We're now one month out from the release of Sing Down the Stars! (It's being published under my actual name / initials, so therefore LJ Hatton.) As I've done with other novels, I'll do some preliminary posts to introduce you to the characters and the world they live in, staring with this one.
The Great Illusion
Sing Down the Stars takes place in a near-future world marked by an event called The Great Illusion, which happened a few years before Penn - the main character - was born.
The Great Illusion was a first contact scenario. Alien lifeforms approached planet Earth and settled in, but there wasn't much actual contact involved. These ships (or creatures, since no one can decide which is the correct term) enveloped the planet for one year, changing the sky from blue to pink and causing general panic with their existence. When the year ended, they left, simple as that.
There were no landings and no incursions, meaning it wasn't an invasion in the usual sense, and once they'd gone people began to explain them away because it was easier to pretend the aliens had never come. They renamed that year The Great Illusion, as though it had all been a dream no one could prove, and officially there was still no such thing as aliens.
Unoffically, people were terrified of what might be out there beyond the atmosphere and what interested them enough that they'd hang out in the sky for a year. So, the world changed, attempting to return to a time before Earth was of interest to those beyond her borders. Technology became taboo in public, especially after dark when extra lights could be easily seen. The old fashioned was suddenly in vogue. Cities the world over became anachronistic pockets of living, modern history. Neo-Victorian up against 1950's kitsch.
What no one had counted on was that the visitors hadn't left Earth quite as untouched as it first appeared. Months after the aliens left, human infants started showing signs of disturbing abilities, always confined within families. Presumed urban myths at first, the stories of these gifted girls - because the infants were always girls - became more common and impossible to quash, even though the girls and their families always disappeared before anyone could prove their existence. Being different became a sort of genetic treason in the court of public opinion.
It's into this world that The Show was born... but that's tomorrow's post.
Currently, you can read the first few pages of Sing Down the Stars on Amazon's Look Inside feature. So if you'd like to read a bit more about The Great Illusion head on over to this link and check it out!