Heather, what was your inspiration for writing ILLUSIONARIUM?
Terry Pratchett. The Discworld books are stories that I can read over and over and over, and so a lot of that humor transferred over into Illusionarium—including wry footnotes. He has recently passed on, which broke my heart.
What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?
I’d say every scene I’ve gotta write is like being bled by leeches. It’s an agonizing process. Definitely the scenes where Jonathan’s sister was getting hurt, those were hard for me—she never really had a way to fight back. But I absolutely adored the scenes with the character Lockwood in them. He stole the show.
What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?
Possibly fans of the "Larklight" series by Phillip Reeve, or the "Airborn" series by Kenneth Oppel would like Illusionarium; also fans of steampunk in general. And of course, those who love Terry Pratchett!
How long did you work on ILLUSIONARIUM?
About four years. Crazy.
What do you hope readers will take away from ILLUSIONARIUM?
Mostly I just hope readers are entertained and enjoy the humor! Esp. the footnotes, lol.
At the core, Illusionarium is a story about inner compasses. So what people take away from that is up to them, I think.
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
I write on the train. My commute is about 2 hours a day, so that's great writing time. When I'm on deadline, I spend entire Saturdays on the train too--just going end-of-the-line to end-of-the-line, typing away. The train is a great place to write. I can't get any writing done at home...too much other work to do!
What are you working on now?
I'm working on a retelling of the Nutcracker. We'll see if it goes anywhere!
ABOUT THE BOOKIllusionarium by Heather Dixon
What if the world holds more dangers—and more wonders—than we have ever known? And what if there is more than one world? From Heather Dixon, author of the acclaimed Entwined, comes a brilliantly conceived adventure that sweeps us from the inner workings of our souls to the far reaches of our imaginations.
Jonathan is perfectly ordinary. But then—as every good adventure begins—the king swoops into port, and Jonathan and his father are enlisted to find the cure to a deadly plague. Jonathan discovers that he's a prodigy at working with a new chemical called fantillium, which creates shared hallucinations—or illusions. And just like that, Jonathan is knocked off his path. Through richly developed parallel worlds, vivid action, a healthy dose of humor, and gorgeous writing, Heather Dixon spins a story that calls to mind The Night Circus and Pixar movies, but is wholly its own.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heather Dixon grew up in a large family with four brothers and six sisters. She is a storyboard artist as well as a writer, and lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Viennese waltz is her dance of choice. She is the author of the novel Entwined.
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