The July 2013 release of THE GHOST marked the end of author Christine Rains’ paranormal romance series, the 13th Floor.

But being the marketing genius that she is, Christine has decided to release all six books as part of a collection.

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To celebrate the release of the 13th Floor Collection, author Christine Rains shares with us some tips on writing urban fantasy.



 Urban fantasy takes the magic and strange creatures from epic fantasy worlds and mashes them into our normal everyday modern lives. Sometimes it’s a ridiculous or inelegant smooshing of different elements, but that’s what makes urban fantasy so much fun. You can go over-the-top and get away with it. In fact, readers love surprises like that.

Even though you can get silly and it’s fantasy, the story still needs to make sense. Magic needs to have rules. There must be reasons why dragons still exist. Here are some tips to help make your urban fantasy universe come alive and make readers wonder if there really is still magic hidden beneath our technological world.

1) Take things we see in our every day lives and make them something more. Your toaster burns cryptic messages on your toast to warn you of danger, or Starbucks is really run by a secret organization of mages putting potions in the coffee so they can rule the world.

2) Twist a point in history and create a world from that change. World War II was won by elves determined to keep the humans from blowing up the planet, or when the Europeans came over to the Americas, they discovered a land of centaurs instead of humans.

3) Mesh magic and technology. There are a few cultures in the world that still do believe technology is magic. What if they’re right?

4) Use common sense when creating magic systems and supernatural beings. Then skew it just a little. Not too much that your readers won’t find it believable, but just enough to make them wonder. Perhaps your magic comes from the elements. You have a whole periodical table to play with instead of just using fire, earth, water, and air.

5) Remember your fantasy world has consequences in the normal world as we know it. If there’s some big magical event, it will have an effect on everything even if mundane humans don’t realize it’s magic. Earthquakes as magical backlashes? Species becoming extinct, diseases, the creation of deserts.


What do you like best about urban fantasy? Any tips you’d like to share?



Get yourselves a copy of the 13th Floor Collection now!







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14 Responses to “Christine Rains on Tips for Writing Urban Fantasy”

  1. Thank you so much for hosting me today, Nutschell!

  2. I love the idea of disrupting our urban routine Christine. If I saw messages in my toast I’d probably listen to them. Thanks for hosting Nutschell!

  3. There is a lot you can do with it if you take the time to be creative.
    The people who own Starbucks want to rule the world? I think that’s real…

  4. Hi, Nutschell & Christine,

    I haven’t read much in this genre, but the tips are consistent with the stories I’ve read to date. Good stuff!

  5. Southpaw says:

    UF is so fun because of the mash up of the everyday with fantasy. BTW, I think the Starbucks statement might be true…

  6. Great tips and I love the UF genre. Love the idea of putting the fantastical into our ordinary world and turning it into something extraordinary. :)

  7. Excellent tips Christine! Thanks for sharing, and I think maybe you should question the toast! LOL

  8. Shelly says:


    Hugs and chocolate,

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