The Big Idea: M. A. Carrick

Collaboration is key. Whether it’s writing a book together, backing a Kickstarter together, or changing the world together, people need each other to make things the best version they can be. Follow along with authors Alyc and Marie, who joined together as M. A. Carrick to bring you the newest novel in their Rook and Rose Trilogy, Labyrinth’s Heart.


All our patterns are real.

The Rook and Rose trilogy features a deck of cards (live on Kickstarter as we speak!) that gets used for divination. We’ve mentioned the pattern deck in our previous Big Idea pieces for The Mask of Mirrors and The Liar’s Knot, because our book titles are drawn from card names . . . but that’s not just a tactic for settling on titles. It’s a nod toward the centrality of pattern in this series as a whole.

It wasn’t originally meant to be that central, though. We knew we wanted Ren, our con artist protagonist, to have a deck of cards she used for divination, and we settled on “pattern” as the name because it echoes the association of threads and weaving with fate. That choice had unforeseen consequences: not only did Vraszenian culture become Textile Motifs Ahoy about 0.18 seconds after we named the deck, but when we sat down to refine the differences between our three magical traditions (imbuing, numinatria, and pattern), our word choice shaped our thinking. Pattern gets used for divination, via the cards, but its core is something deeper.

Pattern is the connections between things.

Or, to borrow a line from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.”

That’s the heart of our story. Not a lone heroine changing the world single-handed, but a tapestry of characters bound together by their relationships, both good and bad. Our books are 600-page bricks because we need the room to show those connections, how a tug on a thread here causes the fabric to wrinkle there. And how when change happens, it’s not because one person performed a singular act; it’s because enough threads wove into enough of a net to drag the world in a new direction…

Labyrinth’s Heart: Amazon US|Barnes & Noble||Powell’s|Indigo (Canada)|Amazon (UK)|Waterstones (UK)

Author socials: Website|Twitter|Marie on Mastodon|Alyc on Mastodon|Marie’s Patreon

Read more at: The Big Idea: M. A. Carrick

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