Saturday, December 29, 2012
J. A. Souders was born in the heartland with an overactive imagination and an over abundance of curiousty that was always getting her into trouble. She first began writing at the age of 13, and not only befriended the monsters under the bed, but created worlds for them to play together. Because she never grew up, she decided she'd put her imaginary friends to work and started writing. She still lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband, and their two children. She is an active member of the RWA, CFRW, YARWA and SCBWI. Her debut book RENEGADE, surfaced November 13th, 2012 from Tor Teen.ABOUT JESSICA:
Renegade by J. A. SoudersJessica's Book:
Published: 11. 13. 12 by TorTeen
GOODREADS / PURCHASE
Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.Her book is seriously insane awesome. I loved it! Make sure to check out my review!
But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.
Your book is a dystopia, like so many are, but yours is set apart in an interesting way. It's underwater. What made you decide to set it there?
I don't think I really decided to set it there. It's just what fit for the story. But, long story short, I've always been interested in underwater cities and had hoped (when I was a child) to someday live in one. As you see, that didn't quite work out. So I just made one up. : )
Was there any research you had to undergo to set up Elysium?
I did a lot of research for Elysium. Months and months of research. I wanted to build the most realistic world I could. So, while some of the technology of the world doesn't exist now days, it's entirely possible for Elysium to exist in the future. I was actually quite surprised to find that a lot of the technology I needed already exists. For instance, desalination (to separate salt from the water, so they could have fresh water), glass (it's actually clear aluminum) strong enough to withstand the pressure of being so far down, etc.
What is your favorite memory from the process of seeing Renegade hit shelves? Best part of it being OUT?
I think my best memory was getting the phone call from my agent saying I'd gotten an offer. It was completely unexpected (well not completely. LOL. ; ]) because I was supposed to be going to the editorial acquisitions board the next day from a different publisher and I was having a hard time not thinking about it, so I took a nap. When I woke up, I saw Natalie had been trying to reach me and for some reason I totally thought it was bad news, so when she told me that Tor had made an offer my mind went blank, then I started crying. It was the best part of the whole process up to publication.
The best part of it being out, beside people reading it, is I was in a bookstore, looking for copies of RENEGADE to sign when I step into the area where my books should be. Two girls have pulled out a copy and are reading the inside cover for the summary and they're discussing it back and forth between them, finally one goes, "This sounds AWESOME! I have to buy it." Her friend nods and grabs a second copy and they start to walk away. I stepped up to them and said, "Excuse me. I couldn't help but overhear that you're going to buy that book." They both turned to me with that wary, deer-in-the-headlights look, "Y-y-yes." One finally said, and I smiled. "Well, I wrote that, so if you'd like me to sign it for you I could." At first they didn't believe me (hello! Crazy lady in the store), but when I pointed to my author pic, they both squealed and shoved the book in my hands. I signed both copies and left, but as I was walking away, I heard one say, "Can you believe that was the real-life author?!" I grinned all the way home.
What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever gotten?
"Just write the flipping book." Don't worry about getting it right in the first draft. All first drafts are crap. Just keep writing and fix it later.
Describe your book in 5 words.
BioShock meets the Bourne Identity for teens. ; )
Hardest part of the writing process for you?
Just sitting down and writing. I love revising and editing, but getting the words from my head to the paper without letting distractions get in the way is hard for me. I seem to always be able to find distractions.
If Evie hadn't been named Evelyn, what would her name be?
I don't know. I knew her name from almost the beginning. The only thing that came first was the very first line of the book. I can't imagine Evie being named anything else.
Gavin is HOT. Do you swoon just as much as the fandom does?
LOL. No. But I'm glad to hear that people do swoon for him. He's a great character and I'm just sorry that we don't get to see more of the real him in the first book.
Did you ever think about making your book about mermaids instead of an underwater dystopia?
No. That never crossed my mine. There's already so many fantastic mermaid stories, but I've always wanted to see what it would be like to shove humans under the ocean surface and see how they handle all the difficulties that go with it.
Most important thing for you in a strong Love Interest?
Well, that would be dependent on who's the love interest I suppose. I guess the easiest way to answer this would be they have to complement each other. For Evie, she needed someone that could be just as strong as she is, but not be afraid to let someone else (including a girl) to take the lead in a situation.
You're stranded on a desert island with one book. What is it?
Oy! There's so many good books, it's hard to choose just one! Well, Cinder was my favorite book of this year, so at the moment I'd bring that one.
The ending to your book was pretty insane. Was that the plan from the beginning or did it evolve into that?
There was always a plan to have something horrible happen in the end (had a small, rough, bare outline), but I didn't know what it would be until I got to that point.
Mother is freaking scary. I love that she goes by mother instead of say, Darth Vader. It gives a more intimate and powerful feel in her connection to Evie. How did you choose that name? Did it start as something different?
It was actually a filler name until I could think of something better, but it just worked and I never changed it. It gave me the chills every time I thought about it and that's what I wanted.
What is your favorite kind of scene to write?
Which ever one challenges me the most at the time, I suppose. All those types of scenes are hard in their own right to write, and I enjoy writing them all, so it would depend on the story and how it comes out when it's all finished.
What is one of the first things you do to get your know your character a little more?
I freewrite scenes in their POV. They more than likely will never make it into the book, but all that writing gives me a great sense of exactly who my characters are.
Can you give us any hints at what we can expect in book two?
It's still going to be fast-paced and exciting, but there will be more romance. More answers to things from book 1 and new questions. There will also be a whole new set of characters including a new male character. (No worries, it's not a love triangle. :P)
Is there something you want readers to take away from your book?
To not look at things at face value. Just because something seems to be this way doesn't mean it is and sometimes it's the exact opposite. So look below the surface (no pun intended) and make your own decisions.
Candy Corn or Candy Canes?
M&Ms or Skittles? BOTH!
Root Beer Floats or Ice Cream Sundaes?
Avengers or the Fellowship? BOTH!
Plaid or Polka Dots?
Thanks so much to this fabulous author for talking the time to talk with me! I hope you all had as much fun learning a bit more about her as I did! For those of you who haven't had the chance to read this fantastic book yet, don't worry! Renegade is now on the list of choices for the GIVEAWAY OF EPIC PROPOTIONS! And stay tuned because before this year ends I've got two more interviews and one guest blogger up! Not to mention a pile of my anticipated 2013 reads adding onto the giveaway! Stay tuned! Happy Saturday! XX,WHOA. Talk about Epic.
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- Best of 2012 Author Interview: Jessica Souders
- Review: Renegade
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