Hello everyone! Today I am very excited to welcome author Poppy Dennison back to the blog.  Poppy first stopped by about this time last year for the release of her first book in the Triad series, Mind Magic.  Now that the final book in the trilogy, Soul Magic, has been released, I am thrilled to welcome her back again to talk to us more about it.  I really loved it and it was a great ending to the trilogy (see review).  Poppy has also brought a copy to give away so be sure to check out details at the end of the post.  

Welcome Poppy!

Thanks for having me back J! I can’t believe it’s really been a year since Mind Magic was released. It’s been an amazing year, and I’m thrilled I get to be here with you to talk about Soul Magic.

So as I mentioned, Soul Magic is the third book in your Triad trilogy.  We have talked about the books here on the blog, but for folks who are just catching up with the series, can you give a quick overview?

mind magicAbsolutely! The Triad series (Mind Magic, Body Magic, Soul Magic) follows Simon Osborne, an apprentice mage who finds himself in over his head when he rescues a group of kidnapped werewolf cubs. He falls for the alpha werewolf, a forbidden relationship as it mixes different types of magic. Simon, as a mage, has mind magic; his mate, Gray Townsend, is a werewolf who has body magic. There are also vampires and demons in this universe who possess soul magic. Simon and Gray are caught up in an adventure as they try to discover who kidnapped the werewolf cubs. In Soul Magic, the mystery finally unfolds completely, as the pieces of the puzzle come together and Simon, Gray, and the rest of their pack have to fight for their lives to protect what they’ve come to love.

One of my favorite aspects of this trilogy is the idea of three facets of magicbody, soul, and mind—that each represents different sides of the magical worlds.  I really like the idea of all these magical beings having a connection in this way, something I have really only seen in this series. Can you tell us more about this idea and how it developed?

The basis for the three types of magic comes from my personal values. A few years ago, I was a workaholic and all my time and energy went into work. I rarely had time for friends or fun, and forget about reading or expanding my mind! Who has time for that when there’s work to be done? As you can imagine, it wasn’t the happiest of existences. I made some major life changes and realized that I needed more balance in my life—which included expanding my mind, taking care of my body, and nurturing my soul. When I finally sat down to fulfill my dream of writing a novel, I knew I wanted to focus on paranormal elements. I combined the idea of balancing mind, body, and soul with the idea of mages, werewolves, and vampires and Triad was born.

I knew I wanted to write about shifters—I’m a bit werewolf obsessed if I’m honest—and I wanted to incorporate magic as part of the shifters powers. From there, it became about trying to incorporate the idea of balance into the world. I realized that if the types of magic were forbidden from interacting, the world would be out of balance. The story could the revolve around the idea of finding balance in the magical world, which was a perfect analogy for the trials I’d been through in my personal life a few years ago.

One of the other interesting things about this series is the way the key relationships are featured.  Simon and Gray, who are the main heroes of Mind Magic, continue to be a major part of the trilogy in the second two books.  In fact, despite the fact that Gray is the pack alpha, Simon is really the pivotal character in the trilogy. Was that always your intention from the start?

Triad was originally developed as one novel with Simon as the main character. As I developed plots for the book, I realized I had a lot more than one book on my hands. The world really took over, but Simon was always at the center of it all. I really liked the idea of the alpha werewolf being a secondary character in the story—not that there’s really anything secondary about Gray! Simon, for all of his mage abilities, is really the most human of the bunch. He has doubts and insecurities, he makes mistakes, and he tries to do his best to live up to his full potential. I connected with his character in a really profound way. It’s really hard to let him go in this book, but we might be getting a few more peeks at him in the future.

Cormac has also been with the series from the beginning and is one of my favorite characters. I was so excited to finally get his story here in Soul Magic.  In the past Cormac has always come across sort of formal and reserved, but here we see the sexy side of him as well, right from the beginning.  Was it fun to play with his character like that after having him always be so controlled?

body magicI have to tell you, the reader’s reactions to Cormac have really surprised me! I’ll tell you a little secret—the first outline of this series had Cormac in a completely different role. Originally, Simon was in a bit of a love triangle with Gray and Cormac. I thought nothing could be sexier than having this adorable self-conscious mage caught up between a sexy alpha werewolf and an older, mysterious vampire. Who would he choose? But boy did Cormac have a surprise in store for me! As I outlined the books and had Cormac trying to win Simon’s love, it was just wrong. I fought it—oh did I ever fight it—but as I worked on the first draft of Mind Magic I realized just how wrong I was. Cormac does love Simon, he’s just not in love with Simon. Once I realized why, the rest of the series unfolded so easily for me!

So—to answer your question—it was so much fun playing with Cormac’s character. See, I always knew he was more dual-natured than even the werewolves of the story. Cormac has a dark past, a past that haunts him, and he uses his formal, reserved nature as a shield to protect himself from getting hurt again. One of the most fulfilling things for me as a writer was watching his character unfold over the course of the three books as Cormac was finally able to drop the act and accept himself for who he really is.

There are so many great characters in this trilogy, and I especially enjoyed young Garon and Riley.  Is there any chance we will see more of any of these guys even though the trilogy is over? Or do you feel like their story is all told?

Next to Cormac, the reactions to Garon and Riley have been the most amazing to me, and the most special. Both boys are based on the true loves of my lives, my five nephews! I’ve seen some comments about how real the boys seem, and there is a very good reason for that: it’s because they are real! That said, I won’t be writing novels for Garon and Riley because that would just be too creepy for me. LOL. I hope that the end of Soul Magic fulfills a some of those wishes that readers have expressed for them.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but there are two spin-off novellas in the works for the Triad world. Simon and Gray won’t be main characters in these books, but they will make guest appearances so readers will be able to catch up with them a little bit. I’d tell you who the next book is going to be about, but it’s a huge spoiler!

I also wanted to compliment you on your beautiful covers. I love the look of them so much.  And yes, I am a bit slow, but I just noticed how the colors match the colors of magic represented in the book.  Very clever!

soul magicOh, the covers. Seriously, Anne Cain is a goddess who has put up with me so sweetly. I knew exactly what I wanted on all three covers from the beginning and Anne worked closely with me so we could make sure that each cover had the right model and the right colors to represent the feel of each book. I was pretty insistent that the covers be easily recognizable as a series, and Anne delivered so beautifully. When she sent me the cover of Mind Magic, I cried. The model on the cover *is* Gray. He’s exactly what I’d imagined and Anne created him. I cannot give her enough praise. I’m in awe of her talent and feel like she’s given me a real gift through her artwork.

And yes, the colors of the covers do represent the colors of the magic! I think you’re the only person who has ever commented on that! [woo hoo!]

So is there anything else you are working on that you would like to tell us about? What can we look forward to from you?

I have two novellas scheduled for release later this year. The first is Born This Way, which is planned for June/July from Dreamspinner Press. Born This Way is about a liger shifter (lion father/tiger mother) who wants to claim his mate. There’s just one problem—he’s been banned from his pride and his mate is a human who is very much involved with them! It’s a fun novella and I’m excited for everyone to read it.

Then, in September, the first spin-off book for the Triad world is scheduled with Dreamspinner. It’s called Wild Magic. I don’t want to give away too much about the plot of this one until more folks have had a chance to read Soul Magic. Like I mentioned earlier, the characters in this one are a bit of a spoiler for the ending of Soul Magic. I will tell you, though, that they aren’t characters you ever actually meet in the Triad world!

If my readers want to learn more about you or your work, where can they find you?

Poppy Dennison bio picI’m all over the place and always happy to talk to readers.

Thanks so much for coming by today Poppy! 

Thanks again for having me! I’m so proud of this series and can’t tell you how much the love and support for Simon, Gray, and the rest of the crew means to me.


And now we are super lucky because Poppy has brought along a copy of Soul Magic to give away to one lucky winner. To enter just leave a comment at the end of this post by Thursday, May 9th at 11:59 pm EST.