Brought to you by OBS Staffer Katie
Carolyn Crane is the author of the Disillusionists Trilogy. Which includes Mind Games and the newly released Double Cross, now fans are patiently awaiting for the third and final book in the series.
How did you come with the whole idea for the book? Having disillusionists weaken people is
such a unique story line?
Crane: A lot of ideas start with “what if” scenarios, and mine sure did. The idea sort of came in two parts. One, I had just read a super depressing book, and it made me feel bad. Disillusioned with life. I thought, if I had an enemy, I would give them this book as a gift, so that they could feel as disillusioned as I did. And then I thought, what if there were people who actually did that?
As far as the actual disillusioning and how it works, it’s a little based on reality. For example,
I used to have this friend who was slowly going insane—conspiracy theories, voices, the whole deal. It was really terrible, and sad. And whenever I’d hang out with him long enough, then afterwards, I’d feel a little crazy and wired, too, as if I’d soaked up his crazy energy.
So in a that way, I think zinging already happens on a very minor scale. You hang out with somebody who’s intensely angry or depressed or incredibly light and happy, and it greatly affects you. Could internal darkness be weaponized? Could a person deliberately attack another person in that way? Probably not, but that was the germ of the idea.
Why pick a bearded giant as Henji’s mark? I know that he looked like it at one point but is there
any significance as to why he picked something so noticeable?
Crane: It sort of popped into my mind as how he looked at the height of his powers, when he was sort of wild, emerging from that cave and mountain region where he’d studied with the mentor. It was one of those images your subconscious just pops up with, and you go with it.
How did you create/figure out what disillusion power each character was going to have?
Crane: Well, that’s another thing I went to real life to get. I have known angry cooks, people who are
really deeply troubled about the state of the world, and get people around them upset, you know,
all sorts of things. Even Shelby is somewhat based on a girl I knew, who was from Slovakia. I
really really liked her.
All the characters in the book have a disillusion power, if you could have a power what would it be and why?
Crane: Hmmm! Are you asking if I’d want a disillusionist power? Because that would mean I’d have to be super messed up like them. I’d rather have no power. However, if I had to pick one, maybe I’d go with Simon’s recklessness power, just because it’s so opposite of what I’m like. I’m a
careful person who needs more recklessness in her life.
You have a day job. Do you set aside time to write daily?
Crane: I work as a freelance advertising writer, so it’s more that I juggle assignments. I try to clear several hours each morning to write. If I have difficult deadlines, that sometimes means I can’t write on my novels, but some days, I have the day clear, so I can write longer. But I do think it’s key to write at least a bit every day.
Who is your favorite literary character and why? Who is your favorite villain and why?
Crane: I really enjoy Phedre from Kushiel’s Dart. I love how she uses her wit and intelligence to get out of trouble, and I love her sensitivity, her sense of justice, and also that she is not perfect. What a strong character!
My favorite villain would be the Omega -from Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. That is a villain that gives me nightmares!!
What future projects are you working on? Can you tell us anything about them?
Crane: I’m working on a paranormal romance, a 5-book series that features mixed martial arts fighters and a new kind of magic. It’s actually a meld of sci fi, fantasy, romance and a bit of spy thriller.
I’m SO excited about it!
If you could spend time with any author (alive or dead) who would it be and why? What would you expect to gain from that experience?
Crane: Interesting question! I would love to spend time with Jacqueline Carey. I think her Kushiel series is such an accomplishment. I’d love to talk with her about the risks she took with it, and how she
developed it. It is just so rich and gorgeous. Or else, hmm, maybe Meredith Duran, who writes historicals. She can pull off relationship arcs that are so amazing, subtle, and intricate, and that’s something that’s not my strong suit. I’d of course want to pick her brains and get her to give me advice.
It seems that now every book or comic book is being adapted for the big screen, what are you thoughts on that? Would you like for your books to follow the same process?
Crane: I totally bow down to people who are able to adapt books. Every time I hear a book is going to be made into a film, I wonder how exactly. But then I’ll see it and often be impressed ( though not always). But I love it when it turns out well.
It’s hard for me to imagine books as 2-hour movies because I experience books so solidly as books. Especially ones that have a really interior narrative, like mine. I never imagined these books in the Disillusionist trilogy being suited for film, but it doesn’t mean they couldn’t. The other day I was thinking, with zinging, you’d have to make it visual for it to be in a film. Like the person lights up or something. And there you have why I’m not a filmmaker! I would love it to be a film. Just for the kick of seeing what a filmmaker would do!
A few authors have agreed to let their books become graphic novels, Mind Games seems like it would fit in perfectly as a graphic novel. Would you ever turn it into one?
Crane: I would be so psyched if an artist wanted to turn it into a graphic novel. But I would say the same thing as I said above, with movies, it’s hard for me to visualize how they would pull it off, but I’d love to see it.
Hey, thanks so much for having me. These are really great questions—this has been fun!
Keeping Up With Carolyn Crane