Of course, if you enjoy my short story, you might enjoy one of my novels such as The Count of the Sahara or the Lucca le Peu Stories, Acre’s Bastard and Acre’s Orphans.

You can also read my other short stories under Short Stories and other Pieces