"300 or so years ago, Atlantis sank and all the inhabitants, Zarconians, were thought to be dead. However, some Zarconians did survive, and now they hide their mystical heritage (and super human abilities) from the world.
Attie Hotep is sent with the best and brightest from her high school in Maryland on a boat trip to Hawaii. But once on the boat, Attie notices that strange things are happening, and her Zarconian blood is telling her that she is in danger. When giant whales attack the ship, Attie, her best friend, two boys (her nemesis and his quiet but nice friend) and one other girl from her school manage to get to a deserted island. Stranded on the island, the kids learn how to survive while they await rescue, but this island isn't just deserted, it's prehistoric.
I loved this book! It was action-packed from the get go. It's a little bit LOST, a little bit Cast Away. Attie is a very smart, strong character." - Susie Levine
Now enjoy a transcript of a live interview with Claire Voyant, author of The Natural Supernatural: A History of Zarconia and The Myths, on WMUC Radio.
WMUC: Claire Voyant, thank you for doing this.
Claire: It’s great to be here.
WMUC: Let’s jump right in. Before Island Z was discovered, before those five students boarded the Arosa Star Junior last April, you brought up Zarconians on your website-turned-book.
Claire: That’s true.
WMUC: Surely, you received some negative reactions?
Claire: [Laughs] Not a lot of people believed me at first! No publisher wanted to print something that was “clearly a ridiculous work of fiction” when I wanted to sell it as non-fiction. That’s when I decided to start out on my own and create the website.
WMUC: Tell me, how did you get so much information? I see on your website you’ve uncovered documents—some allegedly hundreds of years old.
Claire: I did a lot of digging. I dropped out of college after my sophomore year and moved to NYC. I worked doubles as a waitress near Madison Avenue, and I spent all my free time digging in museum archives or doing catalog searches in the public library.
WMUC: You spent years pursing this?
WMUC: And you left the University of Virginia, the same university that Thomas Jefferson himself founded?
Claire: I had to.
WMUC: There has got to be more to this story. What drove you to spend your life researching something that—to the rest of the world—was a myth?
Claire: [Pause] It’s a long story.
WMUC: Can you shorten it for us?
Claire: I can try. My grandfather used to tell me a story that his grandfather told him about a monster that stole his sister. To make it quick, a traveler passing through town saw my great-great grandfather’s sister one day. He sent her flowers and gifts and even a photo of himself.
Well, one night after weeks of no success, the traveler followed her home and snuck into her bedroom window. My great-great grandfather heard his sister screaming, and he ran into the bedroom with his hunting knife. He attacked the traveler, but the traveler turned his crazy eyes on my great-great grandfather. That’s when he knew, for sure, the traveler wasn’t human. My great-great grandfather fought him anyway and was nearly killed. Knowing his cover was blown, the Zarconian stole the sister right from her bed, and no one saw them after that.
WMUC: Wow. That is some story. But how does a story about people you've never met lead you to quit college and pursue Zarconians full-time?
Claire: It wasn't just the story. [Rustling of paper] We still have the photograph he sent. It might be the only real photo of a Zarconian for a hundred years.
WMUC: Well, let's see it!
[Photo of a handsome young man is posted on Twitter. The man wears a vest and no undershirt. Dark lines show just above his belt at the hip, and travel down the skin behind his linen pants.]
WMUC: For all of our listeners just tuning in, Claire Voyant has just shown me the first documented photo of a Zarconian. All I can say is: Wow. To see it yourself, follow us on Twitter @wmucradio. Claire, how could you tell he was Zarconian?
Claire: It's not too hard once you know what you're looking for. I've spent a lot of time examining this picture. [Points] That mark on his hip is the beginning of the Zarconian mark. If you look at it closely, you can see it's glowing through the cloth of his pants. When my grandfather gave me this photo--when I saw that my sophomore year of college--I knew I had to follow that clue.
WMUC: I believe that.
Sounds like a book that's not to be missed! Thank you for sharing this exciting interview, Aja!
Possessing powers that are feared and shunned, eighteen-year-old Alexandra “Attie” Hotep is no virgin to attacks. Her ancestors, the Zarconians– mixed-blood inhabitants of Atlantis–were rumored to be the English fairies who kidnapped children, the Caribbean sirens that sunk ships, and the dream-like apparitions who broke into psyches. By the 1850s, they were hunted to near-extinction, leaving the existence of Atlantis and Zarconians little more than myth.
When a class trip turns deadly, Attie and her friends become stranded on an uncharted tropical island in the middle of the Pacific, and Attie finds herself targeted once more. With a jungle full of extinct and prowling animals, she struggles to find a compromise between keeping her friends safe and keeping her family’s secret.
Enter Doug Hutchinson—the school’s soccer star, and a handsome boy with his own secrets. But Attie and Doug soon realize the animals aren’t the only threat. There is a traitor amidst the group, one that plans to turn all Zarconians into permanent myths. And Attie is next on the list.
Where to find Zarconian Island...