FANtastic interview with Illusionary Author, Desiree Williams.

Illusionary Blog Tour Banner

Today’s post is an extra special one, because today I am participating in a blog tour for Desiree Williams’s new book Illusionary.

 First about the book:

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 Dorothy got sucked into a tornado.

 Alice fell down a hole.

 Wendy flew to Neverland.

 Kamryn? She tripped down the stairs.

 Now, Kamryn Kensington finds herself in a strange new world. Within minutes of her arrival, she dodges an archer’s arrow and avoids getting sliced up by a cosplay reject holding a dagger to her throat. And that’s before the storyteller’s breath brings stories to life.

 Home is the mission—to return to her family and pursue her life’s dream of art and travel. Yet the longer she’s in the Land of Ur, the harder it is not to feel for the people she meets. Even her artistic side can’t help but breathe in the beautiful wonder and magic of this new world. So when the Oracle hands her a different quest, she takes it on the condition he sends her home afterward.

 No one thought to warn her of a jealous queen and her dragon minions. Or that, by helping her, the cute storyteller would go crazy. Or that her heart would rip in two when she left. Those would’ve been great facts to know ahead of time.

 Considering that nothing in Ur is what it seems, the mission proves to be more than she ever imagined. But more than her own future will be in jeopardy if Kamryn doesn’t succeed.

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 I have already read and fallen in love with Illusionary. Even before Illusionary though, I was already a fan of Desiree Williams because of an amazing book she wrote called Sun and Moon. So that’s why, to celebrate this new book release, I got in touch with Desiree for a FANtastic interview. (Because I’m a fan, get it?)

 A great big thank you to Desiree Williams for visiting the Blog and answering all my geeky questions.

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C: One of the things I loved about both Sun and Moon, and Illusionary, was the stand alone nature of the novels, was it a conscious choice to keep the story contained to one book, or was that just the natural ending place?

D: For both books, I pre-determined that they would be standalone stories. While I (along with other readers) love series, for these two stories I wanted them to have a standing ground all to themselves. However, for Sun and Moon, I do have plans for Zara and Jaedon to have a cameo appearance in a future novel—not an extension of their story, just a fun appearance.

C: I can’t wait for that. I loved the world building in Sun and Moon and can see many more interesting stories set there. I have one more question that applies to both Sun and Moon and Illusionary.

As an adult reader, I love that your protagonists are of an adult age, meanwhile the novels still have that YA feel. Is this a major consideration for you when writing romance, especially considering the main plot device used in Sun and Moon, that they actually be old enough to get married?

D: In a way, yes. I love the thought that there is an individual out there created to journey with us in life. That God designs our paths to connect with the love of our hearts and souls—our other half. And I would like the characters to be old enough to explore this depth of love.

C: Illusionary would make a great movie. Did you create a dream cast for Illusionary?

D: Ah, I so agree with this! Illusionary would be epic as a movie! My heart soars at the thought. But no, I don’t have a dream cast in mind of who would play Kam and Reese. Although, ideally, it’d be nice for them to be new faces, actors who hadn’t been sucked into the world of Hollywood darkness.

C: I love the idea of the actors being unknowns. Illusionary would an epic story to launch a career with.

Illusionary has multiple references to classic children’s books, what was your favorite book to read as a child?

D: Uh … confession time. I actually had a rather rough childhood and was deprived of books (outside of school) until my teenage years. The earliest books I remember being in love with were the Immortals Series by Tamora Pierce. Once I got my first library card, my world exploded with possibilities after that. =)

C: I too love Tamora Pierce books. Her world building is amazing. While we are talking about other authors, I must know: Is there a Baum county NC? If not why did you choose this name?

D: LOL. No there isn’t a Baum County NC. This name, along with Carroll Memorial Hospital and Barrie’s Children Hospital, where inspired by the writers of the classic stories. Those, along with other nuggets, are woven through Illusionary.

(If you visit Desiree’s facebook page you will find three behind the scenes videos with easter eggs for Illusionary.)

C: Speaking of nuggets I want to know something about the magical red gem. Reese says it was a gift from his Grandmother. He references other jewels as well. Is there anything special about the rest of the set?

D: Technically, no, there isn’t. The red tear had been a gift but the Oracle tweaked it for Kam’s purpose. Which helped in getting Reese to open his eyes and see things differently. The other jewels were just pretty trinkets that had belonged to his grandmother and passed down to Reese.

C: Pity, I really thought I was onto something there.

If you had a choice of visiting a fictional world, which would you choose?

D: I can’t pick one. I’ve tried before, and I still can’t choose where I’d want to go. Can’t I just go to them all? I mean, as a reader, I’ve visited so many amazing places and characters in my mind. Instead, I’ll say I want story dust. That way I can bring the all fictional worlds to me. 😉

C: Okay but since Ur is the only place to get story dust . . . If you could visit Ur, without falling down the stairs to get there, what would you do there for a day?

D: Oooh! So many possibilities. Hmmm … First, I’d need to eat some moon-jacks and pork spears with the Treasures Ones, and avoid getting caught in Tock’s mouth. Then I’d swing by Wonder Winds to get some fashion advice from Paloma. After that, I’d probably bask in the beauty of Native Hollow or play soccer with a few of the Indocan children. And I’d end the day with having a cup of tea with the Oracle. Oh my … can I just go do that now?

C: Not yet I have a couple more questions for you.

*Possible spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned*

Without spoiling the end for people who haven’t read it yet, can you talk about the Oracle? Was it important to you for readers to understand who he represents? Do you feel the story would have been less complete without him?

D: *headdesk* Oh, how to answer this question without spoilers! I think it is important for readers to understand or at least pick up on who the Oracle represents in the story. Because I believe it would give them a deeper impact of the ending and the reasons/ importance of why Kam was pulled from the real world and dumped into the Land of Ur. There technically isn’t a villain in the story, not in a true sense. The conflict resolution is all based on something far deeper. And yes, it does involve the Oracle and the desire to see Reese prosper beyond the chains that bind him.

C: Here’s the sad truth. I cried, so hard, during that moment when Kam and Reese say goodbye. What’s your most memorable “all the feels” moment?

D: How can I pick just ONE “all the feels” moment?!?! Illusionary was a roller-coaster for me. From grinning like a goober at all the mushy scenes to crying myself in the cave when they had to say goodbye. However the specific moment I have in mind is a spoiler, and I can’t go into too much detail. But I will give hints so that those who have read Illusionary can pick it up. My favorite “all the feels” moment is toward the end where Kam walks into her living room looking all sloppy and is on the verge of having her heart fly from her chest.

C: Oh yes that moment was the best. I would have been angry if it had ended any other way.

Thank you to Desiree Williams for answering my questions and thank you reader for stopping by today. I hope you enjoy getting to know Illusionary and its author as much as I have.

D: Thanks so much for having me on today! *big hugs* I loved all your questions and am so grateful I got to visit. Blessings!

Desiree Williams

About the Author

Desiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.

You can find out more about Desiree and her books at www.desireewilliamsbooks.com

You can also visit her on the following social media sites:

Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads / Newsletter

Illusionary

Illusionary can be purchased from these fine retailers:

Amazon: http://a.co/hj1bDtH

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/illusionary-desiree-williams/1125821432?ean=2940154019337

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/illusionary

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/illusionary/id1207467393?mt=11

Don’t forget to add Illusionary to your to-read list on Goodreads:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34363709-illusionary

 Illusionary Blog Tour Giveaway

  Giveaway Here

Desiree has graciously offered to give away the following prizes: a “Make everyday an adventure” pillow, “Don’t Grow Up! It’s a Trap!” metal sign, book cozy, signed paperback of Illusionary, notebook with pens, sketch book with colored pencils, and a “Eat Cake for Breakfast” travel cup.

The winner of the grand prize giveaway will be selected on Monday, Jun 12th at approx. 9 AM (EST). The winner will be announced on Desiree’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Feel free to visit the rest of the tour at the following stops:

Blog Tour Schedule

June 5th Launch Day – HOPE through the Pages

              Spotlight – Rachel Lopez

              Book Review – Jebraun Clifford – Dream. Write. Repeat.

              Interview – Jilligan’s Island

 June 6th Book Review – Indie Book Reviews

              Spotlight – Christian Book News

              Interview – Bookworm Mama

 June 7th Book Review – Zernia Blossom’s Books

              Book Review – Prismatic Prospects

              Interview – dolphin18cb [You are here!]

 June 8th Book Review – Lands Uncharted

              Book Review – Seasons of Humility

              Interview – Liv K. Fisher

 June 9th Book Review – She Hearts Fiction

              Book Review – Chrissi Reads

              Spotlight – Dreams of Faerytales

              Guest Post – Jannette Fuller

 June 10th Wrap-Up Post – HOPE through the Pages

 

New Name Blog Tour

 

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Check it out, I got my copy of A.C. Williams New Name. This is a book I’ve waited for, for almost a year. I’ve looked forward to it so much that I Pre ordered it. I never Pre-order books. But I did this one and the one before it. Namesake. That is how amazing this series is.

The Morningstar series is comprised of the three books in the Destiny Trilogy: Nameless, Namesake and New Name. They follow a girl who goes by Xander. That’s not her name, she doesn’t remember her real name. She has deep amnesia and only knows that she has nowhere to belong. Until she gets swept up with a ragtag team of bounty hunters on a fixer upper ship.

Sound familiar? While the destiny Trilogy is not Fan fiction it is certainly fiction for fans.

Having gotten to know Amy through the wonderful Realm Makers writers conference, I thought I’d take the time to ask her a few  insightful questions about her series. This interview is intended to find the geek worthy bits, the nerdy nuggets and the fan girlish fantasies that hide with in.

Warning: While we agreed to keep out spoilers for New Name, the following interview may contain minor spoilers for Namesake, the second book in the trilogy. So make sure you get caught up.

C: While reading Nameless and Namesake I was struck by how familiar it felt. In a, “OMG this is everything I love about sci-fi complied into one squeal worthy story,” kind of way. There are certainly a lot of time tested tropes within the Destiny Trilogy. What trope do you feel is a must have for any series to feel truly sci-fi?

A: I love speculative fiction of every variety, but just because it’s speculative doesn’t make it science fiction. To be real science fiction, the stories, characters, objects, and/or environment must be based on scientific fact. Events or incidents in science fiction don’t happen through magic. There’s always a logical explanation for how and why technology or biology is the way it is. Ray guns and aliens and laser swords and quirky spaceships add dimension to a story, but none of them are required for it to be science fiction. They just make it more fun.

C: Fair enough, But just between us, and everyone else reading this. Was there any one TV show or movie that was the main inspiration for this series?

A: This is a question I get asked a lot. Believe it or not, there was no real inspiration for the original idea of the stories in the Destiny Trilogy. I think I may have seen a promotional image for Cowboy Bebop that sparked my interest, but I didn’t watch the show until I’d already planned most of the storyline of the Destiny Trilogy. And I didn’t watch Firefly until after the movie, Serenity, released. I was horrified, at first, how similar those two amazing shows and the Destiny Trilogy were. I didn’t know whether to table the novels or keep working on them. But I’m glad I did! If there were any inspiration for the series, it probably came from Star Trek: The Next Generation, which I grew up watching. I loved the idea of having a spaceship traveling from planet to planet. I loved having a bookworm for a captain. And I loved having an android with a ton of personality. If Cowboy Bebop inspired anything, it was the idea of having a dog on board the ship.

C: I love it, just more proof that great minds think alike. Since we just covered the topic of TV Shows. Did you create a dream cast in your head? If so, reveal the actors who would play three of your main characters

A: I am not really a visual person. When I “see” a character, I see their actions, their motivations, the why of their souls. What they look like on the outside isn’t my first glimpse of them. That being said, it does help me when I have to describe them if I can find someone who looks like the vague image in my mind, so I did put together a dream cast of sorts.

aura-morningstar_annalise-basso  Aura/Xander – Annalise Basso

kale-ravenwood_grey-damon  Kale Ravenwood – Grey Damon

talon-mcleod_gerard-butler  Talon McLeod – Gerard Butler

evy-berkley_kate-hudson  Evy Berkley – Kate Hudson

devon-chase_justin-hartley  Devon Chase – Justin Hartley

vix-valentine_megan-fox  Vix Valentine – Megan Fox

jaz-carver_katee-sackoff  Jaz Carver – Katee Sackoff

al  Al – ? a mystery like her character.

braedon-kmight_scott-paulin  Braedon Knight – Scott Paulin

darien-stone_eduardo-verastegui  Darien Stone – Eduardo Verastegui

C: Great cast, I love Butler as McLeod. If this series is ever adapted for screen You must make sure he’s in it. But back to the books now.

I think I’ve found some geeky Easter eggs in your books. What is the top Easter egg that people have said they found? Is there one that you know of that no one has told you they found?

A: The Easter egg everyone identifies straight out is the Old Man in the Red Scarf, who Xander/Aura meets in the Oasis in the first chapter of Nameless. Everyone knows he’s important, but nobody knows why. And, honestly, the Old Man is one of the most important characters in the series. So answers about him aren’t coming anytime soon. But there will be more Easter eggs. The Easter egg in Nameless that no one really catches is pretty vague, but I think it’s mentioned twice: Aura trips over a lever in the galley. I also draw attention to it again in the new short story I just released on Kindle—Burn. I won’t say why it’s important. Just know I explain it in New Name.

C: So far the series has featured a girl who goes from being Xander to Aura, and if the title of the new book is to be believed she will get a “New Name” again. Are there any names for the character that you considered but decided not to use?

A: Oh, good question. Yes, this will actually be included in a trivia page I’m working on for the series. Originally, Aura’s last name was Morningside. And honestly I can’t remember why I changed it. It may have been a typo. Those were the days when I kept all my notes on pieces of scratch paper, and I think I got some of my notes confused at one point. It’s funny, too, because originally I didn’t have a plan for what her name would mean. I named her Aura because I worked with someone named Aura Rosebury. I just thought it was a beautiful name. I had no idea how much her name would actually turn out to mean to the series.

C: In Namesake you have a ship named the Tempest and a character named Ariel, that can not be a coincidence. What does Shakespeare have to do with Aura’s destiny?

A: Speaking of Easter Eggs, good job. Not many have made that particular connection. That was mainly me throwing in names with connections for my own amusement. The Tempest was a ship that belonged to the bad guys, and when Ariel entered, I wanted to throw in a little hint that she shouldn’t be trusted. So Shakespeare doesn’t have much to do with Aura’s continuing adventures, but I will say that Ariel might.

C: I am a card carrying member of the Shakespeare fandom. To be honest I geeked out more over the Tempest reference than the Sci-fi nods.

Without giving spoilers, can you reveal any geeky surprises in the new book? If doing so would be a spoiler can you reveal a page number for us to look forward to?

A: Oh, I had some real fun with New Name. There are several little surprises for every variety of geek. There’s a new character named Marvin Meredith, and everything about him and his hobbies will make those of the nerdy persuasion chuckle. For anyone who’s a fan of the 9th Doctor, there’s a very tiny little tidbit in chapter 12 about a certain flatulent alien. We also get to briefly meet a new character named Tuan Nguyen. I won’t spill the beans about him yet, but let’s just say he’s important for future stories. And anyone who is a fan of the anime Fullmetal Alchemist may appreciate the nickname Tuan uses—Renkin.

C: Wow so much to look forward to. Almost makes me want to stop the interview and start reading.

With the up coming star wars movie, Rogue One, only a day away, it’s time for the inevitable movie anticipation tie in question. Which side of the force would Kale Ravenwood use if he had force sensitivity?

A: Oh, the dark side, unquestionably. But I recall a Star Wars video game that came out several years ago about a dark-side user who came over to the good side but retained many of the dark side’s abilities. Like the Force lightning and such. So I think Kale would fit into that category. He’ll always be a bit of a bad boy.

C: Good answer. I like to think that everyone can choose to come back from a bad choice. Okay next fandom—

The Doctor in his TARDIS lands on the deck of the Prodigal he can only choose one crew member as a companion. Who goes with him, and why?

A: Words can’t express how much I love this question. I’m a huge fan of the 12th Doctor, so I’ll use his version. He and Talon would enjoy being Scottish together, I know that for sure, but I’m not sure Talon would go with him. Talon’s awfully responsible. Honestly? The one I could see getting on with the Doctor the best is Al! She’d be just the sort to wander off into the TARDIS, probably with Newt the puppy trailing along with her. I think they would probably have some really hilarious conversations. Possibly some yo-yo competitions. And I think the Doctor would be able to read between the lines of the crazy things Al says to understand she isn’t actually as crazy as she sounds all the time. That being said? Anyone off the crew of the Prodigal would be hilarious on an adventure with the Doctor. Maybe I should write some fan fiction…

C: I would be first in line to read that fan fiction. While I have you thinking about time and space–

The book Namesake teased the potential of time travel. If it were possible, would you go back in time? Forward in Time? Or is this truly, “power no man should have?”

A: This is a tricky question, because there are several things I’d love to go back in time and experience. I’d love to witness the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I’d love to have a cup of tea with William Shakespeare or C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien, to share a meal with Amy Carmichael, or shake the hand of Jim Elliot. To watch the Wright Brother’s fly, to hear Mission Control wish John Glenn Godspeed, or to giggle at the astonished gasps of the first audience to watch Star Wars: A New Hope? Can you imagine how awesome that would all be? But I honestly do believe that power over Time is something Humanity will never have, and even if we found a way to change history, nothing would change. I believe that God is Sovereign over Time, and even if we tried to change something, history would unfold as God designed it. But it’s fun to imagine. And the concept provides a valuable, engaging platform to start conversations about faith.

C: Very true. It is fun to think about and I don’t think there’s one person alive who wouldn’t be a little tempted to use that kind of power. But to get this wrapped up–

The book New Name is the last book in the Destiny Trilogy, will I need tissues?

A: Yes. You will. But not for the same reason you needed them for Namesake. Just saying. 😉

Bonus: And, just so everyone knows, this may be the end of the Destiny Trilogy, but I’m already planning the second trilogy in the Morningstar Series. The Covenant Trilogy. And there will be some actual time travel happening!

C: There’s more coming! That’s the most awesome news I’ve heard since the return of Star Wars.

Thank you Amy for taking the time to geek out with me over your amazing series.

new-name_small New Name and all of the books in the Destiny Trilogy are available at www.crosshairpress.com/newname

Bio

acwilliams2015  Amy Williams is a novelist, freelance writer, founding member of Crosshair Press LLC, and professional nerd. You can find most of her work under the name A.C. Williams, but she also writes young adult fantasy (The Legend of the Lightkeepers) under the pen name Kimberly McNeil. Amy is single and lives in her family’s 100-year-old farmhouse on five acres in the middle of the Kansas prairie. She loves cats and drinks far too much coffee.

Follow her random adventures on her blog (www.amycwilliams.com) on Facebook (AmytheStoryteller), Twitter (@acwilliams05), and Instagram (@acwilliams05).