I’m thrilled to be a part of the Illusion blog tour for author Christa Yelich-Koth. I asked her to share about the world of Illusion, particularly its characters. Let’s give her a warm welcome 🙂
1) What are some of your favorite characters from ILLUSION and why?
Christa: There is a special place in my heart for the main character Daith. She’s strong without being aggressive, she’s clever without being smarmy, and she’s incredibly powerful. Well, that last part she’s just learning. 🙂 But her true appeal to me is she is real. Placed in a terrifying situation—having no memory, learning she has amazing mental abilities, and not knowing why she is being shunned by almost everyone around her, she doesn’t just plow through in an unrealistic way. She has anxiety attacks, doubts, fears. She sometimes snaps out at those around her, gets frustrated with lack of progress, even pushes a little too far. I love that her emotions are true to the situation, instead of a super-powered person who always powers through, no pun intended!
Another of my favorites is Trey. Although he is the antagonist, his story is captivating to me. I’m fascinated how his past has driven his current choices, how his insane choices can seem so logical. A true master puppeteer, he is constantly tweaking his plans under the assumption that he will restore peace to the Eomix Galaxy like his fallen idol did, but always just on the edge of failing. He lives in a constant pull-and-push balance—a terrible way to live, but not impossible to try to control.
My final choice would be Dr. Ludd. A pink-flippered bulbous blob-like alien, Dr. Ludd embodies the charm and sweetness of a physician on his top game. Although he has a stream of words that just won’t stop! On his homeworld, they say everything they mean all the time, so that there is no confusion. Helps stop a lot of needless arguments and fights. He just has trouble reading the signals from others when he’s said enough. And since his birth, he was destined to be a doctor. There is nothing he wants to do more. How he got caught working for Trey stems from his desire to help others. A truly compassionate individual and one of the most honest characters you’ll ever meet.
2) How were you inspired to write these characters?
Christa: Daith was a complete unknown to me when I began writing her. All I knew was I’d envisioned a scene with a woman who had no memories, but who had extremely powerful gifts. I had no clue what her story was. I’ve never really had a plan for any of my stories. They just unfold as I write, as if the characters are guiding me along the way. So with Daith, I let her story reveal itself as I wrote. If what was being written felt strange, I’d backtrack until I realized “oh, it’s because Daith wouldn’t react that way!” and continue on. It made her so much more exciting, like I was reading her story instead of writing it, never quite sure what the next set of words would bring.
Trey, on the other hand, had a personality that struck me right away. I knew he was devious, cunning, but not evil. He never came off as a monster, stumbling through the world creating destruction. He was also not as in control as someone like the Emperor from Star Wars, always 3 steps ahead. Trey was always hanging on by his fingernails, so the writing followed suit.
And as for Dr. Ludd, the only hard part I had was making him shut up! LOL! Although the other characters do a very good job of interrupting him when he goes on for too long.
3) What upcoming trends do you see for fantasy?
Christa: This is an interesting question. Epic, but dark fantasy has definitely taken an upswing, thanks to the success of things like Game of Thrones. Readers are eating up the “anti-hero”. No longer satisfied with “Superman”-like goodness, readers are lapping up flawed, even wrong good guys. I believe these types of stories will take an upswing this year, though will eventually bottom out. I also believe some YA, especially dystopian novels, will take a downswing, as it is pretty oversaturated right now. However, I think SF and fantasy will push more into YA, which will bring a wider audience to YA in general. With all the buzz about superhero movies right now, fantastical stories could be on the uprise for a short period of time, but they must always contain a “human” element at its core.
Christa Yelich-Koth is the author of graphic novel HOLLOW, comic book series HOLLOW’S PRISM, and upcoming science fantasy novel ILLUSION from Buzz & Roar Publishing. She has staffed and led a workshop at the Southern California Writer’s Conference, has been a panelist at MiniCon, and was co-founder of Green-Eyed Unicorn Comics. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her website is www.christayelichkoth.com.
ILLUSION can be purchased for pre-order (with an exclusive pdf schematic of the Horizon spaceship), at www.buzzandroarpublishing.com/our-books.