Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Author Interview: Peggy Eddleman previews Through the Bomb's Breath

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!

Peggy Eddleman is here today to preview her debut middle grade novel THROUGH THE BOMB'S BREATH, due from Random House in Fall 2013.

The summary:

Twelve-year-old Hope Toriella lives in a town of inventors struggling to recover from the green bombs of WWIII that wiped out nearly all the earth’s population. Inventing has made life possible in White Rock, and it’s how the town views a person’s worth. But Hope would much rather sneak off to cliff dive into the Bomb’s Breath— the deadly band of compressed air that covers their valley— than fail at yet another invention. 
When bandits find a way into their protected valley, they invade. With a two day deadline to hand over their medicine that cures the deadly Shadel’s Sickness that has run rampant since the bombs, the town is left to choose whether to die from Shadel’s over the next year, or die fighting the bandits now. Inventing won’t save them, but the daring and recklessness that usually gets Hope into trouble just might.

And the interview:

Why do you think people are drawn to "dark" stories?
Because they make us stronger. A lot of times, the things that happen in “dark” stories are much worse than we’ll run into in real life. When we experience hard things in a book, we go through them emotionally, and as we deal with them, it makes us emotionally stronger. It helps us deal with the darkness in our own lives better. Plus, we like to know see people overcoming huge things. We like rooting for the underdog! We like to know that when things get really tough, we can come out on top, too.

If your book had a theme song, what would it be and why?
I’m going to go with Change by Taylor Swift because the song is all about being outnumbered and the fight not being fair, but finding your strengths and using them. And not walking away. That even when history seems to always repeat itself, you can still change it. That even when everything seems against you, you can find a way to win.

What fictional character from another book would your main character chose as his/her best friend and why?
Probably Cammie Morgan from the Gallagher Girls books. Her and my main character, Hope, are both resourceful and daring. Plus they both like to sneak out to do dangerous (but ultimately helpful!) things. They’d probably find themselves in a lot of trouble if they were friends. (But chances are, they’d also be able to find a way out of trouble, too. They’re cool like that.)

What are your top 5 Dystopian lit recs and why?

DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth
I love Divergent for the sheer genius of the factions. Plus, we get to live in what is arguably the most action packed faction of them all. I’m a sucker for a daring MC.

SURRENDER by Elana Johnson
Because I love the sci-fi elements, and the alternating narrating characters are so good! And I love that everything isn’t wrapped up nice and neat with a bow on top in the end.

MISTBORN by Brandon Sanderson
Okay, so this is a fantasy, but it has such strong dystopian elements! Controlling government: check. Oppressed people: check. Someone to rise above and be strong enough to take on said controlling government: check. Plus, the inventiveness BLEW ME AWAY. I’m kind of in love with this book.

SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi
Because I wanted to drink in all the words. So beautiful! And such fabulous character development.

THE THIEF by Megan Whalen Turner
This book (and series!) will always remain in my top five of all time. I love its subtlety, its heart, the richness of the world, and the complex character relationships.

What's on the top of your to-do list before the world ends?
To travel! My hubby and I have especially wanted to see the castles of Scotland. And we really want to go while our kids are still living at home. I’m not about to go somewhere I’ve been dying to see, and just wish my kids were there to see it with me the whole time! We’d definitely go as a family.

How does your novel stand out from others in the genre?
It doesn’t have a controlling, oppressive government— one of the main problems is that there’s a lack of government. (Which, I guess is to be expected when there aren’t very many people left on the Earth!) But the lack of government means that bandits are a huge problem. Another thing that makes my novel stand out is that my main character does not come from a dysfunctional family. Her parents are genuinely good people, which is kind of a rarity in kidlit. And of course there’s the Bomb’s Breath— a band of deadly, pressurized air hovering over the land, and my MC realized she can sneak off and cliff dive into it. The Bomb’s Breath is one of the funnest things I’ve ever written.

Thanks Peggy!


Visit Peggy's blog:
Follow Peggy on Twitter: @PeggyEddleman


roro said...

new2me. it sounds cool

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great interview. I'm so looking forward to Peggy's book for the reasons she mentioned that it's unique. It sounds like such a great book.

Anonymous said...

Great interview, and while I'm not big on YA or MG, but I'll be reading this one for sure!

Angela Cothran said...

Love Love Love Peggy :) I agree that reading through someones problems makes us stronger.

S.P. Bowers said...

I love Scottland, and I love that you want to take your kids.

Kristine said...

I loved reading this! I love how you described your top dystopian pics too. Totally agree!

Golden Eagle said...

Great interview!

Visiting Scotland would be amazing.

I like that the MC comes from a relatively normal family. So many characters come from troubled backgrounds, a change of pace is nice. :)

Zibilee said...

I also believe that reading about dark things helps you experience horror and darkness, and learn to adapt to them without having to have had the same experiences, so I really liked Peggy's answer to this question. Excellent post today!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

What fun to see a real description of Peggy's book! I can't wait to read it - it sounds great on so many levels! I enjoyed the top 5 picks, too - some I've read, but other's I'll have to check out. Thanks for a great interview!

Shell Flower said...

Great interview. I am really looking forward to this book. The MC sounds really fun and inspiring. I love the idea of a whole town of inventors after the apocalypse, too.

To me, apocalypse stories really make us appreciate the little things like going to the grocery store to buy fruit from across the world or taking a hot shower or sleeping without worrying about bandits attacking.