I first discovered DECEPTIVE when I saw it on one of the book carts near my desk. The cover was so intriguing that I had to find out more, so I contacted Emily for an interview. Come to find out, DECEPTIVE is second in the Illusive series, the premise for both books will blow your mind:
You don’t belong with us. These are the words that echo through the minds of all immune Americans—those suffering the so-called adverse effects of an experimental vaccine, including perfect recall, body manipulation, telepathy, precognition, levitation, mind-control, and the ability to change one’s appearance at will.
When immune individuals begin to disappear—in great numbers, but seemingly at random—fear and tension mount, and unrest begins to brew across the country. Through separate channels, super-powered teenagers Ciere, Daniel, and Devon find themselves on the case; super criminals and government agents working side-by-side. It’s an effort that will ultimately define them all—for better or for worse.
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.
Emily was also kind enough to answer some interview questions:
According to your bio, you work in a bookstore by day and write by night. What sort of work-life balance have you established, and do you find that your day job feeds your creativity?
I love my day job because it lets me keep my finger on the pulse of the industry. I see a lot, and I do mean a lot, of books. I see how booksellers react to them and how customers react to them. And while none of this feeds my creativity, it does feed my business sense. I think being a bookseller has made me a better writer simply because I’ve been exposed to so many books. I learn a lot from reading. Also, booksellers are amazingly fun people to work with – independent, creative, and usually a little sarcastic.
On the writing side of of things, my work-life balance tends to be… less balance and more chaos. When I’m in the throes of writing a new book, I tend to let things like housework, cooking, and all other non-work responsibilities fall by the wayside. At this moment, there is a pile of laundry atop my couch because I haven’t had time to fold it.
I know exactly what you mean! At least books are always there, no matter what state of array our lives happen to be in.
Since DECEPTIVE is the second in the Illusive series, how did the the story develop with this new installment, and what advice, if any, do you have for writing sequels?
The story developed by way of the characters. The characters grew up a lot in the second book and the plot itself became more mature as a result. One thing I relished in the second book is this: I didn’t pull my punches when it came to the characters. Maybe it makes me a terrible person, but I love creating characters and watching them deal with impossible situations.
The best advice I can give to people attempting to write a sequel is this: make friends. Have very good writer friends who know what you’re going through, who are willing to beta your work on a moment’s notice, who will listen to you moan for hours at a time and then offer good advice. In my experience, first books are written alone while sequels require a bit of a group effort.
Definitely a good way to ensure things remain consistent. Speaking of consistency, I love your website! What went into the design concept, and do you have tips for authors wanting to establish an online platform?
Oh, thank you! I designed it myself. Once in a while my art minor comes in handy. I wanted a web presence that would reflect my books – which in this case is a moody cityscape. I think one of the key parts of establishing a web presence is keeping things simple and consistent. I try to make myself easy to find and accessible on places like Twitter and Tumblr. I also try to conserve my social media energy to those two outlets because there is only so much I can handle in one day. Actually, my Twitter has been a little neglected lately because I’ve been throwing myself into my writing.
Simplicity is definitely best! And rest assured, Twitter won’t go away any time soon. What are some of your current projects?
My current project is a standalone YA novel due out in spring of 2017. It’s called THE HEARTS WE SOLD and it’s about misfit teenagers, Faustian bargains, Lovecraftian monsters, and how far a person will go to achieve their greatest desire.
Sounds wonderful! Thanks for such a great interview!
To get your hands on Illusive, Deceptive, or Murder on the Disoriented Express, the companion to both titles, feel free to click the links below: