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When technology fails, magic comes back into the world. That’s one of the central concepts to my new book Genesis. My theory (in the book at least) is that with all the interference from technology – radio waves, microwaves, electromagnetic fields, whatever – people have been cut off from the natural magic that flows through the world and through every living thing. But there’s a catch (there’s always a catch, books get boring without a catch).  Because they’ve lived so long in a world without magic, adults (unless they’re Wiccan or already predisposed to believe in magic) can’t touch the magic. Only teenagers can use magic.

Just what we need, right? The world has ended, technology has been destroyed, and now all these balls of hormones are running around with magical powers? Sounds like a premise for lots of conflict, which makes for interesting plot and character development. That’s kinda why I went there.

But what kind of magic? The magic had to be the type that could flow naturally from a person, not the kind that has to be tapped into with spells and rituals, because otherwise no one would ever know the magic existed. I can’t imagine anyone in the middle of trying to learn to survive in a whole new world with no refrigerators, no cars and no Xbox suddenly deciding to cast a spell just to see if it works now. So I decided that the magic in my books would be elemental magic.

Genesis BCThe four major elements (obviously we’re not talking periodic table here) are fire, earth, air and water. So most people would fall into one class of that type of magic or another. But there’s a fifth type of magic as well, because some things don’t neatly fit into those four little boxes. So the fifth type of magic is energy manipulation – light, sound, kinetic energy, electricity.

Each character develops one branch of magic, and then they have to learn how to use them. Then, more importantly, they have to learn when to use them. And that takes up a large chunk of Book Two in the series, which will be called Exodus. Because after all, Stan Lee taught us that “with great power, comes great responsibility.” I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into the magical world of Genesis, and hope you’ll give the book a try.



Synopsis: The end of the world was just the beginning.

Now they have to stay alive.

17-year-old Christin Kinsey started the day with nothing more pressing than an English exam. But when an EMP attack knocked out all technology across the globe, she found herself in the mountains of Georgia trying to stay alive in a world suddenly thrown back in time a hundred years or more.

And when she starts shooting lightning bolts out of her hands, things get really weird. Christin, her younger brother Matt, and Matt’s cute friend Dave have to figure out what this new world is about, why they suddenly have super powers, and what happened to their mom in this apocalyptic fantasy novel geared for audiences 16 and up.

Mad Max meets X-Men: First Class in the first book of the Return to Eden trilogy by the best-selling author of The Black Knight Chronicles.



headshot AUTHOR BIO

John G. Hartness is a recovering theatre geek who likes loud music, fried pickles and cold beer. John is an award-winning poet, lighting designer and theatre producer, with a theatre career spanning three decades.

His first novel, The Chosen, is an urban fantasy about saving the world, snotty archangels, gambling, tattooed street preachers, immortals with family issues, bar brawls and the consequences of our decisions.

He followed up The Chosen with Hard Day’s Knight, a new twist on the vampire detective novel and the first book in the highly successful series The Black Knight Chronicles. The second book of The Black Knight Chronicles, Back in Black, landed in March 2011 and enjoyed immediate success. Knight Moves, the third Black Knight book, was released in August 2011.

John has been called “the Kevin Smith of Charlotte,” and fans of Joss Whedon and Jim Butcher should enjoy his snarky slant on the fantasy genre.

He can be found online at and spends too much time on Twitter, especially after a few drinks.



Connect With Him Online:

Twitter: @johnhartness