Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Author Interview: Heather Anastasiu previews Glitch

For my spotlight on upcoming dystopian/post apocalyptic fiction series, I interviewed over 20 authors with novels coming out in the genre in 2012/13.  These are exclusive first looks at exciting new works.  Enjoy!

Today I am thrilled to have Heather Anastasiu in the house! Her debut novel GLITCH comes out Spring 2012 from St. Martins Press - and I'm positive it's gonna rock hard.

Here’s the summary:

Seventeen-year-old Zoe Gray is a cybernetically-enhanced teenager living in an underground society when her internal hardware begins to malfunction. She slowly realizes that her body is changing, that she’s developing powerful telekinesis, and that she’s not alone. Even though getting caught could mean reprogramming, or worse, deactivation, Zoe begins to seek out other glitchers in society, including a dreamer named Adrian who can see the future, a boy named Max who can mimic others' appearances, and a girl named Molly with x-ray vision. They work together to plan their escape, but soon learn there is another powerful faction at work whose ambitions could threaten all their carefully laid plans.

I mean, how cool does that sound? Let's get on with the interview...

What do you think draws people to "dark" stories?
The thing I love about dystopias is that they take what could be the very best of the world and humanity—a utopia—and then turn it sideways to expose the dark underbelly of human desire, ambition, and our attempts to control both other people and the chaotic world around us.

 Jung talks about the “shadow self” in all of us, and while I don’t think it’s as specific as he would make it out to be, I think we all recognize the darker shadow bits of ourselves, the parts we suppress and ignore. Darker stories let us explore those parts, luxuriate there for awhile, play with subversive possibilities that we maybe can’t in our real life, and ultimately, I hope, enlarge our view of the world around us and ourselves.

If GLITCH had a theme song, what would it be and why?
I think the best theme song for this book would by “Awake My Soul” by Mumford & Sons. Waking up is the best metaphor for what Zoe goes through, and really, I think it’s a feeling a lot of people have in their teen years—waking up to the world around them, thinking about mortality, and really feeling beauty and passion deeply for the first time. (though my best choice for an ultimate dystopian playlist would have to be "24" by JEM!)

What fictional character from another book would Zoe Gray chose as her best friend and why?
Hmm, great question! I think Rose from the Vampire Academy books. Rose is so strong, but also equal parts passionate and caring. For someone like Zoe just getting used to feeling emotion for the first time, I think Rose would be the kind of friend who would be a solid friend helping Zoe figure out how to be a strong woman in a difficult world…and of course, she could give Zoe lessons in kicking ass!

What are your top 5 Dystopian lit recs and why?
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson. Oh my gosh, I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! This is really the best kind of speculative fiction—thinking about a future that logically could occur (the world-building is so solid for such a short book!), but really, this story is all about Jenna’s journey of re-discovering what it means to be human. I thought this book dealt so compassionately with a possible future without turning anyone, even the leadership, into Absolutely Evil Villains.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano. The language and atmosphere in this book is simply luscious.

The Declaration by Gemma Malley. This dystopia is too often overlooked and is SO good!!!!

Delirium by Lauren Oliver. I loved the passion and sense of discovery in this book.

Bumped by Megan McCafferty I like how McCafferty played with some societal trends in the world today, but mainly, I loved this book for its heart and the relationships and growth of each sister.

What's on the top of your to-do list before the world ends? (you know, in case it ends next year)
Oh dear, I don’t like thinking about the world ending! And the top of my life to-do list is happening now, getting a book published!

How does your novel stand out from others in the genre?
I think many of the 2012 dystopias coming have genre-bending elements, which I find really exciting!! GLITCH is no exception: it's a blend of dystopian and super-heroes, with a hefty dose of romance too ;) In a few words, I describe it as 1984 meets X-Men. But what really seems to stand out with readers is one particular character and his tumultuous journey through the transition of being an unfeeling drone into the rushing world of emotion when his bionic hardware begins to glitch-- hence the trilogy name ;) Glitch is primarily about Zoe's journey of becoming an individual, with great power and a calling destiny, but the relationships to those around her are a large part of what will define her. The questions I explore in this book are: what would life be like if you'd never been able to feel emotion, but then are suddenly dropped into the body of a fully-aware hormonal teenager? How would you deal with that? In GLITCH we get to see some characters react well and others badly. In the end, I hope it's a picture of the human condition, why we make the choices we do, and how we begin to make distinctions between wrong and right.

Thank you Heather!

Follow Heather on Twitter @h_anastasiu
Add GLITCH to your GoodReads wishlist
Heather is also part of the group blog for YA sci-fi 2012 debuts Brave New Words


Jodi Meadows said...

I am *so* unbelievably excited about GLITCH!

Julie@My5monkeys said...

this sounds like a interesting book :) adding to the reading pile.

Unknown said...

I will have to keep an eye out for this book! It sounds absolutely fascinating - and Heather sounds like she has her dystopia well-ordered :) It sounds like Glitch will have a whole range of characters, and I have always enjoyed watching emotions pounce on a character who claims free from such nonsense.

Thanks for having the interview!

melissa @ 1lbr said...

Oh that sounds so awesome! Can't wait for this one.

Zibilee said...

I have to admit that Glitch really trips my trigger for interesting and unique dystopian reads, and that Heather has done a great job explaining what she is trying to do with the book. I also love Jem, and can totally see why she chose that selection. I am really quite excited about these interviews and the fact that you get to pick some very impressive brains! Thanks Lenore and Heather!

Anonymous said...

I love how this sounds so different from anything I've ever read. Can't wait!!

Allison said...

Not only does this book sound completely awesome - but her rec The Declaration sounds very intriguing as well, I'd never heard of it.

Lauren said...

Why can't this book already be available for me to buy like right now? *sigh*