Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Author Interview and International Giveaway: Elizabeth Richards previews Black City

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!

Debut Author Elizabeth Richards is here today to preview BLACK CITY, due November 13, 2012 from Penguin.

Here's the summary:

A dark and tender postapocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war 
In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection, that causes Ash’s long dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

And the cover:

And the interview:

Why do you think people are drawn to "dark" stories?
As a species, we’re very curious creatures and there’s nothing we love more than the unknown. Dark stories frighten us, take us out of our comfort zone and exhilarate us. They allow us to explore those primal places within us that aren’t acceptable to reveal about ourselves in normal society.

Plus the boys are always super hot, so that helps. ;-p

If BLACK CITY had a theme song, what would it be and why?
It would be ‘Freedom Fighters’ by Two Steps to Hell, a band I was recently turned on to by another YA blogger. The song perfectly encapsulates the theme of the book, where Ash and Natalie rise up to fight for their freedom. Every time I hear it, I play a mini movie-trailer in my mind, and can just see the burning ruins of the city behind Ash and Natalie as they march towards the enemy, ready to take on Purian Rose’s forces.

What fictional character from another book would your main character chose as his/her best friend and why?
It would have to be Katniss Everdeen! The girl seriously kicks ass, and if you’re planning on bringing down a tyrannical government, then you want her on your side. Although saying that, Natalie might get a little jealous of her...

What are your top 5 Dystopian lit recs and why?

The Handmaid’s Tale
Not only is it stark and evocative, the story resonates deeply with me as a woman. The thought of losing my human right to have freedom over my own body, to choose how many children I want and who I want to have them with, is quite frightening, especially when you consider it is not a right every woman on this planet currently has. It lingers with you for months after reading it.

The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games is fast paced, thrilling, and full of suspense. It’s the definition of a ‘page-turner’. When I first read the series, I devoured each book in a day. You can’t help but root for Katniss and Peeta, and no matter how many times I read the book, it continues to surprise me.

The Declaration
I just love the concept of this book. It has a similar vibe to The Handmaid’s Tale, and explores a world where people can’t age, and therefore no more children are allowed to be born to prevent overpopulation. It’s very thought provoking and all too close to the bone, as the western world continues to chase the fountain of youth.

The Passenger
I love this book because, like BLACK CITY, it mixes dystopian with the supernatural. It’s a thrilling road-trip story, with a unique take on vampire-lore. But more than that, it had an underlying political message, warning the world what could happen if we continued the war on terror. It was an interesting view point, and the bleak future he paints is very vivid and all too plausible.

Nineteen Eighty-Four
This book is just perfection. It’s chilling, dark, and continues to be very poignant in today’s society, where we are continually watched and monitored, and our right to privacy and freedom of thought and expression are being threatened.

What's on the top of your to-do list before the world ends?
Finish book 2 of the Black City Chronicles! I think my editor would have that at the top of her list as well.

How does your novel stand out from others in the genre?
Black City stands out because of the book’s supernatural element. It explores themes of interracial relationships, politics and war, but through the eyes of a Darkling boy and a human girl. Because of the paranormal aspect of the book, it also means I’ve been able to take the story down some unexpected routes.

Thanks Elizabeth!

Curtesy of Penguin, I have one galley of BLACK CITY to give away. For your chance to win, fill out this form by March 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm CST. Open internationally.  Additionally, the winner will be entered into a random drawing to win an illustration of the novel's main characters - illustrated by Elizabeth herself.

Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @theredpenofdoom


Natalie Aguirre said...

Great interview. Elizabeth's book does sound interesting because it touches on a lot of issues that maybe other dystopian's don't touch on. I'd love to win an ARC.

Unknown said...

Two steps from Hell as a theme song? Elizabeth, you are made of awesome.

And now I can't wait for Black City even more, as I'm imagining all the epic things that can happen there! *_*

Thanks for the interview!

ArtemisG said...

Very beautiful interview and the cover is amazing!!!
Thank you for the giveaway.

Celine said...

This book sounds awesome! I really like the combination of paranormal and dystopian, those are my two favourite genres (: Great interview!

Lynsey Newton said...

So intrigued by this book! Thanks for the giveaway :)

Zibilee said...

I think this one sounds very different than most YA dystopians out there, and that makes me curious. Thanks for the great interview and spotlight on this one, Lenore!

Unknown said...

Holy Media Blitz Batman! This is the 5th giveaway for this book I have entered today! I'm not complaining, I LOVE that I am increasing my odds to win this fab looking book:) Thanks for the giveaway!

Evie said...

Love that cover!
Thanks a lot for the giveaway :)

roro said...

Thank you for the giveaway.
glad 2 see the cover after a long wait

Vivien said...

I'm really looking forward to this. Sounds epic!

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Ah, books, the only time when war is great. Anyways, definitely intrigued - especially by the random drawing, hehe! Elizabeth is so talented. And I really, really need to get around to reading The Handmaid's Tale sometime this year... oh you, Atwood.

Amy S. said...

I do love to read dystopians. Thanks for the giveaway!

Jessy said...

Oooh, I'll have to check out the dystopians mentioned. I've only read the Hunger Games from the list.

Anonymous said...

Great interview! I think a lot of songs by Two Steps to Hell sound like they could fit Black City.

I can't wait to read Black City, which I have a feeling Elizabeth already knows :-)

Jena said...

Thank you for the chance!! This book sounds so fantastic! And I love dark books as well!

Bookish in a Box said...

The shattering rose on the cover is gorgeous. I hope it has significance in the novel.

Maya Floria Yasmin said...

great interview! thanks for this giveaway :)