Sunday, 9 September 2012

A Book in Pictures: 'Order of the Seers' by Cerece Rennie Murphy

A Book in Pictures with Cerece Rennie Murphy


'A Book in Pictures' is an original feature, in which I ask authors or readers to choose pictures that relate to their own book or their favourite book in some way, be it photographs of the setting, actors who would play the characters in a movie, or pictures of anything that inspired them whilst writing/reading. I then ask them to explain why they chose those pictures.

The Book: Order of the Seers
The Author: Cerece Rennie Murphy

Plot Synopsis

Liam Knight always knew his younger sister, Lilli was different – but what he didn’t know was that she was among one of the most valuable and hunted humans on earth – a Seer.  Her gift of being able to see the future sends them on a journey far away from everything they have known just to survive the pursuit of The Guild, a ruthless organization that seeks to exploit the Seers to gain control and wealth around the world.  But things are about to change as Marcus Akida, a powerful Seer who has been enslaved within the Guild for 13 years, plots his escape from within and sets off a series of events that will change the world.


I have to start with Lance Reddick because he IS my Marcus Akida. My first image of the story was of a man named Marcus walking towards me with ash-blonde hair and a cataract-like film over his eyes. Almost immediately, I knew he was a Seer and I knew he was enslaved for that ability and that the drugs that he was given to control and access his ability were the cause for the color of his hair and eyes. The man I saw in my head looked exactly like Mr. Reddick. I love all the characters from this book, but if I had to choose one to grow up and be like, it would be Marcus. He has endured so much pain and loss, yet he has so much love, gratitude and respect for life. Plus he has a great sense of humor while still being totally fierce!

Liam is a very complex character. At the tender age of 16, he suddenly becomes a parent to his 13 year old sister, Lilith. It’s a role he isn’t ready for, but he is a person who has learned from his mother’s example how to do what is necessary. It was really heartbreaking sometimes to watch (and write) him trying so hard to be a man without the freedom to naturally evolve into that role. Ever since I saw Wes Bentley in American Beauty, I have NEVER forgotten him. His silence was riveting. He has the ability to be incredibly sweet and vulnerable one minute and absolutely lethal the next. Liam has that same quality and I love him for it.

Aah Lilith, or Lilli as she prefers to be called. This isn’t an exact picture of what my Lilli looks like. Truth is, Lilli’s facial appearance in the book is modeled after of a girl I knew in high school named Anna Miller. She was small and very pretty with dirty blonde hair and beautiful brown eyes that were too mature for her age. But I picked this picture because, 
 Hayley Williams of Paramore reminds me very much of Lilli in every other way. I think it has to do with the fact that you would never suspect that this tiny thing has such a POWERFUL voice. The combination of raw intensity and sweet youth in her voice is what makes me a Paramore fan. Lilli doesn’t start out as a rebel. Being a little shy, 13 and unpopular in school, she is barely aware of herself or her ability when the book begins, but she becomes a force of nature (like Hayley’s voice) and that was thrilling for me to watch.


I’ve been in awe of Monica Bellucci and her talent since I saw her in Malena.  Once I knew that Alessandra was Italian, I knew exactly who her mom would be.  If Monica Bellucci had a daughter that looked just 
like her, Alessandra would be her child.  Alessandra was captured by the Guild when she was only 11 years old.  By the time we meet her in the book, she is as raw and hurting as an open wound.  Her unique ability to not only see the future, but experience it from multiple perspectives allows her brutal insight into the pain the Guild has caused all over the world.  Though she is wounded by her own power, Alessandra also has an unbreakable spirit that is as passionate and fiery as her Italian heritage demands.  


Iowa!  One of my closest friends is from Iowa and I am just constantly astounded by his openness, his honesty and his endless curiosity about life and the world.  His approach to any difficult issue is always to simply seek the truth.  No matter how politically incorrect it may be to ask a tough question, he asks it, without a drop of sarcasm in his voice or an ounce of malice in his heart.  He just wants to know the answer.  I’ve never met another human being like him.  Whenever I talk to him, I find myself asking, “What the heck did they do in Iowa to raise someone like you?  Are there more where you come from?”  When I needed a place for the Seers to escape and rebuild their lives, I immediately thought of the wide open plains of Iowa.  It just seems like a place where a person is allowed to discover and be who they really are.
When I was in college, I spent every Thanksgiving with my friends on the West Coast because plane fare from Los Angeles, CA to Washington, DC was just too much for such a short trip (especially when I would be coming home for Christmas in a couple weeks).  One Thanksgiving, my friend Kimmy and I stayed in Chinatown in San Francisco.  I don’t remember why, but I do remember that it was one of my favorite 

Thanksgivings.  Everyone was so friendly and the place was just alive with people and colors and food and EVERYTHING.  I remember feeling like I could get completely swallowed up in the hustle and bustle. So when I was looking for a place for Liam and Lilli to hide, it seemed like a perfect setting to lay low and be nourished.

Not So Obvious Influences

Even before I started writing Order of the Seers, I had a goal in mind for the pace.  I wanted it to read like one of my favorite movies, The Bourne Series.  I love how the tension never lets up in these movies and I wanted the reader to have a reason at the end of each chapter to turn the page.  It ended up being a really helpful image to keep in mind as I wrote and made choices about how to tell the story.  

So, this is kind of sad, but I played around with several names for one of the Iowa Commune’s lead members until I remembered how Jonathan Rhys-Meyers says his brother’s name - Marshall - in the movie August Rush. I am a sucker for an Irish accent and I named Marshall Farber (poor character) solely based on the sexiness of Mr. Rhys-Meyers voice. *bows head in shame*

 I. LOVE. FRINGE. So what does that have to do with the book?  Liam and Lilith Knight’s last name is a sneaky little tribute to two of the TV show’s main characters, Walter and Peter Bishop.  But mostly, I wanted to tell you that, so I could say again that I.LOVE.FRINGE

Find Out More About the Book:


  1. Hi Anna,
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  2. I LOVE this!!! It's a great way to visualize your book and your characters. Looking forward to reading it! - Katryna Starks

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