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Shannon Fay Books In Order

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Publication Order of Marrowbone Spells Books

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

You First Meet the Devil at a Church Fête (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Absolute Visions(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Phobos Magazine Issue Two: Emergence: weird | fiction(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tomorrow's Cthulhu(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bullet Points 2(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Shannon Fay was born on a Monday, year of the Rabbit. An imaginative child, she started dreaming up stories when she was young. Fanciful and fun, like crashing a rocket ship on an alien planet, she wrote her stories down and hasn’t stopped yet. Ms. Fay obtained a journalism degree which gave her strong skills in non-fiction but the urban fantasy fiction is where she is most comfortable and successful.

Having lived literally all over the globe, Shanghai, Phoenix, and the UK, she maintains your hometown isn’t where you are from but rather it’s defined as where you choose to be now. Ms. Fay lives in K’jipuktuk/Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (roughly pronounced “che-book-took”) and has a day job editing manga. As a participant of the Clarion West Writers Workshop – 2014- and the very successful publications of her Marrowbone Spells duology, maybe she can quit her day job. To keep her grounded and not too full of herself, she has a fluffy white cat who is vocal and pointed in it’s comments to her. To balance the furry critiques, she also lives with a highly supportive and kind human. Ice skating and board games show she’s very human.

The first book of the Marrowbone Spells is Innate Magic. Paul Gallagher is a magician of a lower-class. In this world, magic is the norm but it’s stratified and has rules. Paul is a sewer of enchanted clothes, not requiring much in the way of magical ability, which in this society, is little more than a shallow diversion.

Paul has a secret, one that puts him in danger. He possesses powerful innate magic, that is illegal. This magic he was born with could make him famous and powerful. It’s the ticket to realizing his most passionate dreams.

Paul is engaging, impertinent, and dangerously gullible. Living in postwar London, he is working towards his dream using spells and his wits while trying to keep his secret and his life.

When Paul confides his secret his judgement is a bit muddled- Captain Hector Hollister is Paul’s crush. Following his heart, Paul is pulled into Capt. Hollister’s nefarious plan to reignite war. An attractive reporter, an American who deals in gossip, confides to Paul her goal to reveal a sinister government cover-up connected to Capt. Hollister’s magical goals.

Hollister threatens the life of Paul’s closest friend, and Paul now knows his bad judgement has put friends, family and even the entire world in danger. In this magical world, stronger magic is the only way to fight off the evil of Capt. Hollister. Paul is calculating that to become the most powerful magician in the country by experiencing the risky ceremony to become Court Magician, he may be able to create change and thwart Capt. Hollister’s evil plans.

The next installment of the Marrowbone Spells duology, External Forces, we’re in 1958 London. Paul is forced to spar in a battle of magical skills and judgement with his old foe. England is flung into disarray with the sudden death of a member of the Royal family. The destiny of all of England hangs in precarious balance and times are desperate.

Spending time creating beautiful, magical clothes for his dear friend Princess Katherine, Paul had been gradually working toward his goal, but it hasn’t been smooth passage.

The Virtuis Party, a far-right group, is in power now. Their cryptic master succeeds by using criminals to put an evil magical wall around England. The uniforms Paul has been forced to construct for the prisoners doesn’t sit well with him. Using out of luck convicts as mechanisms for warmongering forces isn’t how he wants his magic used.

Paul has developed allies in his resistance against the highly aggressive and sinister Virtuis Party. They are intent on doing virtually anything to guard the throne, Princess Katherine, and England. To save the soul of the country Paul must do something he absolutely dreads. It’s dangerous and illegal; if he uses his innate magic, it’s so powerful it can literally raise the dead.

In an interview Ms. Fay shares her inspiration for her Marrowbone Spells series. She moved to London in Spring 2015. With a suitcase and backpack in hand she rapidly learned the harsh reality of London life when, with only a few weak Canadian dollars in her pocket and no job lined up, her suitcase was stolen. She had only the clothes on her back and learned first hand what it’s like to live in a cash-poor and time-rich place that still had so much to give her.

London is famously expensive to live in so Ms. Fay lived on what was available to those in her poor situation. Instead of the tube she bussed everywhere. Working in a café gave her free food. Rent in a tiny room was exorbitant. But galleries and museums were free.

Getting a job as a tour guide at the the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) gave her a rich source of British history. The post- WWII era in London was harsh. Rationing went on for many years, even after the war and was still in effect in the 1950’s. Learning allowed her to inject the authenticity into her stories she might have had difficulty accessing.

Another key personal growth moment for Ms. Fay while at the NPG was viewing the portrait of John Vassall by Cecil Beaton. Mr. Vassall was gay in the 1950s and 1960s. Homosexuals in England were persecuted and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Even the brilliant mathematician, the famous codebreaker Alan Turing was convicted of indecency in 1952. (He committed suicide in 1954. In 2013 Queen Elizabeth II granted him a posthumous “mercy pardon” after more than 37,000 signatures were obtained urging a pardon.) This touched Ms. Fay personally and was inspirational for her to come out as bisexual.

Ms. Fay says a reader who hasn’t read the first book, Innate Magic, may become lost without the first novel for background. She wrote the stories to be a duology, and the second novel in the Marrowbone Spells series, External Forces, while it can be a good stand-alone story, she recommends her stories be read in order. This series is highly welcomed by the LGBTQ community with it’s fresh theme of same-sex relationships set in an urban fantasy world.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Shannon Fay

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