Thank you for the interview ladies, I’m excited to showcase a ELUSION on parajunkee.com.
Elusion looks stunning, of course the first thing I notice is the beautiful cover. Can you tell us a little bit about the book so we can stop staring at the cover?
The question “What’s your book about?” can be like kryptonite to an author—it’s always difficult to encapsulate everything into a digestible sound bite! Mind if we cheat and use the flap copy? NO? That’s great, thank you!
A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, a visor, and a wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life. Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality. Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous—Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty . . . a decision that will affect the lives of millions.
We both had written several contemporary teen novels and were looking to do something different and a bit more out of our comfort zone. One day, we just started having a conversation about how reliant we were on our smartphones, and what kind of dangers that could be associated with that. It was a discussion that really stuck with us, and we kept coming back to this idea of some kind of app that would serve a great purpose, but could have inherent dangers that nobody would see coming. We knew we had to explore it more and began writing an outline together. There was no stopping us after that—we were obsessed!
We both loved the movie INCEPTION. It was so fun and imaginative and took viewers to all these thrilling destinations, all of which just happened to be inside people’s minds! The movie made us feel excited to work on this sophisticated idea of ours, but it also challenged us to explain and ground the technology in our story. The mechanics of dream machine in the film are never divulged, you just have to suspend disbelief. We thought it was a bit of a cheat, so we went to great lengths to come up with scientific reasoning that would make Elusion’s existence seem plausible and organic.
That’s a tough question, because the book is hard to boil down or categorize as one thing. At first glance, ELUSION might seem like speculative fiction, because it answers a lot of “what if” questions. It also imagines what life will be like for people living in a society that’s not only dependent on technology, but trapped in an environmentally strained world that people desperately need an escape from. But the world we depict in the book isn’t too far removed from the one we’re in now, and the technology that appears in story is actually based on technology that’s currently in development. We think those qualities makes it a very unique book—it’s both a glimpse into the future and a reflection of how we’re living in the present.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters of the book ELUSION? Will there be romance? Which character is your favorite?
Yes, there’s romance! Speaking of which, let’s begin our character descriptions with our heroine, Regan. An only child, she’s reeling from her dad’s death and dealing with her devastated mom. She’s pretty numb, just existing, not really living her life. When her world gets turned upside down, Regan rises to the occasion, finding an inner strength as she begins a journey that will change her forever. Our hero, Josh, is intelligent and strong, and his relentless search for his sister as well as his behavior with Regan (ahem ) shows just how tenderhearted he really is. Super smart and successful Patrick is the kind of guy who seems like he’s got it all, but actually doesn’t. He has an interesting journey in the book, one that gets resolved in the sequel. And let’s not forget Avery, the vlogging student activist who is Regan’s nemesis. Brave and loyal, she fights for what she believes in, regardless of the cost. As for favorites: impossible. All the characters are our babies. We feel guilty just thinking about it.
There is a sequel to ELUSION! ETHERWORLD will debut in March 2015, and we can’t wait for everyone to see where the story takes Regan. There are lots of twists and turns in her journey, but we just finished revising the manuscript and can attest to it being a fast-paced, action-packed read!
The most complex part of most science fiction/dystopian titles is the world. What research did you do to make this world believable?
If we could describe the research for ELUSION in one word, it would be: WHOA. We knew when we began writing the first draft that we were going to have to educate ourselves a lot, especially when it came to the computer science aspects of the novel, since neither of us are technophiles. The best thing we ever did was reach out to experts and recruit them as consultants. Lucky for us, they were family members, who either specialized in or studied the elements we wanted to include in our story: psychology, hypnotherapy, adaptive programming, the theory of complexity, etc. (They also didn’t charge us for any of their services—Bonus!) Speaking with them helped us to process all these advanced thoughts and implement them into the world we were building for our characters.
What would you like your readers to understand about your new book? Is there something that you would like to them to feel, or experience while reading your book?
We want our readers to get swept away by all the facets of ELUSION. While the concept of the book is a big draw, there is so much more to the story—a complex mystery, a compelling romance, and an exciting yet dangerous adventure. We know how cliché this sounds, but it’s true: there is something for everyone in this novel!
Thanks again for taking the time to answer all my questions! Is there anything else you would like parajunkee.com readers to know about?
We might as well come clean and admit that one of us is a Zombie. We exaggerate. She’s not really a zombie but she has risen from the dead. On screen, in a movie called THE EVIL DEAD. And the other one of us not only met George Takei, but also has photographic proof of that meeting. So we’re much more than just writers. We’re a zombie and someone who has framed picture of her meeting the BEST ACTOR OF ALL TIME. Now you know the two most important things about us.
For a peek into the world of Elusion, please check out our book trailer:
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Elusion by Cheryl Klam, Claudia GabelPublished by HarperCollins on 2014-03-18
Genres: Action & Adventure, General, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
The mind-blowing beginning of a futuristic series about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions.A new technology is sweeping the country. To enter Elusion®, you need an app, a visor, and a wristband and you'll be virtually transported to an exotic destination where adventure comes without the complications or consequences of real life. When there are accusations that Elusion is addictive and dangerous, Regan is determined to defend it and is pulled into incredible new worlds to discover deeply buried truths and to make the ultimate choice between love and loyalty. . . .Full of thrilling mystery, romance, and intriguing technology, this Inception-inspired thriller is perfect for fans of dystopian and sci-fi novels such as Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, Matched by Ally Condie, and Partials by Dan Wells.
- 5 Prize Packs of a hardcover copy of the book along with an “Equip” (wristband, earbuds and Visor/sunglasses) US ONLY
- 1 finished copy of ELUSION. US Only