Morgana Mage in the Robotic Age Inspiration – Amy Bond

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Morgana loves robots and longs to attend robotics school in the city.

But she’s a witch, living in a magical woodland community: the closest she comes to technology is petting her ancient mechanical familiar, Kitty. She simply doesn’t belong. But when she finally finds a way to the City, she learns of a troubling secret hiding beneath its gleaming surface: a secret that threatens the balance of civilization.

Caught between two worlds, only Morgana has the power to find a solution …

I’m thrilled to host today’s stop on the Morgana Mage blog tour – author Amy Bond shares with us her inspiration for the book and gives us some food for thought too. With the crazy world we’re living in at the moment, my review for this is a little late, but watch this space… coming very soon!

I wish I could remember the precise moment the seeds of Morgana Mage in the Robotic Age germinated in my mind. I am always thinking of ideas for stories, but they never seem to stick around long. I should probably try writing them down, but it now feels like part of the process. I trust that ones with potential will take root. At some stage I realised I kept returning to the idea of a witch girl who would trade in her powers for some modern technology. This idea developed from my own day dreaming about having magical powers, and realising that most the spells I read about in books could be outclassed by a plastic rectangle I carried around in my pocket all day.

I thought then it could be fun to place the story even further into the future, a world where robots were an integral part of society. I am both fascinated and terrified by the potential of artificial intelligence. People have grappled with the ramifications of it through literature for a long time. In Frankenstein in 1818, Mary Shelley contemplated what man owed to creatures it bestowed with intelligence, and a hundred years ago Czech writer Karel Čapek brought the word robot to the English language with his play R.U.R., or Rossum’s Universal Robots, where he envisioned these machines turning on their creators. Even with these centuries of contemplation behind us, we still seem ill-prepared to face with the now-imminent reality of robots in our daily lives. However, I am comforted by some of the other wonderful children’s books dealing with these issues. Literature will continue to shape these conversations, and today’s children will play a key role. I would love for my book to take even a small part in this.

Beyond all that, writing about robots is such fun. They are a canvas to let your imagination loose on. What could they be used for? What will they be used for? What would you like one for? Throwing the fantasy elements of witches and warlocks into the world as well added even more excitement, and potential for chaos. I had to consider what system the magic would operate by, what laws would govern the robotics and it was in these tensions that a lot of the actual plot of the novel began to form.

Morgana came to life through the writing, and I came to love her. She probably represents what I would like to be. Headstrong and brave, even when she is frightened, she follows her dreams tenaciously. Though some of her relationships are strained through the course of the story, she loves her friends and family. She truly believes the world can be a better place, and she is willing to fight for it, with such passion that she can inspire others to join her. Ultimately, it will be the best of Morgana that saves the day.

MORGANA MAGE IN THE ROBOTIC AGE by Amy Bond is out now, priced £6.99. Follow Amy on Twitter: @amylouisebond

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