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becke_davis
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Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

The author of CITY OF DARK MAGIC is as mysterious as the book itself. "Magnus Flyte" has written today's guest blog. Check out the website here: http://www.magnusflyte.com/

 

 

Prague: once the city of alchemists, astronomers, hell fires, heretics, and Kremlin crackdowns, now the destination of every beer-loving kid in a backpack… and one deadly ex-CIA agent with a secret to keep. Music student Sarah Weston has no idea how dangerous and weird her life is about to get when she accepts an unexpected invitation to spend the summer at Prague Castle doing research for a historic noble family’s private museum. Prague is a threshold, she’s warned, between the life of good and… the other. Sarah has no patience for either superstition or royalty, and no interest in Cold War fallout. But soon after she arrives in the ancient city, Sarah learns her predecessor may have been murdered, and finds herself at the center of escalating and dangerous mysteries spanning several centuries. Who is killing off the academics at the museum? What secrets of time travel was a sixteenth century alchemist hiding? Who was Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved? Can the handsome young heir to the fortune be trusted? What Communist-era intrigue is a prominent and powerful American willing to kill to cover up? Do hell portals really exist? In this rollicking and sexy nonstop caper, a kickass new heroine who’s brilliant and uninhibited in every way makes her debut, plunging headlong into the long and mysterious history of the City of Dark Magic…

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

The Man

 

 

An undated CIA file photo of Magnus Flyte. The location is clearly in the Prague Castle complex, but it is unknown who exactly in the photo is Magnus.

 

Biographical details about Magnus are sometimes conflicting. He appears to have operated under several identities, and may have ties to one or more
intelligence organizations, including the CIA, the Mossad, and a radical group of Antarctic separatists.

A Paris Match story claimed he was the natural son of French President Valery Giscard D’Estaing, while a profile in Le Monde claimed he was the son of Jacques Piccard, explorer of the Marianas Trench. Magnus himself disavowed both stories, and the (possibly satiric) essay he later wrote on the subject, “In My Father’s Footsteps: exploring the Marianas Trench with
Valery Giscard D’Estaing” is inconclusive.

Magnus seems to enjoy a private income, source unknown, though rumors about his professional life vary widely. Reinhard Nelke, Directeur Superieur Generale of Banc National Le Lac once testified under oath that Magnus Flyte “did unsavory things to highly deserving people for obscene amounts of money.” This would seem to corroborate the intelligence agency theories, although Greek shipping & receiving heiress Narcissus Papathanisou dedicated a book of her poems to Magnus Flyte, calling him “A man of great peace and a great piece of man.”

He is believed to be the real author behind the series of author parodies published under the name “Author’s Name Withheld.”

Magnus mentioned to the bartender at The Conch Flyer that he had written “the first of a series of historical thriller comedies that contain clues to an actual secret that once was revealed to me by a man of small stature and large insight during the white nights in St. Petersburg.” But it is not certain if this refers toCity of Dark Magic or not.

A copy of the manuscript of City of Dark Magic written on stationery from
the Hotel La Mamounia in Marrakech using a manual typewriter was received by mail at the offices of Penguin Books in New York in January 2012. It was
postmarked on the Isle of Mull. On the back of the envelope were some marks
in pencil: “snow bunting, whooper swan lock torr, tawny owl, cailaich.” It
is not known if Magnus himself, who has shown an interest in the migratory
pattern of terns (but not buntings), mailed the manuscript, or a
birdwatching friend simply mailed it from there while on vacation.

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

 

Map design by Rodica Prato for City of Dark Magic

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

Rogues Gallery

 

http://magnusflyte.dreamhosters.com/rogues-gallery/

 

Here's an example of what you'll find at the link above:

 

Tycho Brahe

 

Tycho Braheaka “The Master": lost nose in a duel, serious stargazer 
Read more about Tycho Brahe in the New York Times

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

Check out Magnus Flyte on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MagnusFlyte

 

Magnus Flyte: author, flaneur, inventor, satirist, adventurer, pisco sour connoisseur. Magnus Flyte's literary executors www.facebook.com/Meg Howrey and www.facebook.com/ChrisLynchWriter will post for the elusive Magnus and the novel City of Dark Magic.

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

City of Dark Magic  

 

Overview

 

 

Cosmically fast-paced and wildly imaginative, this debut novel is a perfect potion of magic and suspense

Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.
     Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.
     City of Dark Magic could be called a rom-com paranormal suspense novel—or it could simply be called one of the most entertaining novels of the year.

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

Kirkus Reviews

 

The riddle of Beethoven's "Immortal Beloved," alchemy and clandestine love fuse in this fast-paced, funny, romantic mystery. Meg Howrey (The Cranes Dance, 2012, etc.) and television writer Christina Lynch have combined their talents, writing under the pseudonym Magnus Flyte. Brilliant musicologist Sarah Weston has been summoned to Prague to catalog Beethoven manuscripts at the Lobkowicz Palace. How can she refuse? Her mentor, Professor Sherbatsky, has defenestrated himself from the palace, and a dwarf has appeared at her door, encouraging her to go and presenting her with a pillbox containing what appears to be a toenail clipping. Yet Prague is a dangerous place, a place where the walls between worlds have thinned to precariously fragile layers.

 

But Sarah cannot believe Sherbatsky committed suicide, and she is eager to study the manuscripts, so she begins to pack. Before she can even get to the airport, however, someone breaks into her apartment. Nothing appears to be stolen, but an ominous alchemical symbol has been drawn on her kitchen ceiling. Once in Prague, events turn both stranger and sexier. The castle lies at the center of a dispute between two branches of the Lobkowicz family. As Sarah dutifully sifts through the manuscripts, she discovers clues not only about the "Immortal Beloved," but also Sherbatsky's strange behavior leading up to his death.

 

The other scholars hired that summer to catalog the castle's contents suspect Sherbatsky of drug use, and Sarah finds herself experimenting with the time-warping drug. She also accidentally has anonymous sex in the bathroom, joins forces with a 400-year-old dwarf, lands in jail and falls in love with the prince. But Sarah has also attracted an enemy, someone who will stop at nothing to keep Sarah from discovering a secret of perhaps international proportions. Even the minor characters are drawn ingeniously in this exuberant, surprising gem.

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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

[ Edited ]

Guest Blog by *cough* MAGNUS FLYTE!

 

Our publishers at Penguin have generously cited us as the “writers behind Magnus Flyte,” or made reference to Magnus Flyte as a pseudonym for “writers Christina Lynch and Meg Howrey.” We are not going to contradict them, but we generally prefer to think of ourselves as Magnus’s handlers. Or wranglers. Believe us, this is not always an easy task. The elusiveness of Mr. Flyte is legendary. We’re always thrilled, therefore, when an opportunity arises to sit down with Magnus for a conversation. By “sit down” we mean that we were sitting. We have no idea what position Magnus was in. Judging from the background noise we heard through the walkie-talkies, Magnus was in transit. He could have been flying his Piper airplane. Or rafting. Or playing a vigorous game of badminton in a Tibetan nunnery. In any case, he was amenable to answering a few questions. Below is the transcription.

 

Wranglers: Magnus, your novel, City of Dark Magic, has been called “genre-bending.” It’s a mystery, a thriller; it has science and history and music. Romance. Comedy. Time-travel. What are your thoughts of what makes fiction “genre”?

 

Magnus: Mystery, excitement, love, music, a twist, and a sense of humor: all good novels should have these things. All good short stories should have them, all good poems. All good graffiti. I once ate a risotto in Venice that had all of these things.

 

Wranglers: What do you think about the phrase, “guilty pleasure”?

 

Magnus: I prefer the phrase, “acknowledged naughtiness.”

 

Wranglers: The action of the book takes place in and around Prague. What about the city did you find so inspiring?

 

Magnus: The moment I first arrived in Prague, many years ago, I knew that I would set a story there. Form dictates content. The city is enigmatic and intimate and epic and very peculiar. Frankly, I am surprised that people are able to visit the city, and not feel compelled to write a novel. Perhaps the variety of affordable and tasty lagers has something to do with that.

 

Wranglers: Can you talk about the element of time-travel and history in the book?

 

Magnus: When I was a small boy, I stayed overnight at a 16th century Schloss in Austria. I remember lying awake in bed, looking up at the ceiling, which was painted with allegorical scenes, and realizing, in quite a profound way, that many, many people had been in this room before me. They had laughed, and cried, and loved, and hated, and wondered where they put their hat and whether or not there’d be pheasant for dinner. I sensed that while the trivial feelings might have passed into ether, the stronger emotions lingered. I felt that only my limited ability to perceive separated those events from myself.

 

Wranglers: We get glimpses throughout the novel of some of Prague’s most colorful characters. People like the astronomer Tycho Brahe. He seemed like a pretty interesting guy.

 

Magnus: Indeed. And he made all of his discoveries without the use of a telescope. Of course, he wasn’t always correct, but his work was significant. At the time he was working, the distinctions between the different branches of science were very thin. Something we have returned to in our own century. Modern neuroscience is deeply philosophical. The language of genetics is hilarious. 16th century alchemists would not feel terribly out of place today. Particularly in Northern California.

 

Wranglers: Moving on to the contemporary characters in the book. The heroine, Sarah Weston, is far from perfect. She’s got some skills, but she gets in a lot of trouble.

 

Magnus: She has many escapades. I have never met anyone who has told me that they wished they had had fewer  adventures when they were young.

 

Wranglers: Sarah and Prince Max make an unlikely, but quite…dynamic couple. A few of their more exciting interactions take place in public places. As we head into the colder season, do you have any advice for the art of love in the great outdoors?

 

Magnus: This is a question I am asked constantly. As the temperature drops, time is of the essence, as some find sub-zero temperatures to be inhibitory. But this will not stop the passionate, who are willing to risk all for love and let the ski pants fall where they may.

 

Wranglers: The following question was posed to P.G. Wodehouse in a 1975 interview in The Paris Review: “You were very fond of spats, weren’t you? Tell me a little about them.” What would your answer be?

 

Please let’s not discuss the sartorial dark ages we’re living in. Imagine the effect on our morale not to mention our economy if men were suddenly to re-embrace spats, gloves, hats, ties, vests, walking sticks, and pinces nez. I won’t go as far as powdered wigs, but really, wouldn’t that make a day at the office a bit less dreary?

 

Wranglers: Many writers are obsessed with their childhoods. Describe your childhood.

 

A long time ago.

 

Wranglers: Are there characters from fiction, yours or others, whom you would like to have known?

 

I feel I do know them. They’re always staring over my shoulder. I can’t paint a watercolor without Charles Ryder criticizing my overuse of Winsor green. When I ended up in a Thai prison once over a slight misunderstanding, Joe Harman from A Town Like Alice got me through it. The other day in the supermarket Maigret put some very lovely lambchops in my cart. Good characters are a gift that stays with you.

 

Wranglers: What are you working on?

 

I’m stirring up trouble here and there where it needs to be stirred. Evenings when I don’t run out of candles and the lions are quiet, I tap out a few pages of the sequel to City of Dark Magic, which is an equally rich stew of history, mystery, sex and science, all of which needs to lived before it can be described.

 

Wranglers: Given your earlier criticism of fashion, what are you wearing right now?

 

Joie de vivre.

 

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eadieburke
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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

Welcome Magnus:

 

I always wanted to go to Prague. Well, maybe your book will bring me a little closer!

 

CITY OF DARK MAGIC is definitely a book for me! 

 

What more could I want from a novel:

 It’s a mystery, a thriller; it has science and history and music. Romance. Comedy. Time-travel. 

 

Question: Was it difficult writing the book because there are two of you? Any conflicts?

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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dhaupt
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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

Becke, thanks for bringing this to us, all I can say is WOW, I'm getting the novel.

 

 

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Fricka
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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

Hmmmm, after reading the intro, I think the bio of "Magnus Flyte" is about as fascinating as the new book appears to be. I was just saying to myself, ". . .so the guy's a former SPY!" --but then it looks as though two females are either his creator or front for him! Verrrrry mysterious! I'm actually rather afraid to post a question to " Mr. Magnus," so will wisely refrain.

I'm with eadie and Deb-- can't wait to read the book.(though unlike Eadie, I have never had the desire to visit Prague, and will be satisfied with a fictional visit!:catlol:)

" A murder mystery is the normal recreation of the noble mind."--Sister Carol Anne O' Marie
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maxcat
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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

Interesting blog... Might need to buy the book. Thanks for being here today.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC


eadieburke wrote:

Welcome Magnus:

 

I always wanted to go to Prague. Well, maybe your book will bring me a little closer!

 

CITY OF DARK MAGIC is definitely a book for me! 

 

What more could I want from a novel:

 It’s a mystery, a thriller; it has science and history and music. Romance. Comedy. Time-travel. 

 

Question: Was it difficult writing the book because there are two of you? Any conflicts?


My son went to Prague a few years ago - he said it's AMAZING! 

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literateur
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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

[ Edited ]
Hi Eadie,
This is from Christina Lynch--for some reason I've been given a pen name of "literateur."
It was actually incredibly fun to write as a duo--no conflicts. If we disagreed about a story point, we just talked it through and found the best solution, but actually I can't remember any major disagreements at all. I think part of that was the spirit in which we began the project--with the idea that it should be pure entertainment. No messages, no morals, just something we'd want to read on a plane. So any time we came to a question about story, the correct answer was the most unexpected and entertaining solution. Hence Nico being 400 years old!
Christina Lynch
Magnus Flyte's Literary Representative

eadieburke wrote:

Welcome Magnus:

 

I always wanted to go to Prague. Well, maybe your book will bring me a little closer!

 

CITY OF DARK MAGIC is definitely a book for me! 

 

What more could I want from a novel:

 It’s a mystery, a thriller; it has science and history and music. Romance. Comedy. Time-travel. 

 

Question: Was it difficult writing the book because there are two of you? Any conflicts?


 

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literateur
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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

[ Edited ]

You're welcome! Hope you enjoy it!

Christina Lynch

Magnus Flyte's Literary Representative


maxcat wrote:

Interesting blog... Might need to buy the book. Thanks for being here today.




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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

[ Edited ]

Hi Fricka,

Magnus is an elusive character... he's living the life we sometimes wish we were--always traveling, not a care in the world, two people looking after all the details for him... and a little bit of a shady past. We had a lot of fun creating his persona, um, I mean, telling the world about him!

Christina Lynch

Magnus Flyte's Literary Representative

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literateur
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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC

[ Edited ]

Hi Debbie,

We really hope you enjoy it! It's a crazy adventure for a snowy or rainy winter day, or a long plane ride, or any time you want to take a little trip to a faraway place where anything could happen... and does.

Christina Lynch

Magnus Flyte's Literary Representative


dhaupt wrote:

Becke, thanks for bringing this to us, all I can say is WOW, I'm getting the novel.

 

 




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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Magnus Flyte: CITY OF DARK MAGIC


literateur wrote:
Hi Eadie,
This is from Christina Lynch--for some reason I've been given a pen name of "literateur."
It was actually incredibly fun to write as a duo--no conflicts. If we disagreed about a story point, we just talked it through and found the best solution, but actually I can't remember any major disagreements at all. I think part of that was the spirit in which we began the project--with the idea that it should be pure entertainment. No messages, no morals, just something we'd want to read on a plane. So any time we came to a question about story, the correct answer was the most unexpected and entertaining solution. Hence Nico being 400 years old!
Christina Lynch
Magnus Flyte's Literary Representative

eadieburke wrote:

Welcome Magnus:

 

I always wanted to go to Prague. Well, maybe your book will bring me a little closer!

 

CITY OF DARK MAGIC is definitely a book for me! 

 

What more could I want from a novel:

 It’s a mystery, a thriller; it has science and history and music. Romance. Comedy. Time-travel. 

 

Question: Was it difficult writing the book because there are two of you? Any conflicts?


 


Hi Christina! I've asked my supervisor if your sign-in could be changed to your name instead of your current tag. Hopefully she'll be able to fix it!