A young food taster to the Traitor King must make a difficult choice in this story of pastries, magic, and revenge.
Fiction and Excerpts 
The best thing about writing about wicked witches is that they can be awful. Delightfully, relentlessly awful. I love stories that treat serious subjects with a dash of humor, and writing about people with a lot of power who aren’t afraid to wield it can lead you either into too-serious situations—or into something hilarious. In my Seriously Wicked series, for example, wicked witch Sarmine occasionally has some worthy goals—she’s a clean energy advocate, for example—but her methods of getting there are ridiculous and extreme.
When I’m reading about witches, I’m drawn to this same mix of bright and terrible.
Series: Five Books About…
“That Seriously Obnoxious Time I Was Stuck at Witch Rimelda’s One Hundredth Birthday Party” is a seriously funny story set in the world of Seriously Wicked, a young adult fantasy novel by the acclaimed author of Ironskin. Get ready to embrace your angsty inner witch at a pool party teeming with krakens, hexes, and cursed banana bread.
I tried out a number of ideas for this essay that would tie into my new YA book, Seriously Wicked. Some of the discarded titles:
- Five Books Where Evil Witches with Ridiculous Plans Try to Totally Ruin Everything, OMG
- Five Books with Cute Boy-Band Boys Who Accidentally Get Taken Over by Demons With a Fondness for Elvis Presley
- Five Books With Dragons in Garages (Real or Metaphorical? Explore.)
But then I decided that one of my favorite parts of Seriously Wicked is the fact that my heroine, Cam, has to save Devon, the cute new boy in school. Devon’s not a wilting lily—it’s just that he’s a normal boy with no magic. And now that Cam’s guardian, the wicked witch Sarmine, has accidentally loosed a demon into him, he’s in a big mess. Cam may not have magic either, but she’s been around magic her whole life, and she’s the one with access to the Witch Internet to look up demons on Witchipedia. So naturally, she’s the one who has to try to do the saving.
Series: Five Books About…
There are books and stories you greatly enjoy—and then there are ones that make you giddy. Dizzy. Breathless. Stories that take a leap forward in complexity; that dazzle you with audacity. The ones where you say NO THEY DID NOT JUST DO THAT. NO THEY WENT THERE. Or, OMG, I GET IT I GET WHERE THEY’RE GOING.
I don’t think everyone has the same giddy stories. We might agree on a group of good, well-loved stories, but a giddy story is that one that speaks to you, that has that moment where you and the story are so in sync that you jump to the next moment together, the next heartbeat.
Dorie Rochart has been hiding her fey side for a long time. Now, finished with University, she plans to study magical creatures and plants in the wild, bringing long-forgotten cures to those in need. But when no one will hire a girl to fight basilisks, she releases her shape-changing fey powers—to disguise herself as a boy.
While hunting for wyvern eggs, she saves a young scientist who’s about to get steamed by a silvertail—and finds her childhood friend Tam Grimsby, to whom she hasn’t spoken in seven years. Not since she traded him to the fey.
The wyverns are being hunted to extinction for the powerful compounds in their eggs. The fey are dying out as humans grow in power. Now Tam and Dorie will have to decide which side they will fight for. And if they end up on opposite sides, can their returning friendship survive?
Tina Connolly’s historical fantasy series Ironskin continues with Silverblind, available October 7th from Tor Books.
Writing Prompts on Tor.com presents a piece of original art and asks sci-fi/fantasy authors to write a very short story (or perhaps a poem!) reacting to or inspired by it. This month’s Writing Prompts features new contributions from authors Beth Bernobich, Tina Connolly, Max Gladstone, and J.A. Souders.
The art for this round of Writing Prompts is by Victor Mosquera. You can jump right to an author’s story by clicking on their name:
Check our Copperhead, the second novel in Tina Connolly’s historical fantasy series, Ironskin. Copperhead is available October 15th from Tor Books!
Six months ago, Helen Huntingdon’s sister Jane uncovered a fey plot to take over the city. Too late for Helen, who opted for fey beauty—and now has to cover her face with iron so she won’t be taken over, her personality erased by the bodiless fey.
Not that Helen would mind that some days. Stuck in a marriage with the wealthy and controlling Alistair, she lives at the edges of her life, secretly helping Jane remove the dangerous fey beauty from the wealthy society women who paid for it. But when the chancy procedure turns deadly, Jane goes missing—and is implicated in a murder…
In “Old Dead Futures,” a young boy’s ability to change the future makes him valuable to the government. But that same ability keeps him trapped in a wheelchair and at the mercy of those who would use him. When our present is fixed, how can we see a different future?
This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by editor Melissa Frain.
Enjoy this excerpt from Tina Connolly’s Ironskin, out on October 2:
Jane is an Ironskin, wearing half of an iron mask over her face to hold back a fey curse she obtained during the Great War. Her wound has made it impossible for her to hold down a job, bouncing her from place to place in a search for acceptance and a place in the world.
Then she comes to Mr. Rochart’s house and meets his daughter, Dorie. But Dorie is not like other cursed children, and has powers unlike anything Jane has ever seen. Will she stay and become the child’s governess? Has she finally found a home where she will no longer have to hide her face behind a veil? And what of the strange house that Mr. Rochart inhabits, with woods that make horses skittish?
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