Friday, August 19, 2011

Author Interview: Jodi Meadows previews Incarnate + Giveaway

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!

Author Jodi Meadows is set to blow us away with her debut INCARNATE.   It comes out January 31, 2012 with HarperCollins and it features dragons and reincarnation. Which is so, so cool.

Here’s the summary:

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?
Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?
 Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

And of course the beautiful cover:

And the interview!

What do you think draws people to "dark" stories?
I don't think most people are looking for darkness so much as wanting to see characters overcome that darkness. The world can be a grim place; when people--even people made of fiction--overcome horror and overwhelming obstacles, that gives us hope. And in dark stories, moments of beauty and peace seem to shine even brighter.

If INCARNATE had a theme song, what would it be and why?
"Butterflies and Hurricanes." Not the original version by Muse, but the instrumental cover by William Joseph. It sounds so hopeful, even where where the music is intense and driving. It makes my heart all afluttery. [Watch on YouTube]

What fictional character from another book would Ana chose as her best friend and why?
I think Ana would choose Evie from PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White. On the surface, Evie is everything Ana wants to be: strong, confident, smart, and beautiful.

Under the surface, though, Ana and Evie are a lot alike. Neither understands her origins, and both feel very alone. People are afraid of them and keep them in the dark, and neither girl knows why.

Together, they could snark up a storm.

 What are your top 5 Dystopian lit recs and why? 
 Tough one! Okay, here are a few with some amazing dystopian elements:

1. INCARCERON/SAPPHIQUE by Catherine Fisher. The worldbuilding is just awesome. And even when you think you've got it figured out, you don't. Truly incredible.

2. THE GIVER by Lois Lowry. This book made me love dystopian stories before I knew what dystopians were. And oh, the end.

3. GONE by Michael Grant. It's like a modern version of LORD OF THE FLIES, but with superpowers.

4. THE UNIDENTIFIED by Rae Mariz. The cover blurb says this book is "subversive," and oh yes, it is. The story says a lot about marketing, trends, and our need to be constantly connected.

5. SUNSHINE by Robin McKinley. This one is probably stretching the definition of dystopia, but I just had to point out the amazing worldbuilding and the incredible way we see a character overcome true darkness.

What's on the top of your to-do list before the world ends? (you know, in case it ends next year)
You mean besides finishing revisions on The Newsoul Trilogy? Read the (what feels like) hundreds of books I'm looking forward to!

How does your novel stand out from others in the genre?
The world in INCARNATE is a subtle dystopia, a stagnant slump of society established over millennia of the same souls being reincarnated over and over. The very nature of everyone's lives makes society unwelcoming and uncomfortable to an outsider.

INCARNATE is also set in a fantasyland where centaurs menace the southern borders, and dragons attack from the north. And most dangerous of all are the ancient and unkillable sylph: creatures of smoke and shadow that boil the flesh off the unwary.

Thanks Jodi!

Follow Jodi on Twitter @jodimeadows
Add INCARNATE to your GoodReads wishlist
Jodi also contributes to Brave New Words, a group blog for YA sci-fi 2012 debuts

Lucky you! I have one advanced reader copy up for grabs that I can send internationally!  To enter, just fill out this form by August 27, 2011 at 11:59 pm CST. 


Jess Huckins said...

I'm totally looking forward to this book. Thanks to Lenore and Jodi for the awesome interview (and giveaway worth squeeing over!).

Aleksandra said...

I can't wait for this one. Fantasy & dystopia, I love that. Thanks for the giveaway!

Fivezenses said...

It's one of 10 books I'm looking forward to for 2012 right now. The imagery for the cover is amazing and the story sounds so wonderfully intriguing!

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Beautiful cover! Butterflies are SO in, right now, right? I'm also LOVING the fact that most writers are citing the Giver in their responses. Giver love!

Unknown said...

Nice interview! I was interested to see Sunshine counted as a dystopia; just another reason for me to check it out now. :)

Jodi Meadows said...

Jess -- Yay!!!

Aleksandra -- Glad you like the idea!

Fivezenses -- Woo! (It is a pretty snazzy cover, isn't it? *g*)

Pam -- THE GIVER is such a classic. I love it so very much!

Susie -- SUNSHINE is probably stretching it, but it has some of the elements. It's a wonderful book, no matter what you call it!

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Great interview! I have just found god in the form of William Joseph, whose Butterflies and Hurricanes could definitely be the theme song to that "epic" moment you always find in books, movies, video games, etc. And I've read four of the dytopians Jodi lists but not THE UNIDENTIFIED; it seems like I need to remedy that ASAP. :)

WANT SO BAD. Thanks for the giveaway!

Jodi Meadows said...

Jenn -- Isn't he wonderful? I love his music so much, and he's got some great original compositions, too. Baaaasically I will buy any album he puts out. *g*

Hope you love THE UNIDENTIFIED! I think it's definitely a good one, but not well-enough known! *spreads the love*

Unknown said...

Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

Precious said...

I'm dying to read this one! Thank you for the interview and the giveaway!

Lenore Appelhans said...

Jenn & Jodi - THE UNIDENTIFIED is definitely a book that deserves more attention. It is such a gem!

Evie said...

I like Incarceron and Sapphique too!
The Incarnate cover is stunning! And now I'm curious about this book too.
Thanks for the giveaway!

Brodie said...

Oh man, I am SO excited for Incarnate!! I mean, the whole reincarnation element? Completely hooked. But then she mentions centaurs and dragons and sylphs? Can you see me swooning? Add to that the absolutely stunning cover and I'm suffering serious lustage for this. Thanks for the fantastic interview and giveaway!

Trisha Wolfe said...

Awesome interview! Thanks for the book recs. I love the Incarceron series, need to check out The Unidentified. Can't wait to read your book! It's on my top to-read list =D Thanks!

ArtemisG said...

Great interview! Book has the most beautiful cover I have ever see.
Thanks for the giveaway!

Zibilee said...

This book has been on my radar for the last few weeks, and not only does the story sound interesting, but the cover is just gorgeous! It sounds a bit different than most dystopian reads out there right now, and I love her explanation of why readers like to read dark stories. I love the bit about the moments of beauty and peace shining brighter. Such a wonderful image.

May-Day_Aura said...

What a great interview and awesome sounding book! I look forward to reading it (even if I don't win). :) Thanks for the giveaway!

Michelle said...

I'm so interested to see the interpersonal apects of this book given the reincarnation and society focus she mentioned.

Lola said...

Awesome! Really looking forward to this one! Thanks for the awesome review! :)

Jessy said...

I love the book list. They are all on my top Dystopian list. Thanks for the chance to win another great book.

ZoeRainDasherBenji said...

I love the idea of Incarnate being set in a world which has dragons too..

kai (amaterasu) said...

This is one of my most anticipated book for next year. The cover is just gorgeous and add to that a wonderful summary. Definitely looking forward to getting my hands on this book!

Emy Shin said...

I'm so, so excited for this book! It sounds like such a lovely blend of fantasy and dystopia.

danya said...

This one sounds like a very cool combination of fantasy and dystopian. Thanks for the giveaway!!