World-Building Wonders – Magic, Science, and Faith
Welcome to another installment of World-Building Wonders! Find a Friday escape into an author’s awesome world — and worldview! Today’s featured author is Kat Heckenbach.
“There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class.” ~ Professor Snape, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
I love Snape. And I adore the Harry Potter books. But when I decided to write a young adult fantasy series, I wanted my magic based not on wand-waving or incantations, but on taking science beyond the physical. Treating magic as an ability, something that uses the laws of physics, but comes from outside those laws.
In other words, magic and science go together.
You know, kinda like the way spirituality and science go together.
I grew up in a Christian home, but pulled away from my faith during my teen years. Then, when I was in college working toward a degree in Biology, I felt a real struggle between the remnants of my faith and the evolutionary science I was bombarded with. That bombardment ultimately pushed me back toward my faith—I simply couldn’t see how such a complex world had come into existence by chance. I began to research creation science on my own, and soon discovered Lee Strobel’s books The Case for a Creator, The Case for Faith, and The Case for Christ.
Time passed, and one day I was hit with the unavoidable realization that I could not escape my desire to write a novel. Young adult fantasy was my natural choice, as it’s my favorite genre to read. When I sat down to write, I knew there would be magic—but there had to be science, and magic and science had to be interactive. Actually, that became the entire premise of my first novel, Finding Angel.
In Finding Angel, magic is a gift, and it can’t be reduced to a genetic code, just as human consciousness or souls can’t be. Science is real, and valid, but it’s not the limit of our experiences. There’s more than just the physical world…there’s magic. My protagonist, Angel, knows this to be true, but there is someone out there who believes magic is something merely genetic and can be spliced into his DNA. He sees Angel as nothing more than a vehicle for a DNA segment he wants for himself, and is willing to do anything to get that genetic splice.
Before I even finished Finding Angel, a new inspiration hit. I’d already based one novel on science and magic together vs science alone, much like The Case for a Creator contrasts science within the worldview of Christianity vs science alone.
I moved forward with book two of my series, Seeking Unseen, and, following the pattern set by Strobel’s books, I let its focus be more of a faith journey. A friend of Angel’s must let go of her fears and doubts about not being worthy of magic.
Book three is still in editing, and untitled, but it parallels Strobel’s series in that like his third book, The Case for Christ, it brings the focus around to Christ—or, rather, an allegory of Him. Strobel’s book centers on historical evidence for Christ, and my third novel takes a dive into the history of my story world (through magic and time travel) and introduces the person without whom magic—or science— would not be possible.
Angel doesn’t remember her magical heritage…but it remembers her.
Start with a struggle revolving around the source of magic. Is it genetic–or is it part of your soul? What if someone was using his powers to run experiments based on a complete misconception of the source of magic?
Kat Heckenbach is a graduate of the University of Tampa, Magna Cum Laude, B.S. in Biology. She spent several years teaching, but never in a traditional classroom–everything from Art to Algebra II—and now home-schools her two children. Her writing spans the gamut from inspirational personal essays to dark and disturbing fantasy and horror, with over fifty short fiction and nonfiction credits to her name. Her YA fantasy series includes Finding Angel and Seeing Unseen and is available in print and ebook. Enter her world at www.katheckenbach.com and www.findingangel.com.