by Shay Lacy, author of Hero Needed
Fantasy stories were the first “mature” books I loved, but that’s only because I didn’t discover romance novels until my thirties. Now I want the magic and the Happily Ever After. But not every story idea I conceive is paranormal. Some are straight contemporary romance. You may think they don’t contain magic, but they do. It’s just not the fantasy kind.
When I read a story whose characters and situations engage my emotions, that’s magic. When I relive the process of being attracted to someone, see the heroic strengths in them, like them, and then fall in love with them, that’s magic. When my muscles tense as the characters fight their way out of burning buildings and face villains with guns, that’s magic. When the characters overcome their fears and foes to be together and I feel like doing the “YES!” pump for them, that’s magic.
I love a dark hero, one with angst from a painful or traumatic past. My novel Hero Needed has that in Nick Stark. When I fall in love with a story’s hero—along with the heroine—and I witness him rise above the past/pain to love the heroine, that’s magic. I loved Nick from his inception. With each heroic deed he performed, large or small, I loved him more. I loved him for his humanness as well as his larger-than-life hero image. I loved him for his loyalty, his dedication, his protective instincts, his sexiness and his love of photography. That a man can value nature and beauty is an endearing trait to me. My Nick was magic.
So, just because a story isn’t “fantasy” doesn’t mean it’s not a fantasy. Most storytelling is. And just because it doesn’t contain mages or paranormal creatures doesn’t mean the story isn’t magic. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is magic.
Have you read any stories lately that were magic?