Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Origin of Geomar

The unicorn Geomar is one of my favorite characters in Iffy Magic. He's semi-senile, dangerously powerful and on a desperate hunt for the best friend he lost almost a century ago, not understanding that mortals age far more swiftly than the dreams of Faerie Folk. I imagine him as an equine Don Quixote, always ready, like Miguel Cervantes's man, to proclaim to any who dare scoff at his near impossible quest:

“To surrender dreams — this may be madness. Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!”

The inspiration for his character came from a birthday card given to me by my very own Fairy Grandma:

One look at the urgent, earnest expression in the eyes, the defiant toss of the head, and I knew this chivalrous creature needed a story of its own. And yes, the featured equine is a pegasus, not a unicorn . . . .

Guess you'll just have to read the book to find out how Geomar gains wings!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Secrets behind Iffy Magic Art

Today I am going to share secrets behind the creation of the book cover and book trailer!

Secret #1: The wings on the book cover are REAL.

Okay, so the wings are made of fabric and wire, but the pattern overlaying the wings comes from a Pearl Morpho butterfly. Specifically, from this photo I took many years ago at a museum:

Secret #2: You can catch a tiny glimpse of Prim's wings, which she trades to the Glass Dryad for passage into the Mortal Vale, in the book trailer. I have highlighted them in a red circle:

 Secret #3: There is a bit of Fargo hidden in the book trailer!

I sent my fabulous illustrator/animator Audrey Bagley a picture of frost climbing my window during winter, and she came up with the genius idea to use it as a hidden texture throughout the book trailer. For example, the frost texture was used to give the star sapphire coregem depth: 

*Stay tuned next week to discover the origin of the unicorn Geomar, my favorite equine Don Quixote!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Book Launch/Trailer Day!


I've blown all my wish seeds and Iffy Magic is out in the world, at last! Thanks in no small part to the keen and creative editorial vision of Natalie Lakosil, the gorgeous illustrated and animated art by Audrey Bagley, and my ever supportive friends and family.

And now it is with great pleasure that I share Sealoch Studio's book trailer!

*Looking for the book? You can find it at these online retailers:

Purchase in print: 

Purchase the ebook:
*(read the first 20% of the book free on Smashwords!)

Amazon international sites, including
 Amazon UK
Amazon Japan 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Iffy Magic's Muse & Author Dean Hughes's Review

I started writing Iffy Magic in the fall of 2008, about eight months after my mother's sudden passing in February. I needed a way to push against the ache of silence, a way for me to find her again—

Bonnie. Mom. Teacher. Artist. Storyteller.

Many of my happiest memories of my mother involve stories. She was always reading to my sisters and I, always marking little blue and black x’s in the wispy paper-thin Scholastic catalogue they sent children home with from school, and taking us to the library for ink treasure hunts. Always teaching me to believe in the wonder of fairy tales and how to learn from the kindness and bravery of characters like Taran Wanderer, Cimorene, Aslan, Frodo, and Barbara Cooney's Hattie. Creating Primrose and coming along with her on her journey to become a true fairy godmother allowed me to find joy again not just as a writer, but as a daughter. As a (once-upon-a-time) child. As just another soul in this scarred and beautiful globe of wishes we call Earth.

I am so thrilled to share Iffy Magic with the world tomorrow! But first, I would like to share a review given by writer Dean Hughes, author of over 100 published books including Soldier Boys. I was serendipitous enough to be a student in his creative writing class at BYU over ten years ago.

Without further ado—

“Queen Calypso, a character in Iffy Magic: Confessions of a Faux Fairy Godmother, describes the ‘Motley crew of vagabonds’ who inhabit the story:  ‘We have a stray Lord of Feles, an Elder unicorn, a faux fairy godmother and a wicked fairy . . . all working together to create unparalleled mischief.’

But more than mischief, these vagabonds create a delightful team of eccentrics who use their magic to create an intriguing plot, an enchanting world—and great fun for the reader.  The plot may take the Cinderella story for its inspiration, but the wonderful characters, ingenious plot and unfailing writing style make for a more layered, evocative and entertaining story than the original tale ever achieved.

S. E. Page is a skilled stylist [ . . .] Her descriptions, her clever language, her funny insights, create a voice that holds and charms the reader with every sentence.  Readers of all ages will come to love Primrose Goodwing, the would-be fairy godmother, and the magical world she lives in.”

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Faerie Era Exclusive! Interview with Zenaides

This week I am proud to include a Character Interview of Iffy Magic’s very own Zenaides by Sadie St. Elle-Maid of the Faerie Era, the premier news folio in the Faerie Vale.

*Read Part I and Part 2.

*Please note that this portrait is several hundred years out of date. 
No current image of Zenaides is available.

St. Elle-Maid: It’s not often that I have the distinct dishonor of interviewing a pernicious pixie. How do you take your tea, one lump or two?

Zenaides: No sugar, thank you. A pinch of dried hemlock will do nicely. And 'pernicious pixie’ is a rather droll term, don’t you think? “Wicked fairy” suits me just fine. 

St. Elle-Maid: As a thoroughly vile wicked fairy, how many mortals have you hexed? And what is your favorite method of hexing; toad, frog or newt?

Zenaides: Not to brag—that’s a hexable vice, after all—but I must admit that I lost count after the first hundred or so. Over the centuries, I’ve found myself growing weary of the common amphibious spell. I’ve recently started experimenting with fowl play in a group hexing; “duck, duck goose” is my current favorite.

St. Elle-Maid: Fascinating. And when did you first realize your destiny as a nefarious foe of good fairy godmothers everywhere?

Zenaides: Oh, some ages ago . . . I think there was a princess. Mine, actually! But she had the heart of a viper and I had the temper of a dragon, and, well—enough about dull little old me. I only agreed to this interview because I wished to meet the foolish nitwing who cast slanderous aspersions on Primrose Goodwing.

St. Elle-Maid: Aspersions? I never—

Zenaides: I believe you accused "Little Miss Pixie Perfect" of employing forbidden dark magic to create the notorious glass slippers.

St. Elle-Maid: I was only repeating my sources. My readership deserve the absolute, unvarnished truth—

Zenaides: Malicious gossip you fanned to a bonfire! You should be ashamed of your shoddy exposé. I count Miss Goodwing as my particular acquaintance and can state with unequivocal candor that she is an upstanding pixie who could go far as a wicked fairy. Very far.

St. Elle-Maid: Oh really? Do tell us her wretched secret!

Zenaides: There’s nothing secret about it. I knew from the moment that we crossed wands that Primrose has a rebel spark in her. She won’t let nonsensical notions of the proper way to be a fairy godmother get in the way of—

St. Elle-Maid: Wait, you two dueled? Who won?

Zenaides: I know I said that I rarely indulge in the classical hexes anymore, but I do believe a toad hex will suit you well. The warts do wonders. 

St. Elle-Maid: Don’t be coy now. You’re clearly avoiding my question.

Zenaides: Am I, poppet? Why not try out my hex for a day and then guess who won.

St. Elle-Maid: I’ve been a toad twice this month already; a unique hazard of my profession, I’m afraid. Might I try something a little more exotic this time, perhaps an “aardvark”?

Zenaides: Intriguing! As you wish.

After a brief stint flirting with dark magic as a ghost mime, Sadie St. Elle-Maid earned her Silver Quill chronicling the mysterious mass evaporation of cloud ponies over Mirage Desert. She has headed the Character Interview section of the Faerie Era for two centuries now and is widely regarded as the supreme expert of hexological pathologies.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Faerie Era Exclusive! Interview with Primrose Goodwing

This week I am proud to include a Character Interview of Iffy Magic’s very own Primrose Goodwing by Sadie St. Elle-Maid of the Faerie Era, the premier news folio in the Faerie Vale.

*Read Part I

Prim: Salutations! I’m—

St. Elle-Maid: Four-leaf clover tart?

Prim: No thank you, I’m allergic to four-leaf clovers. What was I saying? Oh yes. Salutations! I’m Primrose Goodwing and I have a message from the Sponsor a Mortal Foundation—

St. Elle-Maid: A lovely hobby, to be sure—but Titania’s Toes! I just adore your shoes. The tiny gold Zanzibar bells on the curled tips are such a daring touch. Did you glamour up those little wonder soles yourself?

Prim: I’ve been conjuring shoes ever since I was little. My iffy magic often got me into trouble with my teachers, so I stared down at my feet quite a lot, but that gets rather boring, doesn’t it? Embellishing my slippers with a bit of sparkle became sort of a habit—ahem. But I’m actually here today to talk about how citizens of the Faerie Vale can help poor and afflicted mortals in desperate need of—”

St. Elle-Maid: That’s nice. Would you ever consider replicating the famed glass slippers that you made for your first mortal venture?

Prim: It’s impossible to reflect magic the same way twice, especially since each human soul is unique—

St. Elle-Maid: But would you consider trying?

Prim:  Well, I . . . 

St. Elle-Maid: Excellent, how exciting! You could name your shoe line after the first girl you made them for, what was it? Dear little Cinderbell.

Prim: “Cinderella”—

St. Elle-Maid: Yes, that’s what I said. So how early before you can start taking orders? Faux glass slippers are all the rage at Faerie Court these days.

Prim: Never. And that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Right now, legions of mortals are suffering because they lack fairy godmothers—

St Elle-Maid: Your “Little Miss Pixie Perfect” act is charming, really. But rumor has it that your zeal for delivering happily-ever-afters is masking a dark and terrible secret.

Prim: It is? 

St. Elle-Maid: Aha! You said it, not me. But even without your confession we have the testimonial of one Calla Lily, your former classmate at Meadowlark. She says and I quote, “Of course Primrose is all about keeping her pet humans happy. That way the dumb mortals don’t notice that she’s bleeding crystallized bliss from their hearts. It’s how she makes her precious glass slippers.” 

Prim: Why that slimy, cross-eyed newt! She’s a liar—

St. Elle-Maid: Tender ears, darling. Queen Calypso herself reads this publication, you know. 

Prim: You listen here, I only agreed to this interview because I thought I could share an important message. Once humans and Faerie Folk lived and worked side by side, but now contact between Vales is strictly regulated. And why? Because most humans are viewed as dangerous, dirty creatures unworthy of magic. We have forgotten the many times a single human has saved the Faerie Vale. Excalibur could never have existed without the heart of the mortal child Arthur. When we stop believing in humanity, we stop believing in ourselves. We squander our potential to do good in both worlds.

St. Elle-Maid: Bluebonnets! Your sweet little speech almost convinces me. I’m tearing in my left eye, truly I am. So how do I adopt one of these human creatures? And can you throw in a pair of glass slippers if I adopt two of them? 

Prim: No!

After a brief stint studying fashion at the Emperor’s Nouveau Clothing Academy, Sadie St. Elle-Maid earned her Silver Quill chronicling the Cobbler’s Strike of the Leprechaun Colonies. She has headed the Character Interview section of the Faerie Era for two centuries now and is widely regarded as the supreme icon of Faerie Court style.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Faerie Era Exclusive! Interview with Calico

This week I am proud to include a Character Interview of Iffy Magic’s very own Calico by Sadie St. Elle-Maid of the Faerie Era, the premier news folio in the Faerie Vale.

St. Elle-Maid: Catnip, kitten? I like to offer all my guests their favorite comfort food before we delve into their deliciously deep, dark shocking sec—

Calico: I’m not a cat. I’m a feline shape shifter.

St. Elle-Maid: Of course you are! Your pedigree records show that your grandfather was the illustrious Puss n' Boots. So why didn’t you inherit his magic boots, hmmm? A little cat-fight, in the family, perhaps? Do tell.

Calico: My Granddad never said a cross word to me in my life. Or maybe, anything. I was the youngest out of twenty litter mates, you see, so—

St. Elle-Maid: Oh, what cruel scandalous neglect, you poor thing! Now for some questions from our readers. Lalania from Carolai asks: “If someone played with your hair, would it spark?”

Calico: Nobody plays with my hair. 

St. Elle-Maid: What a shame, kitten. On a scale of 1 to 10, how damaging are you to household furniture? 

Calico: Don’t call me “kitten.” Seriously, is this a real interview? 

St. Elle-Maid: Of course it is, kit—alico! Now, as a descendant of the Noble line of Feles, you automatically inherited one magical article of clothing on your 15th birthday, correct?

Calico: Sure I did. But the only thing left in the magic wardrobe by the time I got there was this turban. And the moment I claimed it, my family kicked me out on some absurd game to go “help a mortal.” 

St. Elle-Maid: I believe it’s called a “fairy tale quest.” You pick a worthy human and help make all their dreams come true—

Calico: I call it traditional stupidity. 

St. Elle-Maid: Oh, really? Because that’s not what recent events would indicate. According to our reports, you’ve been associating with a certain Primrose Goodwing, a whimsical little sprite obsessed with happy endings everywhere, and for everyone—

Calico: I’m not talking about Prim. 

St. Elle-Maid: I feel like you’re fighting me. You’re not being very cooperative. 

Calico: All right, you want an exclusive? Fine. Here’s your exclusive: Most of the articles of clothing in the House of Feles have lost their juice. You’d think from my grand jeweled turban that I could conjure up a castle or an army of ten thousand soldiers in the blink of an eye, right? Wrong. The spells woven into the threads are so old that the turban can barely muster a breakfast feast. Would you like a plate of elderberry cream tarts?

St. Elle-Maid: Yes, please! And don’t be stingy with the cream filling. 

Calico: I never skimp on the cream. I’m a “cat,” remember? 

After a brief stint studying shrieking at the Banshee Academy of Dramatic Wailing, Sadie St. Elle-Maid earned her Silver Quill chronicling the Dryad Wars of the Avalon apple groves. She has headed the Character Interview section of the Faerie Era for two centuries now and is widely regarded as the supreme expert of magical catology. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

One Failed Fairy & Dickinson's "Gem-Tactics"

  I include my favorite poem by Emily Dickinson in the preface to Iffy Magic:

We play at Paste—
Till qualified, for Pearl—
Then, drop the Paste—
And deem ourself a fool—

The Shapes—though—were similar—
And our new Hands
Learned Gem-Tactics—
Practicing Sands—

The idea that a stubborn little grit of sand can become pearled with persistent effort and time is at the heart of all Prim’s dreams. She isn’t a whiz with a wand.  Every effort she makes to move on from weak ephemera to a proper glamour is mired in ignominious failure. But she doesn’t give up on her magic, because “gem-tactics” arise from more than easy talent. Likewise, faux can truly be fair in essence if not reality—the poor paste strand of pearls adults call trash, children name treasure.

May I just add that I adore Dickinson’s penchant for the em dash? Each sentence slides like a cloud off the tongue when spoken! Read it aloud and try the poem out for yourself. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Know your Fairy Magics!

Did you ever wonder why Cinderella had a strict midnight curfew and all the magic evaporated at 12 o'clock sharp? I did, and thus Primrose and her mortifying little problem was born!

In Iffy Magic, there are two main types of fairy magic: ephemera and glamour. Ephemera by their very name are short-lived enchantments that evaporate at midnight, while a proper fairy glamour lasts as long as the spell caster wishes. Unfortunately for Prim, she has only ever been able to cast measly ephemera. Too bad the standardized Fairy Godmother Test requires a Practical Glamour demonstration . . . .

There is also a third, higher and most exceedingly rare type of fairy enchantmentmirror magic. But this type of magic requires a fairy to peer deep into the inmost soul of a human and reflect what is there. The product of such a powerful spell is usually impervious to other enchantments, making mirror magic objects highly coveted in both the Mortal and Faerie Vales. Yet no new mirror magic has been done since the forging of Excalibur 500 years ago.