Blog Tour: Interview with Laura Lam, Author of Pantomime

Today Laura Lam, author of Pantomime, has stopped by Nawanda Files for an awesome interview! Her upcoming YA Fantasy is already highly buzzed. Read more about the novel below and then jump down for the interview!

by Laura Lam
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Release Date: February 5th, 2013

R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.


What inspired you to write Pantomime

Pantomime came about in a very roundabout way. I originally thought of the character as an adult and wrote most of an adult book with Micah Grey. Then, when I was stuck, I decided to write the backstory of Micah as a teenager, just for me and for fun. That took on a total life of its own and became Pantomime.

From a larger picture, I’m very interested in diversity in YA, have always loved circuses, and I loved the idea of taking a psudeo-Victorian society and giving them a bunch of possibly magical technology they don’t understand and playing around with that.

When did your writing career begin? 

I have an undergraduate degree in creative writing, so I suppose it started then because that’s when I became more serious and actually wrote. Even so, it was in fits and starts until the end of 2009 after I graduated and moved from California to Scotland, when I was stuck in a very boring job and day dreamed up a plot. Pantomime was the first book I completed and I subbed to Angry Robot in March 2010 for their Open Door Month. I had the book deal in March 2011 after completing a revise and resubmit.

Who was your favorite character to write?

I loved writing both Micah and Gene’s sections equally. They each have their own challenges and obstacles, and the different contrasting settings were fun to play against each other. Gene has her pampered, comfortable life, with afternoon teas in the countryside, balls, servants and no monetary worries. Micah, on the other hand, rarely has two coins to rub together and does backbreaking circus chores, practices for long hours, and interacts with a crowd very different from the genteel nobles of Gene’s life.

Pantomime is centered on a circus! Was there any particular research in creating this elaborate world?

I did a lot of research into the circus. The two main sources I used were Brenda Assael’s The Circus and Victorian Society and Taschen’s The Giant Circus Book. I also spent a lot of time surfing the web and researching circuses, circus slang, and watching clips on YouTube. I went to see the circus in person a few times and read some fiction set in the circus, such as Water for Elephants and The Night Circus.

If you could describe Pantomime in three words, what would they be? 

Magic, secrets, identity.

Is there any story how you chose character names? Like the creative name, Iphigenia Laurus? 

All noble families have last names based on trees, so Laurus, Hornbeam, Hawthorne, Cedar, et cetera. The twelve most powerful noble families are called the Twelve Trees of Nobility. The Royal Family is called Snakewood, which is one of the hardest woods. A lot of my first names are chosen based on their name meanings. I chose Iphigenia after the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra in Greek mythology. She was sacrificed so Agamemnon could have the winds to sail to Troy. Her name means “strong-born.” She also really hates her name, and that’s why she goes by Gene instead, which also ties into a theme.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? 

Read a lot. Write a lot. Write what excites you. That’s what all advice boils down to. Stop saying you’re going to write and just write anyway and see what happens. But do a lot, and a lot of research before you submit anything. I made a few classic rookie errors and I still wince when I think about them!

Since Nawanda Files highlights books into movies news, what is your favorite movie that was adapted from a book?

I really liked the Water for Elephants adaption and seeing the circus come to life. The actor who played August was particularly talented in his role.

Pantomime sounds like an amazing original novel, and I especially loved the story behind all the great names! And Water for Elephants is one of my top adaptations too! To learn more about Laura Lam, read below and then hop on over to some more blog stops! 

About the Author

      Goodreads leaf Website leaf Twitter
Laura Lam was raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies. Both of them encouraged her to finger-paint to her heart’s desire, colour outside of the lines, and consider the library a second home. This led to an overabundance of daydreams.

She relocated to Scotland to be with her husband, whom she met on the internet when he insulted her taste in books. She almost blocked him but is glad she didn’t. At times she misses the sunshine.

The Blog Tour

 Be sure to check out other stops on the blog tour!

Image Credit: Kenda

1 comment:

  1. I love the cover of Pantomime!Water for Elephants is also one of my faves. The movie is as good as the book. I enjoyed reading the interview. Thanks for sharing