Untethered: A Magic iPhone AnthologyWhere do authors get their story ideas, anyway? It’s a timeless question, and one asked so so often from the audiences at writing conventions. But still you do wonder. Not because inspiration is necessarily rare, but because every author draws inspiration from a unique place. Today, as part of the Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology release, four guest authors divulge their inspirations. Oh, and I chime in as well. Enjoy!

Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology is a fictional collection of twenty stories about the intersection of magic and tech, so real life phone interaction must have meant something, right? Maybe. You might be surprised by the truth.

C.S. O’Cinneide: A friend texted me a picture of her deceased father on his deathbed. It was a significant moment in her life that I wanted to support her in, but I still almost dropped the phone when I received it. Just like my character does.

Jeremiah Reinmiller: So, we’ve got a magical iPhone, cool. But even if it is magical, what are the odds it is never going to have an issue? Yeah, pretty low. Hey, I’ve worked in IT, and you wouldn’t believe the “impossible” bugs I’ve seen or the “new and unusual” ways end users will find to surprise you. You throw in some magic and you’ve got a whole new level of troubleshooting ahead of you. Especially when said end user may not be quite so innocent, and the device not so forgiving.

Rhiannon Held: My first thought was that having phones seem like magic to someone unfamiliar with the technology (indistinguishable from, etc.) was too easy, and more than a little patronizing. But what would someone used to real magic think of one? And what would happen if they tried to use that unfamiliar object in a magical way?

Kris Millering: I used to live in the Seattle suburb in which my story’s set, which is nestled just before the Cascade foothills start. The fish hatchery is a Big Thing in this little town (they have a huge festival all about salmon every fall!) and it just seems like the sort of place where a troll might amble down the main street on a Sunday morning.

The inspiration for the two apps that attempt to help my witch on her adventures come from my study of various kinds of divination. My experience of divination has always been that it’s usually more helpful in hindsight–and whoever or whatever you’re asking for answers often doesn’t have the exact priorities that you do.

Want to see what these authors did with the concept of a magic iPhone? Pick up your copy of Untethered: a Magic iPhone Anthology in ebook or trade paperback today. Find it at Amazon.com, Nook, or wherever you prefer to grab your books.

Extra Interest: Dale Cameron Lowry shares “I have an Android (a Samsung Galaxy S3 at the time of writing the story, an S5 now). It actually didn’t influence me much; if anything, writing “What You’re Called to Do” influenced the way I interacted with my phone. Prior to writing it, I never used Android’s voice features much. After finishing it, two of my most oft-used words became “OK Google.””