Saturday, May 12, 2012

Guest Blog by A.M. Dellamonica - Where Inspiration Flows

Please welcome A.M. Dellamonica to The Qwillery. Blue Magic (Blue Magic 2) was published on April 10, 2012 by Tor.  I was curious about the genesis of 'vitagua' in the novels. Here's what A.M. Dellamonica has to say about the inspiration for 'vitagua.'

Where Inspiration Flows

The vitagua in my books Indigo Springs and Blue Magic is a fluid that is deep blue in color, faintly luminescent, and it has the viscosity of fresh blood. I have always imagined that light shines on it with the same intensity that it does when it hits a fresh wound, and in fact one of the other names for this liquid magic is 'spirit blood.' There's a sense in which the earth starts bleeding vitagua in these two books: it seeps from an inner realm into the real world.

I've tried to recall precisely what inspired this specific material back in the early 2000's, when I first started working on Indigo Springs. I can remember being very taken with the idea of magic flowing into the world through a crack in the ground. I had a few false starts on the book, and in at least one the characters found it in a break in the pavement in a back alley. And before that attempt was a novella (one I never published) where the world went so magically wrong that cities and towns broke free of their infrastructures. They ended up roaming around North America like buffalo, carrying their residents with them.

But the specifics of why a fluid, why liquid magic--some of that is simply lost to me. It was such a strong image, but it was over a decade ago. I remember wanting a tie to a bloodlike substance, wanting red blood, blue magic, and clear water as visual images within the story.

When I dig for more, I flash on a Frank Herbert introduction to Dune, wherein he wrote about wanting to write about water shortages and oil shortages and how spice arose from that. There's a sense in which both Dune and my Books of Chantment are about poor resource management, so perhaps there's a tie there, an influence.

What is probably most true is that I had the image I wanted--the liquid magic, long lost, flowing back into the real world--and then I had to find a way to make it work.

And that came when I wrote a story called "Nevada," about two sisters who could make raw magic into mystical objects called chantments.

When I made that connection--when I realized that vitagua, which can't be handled directly, could be source of chantments--then Astrid Lethewood, her family history and her power struggle with Sahara all came into focus. That was when I was able to start writing the books that became Indigo Springs and Blue Magic.

About the Books

Blue Magic
Blue Magic 2
Tor, April 10, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

This powerful sequel to the A.M. Dellamonica's Sunburst Award–winning contemporary fantasy Indigo Springs starts in the small town in Oregon where Astrid Lethewood discovered an underground river of blue liquid—Vitagua—that is pure magic. Everything it touches is changed. The secret is out—and the world will never be the same. Astrid’s best friend, Sahara, has been corrupted by the blue magic, and now leads a cult that seeks to rule the world. Astrid, on the other hand, tries to heal the world.

Conflicting ambitions, star-crossed lovers, and those who fear and hate magic combine in a terrible conflagration, pitting friend against friend, magic against magic, and the power of nations against a small band of zealots, with the fate of the world at stake.

Blue Magic is a powerful story of private lives changed by earthshaking events that will ensnare readers in its poignant tale of a world touched by magic and plagued by its consequences.

Indigo Springs
Blue Magic 1
Tor, November 2010
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Trade Paperback (October 2009)

Indigo Springs is a sleepy town where things seem pretty normal . . . until Astrid’s father dies and she moves into his house. She discovers that for many years her father had been accessing the magic that flowed, literally, in a blue stream beneath the earth, leaking into his house. When she starts to use the liquid "vitagua" to enchant everyday items, the results seem innocent enough: a “’chanted” watch becomes a charm that means you're always in the right place at the right time; a “’chanted” pendant enables the wearer to convince anyone of anything . . .

But as events in Indigo Springs unfold and the true potential of vitagua is revealed, Astrid and her friends unwittingly embark on a journey fraught with power, change, and a future too devastating to contemplate. Friends become enemies and enemies become friends as Astrid discovers secrets from her shrouded childhood that will lead her to a destiny stranger than she could have imagined . . .

About A.M. Dellamonica

A.M. DELLAMONICA is the author of Indigo Springs, which won the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. Her short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, Realms of Fantasy, Sci-Fiction and Strange Horizons, and in numerous anthologies; her 2005 alternate-history Joan of Arc story, “A Key to the Illuminated Heretic,” was short-listed for the Sideways Award and the Nebula Award. Dellamonica lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Official Site:

Social Networking

Tumbler (mostly Instagram Photos):

The UCLA Extension Writers' Program:

Tor Stuff
All A.M.'s TOR articles:
TOR Stories: "The Cage" -
"Among the Silvering Herd" -
"Wild Things" (coming)
First chapter of Indigo Springs -
First Chapter of Blue Magic -

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a Trade Paperback copy of Indigo Springs from The Qwillery.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

What kind of magic would you like to have?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Saturday, May 19, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. I would like to be able to teleport (so magic wise: controlling time and space) so I could see the world.

  2. Don't laugh - I want magic like Samantha of Bewitched! Where I can do almost anything with a little rhyme & twitch, rather than the spells & 'curses' that Rachel of The Hollows has to do... :)

    I was intrigued about this series after reading The Big Idea on John Scalzi's Whatever blog, and now with this, I guess it's firmly on my TBR List!

    +3: comment, follower, retweeter

  3. At this point, it would be great to be able to stop time just for a little bit. Now that I have a toddler and am trying to juggle professional life with motherhood, it would be nice to be able to stop time, just for a bit, to have an hour or two a day just to myself. And then undo it and go on with my daily life. Which I enjoy. But it can be exhausting!!! :)

  4. The kind of magic I would like: Dumbledore. Everything he can do.

    @timlewis on Twitter


    lewis dot tim at gmail dot com

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. I'd love to be able to teleport, too. It would be so cool to be able to go anywhere at any time. Ahh, the possibilites...

    +1 comment
    +1 Tweet:!/dg_molly/status/201360158348152832
    +1 GFC follow: molly.frenzel
    molly dot frenzel at gmail dot com

  6. I' d want an invisiblity cloak, like Harry Potter.

    +1 comment
    +1 gfc follower

  7. The magic I'd like to have is the ability to read minds and influence people's thoughts. I think I could have some fun with that.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC: Barbara E.

  8. I want the power to heal people and read their minds. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest.

  9. Indigo Springs sounds fascinating and I can't wait to read both novels. Thanks for the chance to win the first Q.

    I would like Pixie Dust to create magic wherever I sprinkled it. First thing I'd do is use it to fly!

    Follower of Qwillery

  10. Thanks for a fantastic post and giveaway! I've been reading such wonderful reviews for Indigo Springs. It's definitely on my wishlist ;)

    I agree w/ Rissatoo... to have magic like Samantha or Dumbledore would be awesome! W/ a nose twitch or wand flick and be to accomplish just about anything. But if we have to narrow it down, I think I'd like the magic to be able to heal.

    gfc: erin

  11. I'd love to have the power to manipulate time.

    GFC: Mary Preston


  12. I would love to have magic water and teleport. I always don't like hot weather, with my power i can teleport to a lake and wiht my magic water to make me cooling down. Hehehehe :)

    +1 comment
    +1 GFC as Filia Oktarina
    +1 Twitter :!/FiliaTsuki/status/201543905542537218

  13. I'd like to have the power of being able to control the elements.

    +3: comment, follower, tweeted!/LindaThum/status/201571375557787648

  14. I would like the ability to heal, teleport, and invisibility.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  15. I'd like to teleport.

    I follow the blog.


  16. I would love to be able to teleport... no more worries over time and gas.

    +1 Comment
    +1 Follower of The Qwillery
    +1 Tweeted:!/yadkny/status/201800897452449793

  17. What kind of magic would you like to have?

    Oh that's easy, although it's cribbing a bit from Zelazny, but it ties into a mutual interest Alyx and I have--photography.

    I would love to have the magical ability to transport myself through a photo that I have made. Somewhat more limited than teleporting, since I would have to have been there before with a camera. I think Magic *should* have limits.

    So, yeah

    +1 for the comment
    +1 for following you on twitter
    +1 for tweeting about this.