Monday, February 4, 2013
Exclusive Interview with Gabrielle Arrowsmith, Author of "Concealed in the Shadows," a New YA Dystopian Novel!
Concealed in the Shadows is about an eighteen-year-old girl’s desperation to protect her sister from the conniving and oppressive leaders of their county. The novel is set in a not-too-distant future where the government has tightly contained the population within selected counties to protect the environment and conserve non-renewable resources. Furthermore, a mandatory chip implant monitors citizens’ funds, health, and whereabouts, protecting them from identity theft and other crimes as well as progressive illnesses. However, with these measures came the ability for the government to make escape impossible, control reproduction, trace their every movement, and in Sydney’s case, record her conversations without her knowledge.
2. How did you get the idea for this book?
The idea for this book came to me a few years back when I was reflecting on how technological education has become (I am an educator). I was both impressed and concerned by new programs that assess students and develop customized education plans instantaneously. I was concerned that further development of such programs could someday wean me out of a job! Around the same time, I had been paying close attention to news about the possibility of using tracking chips in humans. By the time I mustered the courage to put my ideas to paper a couple of years later, the story had morphed into something remarkable.
3. Is this your first book? If not, what else have you written?
Concealed in the Shadows is my debut novel.
I have always loved writing. As a child, I was constantly filling notebooks with poems, stories, and scripts. Looking back, it actually surprises me that I never considered formally pursuing it. As an adult, I had started many novels when a story struck me, but lost my passion for it somewhere along the way. Concealed in the Shadows was the first time where I felt I owed it to the story to continue when the process got tough. The advice that I would give to beginning writers is the same that I would give to myself: If you love writing, then write. Don’t be discouraged by the fear of letting others read your work or criticisms that you may receive when they do. Instead, be encouraged by the feeling in your heart when you know that you’ve created something special. Listen to the criticisms, but let your heart have the final word.
5. Why did you decide to write a book in this genre?
I wrote a book in this genre because I was inspired by YA dystopian novels that had an incredible impact on me, namely the works of Suzanne Collins and Scott Westerfeld. I wanted to write something relevant and powerful. I also love how strong the bond between characters becomes in dystopias. Readers experience the fears, pain, and sorrow with their beloved characters, drawing them in in a unique way.
6. Do you plan a sequel or future books?
Absolutely. This story must continue, and I can hardly contain my enthusiasm to begin writing the next installment.
7. Do you have a website? How can we order this book?
Concealed in the Shadows can be ordered through CreateSpace or through Amazon and liked on Facebook and on YouTube. You can learn more about the author and become a fan on Goodreads.
About Concealed in the Shadows:
Sydney Harter has long awaited September 12th, 2033, her eighteenth birthday. She can finally apply for guardianship of her sister Evvie, her only family and entire world. Sydney holds a sliver of hope that they will be lawfully reunited, and that light will return to her desolate life, but she is prepared to defy authority and risk everything to escape Miles County so that she and Evvie can live full lives together.
Escaping will be difficult and dangerous. Citizens are bound to their county by sophisticated chip implants that deliver shocks to anyone who crosses the county’s electric barrier. Sydney is very clever, but her trickery is limited against the all-seeing eyes of county technology. It seems impossible to escape into the forgotten forests and cities of the past, but Sydney is determined to find a way if she is denied guardianship of her sister. For years she has longed to break free from the government’s experimental Petri Dish and the hallowed drones that inhabit it.
What Sydney doesn’t know is that the county has particular interest in her. Her place in this complex dystopia is about to change. Deceit, fear, and warfare will come to characterize her life, yet her love for Evvie will always prevail. She must protect her sister, but at what cost?
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