Saturday, August 25, 2012

Author Interview: Amy Christine Parker previews The Silo

For my spotlight on upcoming dystopian/post apocalyptic fiction series, I interview authors with novels coming out in the genre in 2012/13. These are exclusive first looks at exciting new works. Enjoy!

Today I have Debut Author Amy Christine Parker on the blog to talk about THE SILO, coming from Random House in Fall 2013. Now technically it's not dystopian or post-apocalyptic, but it is about a doomsday cult, so I thought you all would want to know about it. 

Here's the summary:
Seventeen year old Lyla has grown up inside a deceptively suburban cult compound. She has always been a peace maker by nature, but lately she’s finding it increasingly difficult to stay true to her inner lamb. According to her cult’s leader, Pioneer, the end of the world is a mere three months away. He wants Lyla to “lion up” and help defend the Silo, their elaborate underground shelter, from outsiders looking to survive at all costs. Then she must seal herself inside the Silo along with the rest of the cult for who knows how long while the remainder of humanity perishes and the earth rights itself again. While underground, she will be expected to marry Will, the boy Pioneer’s chosen for her, so she can help with repopulation. Pioneer demands her obedience. Questioning him will only bring swift and harsh punishment. But when the local Sheriff and his son, Cody, show up at the compound’s gate to have a look around, Lyla feels drawn to Cody and to his assurances that the world isn’t really on the brink of destruction. Unfortunately, the closer she gets to Cody, the more she raises the Sheriff’s suspicions about Pioneer, making a confrontation between the two men inevitable. Now Lyla must decide who to believe and how much she’s willing to give up to survive.

And the interview:

Why do you think people are drawn to "dark" stories?
I don’t know if I can speak for everyone, but I know why I’m drawn to them. I’m fascinated with flawed characters, whether they’re the protagonists, the antagonists, or the supporting cast. I think on some level whenever I’m reading dark stories or writing them, I’m trying to figure out how that darkness grows in people, where it comes from and what triggers it. I also like to see how characters will react under the worst of circumstances. Maybe it also has something to do with facing my worst fears in a safe place, between the pages of a book where the dark can’t actually reach me.

If your book had a theme song, what would it be and why?
It would be Linkin’ Park’s “Waiting for the End to Come”. That song is basically my main character’s thoughts set to music. It gave me chills when I first heard it because it was so much what Lyla was feeling.

What fictional character from another book would your main character chose as his/her best friend and why?
Lyla would probably have to choose Tris from Divergent because on the surface at least she’s much braver than Lyla and has mad Dauntless skills that would totally come in handy when Lyla goes up against the leader of her cult community, Pioneer. Plus she’s had to defy family in order to figure out where she belongs just like Lyla has to.

What are your top 5 Dystopian lit recs and why?
I have to start out by saying that my top dystopian picks are The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Divergent by Veronica Roth, but I’m not putting them on my list because you’d have to be living under a rock not to know about them at this point, so with that in mind here’s my adjusted list (you’ll also see that many of the books I’ve chosen could technically be called post-apocalyptic instead of purely dystopian, but here goes anyway):

The Passage by Justin Cronin: Technically an adult fiction choice, but I was never the kind of teenager (or young adult writer) who only reads young adult. I love the scope of this book and the writing is brilliant.
Shipbreaker by Paolo Bacicalupi: I’m a Florida girl, so I loved that it takes place along the Gulf and is so well thought out and imagined. The world of this book is intriguing and highly believable, a dystopian that feels absolutely like it could happen.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan: Her writing is completely beautiful which is saying something when you’re writing about zombies.
Among The Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix: It’s been around awhile and is more middle grade than young adult, but I still love this book. I used to read it to my class every year when I taught. It has population police, a love story, and a rebellion. What more could a dystopia lover want?
Matched by Ally Condy: She’s up there with Carrie Ryan for me when it comes to her lovely writing. So well written from the first page to the last with another highly developed world that just sucked me in.

What's on the top of your to-do list before the world ends?
At the very top: getting a bug out bag full of supplies and an underground shelter somewhere strategic ‘cause right now I’m basically gonna die if the end of the world comes anytime soon. I’m so not prepared for it. BUT I’ve been watching Doomsday Preppers recently so I’m feeling a tiny bit better. At least now I know how to start a fire with steel wool and a battery. After that it’s to see my book on shelves! I have this fear that now that my biggest dream is coming true I’ll accidentally walk off the curb right into an oncoming car(disturbing, I know) or something equally disastrous and people will shake their heads and say, “Poor dear, her first book was due out next year and now this.” Of course it might actually make my book more popular, but I’m just not willing to die for a pity spot on the New York Times Best Seller list, ya know?

How does your novel stand out from others in the genre?
Well, mainly it stands out because technically speaking it isn’t a dystopian in the truest sense. It takes place in the here and now, not in the future, but I’d argue that because of the way the community in the book runs and the way that the members of it are isolated from the rest of the world, It feels very dystopic as does the main character’s struggle to figure out what she believes in and whether or not she’s ready to fight for the right to those beliefs.

Thanks Amy!

Find Amy in the following places:

1 comment:

Zibilee said...

I think this book sounds fascinating, and the cult angle really interests me. There is so much speculation on what really goes on in a cult and why the members stay. I really want to read this one and find out how Parker sees it. Great interview!