ILLUSIONS by Madeline J. Reynolds ***Guest Post by Madeline J. Reynolds -- Giveaway***
Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Victorian
Release Date: November 6th 2018
I know you're angry. It's true, I was sent to expose your mentor as a fraud illusionist, and instead I have put your secret in jeopardy. I fear I have even put your life in jeopardy. For that I can only beg your forgiveness. I've fallen for you. You know I have. And I never wanted to create a rift between us, but if it means protecting you from those who wish you dead—I'll do it. I'll do anything to keep you safe, whatever the sacrifice. Please forgive me for all I've done and what I'm about to do next. I promise, it's one magic trick no one will ever see coming.
Guest Post by Madeline J. ReynoldsWhen writing a historical fantasy, the setting is an extremely important element. I had always wanted to write a story set in London and it is one of the top countries on the list of places that I hope to visit. That said, because I’ve never been to London before, it was even more imperative for me that I get it right with my depiction. I placed a lot of importance in researching real theaters and pubs that were around London in the 1890s, as well as accurate street names from that time. I wanted the city to feel authentic on the page.
As soon I decided that my story was going to follow the apprentices to stage magicians, I knew it had to take place in London. Though there were famous stage magicians throughout history who lived in America, such as Houdini who had been born in Budapest originally, or Howard Thurston, who was from Columbus, OH, and whose posters served as major visual inspiration for the book. That said, because I was also weaving in elements of real magic, I wanted it to take place in a city that felt older, with more history and America was still a relatively young country at the time. I wanted it to feel like the bobbled streets, the gas street lamps, and the twisting alleyways all had stories of their own to tell and secrets to keep.
I feel like London informed the story, particularly 19th century London, because of the societal norms and values of the time. Being different or being gay was looked down upon and in the city’s upper crust social circles, which Thomas’s family belongs to, wealth and status are prized above all else. This is integral for the story because it creates an environment where Thomas feels he needs to hide parts of himself, whether it’s his magic or his love for Sav. Also, it was important to me to get to have the grand illusion staged in the old, beautiful theaters that inhabit London.
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