Oct 14, 2016

Blog Tour: Illusion by Martina Boone

I can't believe it's the end of the series! But I'm so happy to welcome Martina Boone back onto the blog to talk one last time about the Heirs of Watson Island series.

1.  What have you learned in the last 3 years of publishing that you wish you could go back and tell debut author Martina Boone?

Wow. So much. I think I’d have to tell her to relax, let go of the book, and focus on writing. It’s so easy to get caught up in promotion and marketing and social media, in the novelty of having the honor of interacting with readers. Publishing a YA series has been such a mindblowingly wonderful experience, and I’m aware every single day how fortunate I am. But that in itself can be paralyzing, and my brain too easily tells me that I don’t deserve it. I would tell that naive, new me to have the courage to keep writing every day.

2. Which character has grown the most over the course of the Heirs of Watson Island?

Barrie. She has the biggest ARC because, when she first came to Watson Island with Mark’s instructions to live life to the fullest, she also had no preparation for how to do that. Thanks to the fact that her mother was a shut-in, Barrie had barely been out of the house in all her life and she’d had no real loving relationship other than Mark, her caregiver who was a mixture of Ru Paul and Whoopie Goldberg. Her minimal exposure to the outside world and her sensitivity to the hardships that Mark had experienced in his own life, she was so ready to champion any underdog and so certain that she was unbiased. In some ways, she was. In other ways, she was subject to the same biases that we all harbor without knowing it. I wanted Barrie to come to see the things she couldn’t see when she first arrived, not only the magic of Watson Island and first love and family, but also the inner journey to finding and understanding herself and her place in the world around her.

3. Which character surprised you throughout writing the series?

Honestly, they all surprised me. I wanted to ground Barrie constantly. I wanted to slap Cassie. Then I wanted to slap Seven Beaufort. I wanted to hug Eight and tell him he’d be all right. I wanted to ground Kate Beaufort and applaud her. I wanted to shove Obadiah and Mary and Daphne together and make them hug and make up already. And always, I wanted to finally give Pru Watson the respect and love and appreciation that she had never gotten in all her life.

Who surprised me the most? Eliza Watson Beaufort. In the guise of her counterpart, Eliza Lucas Pinckney who at the age of 17 ran three plantations for her father and founded the American indigo industry which became the third largest export in the colonies prior to the revolutionary war, Eliza was always the core of the series. She triggered my awareness of how many people were left out of the history I learned in school. But I never knew how to bring her into the books overtly, and I wasn’t sure she was going to end up in ILLUSION until I wrote her in one day without having planned it. Certainly until one of my critique partners nudged me into exploring her more in depth, I didn’t know she was going to become a character I truly loved.

4. Is there anything from COMPULSION or PERSUASION  you wish you could go back and change?

Oh, yes. But hindsight is always twenty-twenty. We grow as we write, and hopefully our characters grow as well. Barrie has an enormous ARC in this series, but I love her warts and all. It’s easy to see the flaws from where I’m standing now. All I can do is apply that knowledge to the next book.

5. What is your best author memory to date?

My daughter had trouble being an enthusiastic reader. Reading was difficult for her, so once I stopped reading aloud, fiction sort of fell of the grid. When she finished the first book that made her want to read late into the night, we went off to the bookstore the next day and bought an armload of books together. These included Becca Fitzpatrick’s HUSH, HUSH; Scott Westerfeld’s UGLIES, and Melissa Marr’s WICKED LOVELY. The first author event I did was a luncheon that my publisher hosted at BEA for me, Becca Fitzpatrick, Scott Westerfeld, Kresley Cole, and Christina Lauren. Melissa Marr was kind enough to do two of my launch events with me. At all the events, I kept singing the Sesame Street song in my head: “One of these things is not like the others.” But when my daughter heard about the schedule, she pulled the books we had bought from her bookshelf and told me how proud she was of me. She told me that I had proven to her that if you tried hard enough, you could accomplish anything. THAT is my favorite author memory. It’s followed closely by the first time someone told me COMPULSION was her favorite book of all time and thanked me for writing it. When I realized that COMPULSION could be the same kind of book for someone that turned my daughter into a reader.

6. Now that the series has ended, what do you have planned next?

I’ve got several books going simultaneously. The one closest to my heart is the one that’s killing me because it’s so hard to write. But essentially, it’s a fantasy with sci fi elements retelling of THE ODYSSEY.

7. Any last words for fans of the series?

Find the courage to be yourselves, my lovelies. It’s so easy for voices to be silenced, for girls or anyone who is vulnerable or not in the majority in power, to feel as though they don’t matter. As if they should put themselves second. Others feel that they have mattered so little in the past that they need to demand that they be heard. But strength comes in many forms. Beauty comes in every form and color. We all need to look for the magic and the bridges of understanding that exist around us and within us to become the best version of ourselves.

Barrie must rescue her beloved and her family from evil spirits in the masterful conclusion to the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy.

Caged by secrets all around her and haunted by mistakes that have estranged her from Eight Beaufort, Barrie Watson is desperate to break the curse that puts her family in danger—without breaking the beautiful magic that protects Watson’s Landing. To do that, she must heal the rifts that have split the families of the island apart for three hundred years, unravel the mystery of the Fire Carrier and the spirits he guards, and take control of forces so deadly and awe-inspiring they threaten to overwhelm her.

With the spirits that cursed Watson Island centuries ago awake and more dangerous than ever, she finds an unlikely ally in the haunting and enigmatic Obadiah, whose motivations and power she still can’t read—or trust. His help comes at a price, however, plunging Barrie into a deadly maze of magic and wonder, mystery and intrigue that leads through history to places she never imagined she could go.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N


Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. Her first teacher in the U.S. made fun of her for not pronouncing the "wh" sound right, so she set out to master "all the words”—she's still working on that! In the meantime she’s writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she'd love to visit. 

If you like romance steeped in mystery, mayhem, Spanish moss, and a bit of magic, she hopes you'll look forward to meeting Barrie, Eight, Cassie, Pru, Seven and the other characters of Watson Island.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:

2 Complete Sets of the Heirs of Watson Island series (US Only)

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