When I had the opportunity to read ILLUSIVE a few months back, I could not put it down and immediately started salivating for a sequel. So naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to interview the book’s author, Emily Lloyd-Jones on her debut day!
Here’s the synopsis:
When the MK virus swept across the planet, a vaccine was created to stop the epidemic, but it came with some unexpected side effects. A small percentage of the population developed superhero-like powers. Seventeen-year-old Ciere Giba has the handy ability to change her appearance at will. She’s what’s known as an illusionist… She’s also a thief.
After a robbery goes awry, Ciere must team up with a group of fellow super-powered criminals on another job that most would consider too reckless. The formula for the vaccine that gave them their abilities was supposedly destroyed years ago. But what if it wasn’t?
The lines between good and bad, us and them, and freedom and entrapment are blurred as Ciere and the rest of her crew become embroiled in a deadly race against the government that could cost them their lives.
Hooked yet? Here’s where you can buy the book:
Congratulations on the release of your debut, ILLUSIVE! First of all, I really enjoyed the book. I thought it was such an incredibly well done mash-up of genres—sci-fi, paranormal, dystopian, superhero, heist. Are you a fan of comic books and superhero stories?
Thank you! I’m always grateful when someone says “genre mash-up” like it was planned. In reality, it was less of a decision and more of me going, “Genre? Meh. I’ll just throw everything into a blender and see what pours out.”
My love for super-heroines goes back to when I was in middle school and watching Sailor Moon on the Cartoon Network. (Anybody else remember Toonami?) Since then, I’ve favored stories about girls who find themselves with powers. I used to have a huge manga collection (sadly lost in several cross-country moves), and a fair amount of it contained super-powered characters. I’m also a Marvel fan, although I’ll admit it’s the movie ‘verse, not the comic one.
You’ve mentioned that you grew up as an avid genre fiction reader. What were your favorite books?
Lloyd Alexander was The Big One. His Prydain Chronicles got me hooked on fantasy and from there the addiction grew. I’m also a Tolkien fan. (Of course.) More recently, some of my favorite genre writers include Jim Butcher and Richelle Mead. There’s just something about genre and speculative fiction that makes me gleeful. There’s that element of “what if”.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? What were the first things you wrote?
I was one of those kids who always knew what she wanted to do with her life: tell stories. My first book was a clumsily drawn comic book about Pocahontas. The art was laughably bad and the historical inaccuracies even more so, but it was my first attempt at a book – all stapled together and self-published by means of shoving it into my mother’s hands and saying, “Read this.”
I think she still has it.
What was the first spark of the idea for ILLUSIVE?
Sitting in a movie theater, watching Marvel movie after Marvel movie, thinking to myself, “I love these, but this isn’t realistic. Nobody’s taking into account what the socioeconomic changes would be if superpowers existed. Hmmm. What would those changes be?”
If you had to have one of the “side effects,” which ability would you choose?
If I could have any of the adverse effects…well, that’s an easy pick for me: dauthus. Dauthus have the ability to manipulate parts of their body that normal people can’t affect – for example, they can raise hormone levels, consciously control their heartbeat, and ignore brain signals. While dauthus aren’t exactly superhuman, any person with the ability to ignore pain and pump extra adrenaline into their blood can do some pretty extraordinary things.
Can you tell us a little bit about upcoming projects and what you’re working on right now?
Right now I’m working on Illusive’s sequel. It differs from its predecessor in that…well. I’ve been jokingly saying that if Illusive was “X-Men meets Ocean’s 11,” then the sequel is “X-Men meets It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”. Only without the rampant comedy. Basically, all of the main characters are running around until they realize they’re all chasing the same thing and their subplots collide. It is hands-down the most intricately plotted novel I have ever written.
Sounds awesome! Lastly, as this community is fearless, we’d like to know something you are afraid of and something you are not afraid of.
I’m terrified of drowning. Or being trapped in something that is sinking beneath water. (JMT note: I am now terrified of this.)
As for something I’m not afraid of? Heights. I have a healthy respect for falling to one’s death, but it’s never stopped me. I haven’t met a roller coaster I won’t ride, I’ve been ziplining, and I’m currently trying to work out a date to go skydiving.
Emily Lloyd-Jones grew up on a vineyard in rural Oregon, where she played in evergreen forests and learned to fear sheep. After graduating from Western Oregon University with an English degree, she enrolled in the publishing program at Rosemont College just outside of Philadelphia. She currently resides in Northern California, working in a bookstore by day and writing by night. Illusive is her debut novel.
|Jenn Marie Thorne writes YA fiction from her home in beautiful Gulfport, Florida, alongside her dashing husband, her two adventurous sons, and her trusty hound Molly. An erstwhile drama major, Jenn still enjoys making a fool of herself on at least a weekly basis. Her debut novel, THE WRONG SIDE OF RIGHT, is coming Spring 2015 from Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin).|