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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

ℚ Smoke and Mirrors [1] - Helene Opocensky

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Smoke and Mirrors (, Helene Opocensky, 280 pages) a young adult fantasy/science fiction.

Smoke and Mirrors celebrates individuality and encourages teens to embrace their differences and seek to unlock their hidden potential. Tapping into her experience working with families in crisis as an Assistance Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, Opocensky wrote Smoke and Mirrors to encourage children and teens to embrace what makes them special and sets them apart from the crowd.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author |


What was the inspiration for Smoke and Mirrors?

"Probably my former job. I worked for many years as a child support attorney for the State of Connecticut. In that capacity, I saw children under stress, especially in paternity court. It saddened me to see these children, and some of them were children – fifteen and sixteen years old sometimes, having babies. I wanted to do something that would stress to kids that everything has consequences."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"The whole scenario in Czechoslovakia is based on the town I was born in Germany. I moved it to Bohemia because of the history and because Prague is such a neat city, but when I picture Hexenheim, it looks like my old home town.

I made up a Facebook site for Smoke and Mirrors. It has a picture of Hexenheim on it. It’s basically my hometown with some alterations."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Smoke and Mirrors - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I made up the cover, I enjoy doing that very much. I picked a scene in the book when Corbin was following Lorelei, both in avian form, after they first met. I like the look of it, both peaceful and a little mysterious. Plus, I think, it is an important event in the book. "
Why should we read Smoke and Mirrors and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"As a kid I always liked fairy tales, myths and legends. I always wondered where they came from and I actually did research on it. I have a collection of books: different Tales from different countries. One of the things I do in Smoke and Mirrors is create an origin for these stories, and so far, I’ve gotten a very favourable reaction to that aspect of the book."
Can you tell us something quirky about Smoke and Mirrors, its story and characters?
"As far as quirky character names go, Maxim Moritz is pretty quirky. There is a German children’s book which tells of the adventures of two bad boys called Max and Moritz.

Corbin is called Corbin because it means raven or crow.

Karl Heinz was a boy that lived next door to my family. He was a handful. "
Who would you recommend Smoke and Mirrors to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"The book is a young adult novel, though I do think labels of that sort are limiting. I enjoy reading all sorts of books regardless of the audience they are supposed to attract."
If you could / wished to turn Smoke and Mirrors into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"One step at a time. Right now I would just be happy to have people read the book."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Like I said before, I’m attracted to myths, legends, and history, the older the better, and I find that writing in that genre is the easiest for me, but I enjoy reading just about anything."
What is your writing process?
"I write in the morning after I get up. If I write in the afternoon it always sounds horrible."
What is in store next?
"I am presently working on the sequel. It’s about the Heartstone. Max has it, but it doesn’t belong to him. It belonged to his late wife which means it actually belongs to Lorelei, and there are very good reasons why she should have and not Max. The sequel explores those reasons and what Corbin and Lorelei do to correct the situation. It takes place in Czechoslovakia, Corfu, New York and Connecticut."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have a horse named Ollie and two cats. One is Moses and the other is Marmalady or Marlee for short."

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Smoke and Mirrors - available NOW!

UK: purchase from US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble find on Goodreads

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