J.A. Souders is the author of the fabulous new teen dystopian release, Renegade.
Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has believed that everything is just about flawless in in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. As the adopted Daughter of the People, she has been trained to take over by Mother, the community’s leader. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s believed that everything is perfect. Her world. Her people. The Law.
In Elysium, Evelyn and her fellow citizens have been to despise the vicious, immoral Surface Dweller. But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into Elysium’s secluded little world, Evelyn comes 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.
You can read my review here.
Now to the Q&A:
What’s your daily writing routine like?
My routine depends on where I'm at in the writing process. If I've already plotted out the story and I've set my playlist up already and I don't have any editing to do for other books, I start writing between 10am and 11am and I'll write at 1 hr intervals, writing as much as I can in that hour. Then I take a 1/2 hour break, and do it all again, writing in 1 hr bursts until I get in a minimum of 4,000 words for the day. Hopefully, I'll be done with that before lunch. After all that I spend some time on marketing. I usually stop after I get my daughter from school. Then it starts all over the next day.
Renegade has a quite unique setting. Your bio info and interest in SeaQuest definitely explains some of that but I wondered if your time in the Navy inspired any parts of Renegade?
I'd be lying if I said no. A lot of my time in the Navy seeped into parts of Renegade. Mainly the ideas for how the city would run self-sufficiently and how rationing and cleaniness, etc would work.
What else inspires you -- either in general or in writing Renegade in particular?
Music is a huge inspiration. I listen to it all the time and certain scenes just jump into my head because of a song. Sometimes movies can provide inspiration, even a conversation with someone can make the inspiration wheels spin madly.
You’ve mentioned SeaQuest and Christopher Pike as likes and semi-influences on your site and in other interviews, it sounds like we grew up around the same time. Any other 90s era gems you feel you should recommend to today’s teens who might be missing out on all that fun?
Saturday morning cartoons. The "old-school" ones. Now days everyone can watch whatever they want, whenever they want. I know cartoons are for "kids," but I'm an avid cartoon watcher and I miss the "old-school" ones that were only found on Saturday mornings. There was just something exciting about waking up early on Saturdays before your parents were up and watching the cartoons. :)
What’s in your TBR?
Ha! THAT list is entirely too long to list, so I'll just choose a few at random. Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff, Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally, Perfection by J.L. Spelbring
Any advice for aspiring young writers today?
Keep writing and keep reading. No matter what obstacles you encounter, just keep moving forward.
What are you working on now? Will you be returning to Elysium for another book?
Well, I'm working on book 3 of the Elysium Chronicles, but that's all I can say without spoiling anything. ; )
Woohoo! I'll be first in line to get books two and three of the series for sure! A big, big thanks to J.A. Souders for being on the blog today and an equally big thanks to Tor for inviting me to host. Renegade is out now and I definitely recommend tracking down a copy for your TBR stack.