Gabi Stevens On The Rules And Regulations Of Magic


Author Gabi Stevens gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the rules and regulations of magic in The Wish List.

You might think that if you had magic, your power would be unlimited. You could do or achieve anything. But I tend to disagree. I think magic would have to come with rules and regulations. And limits. Things you can and cannot do, or wouldn’t want to.


In my novel, The Wish List, Kristin Montgomery learns that magic does exist in the world and she will be one of its most powerful wielders. But that doesn’t mean magic doesn’t ask a price for its use. The Arcani — the magical humans — must share the same neighborhoods and cities with the Groundlings — the non-magical humans. They must follow rules set down by Merlin centuries ago when he and Arthur decided that the two groups of humans couldn’t live openly with each other. Too much conflict between the groups led to this decision: Some Arcani believed Groundlings beneath them, and some Groundlings wanted to enslave the Arcani to do their bidding. In addition, magic requires energy. No Arcani has the ability to tap into a limitless well of power to perform magic. Just as we require muscles and conditioning to run, walk, jog, ride a bike, or really doing anything at all, the Arcani require energy to perform magic, and casting spells drains that energy. In fact, some Arcani have killed themselves by using too much magic at one time.

You wouldn’t want to do magic all the time anyway, or you’d be discovered. Bad idea. Think about it. You’d have your neighbors over all the time asking for a quick zap from your wand to fix their lawn. Or the PTA moms would place you permanently in charge of the classroom cupcakes because you could make them in a snap … literally. Or the cops would be constantly asking you to cast a spell to find some lost jewelry. So you keep your powers to yourself. There are exceptions, of course. Since Groundlings vastly outnumber Arcani, intermarriage is inevitable, and then the secret doesn’t have to be kept. And sometimes the truth slips out anyway. But for the most part you keep yourself separated from the Groundling world.


You might be tempted to take advantage of the Groundling world. You know; pop into a movie without paying or conjuring up that lobster dinner from your favorite restaurant. But that’s just not ethical. For the most part, the Arcani don’t steal from humans unless absolutely necessary Don’t get me wrong, there are still bad Arcani, but you wouldn’t be one of those, would you?

Magic isn’t the answer to all your problems. You’ll still have your personality flaws, your weaknesses, your foibles to deal with. If you’re unorganized (Guilty) magic might get in the way more than help. Thank of the havoc you can wreak with a wand. In the words of Uncle Ben (Spiderman’s wise uncle), “With great power comes great responsibility.”

So you follow the rules: Don’t overexert yourself; keep your powers hidden: always pay your way; and never fall in love with your arbiter, the guy who’s supposed to judge you whether you’re competent or not. That last one? Yeah, Kristin breaks it. And all the rest too.

Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do.


- Gabi Stevens