Christopher G. Nuttall, bestselling fantasy author of the Schooled in Magic Series installment Trial by Fire, discusses his desire to create strong, yet believably flawed characters

Meet Christopher G. Nuttall

Christopher Nuttall was born in Edinburgh, studied in Manchester, married in Malaysia and currently living in Scotland, United Kingdom, with his wife and baby son. He is the author of twenty novels from various publishers and thirty-nine self-published novels. His books have sold over 100K copies in the last year. His latest book, Trial by Fire (Schooled in Magic Book 7) is currently an Amazon bestseller.

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Synopsis from Amazon:

After a brief visit to the Blighted Lands, in hopes of recovering something useful from Shadye’s Dark Fortress, Emily returns to Whitehall for her fourth year, bracing herself for the exams that will determine her future. But as she resumes her education, she discovers that the shadows of the past are hanging over the school. A teacher wants to break her, some of her friends are acting oddly and, worst of all, a boy intends to court her.

But as she struggles to come to terms with her own past, she discovers a plot to kill her and a deadly threat that may destroy the entire school...and a fight she cannot win, but dares not lose.

Coming to OmniLit on 12 July 2015 and Amazon on 13 July 2015!

Read the Prologue and First Four Chapters of Christopher G. Nuttall's Trial by Fire here!

I would like to welcome Christopher G. Nuttall, author of Trial by Fire, the seventh installment of his bestselling fantasy series Schooled in Magic, to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Mr. Nuttall was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in his own words:

'Creating Sympathetic Yet Flawed Characters Within a Fantastic World'
by Christopher G. Nuttall

The Schooled in Magic series draws on so many different inspirations that it’s hard to say just when and where it jelled into its current shape. It started as a combination of a desire to do a ‘wizard school’ story and a ‘time-traveling expert’ story – the latter generally covering a person being thrown back in time and using modern knowledge to reshape the primitive society facing him. (The classic example is Lest Darkness Fall.) I played around with the idea of having the universe set in the distant past, then decided to put it in a very different universe instead – both to escape the Harry Potter connection as much as possible and to allow more room for storytelling. If I created the universe myself, I could make it be whatever I wanted.

Designing Emily (the heroine) was a more complex task. I wanted a flawed personality, to allow her room to grow and be shaped by her new world as much as she shaped it herself. I drew on my own experiences at school, then researched mental conditions and their impact on teenage children; Emily, although she doesn’t know this because she has never been tested, is autistic. This is partly because her parents were emotionally abusive; Emily simply never had the socialization that most people take for granted. But it also gave her a good reason to step into another world and never look back.

This makes her appallingly bad at social cues, for example; she completely misses the fact that some boys (and even a girl) are interested in her. To meet this lack, I crafted two friends for her; Alassa originally started life as a bully, then wound up as one of Emily’s first real friends. Imaiqah was one of her victims, then became Emily’s other friend. Together, they help make her stronger.

May you read well and often

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