IIn just a few short days (on 2 August 2022), Magic Bound, the long-awaited second book in the Haven Chronicles is published. Readers have been kept on tenterhooks for a wee while here, since the first book, Haven Wakes, was published, but we can promise it’s definitely worth the wait.
To whet your appetites, we spoke with the author, Fi Phillips, about the books and all things writing.
Tell us a bit about yourself – how did you start writing and why?
It feels like I’ve always written stories, but it actually started when I spent several months in hospital as a child after being knocked down. I wrote about the children on my ward. I wrote a letter to my favourite teddy bear. I wrote a list of what was in my bedroom. It didn’t matter what it was, any old rubbish; I wrote it down just the same. If I didn’t have enough to read, I wrote myself a story. By the time I went home, writing had become the love of my life.
With no spoilers, tell us about Magic Bound, and the Haven Chronicles
The Haven Chronicles is a futuristic fantasy series. Think magic and robots. In the first novel, Haven Wakes, 12 year old Steve Haven discovers a hidden world of magic that most workadays (non magicals) know nothing about. Magic Bound continues Steve’s journey into magic. He and his new friends, Hartley Keg and Blessing, face the consequences of their actions in Haven Wakes and their resulting adventure takes them (and the reader) deeper into the magical culture and further afield in the workaday world.
The characters in the Haven Chronicles are a rich bunch – are any of them based on anyone you know?
Nobody I know personally, but Hartley Keg is loosely based on the actor, Brian Blessed. Imagine Brian Blessed if he’d ever played Doctor Who. Darkacre is based on the communities I grew up around; the colourful folk that my parents knew in Scotland and Leeds.
Who are your favourite authors?
It changes with every book I read but at the moment, my list of favourite authors would definitely include Neil Gaiman, Alice Hoffman, Mary Shelley, Terry Brooks, and Derek Landy.
Tell us about your writing routine and where you like to write.
I write for a living as a copywriter as well as an author. Being self-employed, I can juggle my working hours to fit my workload – whether writing a blog post for a customer or penning my latest novel – so my writing routine is regular and mainly 9 to 5 Monday to Friday. Having said that, if I’m feeling inspired on a night-time or a weekend, I’ll work on my novels then too.
As to the ‘where’, it’s generally typing away at my desk. I share an office with my husband who works from home too. On occasion, when tackling a particularly challenging chapter, I’ll swap my keyboard for a pad and pencil and relocate to the sofa in the lounge or to the garden.
The cover looks great – as does the revamped Haven Wakes cover. What was your first impression of it?
I loved it. The colour combination is eye-catching and the design is just so right for what happens in Magic Bound. It portrays the mixture of technology and nature evident in the novel and I love the fact that Hartley’s doors make an appearance too.
Magic Bound is one in a series – what’s next for your heroes?
Steve has found out so much about his family’s involvement in the magical world, but he doesn’t know the full story. What he wants now is to find his parents. Several readers have asked where they are. In the next book (or two), that question will be answered. Steve’s adventure will take him further still in the workaday world, pitting him against enemies known and new.
What is your best kept secret?
Me personally? You mean the one about…? Well, I couldn’t possibly say. It wouldn’t be a secret anymore.
Quick fire round – one or two word answers only:
A. Plotter or pantser?
B. Fantasy or sci-fi?
C. Pen or keyboard?
D. Character or plot?
E. Early bird or night owl?
F. Crossword or sudoku?
G. Sun or snow?
And Haven Wakes, the first book in the series, is out now – click here to get your copy today!