The Dead Robots' Society

Writers on Writing


Episode 228 – Brainstorming Magic With The Roundtable Podcast Crew

This week the Robots welcome the Dave and Brion from the Roundtable Podcast to help Justin brainstorm his next book, the sequel to A MINOR MAGIC. Beware spoilers for that book, which is due out soon, but it’s all for the greater good. Enjoy!

In a strange form of serendipity, Paul is also on this week’s Roundtable Podcast, so please head on over and listen immediately.

I also wanted to mention Veronica Giguere here in the show notes. Veronica is an amazing voice actress, I’m thrilled beyond belief that she did the narration for the upcoming HAYWIRE audiobook, and you would be a fool to not seek her out for your own audio work. Do yourself a favor, and go to her site.



  1. This story sounds awesome!

    Regarding the teleportation, Justin, have you read Steven Gould’s books Jumper and Reflex? Jumper is good (and very different from the movie) but Reflex is freaking awesome. (Griffin’s Story is also very good.) The comment about having a safe place to teleport to brought that to mind.

    The idea of having Cassandra turn from antag to protag made me think of She-Ra. I never quite found the whole still-innocent Force Captain Adora thing believeable, so Cassandra I think should be pretty messed up. I do, however love the idea of Cassandra being central to how the battle for the magic of Earth goes. She’s a great bridge. Having her split off from Imbriel but not join Skylar could set up some very fun confrontations in book three. Also, someone named Cassandra, and people who see the future??? C’mon, you have to play with that.

    I’m glad y’all brought up making the warlord a bigger character, more important to the story. I second that.

    Skylar sounds fairly young. It could be fun to see her as a bright-eyed idealist at the beginning, which is a little different from hubris in that it’s so much more fun to crush. 😉 So not only is she having to deal with her great plans for setting the world to rights not working out as she hoped, she also has to deal with weird broken magic affecting her. Maybe she’s torn as to which way the magic should go: she already uses the Elruhl magic, but maybe she feels Earth magic would be best for Earth, and then of course there’s Nathan’s growing Earth magic. Maybe she feels a little jealous of him toward the end, maybe his magic works better or does somehting more impressive than hers does. Maybe her magic begins to fade as Earth magic gains strength. It could be fun to tempt her over to the “dark side” of having Elruhl magic win. (Not saying she has to go over to the dark side, but I like temptation. Especially in young, impressionable people.) And I’m with Brion (shocking, I know) in that I love the idea of making the reader sort of like Dark Skylar even though we know it’s not good for her and we want her to take a healthier path.

  2. Mercy, I’m glad you enjoyed the discussion. The guys definitely gave me a lot to think about and ponder. I definitely loved the idea of earth’s magic being tainted, so that’s already in my revised outline. I also like the idea of Embrael opening a new rift so that he can siphon its magic. All that is in my head and mixing with everything else. When the eventual book comes out, I hope you like that too.


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