Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing fantasy author, Jessica McHugh. She has some great answers, including info about her new book, The Sky: The World.
Your blurb states that in the 17th century, Dr. Azaz made his initial discoveries in a new science called picoepistemology, involving airplane flight. Then, 200 years later, he observes an air tragedy and becomes involved. Do all characters in your world have an extended lifespan or just the amazing doctor?
Doctor Azaz is the only one in “The Sky: The World” who has an extended lifespan, but the reason for his apparent immortality is quite out of the ordinary...not that immortality is commonplace. Let's just say that even the good Doctor isn't immune to changing his mind about the choices he's made.
Your blurb states, “The Sky: The World takes readers on an adventure from London to Egypt , from 1848 to 1584 and back…” Is time travel involved? Please explain, if you can without giving away too much.
The unraveling of Doctor Azaz's back story takes the reader back in time via flashback as he explains his unique origin as well as that of picoepistemology. That's all I can say about that. ;)
From your tagline, Jack Racine leads a life that is little more than an endless tailspin into liquor, laudanum, and loose women. How does the opiate laudanum affect Jack? Does this add to his fantastical perceptions of what is to follow in his search for the truth about his brother’s supposedly accidental death?
Jack Racine loves having a good time, even if it's followed by a bad time. One of his favorite activities is getting caught up in smoking opium or drinking laudanum so he can get caught up in his Opium Girl: a dreamy dame who never seems real to Jack unless she happens to still be in his bed come morning. He doesn't consider consequences or the feelings of others when he's under the influence and he's addicted to the freedom of that state of mind. However, when his brother dies and he takes on the responsibility of clearing Toby's name, he tries as hard as possible to stay sober. It's a struggle for him and he's certainly susceptible to a slip-up or two.
Which character in The Sky: The World is your favorite and why?
I love Harlow Haddix, but I think I'm a bit more in love with Jack Racine. He has a devil-may-care attitude that I enjoyed writing immensely. He's someone feel I would despise in real life but would still be able to hike up my dress with a wink. I never tried to write him like that; he just tumbled out onto the page a self-aware jerk that became more and more endearing as the story went along.
You have written in a wide range of fantasy subgenres. Which are your favorites and why? What subgenres would you still like to explore? Do any genres call you other than fantasy?
I love writing horror. Writing scenes that revolt or terrify me is extremely exhilarating. Not that I'll write anything that doesn't exhilarate me. As soon as it gets boring or sounds like something that's been done before, it gets scrapped. But I don't ever set out to write any genre. The story tells me what genre it wants to be as I write it. That's how I've ended up with books that are epic fantasy, suspense, dystopian, alternate history, historical fiction, and so on. I never want to write the same thing over and over. I always want to push my limits and tell new stories in new ways. For me, writing is a journey of discovery and I want my readers to take that journey with me.
Who is Doctor Azaz? It is the 19th Century, and Azazian England is at it's pinnacle. Aeroplanes rule the sky, and crystalline technology has transformed life itself. But for stunt pilot Jack Racine, life is little more than an endless tailspin into liquor, laudanum, and loose women. But all that is about to change. For Jack Racine is about to have an audience with the architect of the age, the mysterious Doctor Azaz…
Jessica McHugh is an author of speculative fiction that spans the genre from horror and alternate history to epic fantasy. A prolific writer, she has devoted herself to novels, short stories, novellas, and even playwriting. She has had eight books published in three years, including "Song of Eidolons", "The Sky: The World", "Rabbits in the Garden", and the first two installments in her "Tales of Dominhydor" series.
Jessica McHugh’s website:
Page for The Sky: The World
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