So Melissa Keil’s book The Secret Science of Magic is out April 1st (not a joke, promise) and we’re celebrating!

You can find my review here. It’s truly an excellent book – as all of Melissa Keil’s are, so if you want some quality #LoveOzYA, look no further.


 1) This book has a lot of magic in it. Do you know any magic tricks?

In theory I know lots of magic tricks after writing the book, but in practice I can’t pull off much at all! I spent a lot of time researching magic, particularly coin and card magic, but as it turns out I have very little patience when it comes to actually mastering anything. I much prefer to be bamboozled by proper magicians (and no-one needs to witness my very lame attempts at a disappearing coin trick.)

Emily’s running commentary: I also have very little patience. I just like trying to figure out how other people do the magic. Is that spoiling things?

2) What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to research for a book?

Banana facts. Spontaneous combustion. The physics of time travel. Keanu Reeves movies. The mathematical formula for a perfect pancake (which didn’t make it into the final book, but was still fascinating). Both characters in the book have a wealth of odd knowledge, talents and interests, so I had a lot of fun delving into the minutia of Sophia and Joshua’s brains.

Emily’s running commentary: okay, now I definitely need to know the mathematical formula for a perfect pancake. 

3) What’s your favourite part of being an author?

Being able to retreat from the real world for small periods of time, and having permission to disappear into a world of my own making. Also, having a legitimate excuse to spend time reading all manner of weird and wonderful things, and vanishing down Google rabbit holes, for research of course.

Emily’s running commentary: it’s true, you can put anything down to “research.” 

4) Your books often seem to feature characters who are outsiders – both main characters in The Secret Science of Magic are a little out of the ordinary, for example. Is this a conscious decision you make?

I certainly find characters who are a little left of centre or who don’t easily fit into a box or label the most interesting characters to write. I think all of my books have a bit of a recurring theme of finding your tribe – that no matter how weird or freakish you might feel, there are a bunch of people out there who will be just as weird and freaky and who will love you for your oddities.

Emily’s running commentary: and that is definitely one of the things I love most about Melissa Keil’s books. It shows you that you can always find your people.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour posts!

The unsolvable problem: If Sophia is a genius, why can’t she crack the puzzle of what to do with her life?

Fact: Sophia is smart. As in, certified-child-prodigy, breezing-through-uni-subjects-even-though-she’s-only-in-year-twelve smart. This terrifies her, because geniuses have a tendency to end up as recluses and weirdos – and with her current social ineptness, she’s halfway there already.

Truth: Joshua is good at magic tricks, ignoring most things about year twelve, and not thinking at all about life after high school.

Fact: Sophia can’t even talk to her best friend Elsie about her anxieties, because Elsie is firmly focused on her own future – and on plans that will mean leaving Sophia behind.

Truth: Joshua has had a secret crush on Sophia since forever, but he doesn’t have forever to act on it.

Fact: There are some things no amount of genius can prepare you for … and the messiness of the real world is one of them.

Truth: Timing is everything.

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Have you read any of Melissa Keil’s books? Would you also like to know the mathematical formula of the perfect pancake?