In Read My Mind, as the title suggests, I explore what it means to have telepathy. Your magic might behave differently when you’re interacting with people you know really well, versus not at all. But I don’t think my telepathy is quite run-of-the-mill. Being able to read someone else’s mind is relatively rare. The majority of telepaths have one-way outward communication, and what Scott and Nick learn early on is that this communication isn’t just words, it’s emotion too. All of a sudden, Nick doesn’t need to ask Scott if he likes him, because Scott is radiating attraction when he looks at Nick. Makes things simpler, right? Oh, I don’t know about that. Because how do you handle consent if a person can’t control what emotions are getting through? Here’s an excerpt where the boys talk about exactly this.
Maybe my thoughts had given me away when we almost made out in my dorm, so he’d known he could touch me. But I hadn’t expressly consented.
“I feel you questioning something,” Nick said as he started on his dinner.
“You can touch me,” I said. “With your telekinesis. It’s okay.”
For a minute we ate in silence, though Nick kept his gaze on me. Though the noodle cups weren’t the best thing in the world, they were food, and they were hot, and that was a lot better than nothing.
Finally, he spoke. “I shouldn’t have assumed your thoughts were consent. Until you get a firm hold on your shielding, you can’t really control what gets through and that’s not fair.”
Navigating the issues of consent when telepathy is involved comes up a few more times during the novel as well. But my favorite part about a telepathic character is describing how their emotions feel to the people around them, and how different people react to experiencing the emotions of another. It adds a whole new level of description to the story. And as you can probably imagine, it adds a LOT to intimate moments. But you’ll have to read the book to experience those 😉
Welcome to the blog tour of Read My Mind, the first book of the Under the Empire series! I hope you’ll check out all the stops, where I explore the craft that goes into creating a fantasy series set in a contemporary era.
Long ago, a pantheon of ten gods gifted magic to the people of our world, changing the course of history as we know it. The Flavian Empire now reigns over what would have been America, led by a royalty of fire weavers. Frannesburg, the city by the bay, is a haven from the empire’s encroaching dictatorship, and its university is bustling with people of all magics, sexualities, genders, and races. As students study toward their degrees, they hope to find friendships across majors, and maybe even love under the fog and city lights.
Read My Mind follows two freshmen, Scott and Nick, who have just started at the University of Frannesburg. Magic, attraction, and too much homework await them on their journey to figure out who they are now that they are on their own, and how they fit into this magical world.
About Read My Mind
Scott Kensington lives happily without magic; prayer is all he needs to worship the gods. Then he starts his studies at the University of Frannesburg, and not only is he suddenly surrounded by eccentrics—those gifted with magic—but his own latent ability begins to surface, with consequences that could tear his soul and family apart.
Nick Barns is grieving for his lost mother and desperate for distraction—usually in the form of limited-edition action figures. As a telekinetic, he’s no stranger to magic, so he offers to help Scott adjust to his new powers. They quickly learn how their magics interact, their shared passions soon growing beyond superheroes and immortals. But Nick’s not taking his studies seriously, and his father threatens to pull him from the university. Overwhelmed by his own crumbling family, Scott’s convinced he can’t handle a relationship, but he doesn’t want to let Nick go.
With grief, guilt, and magic complicating everything between Nick and Scott, it seems that not even the gods—or a new comic book—can save their relationship now.
Sometimes, even reading someone’s mind won’t help you understand what they want.
Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/read-my-mind
About Kelly Haworth
Kelly Haworth grew up in San Francisco and has been reading science fiction and fantasy classics since she was a kid. She has way too active an imagination, thus she channels it into writing. Kelly is genderfluid and pansexual, and loves to write LGBTQIA characters into her work. In fact, she doesn’t know if she’s ever going to be able to write an allo-cishet couple again. Kelly has degrees in both genetics and psychology, and works as a project manager at a genetics lab. When not working or writing, she can be found wrangling her two toddlers, working on cosplay, or curled up on the couch with a good TV show or book.
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To celebrate the release of Read My Mind, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 7, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!