I am super excited to have Author Lea Nolan stop by the blog today to answer a few questions about ILLUSION and the other books in her Hoodoo Apprentice series.
The author stopped by last week to share a guest post with a short excerpt and I’m totally stoked that this time around I had the chance to ask her all sorts of questions about her book and series.
If you’d like to know more about this fantastic series, just scroll down to the interview below and enter the giveaway for the chance to win a signed copy of one of the first two books in the series.
Title & Series: ILLUSION (The Hoodoo Apprentice #3)
Author: Lea Nolan
Release date: October 5, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Things aren’t always as they appear…
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.
Q&A with Author Lea Nolan
Thanks, Rachel for letting me introduce Fiktshun’s readers to ILLUSION, the third and final installment in the Hoodoo Apprentice series.
Q. How would you describe The Hoodoo Apprentice series in 25 words or less?
Emma Guthrie must resist the lure of black magic while battling a trio of enemies intent on destroying her and those she loves.
Q. What can readers expect from ILLUSION, the final book in the series?
Since ILLUSION is the series’s final installment, everything’s bigger: higher stakes, bigger consequences, and lots more action. Plus all the questions left over from earlier books are answered.
Q. Of the three books in the series, which was your favorite to write, and why was it a favorite?
You know, every time I finish a book I’m convinced it’s my favorite. It happened with CONJURE, then ALLURE, and now ILLUSION. They’re all my babies so it’s hard not to love them. But I do think ILLUSION has to be my ultimate favorite of the three because it’s action packed, provides reveals that have been hinted at throughout the other books, and without giving too much away, provides the happy ending(s) readers have sought.
Q. What was your favorite Emma scene to write? What was your favorite Emma and Cooper scene to write?
Emma faces so much in this book. She’s tested over and over again, and though she makes some of her customary mistakes, she generally faces down every challenge. I loved writing one scene in particular that occurs in chapter twelve that was terrific fun to write even though it would be beyond horrific if it occurred in real life. I also love every scene that takes place between Emma and her hoodoo root worker mentor, Miss Delia.
As for Emma and Cooper, I adore their scenes together, especially when she has no choice but to lean on him for support. He’s always there for her, and believes so strongly in her and her power, he’s basically perfect. There are lots of great moments between them but I think my absolute favorite occurs at the very end of the epilogue. Just thinking about it now makes me smile.
Q. What kinds of hoodoo magic will Emma need in order to battle her enemies in ILLUSION?
Lots! She uses some new and different spells in this book that she’s never attempted before. There are some candle spells, Court Case charms, and faces down other spells I’ve always wanted to use (like the one that pops up in chapter twelve). Also, Emma’s own innate magical powers are developing so we get to see how they evolve as well. Of course, we revisit some old favorite charms too because who can resist a Psychic Vision?
Q. What was the biggest challenge you faced with The Hoodoo Apprentice – creating the characters, the setting, the plot, tying up loose ends, doing the research, or something else?
The plot for sure. When I started writing this series, I didn’t realize how complicated the story would become. There were lots of characters, subplots, motivations, and consequences to consider. Tying them all up in ILLUSION proved to be way more of a challenge than I’d anticipated, too. But piecing it all together was half the fun. The rest was actually pretty straightforward. Characters sort of organically appear to me as I write so that part was easy; the research was fascinating and a true pleasure to undertake.
Q. If you could only pick a single quote to call a favorite from any of the books in the series, what would it be? And why is it your favorite?
There’s an inscription from a locket that appeared in ALLURE and again in ILLUSION that means a lot to me because it can be applied to so many of the characters in the book and also nicely dovetails with the series’ overall theme about the redemptive power of love:
Your heart and mine, forever entwined;
Love everlasting till the end of time.
It still makes me misty to read it.
Q. When writing ILLUSION did the story take you in a different direction than initially planned – was there an alternate ending, did someone’s fate change for better or for worse – or did things remain mostly on track?
When I first conceived the series, I thought ILLUSION would have an entirely different plot, although some of the elements I’d envisioned did make it into the final book. I can’t elaborate more because, you know, spoilers! The changes occurred as a direct result of what happened in ALLURE and the natural consequences that would likely ensue. My experience has taught me to follow the story that’s actually happening on paper versus the plan I conceived years ago. I can offer one fun tidbit: While I was writing ILLUSION, there was an open question about Emma’s twin brother, Jack that I didn’t learn the answer to until I wrote the epilogue. I think he didn’t mind the choice I made.
Q. What was it like saying goodbye to your characters at the end of the series? Who do you think you’re going to miss most? And why?
In a word, bittersweet. I’ve had these characters in my head since June of 2010 so they’re a part of me. I’ve lived their experience alongside them as their story unfolded. At the same time, other characters are fighting for space in my brain too and they want their stories told. So it was good to complete Emma, Cooper and Jack’s journey and set them free. They belong to the readers now. I’ll miss them all, especially Emma and Cooper, but I might end up missing Miss Delia the most. I seriously love that old lady.
Q. If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice before penning The Hoodoo Apprentice books, what would it be?
Relax, it’s all going to work out in the end; and if possible, write faster!
Thanks so much for having me! This was a lot of fun!
Fiktshun: Thank you so much for answering all my questions! I loved having you stop by.
About Lea Nolan
Lea 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.
Other Books in the Series
Be careful what you search for…
Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry–hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.
When a strange girl appears, bent on revenge; demon dogs become a threat; and Jack turns into a walking skeleton; Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex, all before summer—and her friends–are lost forever.
Worst. Summer. Ever.
Emma Guthrie races to learn the hoodoo magic needed to break The Beaumont Curse before her marked boyfriend Cooper’s sixteenth birthday. But deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry, dark, mysterious forces encroach, conspiring to separate Emma and Cooper forever. When Cooper starts to change, turning cold and indifferent, Emma discovers that both his heart and body are marked for possession by competing but equally powerful adversaries.
Desperate to save him, Emma and her twin brother, Jack, risk their lives to uncover the source of the black magic that has allured Cooper and holds him in its grip. Faced with the horror of a soul-eating boohag, Emma and Jack must fight to resist its fiendish power to free Cooper long enough to join their strengths and face it together, before it destroys them all.
- One (1) winner will get a signed paperback of either CONJURE or ALLURE, winner’s choice
Enter in the Rafflecopter below…
(Note: This is the same Rafflecopter used in last week’s guest post. The Rafflecopter is hosted by the author. Winner will be selected and prizing sent by her.)