We live in this era that has benefited from the Industrial Revolution, and we live with a kind of luxury and plenty that even all but the poorest of Americans live with a kind of sensuousness that was unimagined by medieval kings. But in order to get to this point, a lot of people had to suffer in really terrible ways.
In the past, people generally believed they could acquire magic in two ways: through learning the craft, either from another practitioner or from books; or through obtaining magic from a powerful being-think Faust or the classic, demonized witch, both of whom get their mojo from Satan.
I went with the old adage that you should write what you know. What I knew was 18th century Britain, so what I decided I would do is write a novel based on my dissertation research.
I was always a big Justice League fan. I always loved Batman, Superman - I have a weird Martian Manhunter fixation.
In my research, what I found most interesting was how common and ordinary magic was to people in the past.
Magic has been around forever, and it's also been in trouble forever. I'm not suggesting that there was ever a time when the practice of magic was celebrated by those in power. Actually, such practices were routinely demonized by monarchs and organized religions precisely because magic is inherently democratic.