Under the Big Top with Jessica Walsh

July 29, 2015

Under the Big Top

Today is the day of my first Dreamspinner Press release – so please be kind and I hope you enjoy it.  I’m Jessica Walsh, from Minnesota and I’ve been writing published works for the last two years, however this is my first solo work.  Ironbound Kisses and my other work are all Urban Supernatural – you know, our world with a bit of fantasy and the unusual mixed in.  This is a genre I’ve always loved, because I always preferred to think that this world isn’t quite as normal as we all think it is.

As for the circus, where this novella takes place, this is the first time I’ve written a story in such a setting, and yet it seemed to fit perfectly because the circus is supposed to be a place of magic anyway.  So I had a lot of fun pulling back that curtain to show the back area – something we don’t generally see.  In Minnesota we only really have one circus and it’s not in the best area and shows like Cirque De Sol weren’t exactly what I was looking for.  So instead, I found my research in the oddest of places – Netflix, PBS and a few scattered childhood memories.

The whole magic of the circus is being able to get your popcorn and candy and spend a couple hours watching normal people do almost magical things before your very eyes.  There’s something about seeing real people do it in front of you that trumps the feeling of watching it on screen.  Sure, with television and movies the effects might be flashier, but there’s times when a little ‘in person’ magic can also be just as stunning.  Be it stunts, extreme skills with sharp objects, or tamed animals that act like docile pets, you have to admit that it’s easy to lose yourself in seeing these performers show off their skills.

I had the most fun with Thomas, the main character.  Since he starts the story interviewing for a job at the circus, his curtained view of that world is immediately taken away.  He, and the reader, get to almost immediately see the reality of circus life with the hard work, traveling and living in trailers behind the large tents.  The magic and performance is quickly stripped away for hard work and very simple lifestyle.

But what Thomas soon comes to discover is that there’s still something hidden at this circus and there’s still magic and mystery hiding in the trees and one of the trailers.  So even in the background, behind the scenes where it’s all pulled away, there’s still something left to be discovered.

Part of the fun of writing in Urban Fantasy relates back to a very personal part of my childhood.  I grew up needing glasses from the time I was three because I naturally saw double.  This meant, at night, when I wasn’t wearing glasses it was really easy to see that monster hiding behind my door, in the corner of my room and my closet.  And even if you showed me it was a pile of clothes in the morning, when the lights went out I was positive it was there.

As I got older and grew out of being scared of the monsters, glancing twice at shadows and things that looked strange was a second nature to me.  I’ll still do it now when I’m sitting at home or work and I hear a strange sound, even though I’m alone.  Call it ghosts, fairies or the house settling, I notice it a lot.  And it’s now become more of a game to make up stories about what might actually be there just beyond my sight.  Maybe there is a ghost rummaging through the fabric in my sewing room at night.  Maybe there is a fairy hiding in the rafters of our basement, taunting our kitties who can’t quite jump high enough.  Or maybe my house is just far too old for any of that and the wood creaks and the pipes clang.  Whatever the story, it’s a fun ride for the imagination, and more than a few of those thoughts have formed into outlines waiting to be written.


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Aside from Ironbound Kisses I’m currently working on an ongoing series with another Dreamspinner Author: Briana Lawrence .  She and I have been together for almost 14 years and actually met through our love of writing.  We spent years writing fanfiction together before we moved on to our own original works.  Seeking the Storyteller is the beginning of our long series set in Minnesota and also has a twist of supernatural in it, though this time it’s not as subtle.  We introduce a being called the Storyteller, who lives in a room of endless books full of the stories of people’s lives.  He has the power to read all those stories and change them, however he feels fit.

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You can find both of us, most days, either at or preparing for our next Anime Convention.  We wear costumes, sell our books and crafts in Artist Alley and can generally be found having fun with other convention goers all over the US.  So I suppose, in a way, I’m still working the fun and magical into my life – now I’m just doing it with a notebook and a couple Disney Princess dresses I’ve made.


So, what kind of magic is hiding at the edge of your world?  Are there dragons hidden in the marsh along your jogging path?  Fairies hidden in the cupboards above the work coffee machine?  Or maybe your dog chases little imps around the backyard trees.  Whatever it is, maybe you should take a second glance, because otherwise you might just miss it.


Author facebook: https://www.facebook.com/storytellerhuntersseries

Blog: http://snowtigra.blogspot.com/

Website: http://www.sewntogetherreflections.com/books


Get Ironbound Kisses today!


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