I tend to ask “why” and “what if” kinds of questions about the world around me. A sure sign of my curiosity! So when I went in search of a new type of superhero, I drew upon my love of earth and space sciences. At the time, it felt as if natural disasters were on the rise in frequency and intensity. I began to wonder why. My protagonist, Ian Black and the Weir, a magical race of beings, developed from there.
I loved the idea that a magical race had lived among humans for thousands of years. Stewards of the planet, they ensure that the surface of the planet is in harmony. But that felt typical and done before (and teetering in a soapbox kind-of-way), so I, quite literally, dug deeper. Earth’s surface is its own ecosystem, but the planet is made up of vast “innards.” There’s an entire, untapped world beneath the earth’s crust. Incredible mysteries exist under our feet! What if the Weir could control the energies generated by the planet itself? Magnetic fields, gravity, electrical forces, tectonic plate shifts? The list of possibilities erupted like a volcano!
Of course, any good storyteller knows that heroes, like humans, are flawed. Even magical beings need to have conflict or dramatic elements. My hero, Ian, didn’t inherit the Weirs powers as predicted and as a child, he turned to illusions to dabble in what he couldn’t do naturally. The Weir are dying out. In this modern time, it dawned on me that magical beings might turn to science to combat their eventual demise. The perfect blend of contemporary fantasy and science fiction adventure emerged!
I ended up with ecological undertones in the long run, but the conservation messages are eclipsed by a compelling, epic story driven by a cast of characters that will win the hearts, or villainous disdain, of many. The five book series races toward an ultimate battle to save Earth, and really the universe itself! But what shape will Earth be in when it is all said and the final chapter has ended? After all, it’s not wise to mess with Mother Nature.
About Sue Duff
Sue has been writing since high school but never became serious about it until a skiing accident laid her up for an entire summer and she turned on the word processor to combat the boredom. A couple years later, her first urban fantasy novel, Fade to Black, was a finalist in the RMFW Colorado Gold Writing Contest. By day, she’s a dedicated speech-language therapist in an inner city school district to pay the bills but her life as a writer is her true passion and the creative outlet keeps her sane.
Sue is a member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and The Pikes Peak Writers. Her creativity extends into her garden and the culinary arts. She is the second oldest of six girls with an avid reader mom and her dad, the family’s single drop of testosterone in a sea of estrogen. Fate thought it hilarious to give her a son but maternal instincts swing both ways and she didn’t break the little bugger. She lives in Colorado with her miniature dachshund, Snickers and hears from her son, Jonathan whenever he needs something.
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About Masks and Mirrors
Ian Black’s commitment to safeguarding Earth has come at a price. His career as an illusionist is at a standstill and attending to the planet’s needs has distanced him from his best friend, his guardians, and the woman he loves. When presented with an opportunity to perform, Ian seizes the chance. But moments before he takes the stage, Ian encounters the mysterious Jaered and a rebel force fighting to protect Earth alongside the Weir.
Jaered is determined to stop a malevolent Weir from releasing a drug capable of wiping out the last vestiges of their race and plunging Earth into self-destruction. But when Jaered is willing to sacrifice an innocent child to obtain the drug for himself, Ian risks everything to uncover the secrets of the rebel forces and their true intentions for Earth’s survival.