Inspiration for Chronicles: The Library of Illumination
I’d like to thank Jenai for hosting my blog today. I just released Chronicles: The Library of Illumination and I’m very excited about it.
I can lose track of time in a library. From the age of nine on, I went to the library every two weeks and read just about every book they had in their juvenile section. Each one took me to a new place in my imagination. To this day, I love libraries and often imagine what the perfect library would look like. My cousin has a similar view, and it sparked the idea for the original Library of Illumination (LOI). It started as a short story just for our amusement, but grew to more than 10,000 words, which as many writers will tell you, is too long for a short story. Instead this first novelette told the story of how 17-year old Johanna Charette became the youngest curator of an enchanted library where the books come to life. I chose the title curator rather than librarian because the LOI is not your every day book-lending institution. It’s centuries old—yet it’s powered by a force that’s ahead of its time—and it holds every written word, musical score, mathematical equation, piece of artwork—ever created. And, for the most part, it’s closed to the public. An ancient enchantment makes it difficult to locate or enter. It’s a well-protected, almost-secret, magical place where literature can be experienced. And as Mal, the former 400-year old curator (and Johanna’s predecessor) knows: no two people see the same thing when a book comes to life.
I love the Library of Illumination so much, I decided to write a sequel. That’s when 16-year old Jackson Roth entered the picture. Johanna hired him to help out with the grunt work in the library, but he did so much more than that—his character imbued the story with freshness. He is her foil—in a good way. Jackson’s character introduces new directions that the story can go in because his personality is the polar opposite of hers. Johanna is smart, serious, and devoted to protecting the LOI’s vast resources. Jackson is clever, intrepid and gregarious, and pushes her out of her ‘comfort zone.’ Their day-to-day adventures teach them about the library, themselves and each other, and as time passes they grow closer together.
Chronicles: The Library of Illumination is the first five adventures of Johanna and Jackson—linked together. In The Curator (the original novelette), we learn how Johanna first became acquainted with the library. In Doubloons, we meet Jackson, who is faced with an ethical dilemma when the pirates of Treasure Island leave behind gold doubloons; The Orb challenges them to deal with unexpected danger; while Casanova introduces a three-way love triangle. But it’s Portals that forces the teens out of their library and opens their minds to the existence of new worlds. Portals is twice as long as the other adventures and adds a new dimension to LOI. But, perhaps, not as much as the next book in the series—The Overseers—will add. However, that story won’t be released until later this year, and will be the entry point for The Second Chronicles of Illumination.
Within the walls of a centuries-old building lies the magical Library of Illumination, a place where books literally come to life. Unlike most libraries, its special books are only loaned to a select group of scholars who are privy to its resources. What makes this library even more unusual is that two teenagers have been chosen to oversee its operation and steer the course of the library's future.
Follow Johanna Charette and Jackson Roth as they use their wits to deal with the sometimes humorous, sometime dangerous, situations that arise in an enchanted library. As the teens learn about the library, themselves, and each other, their lives become more and more intertwined, and they are forced to put those lives on the line when they stumble upon a scheme that could change the future course of their world.
If you’d like to know more about the LOI, check out