The scary but satisfying process of writing book two in a series - Fi Phillips

On 2nd August this year, Magic Bound - the second novel in my fantasy series - will be published by Burning Chair. I still get all tingly and excited when I say or write that sentence. It’s taken almost three years to get to this stage, but the finish line is getting close.

Writing the second book in a series was a surprisingly different process to writing the initial novel; a more complicated but richer process that I hope I’ve risen to.

The challenges, and the opportunities, in continuing Steve Haven’s journey into magic were many and varied. Here are just a few:

Pulling Steve back into the adventure

At the end of Haven Wakes, the first novel in the series, twelve year old Steve returns to his ‘normal’ world. As Magic Bound begins, Steve turns 13 and appears to have been abandoned by his new magical friends. What could possibly tempt him to return?

This was the first challenge; finding a reason for Steve to leave the safety of boarding school. Steve knows how dangerous some of the magicals are, especially the criminal ring-leader Braeden Kendra and his thugs. What would convince Steve to jump, feet first, back into that world again?

With his parents absent, Hartley Keg and Blessing have become the nearest he has to a family, so it made sense that saving them would provide all the motivation Steve needed to return to Darkacre and the wider world of magic.

Revealing more of both the magical and the workaday worlds

Haven Wakes provided a snapshot of a futuristic, highly technical world and the concealed magical world that existed just out of sight. There was only so much I could reveal within the city limits of Caercester. The challenge was to show both Steve and the reader more of the workaday world and the magical culture.

As a result, Magic Bound takes the reader deeper into how the magical world works, for instance, how it is governed and policed, and far beyond the reach of the city to discover what other areas of the workaday (non-magical) world look like.

Creating a new quest

Just as Haven Wakes is a self-contained story, so too is Magic Bound. The challenge was to create a new, separate adventure that would continue to develop the story arc of the fantasy series towards its ending.

In the end, Magic Bound rose to that challenge as Steve discovered more about his family’s involvement in the magical world, armed himself better to deal with his enemies, and took control of his future. There are plenty of breadcrumbs laid for the next book in the series. Of course, at this point, I’m the only one who knows what those breadcrumbs are.


Magic Bound was a joy, and a brain-ache, and a challenge to write. I wanted to satisfy my readers with a new adventure that was as good as, if not better than, Haven Wakes. I think I’ve succeeded, but that decision will be down to my readers.

The magic returns

When Hartley Keg and Blessing go missing, Steve Haven, the young heir to the Haven Robotics Corporation, once again finds himself plunged back into the chaos of Darkacre.

Teaming up with the darkling, he finds himself on the run from the Council and their enforcers, the Hidden, as he seeks to keep safe those he holds most dear.

Things are complicated further when a new player emerges: the Parity, who are far too keen in the Haven Corporation, and the magical device which nearly led to its destruction.

What follows is a race not only against time but through a series of worlds, each more fantastical and dangerous than the last, as Steve and his friends try to keep one step ahead of their pursuers.

Magic Bound is the second adventure in the Haven Chronicles, following on from Haven Wakes, a unique blend of fantasy and sci-fi which has been described by readers as “shades of Artemis Fowl, hints of Harry Potter… and Skulduggery Pleasant”


For many years Fi Phillips worked in an office environment until the arrival of her two children robbed her of her short term memory and sent her hurtling down a new, bumpy, creative path. She finds that getting the words down on paper is the best way to keep the creative muse out of her shower.

Fi lives in the wilds of North Wales with her family, earning a living as a copywriter, playwright and fantasy novelist.

Writing about magical possibilities is her passion.

Haven Wakes on Amazon -

Haven Wakes on Burning Chair website -

Magic Bound on Amazon -

Magic Bound on Burning Chair website -

Amazon author page -

Goodreads -

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