Friday Reads – Magic Bound by Fi Phillips

I’m delighted to welcome Young Adult author Fi Phillips to my Friday Reads blog today. Fi has written two fantasy novels, and is going to talk to us today about Magic Bound, the second book in her Haven Wakes chronicles. So grap a cuppa, get cosy and let’s get chatting to Fi. ☺

Magic Bound .


The magic returns.

When Hartley Keg and Blessing go missing, Steve Haven, the young heir to the Haven Robotics Corporation, once again finds himself plunged back into the chaos of Darkacre.

Teaming up with the darkling, he finds himself on the run from the Council and their enforcers, the Hidden, as he seeks to keep safe those he holds most dear.

Things are complicated further when a new player emerges: the Parity, who are far too keen in the Haven Corporation, and the magical device which nearly led to its destruction.

What follows is a race not only against time but through a series of worlds, each more fantastical and dangerous than the last, as Steve and his friends try to keep one step ahead of their pursuers.


Burning Chair Publishing:

Read an extract

“This is rather cosy,” Steve heard Hartley whisper. “Can anyone find the way out?”

Wherever the door had taken them to, it was completely dark and so small that Steve was pressed up against ribs and elbows. The musty smell of Hartley’s jacket mingled with the scent of cleaning fluid and hot metal.

“Ow!” Something sharp jabbed Steve in the shin.

“Sorry, Steve. Did I stand on your toes?” That was Hartley. “What we need is a little light.”

“I could create a light orb,” said Blessing.

“No. We can’t risk using magic,” said Hartley. “We don’t want to attract any more Hidden. Can anyone find a door handle? Any kind of exit?”

“Ow!” said Steve as the same sharp jab dug into his leg. “Something’s poking me.”

“What’s going on?” The space flooded with light as a door slid aside. “Darn robots. Why aren’t you…?”

“Thank you very much, my kind sir. Coming through.” Hartley pushed Steve and Blessing ahead of him and out of what Steve could now see was a cupboard as the confused janitor stared at them.

“You aren’t a robot,” he said. “What…?”

“Lovely place you have here, my man,” said Hartley, shaking the janitor’s hand as two small cleaning robots followed them out and set off at speed. “Always a pleasure. Good day.”

“Hang on. What were you doing in there?” the janitor called after them.

“Where are we?” asked Blessing with wide eyes as she took Steve’s hand.

“Looks like an underground station,” said Steve, staring up the set of commuter-laden escalators that the cupboard they had travelled to was fitted beneath.

The space was brightly lit by illuminated blue panels that ran across the high, domed ceiling and down the walls. The ceramic floor tiles and metal escalators reflected the blue light, adding to the effect of height and breadth. The space was filled with the hubbub of the people who rode the escalators and dispersed around Steve and his friends. A steady flow of mostly small robots—following, carrying, and taking instructions—accompanied their human owners.

“Grovewall, to be exact,” said Hartley as he marched past the base of the escalators and took a sharp right into a narrow and less well-lit corridor. “I’ve travelled out of here via that cupboard door before now. I’ve never travelled back in, however. I had no idea it would be so inconvenient.”

“Why are we back in the city?” said Steve. “Isn’t it dangerous to be here?”

“It’s a necessary means to an end,” said Hartley as he took another sharp turn. “The end being that we find what we’re looking for.” The corridor finished abruptly at what looked like another cupboard door. “Or rather whom.” Hartley reached into his sleeve and pulled out a security card. “I hope that fellow won’t be too put out by my borrowing this, but needs must.” He swiped the card across a panel on the wall and the door slid open.

It sounds fun, doesn’t it? If you know a teen who would enjoy the read you can get the book here:


Welcome to my blog, Fi. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I was an enthusiastic reader from an early age but the writer part didn’t happen until I was eight years old. After being knocked down by a car on the way home from school, I spent several months in hospital with various broken bones keeping me bed-bound for most of my stay.

I quickly finished all the books my parents and school provided and as the other children on the ward gradually went home, I became bored. My parents brought paper and pens in when they found out that we would have lessons in hospital (I remember learning about 1066 and Henry VIIIth) and that was when I started to write. I wrote about the children on the ward, I made a list of the books on my bookshelves, and I created stories to keep myself amused.

By the time I left hospital, I had decided that writing was the career for me.

I loved reading as a child too. Has any author inspired you?

So many authors have inspired me. I discovered Roald Dahl during my hospital stay and his dark but magical tales became a firm childhood favourite. As a teenager, I discovered Stephen King. His diversity of genre and writing format, especially his short stories, continued to be an inspiration as an adult.

Who else? I discovered Mary Shelley during my university studies and her format for Frankenstein – a story within a story within a story – provided me with a wonderful format for a stand-alone fantasy novel that I’ll start on once my current fantasy series is complete.

Neil Gaiman, Sheri S Tepper, Clive Barker, and Terry Brooks have all been inspirational too, both as a writer and a reader.

What do you like writing most?

I have written (and still do write) across several formats, including short stories, poetry, novellas, and plays, but I enjoy writing novels the most. It provides an opportunity to not only tell a tale but also explore the characters more deeply than a short story or novella would allow.

Do you have a special place for writing?

I work from home so all of my writing – as a copywriter and an author – is done at my desk. Having said that, if I struggle I’ll take myself off to the sofa and write with pad and pen or on my tablet.

Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Plotter, but a flexible one. I’ve started on novels in the past and found that chapters don’t always work in the order I’d intended. Sometimes, chunks of storylines aren’t necessary so can be removed, or additional chapters are needed to make the story work.

Is your writing ever inspired by your family or real life incidents?

Not so far. Having said that, the Darkacre magical community in my novels is definitely inspired by the colourful folk I grew up around.

What are you writing at the moment?

With the first two instalments of my fantasy series out, I’m working on book 3. It doesn’t have a title yet. Steve’s journey into magic and his realisation of his family’s connection to the magical community is about to get a whole lot more complicated and dangerous.

What inspired you to write this book?

The original book in the series, Haven Wakes, was inspired by so many things:

  • those colourful folk I mentioned
  • my love of urban fantasy
  • folklore
  • current developments in technology, especially in robotics

but mainly by two characters I wrote about in a previous story, Hartley Keg and the darkling. They were characters I could never forget and that I wanted to revisit.

The follow on novel, Magic Bound, and book 3 in the series are all inspired by these factors too.

What time of the day do you write best?

On a morning and late at night. During the morning slot, I have more clarity and less brain-fog. Late at night, my muse tends to fire off lots of juicy ideas and what if’s.

What are your hobbies?

I have to admit that I don’t have a lot of time left after the copywriting and authorly writing, but I do enjoy reading, generally in the speculative genres, and taking long country walks with my family and our dog.

What advice would you give to other writers?

First off, get started. A writer is someone who writes. It doesn’t matter if the first version isn’t polished. It’s more a case of you telling yourself the story.

Second, read a lot of books. Find out how other writers tell a story or explain a topic. Read other genres, but don’t feel you have to read a genre that you absolutely detest. Read the classics if you want to but if you don’t want to, that’s fine too.

Third, experiment. Try out as many writing formats as you can. It might be a novel, or a short story, or a poem. I spent years writing murder mystery plays for a living and it helped hone my dialogue writing skills. Don’t restrict yourself to one kind of writing.

Great advce! It’s been fantastic to talk to you today, Fi. Thanks so much for dropping by, and wishing you lots of success with your books.

Meet Fiona

Author Bio

For many years Fi Phillips worked in an office environment until the arrival of her two children robbed her of her short term memory and sent her hurtling down a new, bumpy, creative path. She finds that getting the words down on paper is the best way to keep the creative muse out of her shower.Fi lives in the wilds of North Wales with her family, earning a living as a copywriter, playwright and fantasy novelist. Writing about magical possibilities is her passion.

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Karen King – Writing about the light and dark of relationships.
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