Title: Second Chronicles of Illumination
Author: C.A. Pack
Publisher: Antiqua Press
When an alien invasion threatens the existence of all the knowledge in the universe, eighteen-year-old Johanna Charette and seventeen-year-old Jackson Roth must rely on their wits, guts, and pluck to save the fantasy-come-to-life world of the Library of Illumination. It wouldn t be so bad if Johanna and Jackson weren’t the ones responsible for breaching the portals to a dozen distant worlds. Now, outside forces are causing shock waves in the space-time continuum, and if that isn t awful enough, someone from another dimension is trying to steal a book of powerful spells created by a very famous wizard. At first, traveling to other realms in a time machine seems like a fun perk. However, discovering some inhabitants want to obliterate the teens doesn’t leave them with a warm, fuzzy feeling. Instead, they find themselves forced to sacrifice their own welfare and the safety of their loved ones for the greater good.
Second Chronicles of Illumination is available for purchase at
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in
My last book Chronicles: The Library of Illumination was
named to Kirkus Reviews” Best Book of
2014 and I cried when I was notified about that. Knowing someone other than my
family and friends appreciated my efforts meant a lot to me.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
encouraged reading and had me signed up for book clubs before I could read.
Those books were for children, but up in our attic were piles of my father’s
books. I remember trying to read the Iliad and the Odyssey when I was still
young, but I wasn’t able to appreciate them. From the third grade on, my father
drove me to the library every other week, so I could return the books I had and
sign out new ones. I’ve always been a voracious reader and I have him to thank
When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing
my first story when I was seven for no reason other than I wanted to spin a
tale. I’ve always had a vivid imagination and I’ve always been a dreamer, so
it’s easy for me to come up with stories and turn my thoughts into words. I
didn’t choose to be a writer; it happened because I love books, I love to read,
and I love imaginative stories.
What inspires you to write and why?
by almost everything. I’ll hear a snippet of conversation or see something a
little out of the ordinary happen, and I’ll weave it into whatever I’m writing.
I once watched as a friend on mine stalked a fly with two paper plates. He
wanted to kill the fly, but didn’t want to get his hands dirty. It was very
funny to watch and I eventually wrote it into a play I was working on called Women with Large Satchels. Inspiration
is all around us.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
I started out
writing historical thrillers, then historical fantasy, and now young adult
fantasy. YA fantasy is the most fun. I get my characters to say and do things
that more experienced (uptight) people would never attempt, and being able to
do that allows me to fully exercise my imagination.
What inspired you to write your first book?
novel-length book stated as a joke. A friend and I would each write a couple of
lines and email it back and forth. He quit by page five, but I enjoyed it so
much I continued doing it by myself. I did it until I had a full-length novel.
It was awful. I know, because one of my friends said, “I give you credit just
for finishing the book. If you have
nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I rewrote that book a dozen
times, and while it improved each time, I was unable to get an agent to
represent me. So I self-published it on Kindle. That was in 2009 and I haven’t
stopped publishing my work since.
Who or what influenced your writing once you
I love writers’
conferences and writers groups for getting feedback from other writers and
publishing professionals. There’s a conference held in New York City every
summer call Thrillerfest and this summer I’ll be attending my ninth conference
with them. It starts out with something called Craftfest, which is a series of
seminars and workshops that teach the art of writing. It’s geared toward
thrillers, but the techniques work for every type of writer, and I’ve learned a
lot from attending. I also like writers’ groups. Here on Long Island we have
the Long Island Writer’s Guild, and I’ve learned a lot from their critiques of
my work, especially when I was writing the first Library of Illumination books.
What do you consider the most challenging about
writing a novel, or about writing in general?
challenging thing about writing a novel is finding time when you won’t be
interrupted. Nothing is as frustrating as losing your train of thought when
someone disturbs you. I refuse to answer the phone, and I turn down the volume
on my computer so I won’t hear the ping
of new email, but my cell phone will vibrate every time there’s a text, or my
husband will knock on the door with a question, so there’s no such thing as
pure solitude. And that’s what challenges me most as a writer.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what
Developing Myrddin’s Memoir, which is contained
within Second Chronicles of Illumination required
a lot of research into the legend of Kind Arthur and the origins of Merlin the
Magician. I also did a lot of research into remote British islands looking for
the perfect place to stage it, and learned a lot about the wildlife preserve
and bird sanctuary on Skokholm Island in Wales. Then I created a kind of
diagram with bits of factual information and fictional ideas that I could draw
from while writing. So I can say writing this particular book taught me a lot
about Arthurian legend and Celtic history.
Do you intend to make writing a career?
always been my career. My first career was writing news. My current career is
writing fiction. I prefer fiction. It’s way more fun.
What is your
greatest strength as a writer?
strength lies in my imagination and the way I can visualize scenes. I actually
see them playing out in my head, like a mini-movie and I react to them, whether
it’s with tears, excitement or anxiety. I live every emotion with my characters,
and try to make their reactions as “real” as possible.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
personal quality is my imagination.
What is your least favorite quality about
I hate being
shy—really, really shy. Some people think I’m aloof. I’m not aloof. I’m afraid.
Engage me in a conversation and I’ll be your BFF.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
does not kill us, makes us stronger” —Friedrich Nietzsche
C. A. Pack is the author of the Library of Illumination series of YA fantasy novelettes, along with Chronicles: The Library of Illumination (2014), and The Second Chronicles of Illumination (coming in 2015).
Pack also writes for a general audience. Her first novel, Code Name: Evangeline—is an historical spy thriller which takes place in the 1930’s. The author followed it up with Evangeline’s Ghost—a fantasy about the death of that same spy. She recently completed work on Evangeline’s Ghost: Houdini, and is currently working on Evangeline’s Ghost: The Bridge.
Pack is an award winning journalist from New York who worked as an anchor/reporter and educator (she considers herself the fairy-godmother of telvision news reporters)—and has written for WNBC, LI News Tonight and News 12 Long Island. She also worked on PBS documentaries, radio and television commercials and created and produced a pilot for a news show focusing solely on marriage and wedding trends.
She’s a past president of the Press Club of Long Island and a proud member of International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime. Pack has been a speaker or panelist for organizations such as Women in Communications, Fair Media Council, and the Society of Professional Journalists.
The author lives with her husband and two picky parrots “on” Long Island, New York.
For More Information
Visit C.A.’s website.
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