Saturday, August 27, 2011

Author Interview: Kristen Simmons previews Article 5 + 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 Kristen Simmons is in the Dystopian August hot seat today. Her debut ARTICLE 5 is coming out with Tor Teen on February 14, 2012 – just in time for a post-apocalyptic Valentine’s Day!

Here’s the teaser summary:

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police — instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior — instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested don’t usually come back.

17-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. That life in the United States used to be different.

In the three years since the war ended, Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the Federal Bureau of Reformation. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow. That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And what’s worse, one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.

The cover:

And the interview:

Why do you think people are drawn to "dark" stories?
Because they mirror the world we live in. They make the "light" more identifiable. They highlight our struggles and put them into the context of a hero's journey. And who doesn't want to be a hero?

If ARTICLE 5 had a theme song, what would it be and why?
Ach! Love it! A5 has a whole playlist actually, but if I had to pick one song, I'd probably pick "Imaginary" by Evanescence.

What fictional character from another book would Ember chose as her best friend and why?
Ember would probably be BFF's with Viola from THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO. I think they'd connect over both being thrown into radically new and dangerous situations after suffering the loss of their families and homes. Plus they'd be able to push each other to do whatever they needed to do to survive.

What are your top 5 Dystopian lit recs and why?
I'm not sure all of these are dystopian...but I'm going to classify them that way anyway:

THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO (the Chaos Walking Trilogy)
THE ROAD (it's adult, but it's so, so good)
(ok, that's six. Sorry).

What's on the top of your to-do list before the world ends? (you know, in case it ends next year)
Publish this book. Also see a castle. Also dance on Broadway.

How does your novel stand out from others in the genre?
One of the things that makes A5 different from other dystopian thrillers is its place in time. Ember's world is not run by machines or Skynet, there are no hover crafts or futuristic weapons. Her world is much like our own, with similar technologies, communication methods, and social issues. However, within this similar reality exists a very different political structure - a moral regime, governed by a set of faith-based rules which have replaced the Bill of Rights. A5 looks at what might happen to life as we know it should the separation between church and state be dissolved and the punishments for noncompliance be taken too far. And Ember, like all of us, is forced to adapt to that environment while remembering what it was like before everything changed.

Thanks Kristen!

Visit Kristen’s website
Add ARTICLE 5 to your GoodReads wishlist
Kristen is also a part of Brave New Words, a group blog for YA sci-fi debuts in 2012

ALSO! Kristen has an advanced reader copy of ARTICLE 5 she’ll send to anyone in the world. To enter, fill out this form by September 3, 2011 at 11:59 pm CST. I am very envious of the winner!


Amanda said...


Anonymous said...

This is definitely a book I'm looking forward to. I already know after reading The Moral Statues that if I lived in the A5 world, I wouldn't be compliant and wouldn't even attempt to fake it.

Great interview!

Lindsay Cummings author said...

are you serious?!!? i have been searching for this ARC everywhere! thanks for the interview and the opportunity!!! :)

WhatBriReads said...

This sounds amazing.

candice (thecrjreviews) said...

A5 sounds so good, probably because it is just a slight deviation from our modern society. Where readers still recognize the world, but there is a lot more control. Thanks for the giveaway!

Jennifer Bosworth said...

Love the cover. Love the summary. Love the interview. :)

Evie said...

I can't wait to read this book. Thanks for the chance!

Eden said...

OMG I am really excited for this book!

Allison said...

I'm really loving the way this one sounds, changing nothing much but the government. Gonna be awesome!

Aleksandra said...

Sounds really good! Thanks for the opportunity to win :)

sRy_ said...

fantastic :)

Unknown said...

The plot synopsis reminds me of It Can't Happen Here. :) I wonder if Article 5 will turn out to be as realistic?

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Thanks, Kristen and Lenore! I really like the answer to why people are drawn to "dark" stories. Keep the great interviews coming!

Lucy said...

This sounds so good! Love the cover, title and synopsis. Anxiously waiting to read it.

Zibilee said...

I was intrigued by how this book differs from most other dystopians out there. It does sound as if this one has a different type of structure, where all the constraints and difficulties are man made (or government made, if you prefer) I think this sounds quite promising, and like something that would be really interesting for me.

Jessy said...

The Dystoian genre has so many great releases, I'm glad this one seems to stand out from the rest.

Kristen Simmons said...

Thanks so much for doing this Lenore. I am so thrilled! And thanks to everyone who is interested in A5 - I hope you enjoy it!

Kristin Lenz said...

Yay! Congrats Kristen - I can't wait to read your book!

Lalaine said...

What a great Interview, and I actually like Kristen already, I loved the Book Unwind too and the second book is coming out hopefully next year as well. Loved all her answers shes really great. Cant wait to read A5 . Thanks for the post. So want it badly! *dies*


ArtemisG said...

Great interview! "Imaginary" by Evanescence, I loved that song.
Thank you for the giveaway!

Michelle said...

It's interesting to me how much faith and religion is starting to become more prevalent in dystopian fiction lately. I know it's always been there but it seems like more and more you see a true focus on it as opposed to it being a by product.