Author Interview: Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens

Crushed on by Christy Jane, on April 3, 2023, in Author Interview, New Releases / 0 Comments

Author Interview: Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens

Spell Bound is a new magical fantasy romance from New York Times Bestselling Author F.T. Lukens! We are thrilled to present to you a short interview with the author below. Spell Bound releases tomorrow, Tuesday April 4th, so be sure to check our the in-person and virtual release celebration tour dates, which you can see in the graphics below!

Author Interview: Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens

Spell Bound

by F.T. Lukens
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books
on April 4, 2023
Genres: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, Young Adult
Pages: 336

Two rival apprentice sorcerers must team up to save their teachers and protect their own magic in this lively young adult romantic adventure from the New York Times bestselling author of In Deeper Waters and So This Is Ever After.

Edison Rooker isn’t sure what to expect when he enters the office of Antonia Hex, the powerful sorceress who runs a call center for magical emergencies. He doesn’t have much experience with hexes or curses. Heck, he doesn’t even have magic. But he does have a plan—to regain the access to the magical world he lost when his grandmother passed.

Antonia is…intimidating, but she gives him a job and a new name—Rook—both of which he’s happy to accept. Now all Rook has to do is keep his Spell Binder, an illegal magical detection device, hidden from the Magical Consortium. And contend with Sun, the grumpy and annoyingly cute apprentice to Antonia’s rival colleague, Fable. But dealing with competition isn’t so bad; as Sun seems to pop up more and more, and Rook minds less and less.

But when the Consortium gets wind of Rook’s Spell Binder, they come for Antonia. All alone, Rook runs to the only other magical person he knows: Sun. Except Fable has also been attacked, and now Rook and Sun have no choice but to work together to get their mentors back…or face losing their magic forever.


Tell us about Rook, Sun, and Antonia. What are their main motivations?

Rook, Sun, and Antonia are the main character trio of the novel. Rook is grieving the loss of the only adult in his life, his grandmother, and with her passing he’s lost his connection to the magical world as well. He’s trying to reconnect with that part of his life, so he creates an illegal device to detect magic, and he also applies for a job with Antonia Hex. Antonia is a very powerful sorcerer who has been relegated to dealing with curses (the messy side of magic) by the magical governing body because of a few mistakes she made when she was younger. Her motivations are her own and she’ll tell you as much. Though I think she too is seeking connections and relationships though she’d rather curse you than to admit it. And Sun is just trying to keep their head down and be a good apprentice. They love magic and they take comfort in the rules they’re given. But they’re lonely and when Rook keeps trying to be their friend, they can’t help but give him a chance.

Talk to us about your worldbuilding process. Were there things you knew you had to include from the beginning?

There were definitely some fantasy elements that I wanted to include, and some plot points that were in the original idea that made it into the book. I brainstormed with my brother an idea about magical wifi. And talked about how modern devices are able to detect signals and what if there were devices that could do that with magic and how that would work in a contemporary fantasy setting. Then taking that idea, I developed the conflict that could come from a reality with that set up. After that, I did a lot of research into tropes around sorcerers and witches (such as animals that act as familiars, differences between jinxes, hexes, and curses, sources of magic etc) and incorporated those into the worldbuilding.

One plot point that I wanted to have happen is to have the nonmagical character have to be in charge and the magical character to have lost access to their magic. But I didn’t want to do it in a conventional way in which the magical character is somehow cut off from magic but still able to help. I wanted it to be a situation in which the characters and the reader had no idea how they would manage to get out of trouble. That’s where a lot of the research about familiars came in. I know that’s vague, but I don’t want to spoil what happens!

If your characters in this book lived in the worlds of your other books, what would happen?

Antonia would take over both the universe of In Deeper Waters and So This Is Ever After. That really is the only outcome. She’d assess the situations in both Harth and Ere and realize how much better of a job she could do. I think she would teach Tal, Matt, and Bethany magic though alongside both Rook and Sun. Maybe she would even open her own magic school.

About F.T. Lukens

F.T. Lukens (they/them) is a New York Times bestselling author of YA speculative fiction including the novels Spell Bound, So This Is Ever After and In Deeper Waters (2022 ALA Rainbow Booklist; Junior Library Guild Selection) as well as other science fiction and fantasy works. Their contemporary fantasy novel The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic was a 2017 Cybils Award finalist in YA Speculative Fiction and the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Gold Winner for YA fiction and won the Bisexual Book Award for Speculative Fiction. F.T. resides in North Carolina with their spouse, three kids, three dogs, and three cats.


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