Story Spotlight – A Tale of Magic and Sorrow

For my first Story Spotlight, I went with A Tale of Magic and Sorrow by Lee Hayton. Lee is a fellow Phoenix Prime author. Which means she is a great writer too. The story is a bit dark, but in the best possible way. She has such a way with imagery. By a way with imagery, I mean to say that she is a magician. One of my favorite short snippets:

As she fell silent, Nolan stared at the magic’s light. Each heartbeat sent crimson ripples out in waves, like a stone thrown into a pond. The blue wasn’t just blue, but indigo, violet, teal, and green. The gold formed a shimmering accent, pinpoints moving in set patterns like a sped-up night sky.

After I read it, I wanted to know more. As writer, I love to know how people come up with their stories. As I reader, I am nosy. I reached out to the Lee to get more information about the story. Below you will find her response. Anything in bold is from me.

I came up with the main character for this story when I was writing the description for the (now) second book in the World War Magic series, Bitter Magic. In that, I described true magic as being… “deep, dark, and dangerous. The stuff your great-great-grandfather fought against in blood-soaked battles to eradicate from the earth.” [See what I mean? Great writing] As soon as I wrote that down, I wanted to know more about the type of man who would fight a battle to eradicate magic from the world. Voila! Nolan Helmond was born.

The story was written as part of the Inanna’s Circle Game [brought to you by the creator of Phoenix Prime], where a series of snippets, settings, and character descriptions are provided by the organizer and at least one of each must be included in the story. For my setting, I chose the meadow that seems peaceful, but which on closer inspection has skeletons tangled in among the long grass and an inn run by a husband and wife. [She is not kidding about this. However, it came across as really beautiful to me.] They both fit in with my ideas at the time, and helped the story to grow and change. It went dark, man. I think this is the grimmest thing I’ve ever written, and my first two novels are about dead children. Yeah. Grimmer than that. [Grim in a good way for me.]

I’d like readers to take away a better sense of what to do when presented with a choice between the easy way and the right way. Nolan Helmond is a dickhead, people. Don’t be like Nolan. [Seriously, don’t.] Do, however, buy the next installment in the World War Magic series and embrace your inner grimness. You think this one is dark? Hoo boy. You don’t know what’s coming for you.

A Tale of Magic and Sorrow (World War Magic Book 1)
Exclusive to Amazon and FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited


Bitter Magic (World War Magic Book 2)

Exclusive to Amazon and FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited


Caged Magic (Part of the Rebels & Runes Boxset)

Exclusive to Amazon and FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited


The Last Magic Man

FREE to read as part of the Lee Hayton Starter Library


Check out her stories!

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