Author: Mishell Baker
Series: The Arcadia Project #1
Publisher by: Saga Press, Simon & Schuster
Published on: March 1, 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Page Count: 400
Format: eBook, Paperback, Hardcover
A year ago, Millie lost her legs and her filmmaking career in a failed suicide attempt. Just when she's sure the credits have rolled on her life story, she gets a second chance with the Arcadia Project: a secret organization that polices the traffic to and from a parallel reality filled with creatures straight out of myth and fairy tales.
For her first assignment, Millie is tasked with tracking down a missing movie star who also happens to be a nobleman of the Seelie Court. To find him, she'll have to smooth-talk Hollywood power players and uncover the surreal and sometimes terrifying truth behind the glamour of Tinseltown. But stronger forces than just her inner demons are sabotaging her progress, and if she fails to unravel the conspiracy behind the noble's disappearance, not only will she be out on the streets, but the shattering of a centuries-old peace could spark an all-out war between worlds.
This was my first step in the genre of Urban Fantasy and Borderline could not have been a better book. The story was unique, insightful and well thought out. Mishell Baker kept me turning the pages until the end and I was so sad when it did.
Millicent “Millie” Roper is definitely not your typical heroine for a series but I think that made me love her even more. Broken and vulnerable on the inside but on the outside she has tough shell that she uses like black knight wielding a sword. She is brutally honest, snarky and I loved every messed up thing she says.
There is so much about the book that I could say but the synopsis gives you perfect idea of what you will be stepping into but it doesn’t portray how much fun the ride will be. The rag-tag bunch that occupy Residence Four are a group of mystical avengers like no other. To think that people society would view as “losers” are the ones that protect us from a dark fate of magical proportions is just beyond entertaining.
This book was just as sad as it was funny and entertaining. To think that someone needs to be constantly aware of what they feel and why they feel it hurts my heart. But for a person with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), such as Millie, that is her everyday life. She tries to be aware at all times or she suffers the fate of letting her emotions taking her down a downward spiral. I know how small-minded it must seem but I was absolutely amazed that the author, who suffers from BPD herself, was able to write such a wonderful book about a heroine with her disorder. The story taught me as much as it entertained me.
I am so excited to see where Millie and the Arcadia Project go from here. Mishell Baker has a long time fan in me.
Thank you so much for doing a Q&A with us. Let’s start off easy…
Q: You are totally a new author to me and probably most our followers…tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? Are you married? Did u once work in the circus? 🙂
I’ve lived in Los Angeles for sixteen years, which means I pretty much count as a native. I live there with my husband and two small daughters. I’ve never worked in the circus, but I’ve worked in a bar, a furniture store, a headhunting firm, a strip club, a fast food joint, a real estate development office, and as a door-to-door salesman. I wasn’t any good at any of these things, which is why I don’t do them anymore.
Q: Why sci-fi/urban fantasy? Were you X-Files junkie? Lol
I actually was a huge fan of the first five or six seasons of The X-Files, now that you mention it, but fantasy is my first and greatest love. I always expected that I’d write more traditional fantasy, but I fell in love with Los Angeles and had a strong urge to write about it, so that narrowed it down to urban fantasy.
Q: Your heroine is double amputee with borderline personality disorder who starts the book out in a mental hospital…that’s a lot…was there a reason you gave her so much to go up against from the beginning?
That’s how the Arcadia Project — the organization in the novel — works. You don’t go and work for them unless you’ve really got no other options. They’re shady and cagey and anyone with a lick of common sense or half a chance at a normal job would probably just back away slowly. Believe it or not, there are people working at the Project whose backstories make Millie look like she got off easy.
Q: What is your writing process like? Do you knock out a book in week after locking yourself up at home? Do you do it stages? Do write late at night?
My only regular writing time is between five and six a.m. Everything else is catch as catch can, because I’ve got two small girls at home. Thanks to my helpful parents and in-laws, I sometimes get little “writing retreats” away from parental responsibility, where I’ll hole up in a motel somewhere for a bit, but that’s rare. Usually I just work as best I can while the kids are napping or otherwise occupied. In general, my process is to spend a lot of time perfecting a detailed, scene-by-scene outline, and then do a draft at 2-4,000 words per day over a couple of months. If my outline is good enough, that draft is usually awfully close to the finished version of the book.
Q: What must you have to write? A favorite mug? Blanket? Music?
At this point in my life I can’t be too picky: all I require is a keyboard, an idea, and a moment when I don’t have to be actively interacting with a child.
Q: Who inspires you? And why?
William Shakespeare. What little we know about him fascinates me. He inspires me because he was looked down on by his peers as undereducated and low-class, but he didn’t care about any of that; he just turned out story after story after story with obvious passion. He had a lust for knowledge and a deep love of language, and he knew how to grab his audiences by the heart and not let go. I could never aspire to anywhere near his level of genius, but his life story at least reassures me that I don’t have to follow the same path as my peers, or even have their approval, in order to find success and reach an audience.
Q: What is after BORDERLINE? Upcoming projects?
There are at least two more books coming up in the Arcadia Project series, and after that I’ve got plenty more ideas up my sleeve that I’m not quite ready to talk about.
- Coffee or Tea? Tea.
- Top 3 favorite authors? Honestly, it depends on the week you ask. Right now I’m most looking forward to reading more by Naomi Novik, Nnedi Okorafor, and Daniel José Older.
- Favorite book? The Neverending Story.
- If you could have dinner with three famous people, dead or alive, who would it be? William Shakespeare and Tom Hiddleston. I wouldn’t need a third; I’d be lucky to get in a word edgewise with those two at the table.
- Favorite song/band? Impossible question. Let’s say ABBA, just to horrify people.
- Favorite TV show? Agent Carter.
- Dream destination? Too many to list, but I’m heading to Helsinki in 2017 for Worldcon and I’m beyond excited about that.
- If you weren’t an author, what would you be? Still trying to be an author, probably from inside a psychiatric hospital or maybe even a prison.
- Dream car? Tesla! A sexy red one.
Thank you so much for answering all my questions. It was so much fun. Congratulations on your debut novel 🙂