{Interview} with Lea Nolan, author of Illusion (with Giveaway)

Illusion Lea Nolan Blog Tour

We’re thrilled that we got to sit down and chat with Lea Nolan about Illusion, the conclusion to her fabulous Hoodoo Apprentice Series. We’ve got a great giveaway to share with you, too. Let’s get right to what Lea had to say:

***INTERVIEW***


Thanks for stopping by to chat with us today, Lea. We’re so excited to get to know you

Thanks so much for having me! I love the theme of your blog—who doesn’t love swoony boys?—and your colorful graphics are so fun!

Awww *blushes* Thanks! Tell us a little about Illusion. What was your favorite part to write?

Illusion is the third and final book in the Hoodoo Apprentice series which follows the epic magical adventures of Emma Guthrie, her best friend and true love, Cooper Beaumont, and her twin brother Jack as they fight ancient curses and powerful, demonic paranormal entities in the South Carolina Lowcountry. It features Gullah hoodoo magic, a folkmagic born the US south that’s influenced by African, Native American, and European traditions.

In the first two books, Conjure and Allure, Emma, Cooper and Jack worked their way through some major mysteries and survived some terrifying life-threatening hexes and evil creatures. But there are still plenty of plot twists to unravel, answers to reveal, and lives to save in Illusion. Like any good finale the magic is more powerful, the stakes are bigger, and the consequences more dire. And there’s kissing. Lots of kissing.

Which brings me to one of my favorite things about this book, and what brought me great joy to write. At the start of Illusion, Emma and Cooper have been through some rough terrain that’s left them estranged. Though she loves him, she can’t risk being with him because her enemies have sworn to destroy everyone she loves. To reunite, they’ll have to face their foes and fight for their right to be together. I loved their journey back to each other. But I’m not going to tell you any more because, you know, spoilers.

Ahhh that sounds so awesome! We can’t tell you how excited we are that you’re excited about their journey back together. Okay, enough flailing from us. Where did you get the idea for the Hoodoo Apprentice series?

Would you believe me it I said Chick fil-A? It’s true. I went through the drive through of this chicken-only fast food chain and bought a kids meal for my daughter. Rather than giving away toys, they provide educational games and print interesting factoids on their bags. My daughter’s bag stated that pirates used to send messages in bottles. That made me wonder: Why would a pirate bother sending a message in a bottle? It’s not like anyone was likely to find it bobbing on the ocean. And even if they did, they couldn’t answer it. So whatever was in the message had to be important, and the crew had to be desperate. The wheels in my brain started spinning and soon I imaged a scenario where a pirate ship had been besieged by a wicked curse, which then lead me to the Conjurer who’d concocted the jinx, and the heroine who’d have to break it. Before I knew it, I had a brand new story to write.

That’s so cool! How was your approach to writing Illusion different from writing the other books in the series?

As I’ve said, Illusion is the finale, so I had to make sure I wrapped up every errant story thread with a shiny bow. No one likes a series that ends with gaping plot holes. Each of the previous books dealt with a central mystery that needed to be solved, but there were lots of things I could leave open to deal with in the last book. But there is no next book after Illusion, so every lingering question had to be answered. Although I’m a plotter and usually know what’s going to happen in a book, writing this one turned out to be a lot harder than I first assumed. In addition to all those answers, to make this a satisfying ending, I also had to ramp up the action, stakes, and consequences.

How do you build your characters? Do you know every single detail of their lives?

I usually start with some basic understanding about a character: their name, what they look like, what their life circumstance is, and maybe a specific quirk that only they have. Then I start writing and they come to life as I type. Those discoveries are one of favorite parts about writing.

How would you introduce Emma to readers?

Emma Guthrie starts off the series as a shy, artistic girl who is thrown in to a desperate battle with evil forces to save herself and those she loves the most. Along the way, she meets every challenge head on, though not without making plenty of mistakes, grows stronger, and finds her own voice. She’s tough and plucky, dedicated and determined, and always has her heart in the right place.

Our kind of girl. Tell us about Cooper. We want to know all the things!

Get ready to swoon (see what I did there?) because Cooper Beaumont is pretty much perfect. Gorgeous, broad shouldered, muscle-bound, and pure of heart, he’s steadfast and supportive and always there for Emma, even when she’s too stubborn to accept his help. An orphan and the sole heir of a plantation and building corporation, he’s wealthy but never, ever flaunts it. Instead he’s determined to right the greedy wrongs of his ancestors who have overdeveloped the South Carolina Lowcountry and used their influence in dark and sinister ways. He’s also Jack’s best friend, and almost-brother, and when required will take a bullet (or face down a demonic creature) to save Jack’s sorry butt. Have I mentioned Cooper loves Emma? Yup, with his whole perfect heart. Um, what else can I tell you? Oh, he smells like pine needles and the sea breeze and his eyes switch from blue to green depending on what he’s wearing. In short, he’s awesome.

*sigh* If you could introduce one of your characters to another character from any other book, who would it be and why?

I’d definitely introduce Miss Delia, Emma’s ninety-seven-year old hoodoo root worker mentor, to Professor Albus Dumbeldore. I’d love to eavesdrop on their conversation about magical theory and practice.

We’d love to see that, too. How would you describe yourself in three words?

Steadfast, undaunted, and introverted.

What is the one thing readers would be surprised to learn about you?

I was a classically trained singer and actress in high school and thought I’d pursue that as an adult. But then I got to college and fell in love with academics and my life path changed. Even though I don’t sing or act anymore, I still use those skills every day as a writer. I have to get inside each character’s head to understand their motivation, actions, and feel the impact of various events. So for me, writing is simply acting on the page.

That’s so neat, Lea. Which character makes you swoon the most (yours or someone else’s)?

Hands down, Jamie Fraser from Outlander is my forever book boyfriend. I will fight you for him.

haha We know quite a few of our friends who him, too, but we think you could take them. Do you have any current or future projects you can tell us about?

I’m currently working on a gritty upper YA contemporary. It’s a book of my heart and I can’t wait to share it with the world.

We can’t wait for that, either! Is there ever anything that you always wish someone would ask you, but they never do?

No one’s ever asked me about the themes in my books. These are actually very important to me since I always want my books to be entertaining but also mean something. For me, the Hoodoo Apprentice series, and especially Illusion is about the redemptive power of love.

We can’t believe no one has ever asked you about that! Thanks again for coming by, Lea. We can’t wait to get our ::grabbyhands:: on the Hoodoo Apprentice Series!

You’re very welcome! This was a blast! Thanks again for having me.

***About Lea Nolan***

Author Lea NolanLea Nolan is a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance and YA. Her books for young adults feature bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history. She also pens smart, witty contemporary stories for adults filled with head-swooning, heart-throbbing, sweep-you-off your feet romance. Born and raised on Long Island, New York, she loves the water far too much to live inland. With her heroically supportive husband and three clever children, she resides in Maryland where she scarfs down crab cakes whenever she gets the chance.

Find Lea Here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

***About the Book***


{Interview} with Lea Nolan, author of Illusion (with Giveaway)Illusion by Lea Nolan
Series: Hoodoo Apprentice #3
Published by Entangled Teen on October 5, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 298
Goodreads Buy the Book

New school. Cross-country move. Broken heart. If only these were Emma Guthrie’s worst problems. Instead, she must battle a trio of enemies—human and spectral—who may or may not have joined forces against her and everyone she loves. All while pretending to be over Cooper Beaumont, her ex-boyfriend and true love, to shield him from her arch-nemesis’s revenge.

Worse, when the fight escalates, Emma is tempted to use black magic, which will endanger her soul. As her enemies close in, join forces, and fight with new and dark magic she’s never seen before, Emma must harness the power within her to fulfill an ancient prophecy, defeat a centuries-old evil, save her family, and reclaim the only boy she’s ever loved.

And here are the gorgeous new covers for the previous books in the series, Conjure and Allure. Aren’t they a perfect match to Illusion?

Conjure and Allure - New Covers Side by Side(1)

***GIVEAWAY***

And now for the giveaway, a super awesome Illusion Blog Tour Prize pack. The Grand Prize includes a $25 Amazon gift card, a custom Hoodoo Apprentice tote which features the gorgeous new covers, and six authentic hoodoo spells from the Lucky Mojo Curio Company. There’s also a second prize $15 Amazon gift card, and a third prize $10 Amazon gift card. So what are you waiting for? Enter below to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lea wishes the best of luck to those who enter the giveaway and so do we!


Comments

  1. If I had a magic power, I think I would want the power of healing.

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