Thursday, February 16, 2012

Author Interview: Melissa West previews Gravity

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!

Melissa West is here today to introduce GRAVITY, her novel with Entangled due in August 2012.

Here's the summary: 
In the future, only one rule will matter: Don’t. Ever. Peek.
Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed—arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know—especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

ETA the cover:

And the interview:

Why do you think people are drawn to "dark" stories?
Life is not always filled with loving HEA stories. I think much of the world, especially teens, struggle through elements of their life and often feel they have no control. Dark stories convey the angst, emotions, and turmoil of life in a more grounded way. They show characters rising above their situation, something I’m sure many readers wish they could do in their own lives.

If GRAVITY had a theme song, what would it be and why?
This is a tough one! If I had to choose, I would say Fix You by Coldplay, which is the song I listened to over and over when I wrote the climax of the story. The first few lyrics really convey the inner struggle of my protagonist, Ari. She’s so desperate to fix the main problem of the story that it becomes her demise.

What fictional character from another book would your main character chose as his/her best friend and why?
Tris from DIVERGENT. She has a very driven spirit, like Ari, determined to make a name for herself outside the shadow cast by her family and upbringing.

What are your top 5 Dystopian lit recs and why?
For novels already out, I would say:
Hunger Games—HG is just synonymous with dystopian. I adore everything about this book—the characters, the world, the plot, everything.
Divergent—This is probably my second favorite dystopian. I think Veronica did a phenomenal job at creating flawed, yet strong characters. Plus, the book is perfectly plotted. It’s amazing.
Across the Universe—This book is just so freaking unique. No one had written anything even close to AtU. Plus, Beth opened with one of the strongest chapters I’ve ever read.
The Giver—The Giver is an amazing book, both in character development and world-building. I read it often when I’m struggling through the dynamics of a new world.
1984 – It’s just a classic. Everyone should read it!

What's on the top of your to-do list before the world ends?
Hmm, I have a small bucket list I would like to polish off before the world ends. Namely, I want to ride in a hot air balloon. Silly, I know, but I adore The Wizard of Oz!

How does your novel stand out from others in the genre?
GRAVITY poses some hard questions—What if humans didn’t control Earth? Would we be willing to risk our morality to gain it back? So, I think it steps outside a traditional dystopian model to a more unified human front. Not a lower class against an all-powering government, but all of humankind against an outside threat. Also, GRAVITY takes a look at the future of the entire world, not just America even though the story is set there. All regions of the world have a presence in the book, even if small, so the reader gets the full grasp of how the world has been impacted.

Thanks Melissa - I love books that take a global view. Exciting!

Follow Melissa on twitter @MB_West


Tara Fuller said...

Great interview! I can't wait for this book!! :)

Unknown said...

Very cool :-) I just (finally, believe it or not) got around to reading "The Long Walk" (Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman), and I've found myself intrigued with dystopian lit since then. Thanks for fueling the fire :-)

Anonymous said...

Great interview! "Fix You" always chokes me up a little.

I'm looking forward to Gravity. I was lucky to help reveal the cover. I love it!

Lenore Appelhans said...

Thanks Petra -- I added it :)

Zibilee said...

I also want to ride in a hot air balloon one day. It would be so amazing to see everything below from that distance.

I think the book sounds rather intriguing, and it sounds like it would be a great read for both genders, which has me really excited!

Great interview today, Lenore!

Dani said...

Awesome! I'm looking foward to read this book. I haven't heard 'Fix you' by Coldplay, but thanks to this interview I will. The cover is A.W.E.S.O.M.E!


Stephanie said...

I am always interested to see what authors say their favorite dystopians are. It would be interesting to take a poll of everyone doing Dystopian February and see what most people's top 5 dystopians are.

Kiara said...

This book looks promising. I just added it to my Goodreads. Great interview┬¬ ♥

Snazel said...

I am terribly addicted to HEAs in stories, due to my DISLIKE of how much of life does not turn out this way, so I am wary of this book. However, the cover is interesting, and I do like SF, so maybe...

Evie said...

I really like Fix You too! And I agree about The Hunger Games and Across the Universe.
I have never heard about this book before and it sounds so great! I think I'm going to like Ari.

Kulsuma said...

I've never heard of Gravity before but it's piqued my interest!

Melissa West said...

Thanks for having me, Lenore! And thank you for all the comments. :)

Petra -- The song chokes me up, too. :)

Zibilee -- I'm glad I'm not alone! I think it would be so fun.

Jaz -- I'm glad you like the cover!

Unknown said...

Gravity is definitely on the Top of TBR list. I love dark stories. This interview made me more eager to rad it.

Vivien said...

I just love the cover. The wait for this release is going to be brutal. I also LOVE Beth Revis and her series is one of my favorites.

roro said...

Great interview! i love cover

waiting forward 2 it

A Canadian Girl said...

I can't wait for Gravity to come out and I think Tris would make an amazing best friend for Ari.

Carina Olsen said...

Love this interview! :D Seems like such a GREAT book. <3 And I cannot wait for it to come out :D Have already pre-ordered it (A) And oh. Just look at that gorgeous cover. <3 *Wants*
Love, Carina