Sunday, February 26, 2012

Author Interview & International Giveaway: Mari Mancusi previews Tomorrow Land

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!

Mari Mancusi is here today to talk about her post apocalyptic novel TOMORROW LAND, which should be available in the next couple of days from NLA Digital. It is an updated version of RAZOR GIRL, re-imagined for a YA audience.

Here's the summary:

Can true love survive the end of the world?

Imagine finding your first love, only to be ripped apart by the apocalypse. Peyton Anderson will never forget the day she was forced to make a choice--between her family--and Chris Parker, the boy she'd given her heart. And now, four years later, as she steps from the fallout shelter and into a dead and broken world, he's the only thing on her mind.

All Chris "Chase" Parker wanted was to take Peyton away and keep her safe from harm. But he waited for hours in the rain on judgment day and she never showed--breaking his heart without ever telling him why.

Now the two of them have been thrown together once again, reluctant chaperones of a group of orphan children in a post-apocalyptic world where the dead still walk...and feed. As they begin their pilgrimage to the last human outpost on Earth, can they find a way to let go of old hurts and find the love they lost--all the while attempting to save what's left of the human race?

"A high-stakes, high-octane tour through a devastating and deftly imagined future. This is Mancusi at the top of her game."
Diana Peterfreund, author of For Darkness Shows the Stars

The cover:

And the interview:

Why do you think people are drawn to "dark" stories?

We live in a dark world and it can feel really scary and out of control sometimes. Dark stories can feel almost comforting because you know, even though the heroes and heroines are facing insurmountable odds, in the end they will prevail and get their happy endings, giving us hope that we can do the same.

If TOMORROW LAND had a theme song, what would it be and why?
Since the book is a post-apocalyptic, zombie infested pilgrimage to Disney World, I'm going with "It's a Small World After All." (Yes, even the end of days can't stop those demonic dolls from dancing and singing.)

What fictional character from another book would your main character chose as his/her best friend and why?
Remy King from Amanda Hocking's Hollowland. She's a kickass heroine who knows how to take on zombies. She and Peyton could do some serious damage together! They're both very driven and very protective of the people they love. And while they're both very guarded and cautious about new people, I think once they got a chance to know one another, they'd totally be besties forever.

What are your top 5 Dystopian lit recs and why?
1984 - George Orwell
I read 1984 back in high school--my first ever dystopian, though I didn't know it was a genre at the time. I just knew it stuck with me in a way no other book had. Just something about the bleak, totalitarian world Winston lives in--eerily beautiful in its hopelessness. This is one story that doesn't have a happy ending or even an uplifting message about nonconformity. But it's an important book to read all the same.

Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood - Margaret Atwood
These are two separate books, set in the same world, but dealing with very different populations. They're cautionary tales about genetic engineering, global warming and corporate control. The way Atwood weaves her plot together in a nonlinear fashion is compelling and she's just such a beautiful storyteller with a wonderful way of words. These are books you want to read slowly and cherish every sentence.

Ashes of Twilight - Kassy Taylor
St. Martin's sent this one to me for a cover quote and I'm so glad they did. It's a dystopian YA romance with major steampunk elements. The world exists under a large glass dome, created for protection after a comet hits the earth and makes it uninhabitable. The main character, Wren, is a coal miner who spends her days in underground tunnels to provide fuel for the ruling class. There's adventure, romance, great world building, and a tiny canary that will steal your heart. This one comes out in November.

For Darkness Shows the Stars - Diana Peterfreund
Another "to be released" -- this one in June -- Darkness is a dystopian retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion. One, I love that it's Persuasion, one of Austen's novels I feel doesn't get enough love! And two, it's just a great book. Diana tells a compelling tale of intrigue and romance with a really unique dystopian backdrop that I haven't seen before. I think the book will have a lot of crossover appeal as well--regency fans will love it as much as dystopian fans. Also the cover is gorgeous!

Hollowland - Amanda Hocking
More post-apocalyptic then dystopian, I still felt it deserved a mention because it's such an awesome book. You can just tell Amanda loves zombies and zombie films the way she writes. Just like films such as Dawn of the Dead, the action starts on the very first page and the heroine, as I mentioned above, is just so kick-ass. If I could pick one person to be by my side during the zombie apocalypse, she would be the one!

What's on the top of your to-do list before the world ends?
As you might guess from reading Tomorrow Land, I am probably the hugest Disney fan you will ever meet. It's my dream to spend at least a day in every Disney park around the world. I've already done Orlando, Anaheim and Tokyo. So that leaves Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, and, depending if the world ends after opening day, the new Disney they're building in Shanghai. And I might try to squeeze in a Disney cruise as well!

How does your novel stand out from others in the genre?
Tomorrow Land is really two stories woven together as one, with alternating chapters of the pre and post apocalypse. So as you're traveling with Peyton and Chase through the zombie infested wasteland, you're also learning, as you go, what happened to bring about their society's collapse. I hadn't originally meant to tell the story that way--it was supposed to be all post-apocalyptic. But in the end I realized I couldn't tell one story without the other.

Thanks Mari!

Mari is offering one winner a digital copy of TOMORROW LAND as well as a $25 gift card to Amazon (or Book Depository) and a trade paperback copy of Blood Coven Vampires Volume 1, her paranormal vampire series from Penguin. To enter, fill out this form by March 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm CST. Open internationally.

Twitter: @marimancusi
Add TOMORROW LAND to Goodreads


Unknown said...

Tomorrow Land sounds like an amazing read. Thank you for previewing it here!

Zibilee said...

Like I said in a previous post, I am loving me some zombies! I am watching The Walking Dead and have a few books on my radar that I want to read after loving Warm Bodies. Now I have another zombie book to look forward to. Thanks, Lenore, for this great spotlight and interview! If Mari ever wants a guided tour of Disney in Orlando, have her give me a call!

Anonymous said...

This is the first I've heard of Tomorrow Land and it sounds great. I haven't read any book with zombies, but plan to.

Safari Poet

Kulsuma said...

It's quite unusual to have the pre and post apocalyptic stories in one so I'm looking forward to this!

Evie said...

This one seems really intense! And what a hard choice she had to make!
Thanks a lot for the great giveaway :)

Sally said...

Sounds like a good read, esp since I live so close to Disney World. I'm more of a vampire fan, but I also read other things if they sound good enough. This may be one of those!

Ellz said...

I had not idea Mari was writing a book in this genre. I am a fan of her other series (though I have not finished it). She has a great style of writing so I will be adding this to my list. Thanks for the interview!

Donna (Bites) said...

I'm so glad you featured TOMORROW LAND, Lenore! I'm about to sit down and read it now!

Diana Peterfreund said...

At the risk of making this sound like a mutual admiration society, I LOVE THIS BOOK... SO MUCH. This is my favorite of all of (highly prolific) Mari's books, and the unusual dual timeline structure is so innovative and evocative.

Unknown said...

Great story and great cover!
Thanks for this giveaway

Mari Mancusi said...

Thanks all - I'm so excited to be able to have the opportunity to announce this upcoming release as part of Lenore's Dystopian February - as it's my favorite time of year on her blog as well! :)

I am a huge zombie fan - both the classic Romero films and the exciting new stuff like The Walking Dead show. (I'd love to read the graphic novels as well.)

Zibilee - you sound like a girl after my own heart. And who could pass up a guided tour to Disney!?


Erica said...

Oo, I love Mari Mancusi's Blood Coven series, so I'm excited for this one, as it sounds awesome!

Charlotte said...

Wow-that is a striking cover! I'm not sure it's quite my thing, but I'm intrigued...

Cheryl said...

I love the Blood Coven series too, as does my teenage daughter. Looking forward to reading Tomorrow Land. The dual timeline sounds like a good concept.

Cheryl said...

I love the Blood Coven series too, as does my teenage daughter. Looking forward to reading Tomorrow Land. The dual timeline sounds like a good concept.

Tez Miller said...

So want to read this! I still haven't figured out how to purchase eBooks with PayPal, but if you know of a retailer that allows this, please let me know :-)

You did well changing Chris/Chase's surname. I had trouble reading RAZOR GIRL without thinking of Family Guy's Chris Griffin ;-)

ArtemisG said...

I think this is the best way to spend your last days in world. Great interview and thank you for the giveaway!

roro said...

tnx 4 the giveaway
nevr saw this1 b4
i'm intrigued

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Just a quick comment to say I love Mari! And ofc I can't wait to read anything new by her. Thanks! :D