Please welcome Laura Lam back to the blog! Laura is the author of PANTOMIME, and the second book in the series, SHADOWPLAY, just came out yesterday. Laura was kind enough to answer a few questions about the new book, her New Year’s Resolutions, and more!
Laura, welcome back! Will you tell us a little about what’s in store for readers in Shadowplay?
Though there’s no circus in the sequel to Pantomime, there are magician illusions, séances, a clockwork hand, romance, secrets, and learning more about the secrets of the Chimaera. It’s still a small-scale story that focuses on the characters, but it’s widening the stage to the epic hints of the larger story of Ellada.
How do you think Micah has grown since Pantomime?
In Pantomime, Micah was very much finding himself and coming to terms with his identity. In Shadowplay, he’s a lot more comfortable with his body and his life (though there’s still plenty of difficulties for him to face). In Shadowplay, he’s finding his voice, discovering the truth behind the lies he’s grown up believing, and figuring out who he wants to be.
What do you enjoy most about writing this series, and fantasy in general?
I love the relationships that have developed between my characters. I really enjoy writing about how Micah connects to people in the world around him, discovering who is worth growing closer to an who is best avoided. I also really enjoy the mythology and culture of Ellada I’ve created, and finding more ways to sprinkle in little details to make the world hopefully come alive.
Are there any more books planned in the series or in the world of Ellada?
Ideally, I’d like 3 books with Micah as a teen and three with him as an adult in his mid- to late-twenties. However, a lot of it depends on if the books so far are successful, or if publishers are interested in the other series. I’m also writing a few short stories set in Ellada, some of which star secondary characters like Drystan and Cyan. I might self-publish these sometime in 2014.
What would you like to see readers take away from Shadowplay?
This is difficult! I don’t really know. I suppose I want them to come away connecting more with Micah and wanting to continue his journey. I hope it makes them think more about gender as a social construct and how being different isn’t necessarily a negative. Mostly, I want readers to be entertained and lose themselves in my world – that’s the biggest compliment I can ever hope to have.
What was one of your favorite books of 2013, and why?
It was a re-read. I read The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon when it first came out and had all that buzz. I was a pretty young teen, and I remember enjoying it well enough then but it didn’t really stay with me. I decided to re-read it when we went to Barcelona this summer because it was set there, and I couldn’t believe how different my reading was of it a few years later. I think, especially as a writer, it really resonated with me a lot more now that I am older (if not necessarily wiser). There were so many sections I wanted to highlight, and it was a joy to read.
Read any other good books lately?
I’m currently making my way through a re-read of Fables by Bill Willigham, though I’m now caught up and reading the new bits, and I’m enjoying that a lot. I’m about to start Fearsome Dreamer by Laure Eve which I’ve heard really good things about.
Any New Year’s Resolutions this year?
I’m keeping track of my writing progress a lot more this year – word count, pages edited, how much beta reading I do, how many events, etc. I’m curious to see any trends and if having to write down what I do every day motivates me to be more productive. I’m also aiming to read 80 books, do the usual eating better and exercising thing, and try to generally freak out less about things I can’t control anyway (which is…most of publishing!)
What’s next for you?
Writing, reading, dreaming, hoping, and sometimes lazing around in my PJs and watching endless episodes of TV.
The circus lies behind Micah Grey in dust and ashes.
He and the white clown, Drystan, take refuge with the once-great magician, Jasper Maske. When Maske agrees to teach them his trade, his embittered rival challenges them to a duel which could decide all of their fates.
People also hunt both Micah and the person he was before the circus–the runaway daughter of a noble family. And Micah discovers there is magic and power in the world, far beyond the card tricks and illusions he’s perfecting…
A tale of phantom wings, a clockwork hand, and the delicate unfurling of new love, Shadowplay continues Micah Grey’s extraordinary journey.