What Tomorrow May Bring – The Voight-Kampff Interview

Hey guys!  It’s my turn to answer the Voight-Kampff Questionnaire as part of our tour for What Tomorrow May Bring!

voight-kampff

The VOIGHT-KAMPFF* Interview
*(JFYI, this is a Blade Runner reference – don’t worry, I didn’t know either!)
Leon: Do you make up these questions Mr. Holden, or do they write them down for you?
Mr. Holden: They’re just questions Leon.
Subject: Kowalski, Leon

— ABOUT THE BOOK–

WHERE DID YOUR TOMORROW SPRING FROM? IN OTHER WORDS, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CRAZY WORLD?

Believe it or not, Stitch started off as a paranormal romance in a contemporary world.  Girl goes to college.  Girl meets ghost.  Girl falls in love.  Girl and ghost live happily ever after.  Except, I had no idea how to achieve that last part.  Was she supposed to go back in time to be with him?  Die?  Would they live together in some third plane of existence?  Everything I thought of seemed ridiculous, until one day a REALLY crazy idea occurred to me about how maybe this boy was not really a ghost at all, and in fact, maybe everything that the main character *thought* she was experiencing was only just scratching the surface of a much darker (and more dystopian!) truth.  I kept wishing that someone would write that book so I could read it, and soon resolved that it would have to be me. And Stitch was born!

WHO SHOULD *NOT* READ YOUR BOOK?

Anyone who’s looking for a straight-up paranormal romance (as the book initially appears to be) – they’ll just be like, “Whhhaaatttt is going on here, this is too crazy…”  But if you like big sci-fi twists and dystopian drama, Stitch is for you.

WHAT SORT OF BODY COUNT ARE WE TALKING HERE?

In the billions.  Seriously.

WHO WOULD PLAY YOUR MAIN CHARACTER IN A MOVIE?

Alessa would be played by Emmy Rossum – see more character dream castings here!

YOUR MAIN CHARACTER VS BATMAN, WHO WOULD WIN?

Ooooh… sorry Less, but I think this one is going to Batman.  (He just has a lot more experience than you!)

IF YOUR BOOK WERE RATED LIKE A ROMANCE NOVEL, THE HEAT LEVEL WOULD BE:

1) NONE
2) SWEET
3) MILD
4) HOT
5) WILD RIDE
6) BLOOD THIRSTY

3.5 (about the level of a PG-13 movie).  Nothing graphic, but there’s definitely some heat!

— ABOUT THE AUTHOR —

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START AS AN AUTHOR?

I kind of came to writing fiction in a round-about sort of way.  I was a voracious writer as a kid and spent a lot of time in high school honing my skills, but I was a bit ambitious (read: greedy) as a young adult and decided to study business and engineering in college, earning a joint degree from Wharton and Penn Engineering.  I got a job in software out of school, working at Microsoft in Seattle as a program manager on a developer platform and later Xbox.  Though it was a great job (and, indeed, much more lucrative than writing!), I still felt like something was missing from my life.  When I realized that people kept telling me how well-written my technical specifications and emails were, a light bulb finally went on and I understood that I needed to write.  So I packed my bags, dragged my then-boyfriend (now husband) back to NYC with me (we’re from the NY suburbs originally) and started a new career as a freelance business writer.  A year later, I’d just finished ghost-writing a book for a client when I realized that there’s no reason I couldn’t do the same for myself – that’s when I started working on Stitch!  So though it probably *should* have been obvious from the beginning, it took me some time to come to terms with the fact that writing was what I was meant to do, but once I finally got here, I’ve never looked back.  :-)

DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB BESIDES AUTHOR?

Yes, I am also a freelance business writer for my company Medley Media Associates.  I work with small businesses to produce basically whatever they need – website copy, marketing materials, blog/social media posts, etc.

WHAT IS THE FIRST SCIENCE FICTION BOOK YOU REMEMBER READING?

A Wrinkle in Time.  I think I was around 8 at the time, and it totally blew my mind.

DO YOU BUY A BOOK BY THE COVER?

Who doesn’t?

LAPTOP OR DESKTOP FOR WRITING?

Laptop, always.  I don’t know why they even make desktops anymore – who needs ’em?

DO YOU EVER WRITE IN YOUR PJ’S?

When DON’T I write in my PJs??  Haha.  (Hello people, this is why you become a writer in the first place!)

What Tomorrow May Bring - YA Dystopian Boxed SetDon’t miss interview responses from the other authors of the boxed set on the Hunt For Tomorrow blog: http://huntfortomorrow.blogspot.com/ 

And remember to sign up for the AMAZING prize-loaded scavenger hunt coming July 18th!  More details here.

My Thoughts on “Tomorrow”

What Tomorrow May Bring is on tour!  Today is my stop for a dystopia-themed post and I’ll be back in July with an in-depth interview.  Every author in the box set is participating, so keep up with the posts as they go up on the Facebook page!

my thoughts on tomorrow

I’ve always been drawn to dystopian settings. Not surprisingly, The Giver, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451 were some of my favorite books as a kid. But there’s one thing about my beloved dystopian books which has always driven me nuts, and it’s this: no one ever explains how the world came about.

You know what I’m talking about. There’s always some vague backstory about a war or a catastrophe a hundred-plus years ago that brought our current world to its knees, and then out of the ashes rose this wonderful new society where everything was neat and tidy and everyone accepted these crazy new rules just as they were.

But how does that really work? At what point in history have we ever seen one civilization transition into the next without some sort of fight? For the sake of enjoying the story, I always swallow this jagged little pill and accept that the society stands, but there’s forever a tiny voice in the back of my head saying, “Wait – how does any of this make sense? Why would these people allow this to happen? Why would they submit themselves to this kind of control when they knew freedom before? And who put these crazy leaders in charge, anyway?”

When I decided to write Stitch, I wanted to do things differently. I wanted to explore a society in transition – not one where the rules were in place, but one where the people in charge were still trying to figure them out. I wanted to try to understand how we could go from the world we live in today to something totally different, and who could have made that happen and, most importantly, why they would go to the trouble. (And I freely admit that it was impossible to address all of these questions in the first book – but this is what a trilogy is for, right?)

In the Stitch Trilogy, the characters are the first generation to rise from the rubble and start fresh in a new society. They’re young – only teenagers when everything happens – and you get to watch from their eyes how our world came tumbling down, to be replaced with something different, something which was shiny on the surface but quickly turned sinister underneath. In fact, for most of the first book – a blend of paranormal romance, new adult contemporary, and of course, dystopian sci-fi – the characters don’t even realize that they’re living in a world where nothing is as it seems. And you’ll be by their side as they uncover the truth and try to figure out what they can do to set things right.

Because, in the end, I think this is really the crux of the whole dystopian genre: when the world ends, and everything is terrible, and you’re forced to do things you don’t even want to think about just to keep on living, what do you have left? Hope. Only hope.

And it’s that inner optimism – the ability to remind ourselves that there’s something out there worth living for even when our world crumbles beyond our wildest nightmares – that best characterizes us as human beings. Dystopian fiction by its very nature asks us how we can solve our collective problems. How would you structure society to make things better? What could you change that would create a different outcome? After all, every dystopia is just a failed utopia – someone’s unsuccessful attempt at making the world a better place.

So with the Stitch trilogy, we’ll get to play “What If?” through the protagonist Alessa’s eyes – to see how she answers these questions, how far she’s willing to go, and what factors will push her to bend her own rules. And as we watch Alessa struggle to find her place in a transitioning society, we get to ask ourselves: what would I do?

What Tomorrow May Bring is available NOW at Amazon!  Just $2.99 for 10 highly-rated full-length YA dystopian books.

Available for a limited time run only, so don’t wait or you might miss out on this incredible deal!

Available NOW: “What Tomorrow May Bring” Box Set

What Tomorrow May Bring is officially available at Amazon!  For just $2.99, get 10 highly-rated full-length YA dystopian books (including Stitch!) straight to your Kindle.  This box set is only going to be available for a limited time run, so don’t wait or you might miss out on this incredible deal!

More information about the release:

Tomorrow becomes today.
What will it bring?

Our potential for good is matched by that of destruction. At any moment, change can fall on the world, people fight and die, and our comfortable lives can be lost to corrupt leaders. These are circumstances we can’t imagine, but places like this exist in the world today. 

What if tomorrow brings that grave reality to us, and we wake to find our lives in flux, poverty and confusion? Perhaps humanity’s insatiable appetites drive us to the brink of survival where sanity is redefined and life, as we know it, changes forever. 

Tomorrow, our lives could be very dark. 

Dystopian tales take us to these lightless places where suffering is a daily chore. But they also show us that in the deepest part of the night, pitched against a backdrop of despair, a beam of hope will shine brighter than ever before. And in our darkest moments, it can show us the way back.

On May 1

Follow 11 authors into 11 dystopian tomorrows, where the dark portions of our humanity have taken hold of today, where the fabric of society is torn and greed consumes us all. Follow us down a dark path. And find out what tomorrow may bring.  Just $2.99 on Kindle!

What Tomorrow May Bring, featuring:
Open Minds, Susan Kaye Quinn
The Moon Dwellers, David Estes
Prison Nation, Jenni Merritt
Daynight, Megan Thomason
Stitch, Samantha Durante
The Annihilation of Foreverland, Tony Bertauski
The Girls from Alcyone, Cary Caffrey
The Narrowing Path, David J. Normoyle
The Rain, Joseph A. 
Virulent: The Release, Shelbi Wescott
External Forces, Deborah Rix

Get your copy: Just $2.99 on Kindle

Get updates on some incredible
upcoming promotions (lots of giveaways!):

Sign up for the What Tomorrow May Bring newsletter!
and/or
Like the What Tomorrow May Bring Facebook page!

5 Signs You Might Be Living in a Dystopia & Giveaway @ Nocturnal Book Reviews

Ever feel like your life is just a little bit… off? Sure, you’ve been led to believe that the way your society functions is normal – but who defines “normal,” anyway? Take a look around and stop by Nocturnal Book Reviews today for “5 Signs You *Might* Be Living in a Dystopia” (and an e-book giveaway!).  Here’s the first tip to get you started:

1. “WHATEVER, I DO WHAT I WANT…” NOT!
This one is a little tricky because every dystopian society has its own rules, but one tell-tale sign of a dystopia is that its citizens are rarely empowered to go where they want and do what they want whenever they want. Read a book? Only if it’s not censored. Fall in love? Only with your government-sanctioned match. Spend the day in the woods? Got to get past that electrified fence first! If you find yourself running into red tape, locked gates, or heavily armed futuristic guards whenever you do something outside the norm, this is probably a bad sign.

Swing by Nocturnal Book Reviews for the rest, and remember to enter the giveaway while you’re there!

Thanks so much to Karina for hosting me!

Trouble in Paradise: 5 Tips for Surviving Dystopia + Giveaway!

Stop by Bookshelf Confessions today for an e-book giveaway and a helpful guest post: “Trouble in Paradise: 5 Tips for Surviving Dystopia.”   Here’s a quick preview:

So, you live in a dystopian society. That sucks. :-( But as much as you wish things would change, you’re not a hero, and you’re not willing to risk your neck to make it happen. That’s perfectly reasonable – after all, most of us are not Katniss EverdeenTris Prior or Alessa Khole.

So what if you just want to make it through the rest of your days with as little trouble and suffering as possible? Here are five tips and tricks the smart dystopian citizen can use to survive dystopia unscathed:

1. Keep Your Head Down
This probably goes without saying, but don’t attract any undue attention. You want to blend in, so do what’s expected of you – nothing more, nothing less. Sure, the rules might seem a bit crazy, depending on where you live – get “cured” of love? choose only one virtue to practice the rest of your life? marry whoever the government chooses for you? – but trust me on this, the quicker you conform, the less painful it will be.

Catch the rest over at Bookshelf Confessions today, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway while you’re there!

Big thanks to Abby for hosting Stitch!!

Author Interview @ All Fantasy Worlds

Great author interview up today at All Fantasy Worlds!  Here’s a sneak peek:

5. Do you have any favorite ghost stories?

I love ALL ghost stories, especially real ones…  One of my friends tells a great one that he claims happened to him in Tokyo on a train platform late one night.  My friend noticed that the only other person on the platform was this odd-looking older gentleman in a bowler hat, but he didn’t think too much of it since he was ALL the way at the other end of the platform, and it’s not unheard of for people in Tokyo to wear interesting clothes.  So my friend glances down at his phone to check the time, and when he looks up like two seconds later, all of a sudden the guy is standing RIGHT next to him!  Creepy!  Needless to say, he decided to take a taxi home, haha.

Lots more goodness in this interview, including dystopias, self-publishing, writer advice, and more!  Don’t miss the rest at All Fantasy Worlds!  HUGE thanks to Oana for interviewing me!!