Veins of Gold by Charlie N. Holmberg features a creative and captivating magic system that I absolutely adored! It is a stand alone, but I hope to one day see more stories set in this world where magic is fed by gold.
Desperate to save her siblings from poverty, a young woman discovers magic fueled by gold . . . and a love for the man who wields it.
Abandoned by their father for the gold rush, Gentry and her siblings labor to survive alone in the inhospitable west. When bizarre natural disasters begin wreaking havoc on the land, Gentry discovers a world of magic. Desperate for help, she accepts aid from a mysterious stranger.
Winn not only sees the magic, but controls its hunger by feeding it gold—the very thing Gentry’s father left to acquire. But the earth’s unrest only grows worse, and Gentry’s fear leads her to a terrible choice: marry a wealthy man she does not love, or trust in Winn’s unpredictable power to save her family.
In your experience, is writing historical fantasy easier or more difficult than writing fantasy and why?
Generally, it’s harder. Fantasy requires creation, historical requires research. Research is hard. And when you get something wrong, readers don’t hesitate to tell you! I often lean toward alternate history so I can fudge a few things because of this. 😉
What was the most challenging part of writing Veins of Gold?
Hmmm… things were challenging in different ways. On the one hand, doing the research could be a pain (like how the post office worked in the west, geography, etc), but also ensuring I was respectful when it came to writing about Mormon polygamy and Native Americans.
Where did you get the idea for the magic system in Veins of Gold?
I honestly don’t remember all the details. I remember my agent wanting me to do another historical, and I thought WHY NOT UTAH. I like the 1800s, so the gold rush would be great. And I wanted to tie the magic to the gold rush. I like to write limited magic systems (that have strict rules and such), but with this one I went much broader. More room to play in, methinks.
You’ve shared your process of story boarding your ideas (I’ve even shared videos here). Have you ever had to rethink your original plan in the middle of writing and make major changes? If yes, what was that like?
Oh yes. Just recently, actually. I usually don’t do massive edits when I’m drafting, but I did so with both my second and third book in my upcoming NUMINA trilogy. You get to a point where something is fundamentally broken, and the story just can’t work unless you fix it. I also just recently couldn’t figure out why I didn’t want to work on a book, and then I realized my MC’s character ARC was broken and she was being boring!
Of all the books you’ve published, which was your favorite to write and why?
Of my current published ones, FOLLOWED BY FROST is my favorite. I wrote that book in a month, and I really like how my romance and my antagonist turned out. That said, I wrote THE PLASTIC MAGICIAN very quickly (I wrote it plus THE WILL AND THE WILDS in 6 weeks, so it’s fair to say I wrote each in three weeks, right?) and Alvie has been my favorite protagonist to write to date.
How many books do you typically read per month?
This is a tricky question. My reading habits are a little eccentric. I’ll have one month where I’m crazy and read six books. Then I’ll have three months where I don’t read anything. It’s on and off for me. (It also depends on how much work I have and how whiny my kids are, ha!)
What are some your favorite recent reads or new releases?
I just got to read an early copy of Tricia Levenseller’s WARRIOR OF THE WILD and loved it. Brandon Sanderson’s novella, SHADOWS FOR SILENCE IN THE FORESTS OF HELL, is another good one. I’m really looking forward to Emily R. King’s new EVERMORE CHRONICLES.
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For more, check out my book reviews of Charlie’s The Plastic Magician & The Fifth Doll.