One was to take the fairy-tale notion of a kiss breaking an enchantment to an extreme: in Magebane, a kiss between the right two people not only breaks an enchantment, it breaks all enchantments, wiping out magic in the magical kingdom of Evrenfels in which the story takes place.
Mixed in with that is a certain distaste I have for the tradition in fantasy fiction of absolute monarchs being OK as long as they’re good monarchs. An absolute monarch is just a dictator with a jeweled hat, when you come right down to it. So where are the democratic revolutionaries within fantasy fiction? I decided it was time for me to create some.
And finally, there was the thought-experiment of what happens in a world with magic when technology (any sufficiently advanced version of which, as Arthur C. Clarke famously said, is indistinguishable from magic) begins to give those who cannot wield magic the same abilities as those who can.
Throw that all into the pot, steep it and stir it, and you can pour off a pretty good story: in my case, 150,000 words worth.
That’s where Magebane came from.
But I’d be remiss if I didn’t also explain the setting. The Kingdom of Evrenfels is largely prairie in the south and forests in the north, with lots of lakes. It is, in fact, very much like the province of Saskatchewan, where I live. Not only that, but the capital city is based on Regina, right down to the marble palace on the southern shore of the man-made lake at its centre (only the real marble palace is the Saskatchewan Legislative Building; that’s the real “palace” and lake in the photo).
Alas, the real lake and the real park surrounding it are not magically protected from winter’s ravages like the one in the book. You could call that wish-fulfillment, if you like.
I daresay you’d be correct.