Claudia and Cheryl IM all things Etherworld…

Claudia 
Oh my god, Cheryl. Etherworld is FINALLY here and out in the world! How are you feeling right now? Relieved, excited, freaked? What's going through that head of yours?

Cheryl
I feel AWESOME, excited and just a bit sad that it's over.

Claudia 
Totally get where you're coming from. Saying good-bye to characters you've come to know and love isn't easy.

Cheryl
They've been a part of our lives for so long that I feel like they're real. I even feel like some of the devices are real. I still refer to phones as tabs. And sometimes I tell my kids to put away their Equips...

Claudia 
LOL! They must look at you like, "What the heck, Mom. Get your realities straight."

Cheryl
They're more like - YOU'RE CRAZY.

Claudia 
Ha! So is there a particular character you're going to miss the most? Or a part of the Elusion universe?

Cheryl 
JOSH. Ever since we kinda/sorta cast him as Dave Franco in our minds, he's been my secret crush. What about you?

Claudia 
Josh is pretty dreamy! Don't think I'm weird or anything but I'm going to miss Avery. She was so IN YOUR FACE and fun to write. Maybe she needs her own spin off, kind of like Saul from Breaking Bad?

Cheryl
Avery definitely needs her own spinoff. Not to get all weepy, but you know what else I'm going to miss? That jig you would do when we were outlining and came up with a good idea.

Claudia 
You mean this?

 

Cheryl 
That's the one! ☺ Let's get back to Etherworld. Do you think readers will forgive us for the cliffhanger in the first book?

Claudia 
Hmmmm...good question! I think once they dive into Book 2, they'll understand why we left off where we did in Book 1 and see that there was just so much more story to be told. Cliffhangers are tough, but I think Etherworld is such a satisfying conclusion that people will have all their lingering questions answered plus another intriguing mystery and adventure to experience.

Cheryl 
AGREED! I have to admit, I loved working on Etherworld because it felt like we had done a lot of the hard work in Elusion. We could really delve into some of those relationships and explore them on a more intense level. Impressed by how deep and intellectual I am?

Claudia 
As always!

Cheryl 
Did you think it was more challenging to write Elusion or Etherworld?

Claudia 
I think they were both challenging but for different reasons. Creating a unique futuristic world and distinctive characters with personal motives and missions all from scratch is huge undertaking, and in Etherworld, we had the luxury of leaning on everything we created in Book 1. However, we hadn't really arced out the rest of the story when we completed Elusion, and once we figured out what we wanted to happen, we had written ourselves into some corners that we had to work our way out of, if you recall. ;-)

Cheryl  
Ha! Oh yes, I remember that very well! It kind of felt like we working on a Rubik’s Cube at times. But it was SO thrilling when it all started to come together. Then I was doing your jig, too. I felt like I was on the ExSet setting. 

Claudia 
Yes, it was exciting when we started solving the puzzle, piece by piece! I kind of sympathized with Regan at the end. HOW DID SHE KEEP HER COOL WHEN THERE WAS SO MANY CLUES TO FIGURE OUT!

Cheryl  
And wasn’t it totally surreal when Facebook announced they had bought Oculus, and we discovered the creator of Oculus is just a few years older than Patrick? I was kind of like: What have we done? Life seemed to be imitating art.

Claudia
Oh yes, the Oculus thing blew my mind. For a while there, I was wondering if everything we wrote would suddenly happen in real life, kind of like that movie Stranger Than Fiction?

Cheryl  
I LOVE that movie. Seriously. I own it and have seen it a million times. Emma Thompson's character writes like me--I visualize everything. I just hope we haven't killed off any real people. Do you visualize things like that?

Claudia 
Yes, completely. I think a lot of writers sit and plan out a whole scene in their mind, including dialogue, before they sit down and put it all on paper.

Cheryl 
One of them is ME! Think of all the trees I've saved.

Claudia 
You are a true environmentalist!

Cheryl 
All kidding aside, I’m kind of glad that we tackled a lot of environmental issues in Elusion and Etherworld. I think it’s important to think about the future of our natural resources and what might happen to us if we’re not careful about conservation. 

Claudia 
It’s true—and I think exploring how technology could play a role in trying to rectify our mistakes, only to become another problem we might not be able to control, is one of the things that makes the story—

Cheryl 
A modern-day allegory?

Claudia 
You love that phrase! 

Cheryl 
I know. I try to use it in a sentence almost every day.

Claudia
That doesn’t surprise me at all ☺