Meet Makiia Lucier.
Makiia Lucier has a BA in journalism from the University of Oregon and a master’s in library and information science from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, where she studied literature for children. Visit her at makiialucier.com.
How do you handle a story that includes fables, fairy tale, or mythical elements?
No differently than I would handle a story that includes historical events or people. I learn as much as I can about a subject, then try to weave the parts that interest me into my own story, hopefully in a way the reader hasn’t seen before.
Do you believe every work of fiction contains a bit of truth and how does truth play out in your upcoming novel Isle of Blood and Stone?
I can’t speak for other novels and writers, but for me at least, there is truth. A character’s traits may reflect my own, or someone close to me, or even a person I observed in passing. In Isle of Blood and Stone, the mapmaking tools and techniques are based on research into actual medieval cartographers. The map that appears at the front of the book is based on the Pacific island of Guam where I grew up. Other aspects of the fictional kingdom of St. John del Mar-the flora, the fauna, the food-were also inspired by the medieval Mediterranean.
When writing Isle of Blood and Stone, did you plan on having it a duology or as the story unfolded did you see its potential to continue?
Isle was originally intended as a standalone, but while I was writing it, one young character in particular made me think, Hmm. I think she’s going to need her own story.
Why base such an importance on maps?
With my first book, A Death-Struck Year, I was fascinated by The Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 and Portland, Oregon, which is one of my favorite cities. As for Isle of Blood and Stone, I have always loved looking at maps-the old ones, the pretty ones with the sea monsters and the pirate ships-and thinking of all the places I would visit one day. I write what interests me. I have to; otherwise, there’s no way I would be able to keep writing about it draft after draft after draft.
What made you decide to write a YA historical fantasy?
I didn’t start out wanting to write a fantasy at all. I wanted to write a story about a mapmaker and a map and a riddle. Everything else, including the fantastical elements and the secondary characters, grew from there.
Is there anything you’d like to share with the readers today?
Sure! Here are some of my favorite YA books:
The Sherwood Ring (Elizabeth Marie Pope)
A Northern Light (Jennifer Donnelly)
Shadowfell (Juliet Marillier)
All the Truth that’s In Me (Julie Berry)
Through the Woods (Emily Carroll)
Illuminae (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff)
Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty (Christine Heppermann)
The Monstrumologist (Rick Yancey)
The Hollow Kingdom (Clare B. Dunkle)
All Our Yesterdays (Cristin Terrill)