Today I am hosting an author interview with the authors of The Apocalypse Gene. Enjoy!
How did you come up with the idea for the book and co-authoring it?
I’m a medical transcriptionist (day job), which is inherently very boring, so I entertain myself by daydreaming. I got to wondering what would happen if the cure to a pandemic was outside the hands of medical science and squarely in the arena of mystics. The core concept is a major spoiler, so I can’t say exactly what it is, but it was quite a challenge. I had no idea how to tell the story, so I asked Carlyle for help. He loved the idea, and we decided to write it together.
How do you balance each other out while writing?
Carlyle is an excellent storyteller with a gift for dialogue. My skill is in writing descriptive prose, exploring emotion, and being with the characters in real time. Those happen to be highly compatible skill sets. We balance each other out by mutual respect and the notion that no idea is too strange to put on the table, and we never EVER argue *cough*.
Are you plotters or pantsers?
I’m a plotter. I like to have a clear idea of the central conflict and story arc, but I often don’t know exactly how to get from point to point. Carlyle is pantser – he’s much freer than I when he writes, more confident. He doesn’t mind throwing stuff out there and seeing what sticks. Again compatible traits for co-writing.
How did you explore the world of The Apocalypse Gene? What key elements did you want to spotlight in that world?
I’m a native Chicagoan. I love my city and know it well. We often went on field trips, walking the routes our characters took, and imagining what it might be like if half the population was sick. We wanted to spotlight two opposing feelings in the book – the dismal hopelessness of global pandemic alongside the bright light of hope.
Why did you make the MC a female? What attributes do you think are important for a strong female MC?
Since it’s my job to write the emotional landscape of the main character’s inner world, it made sense to have our MC, Olivya, be female. I understood her from the beginning. Olivya and I have a lot in common. Though I don’t see psychic auras as she does, I am very sensitive and pick up quickly on people’s vibes. I wasn’t as confident writing the real-time experiences of our male protagonist, Mikah. In fact, if I drafted a Mikah scene, Carlyle often felt he had to “man him up” a bit. By the end of the book, I truly did understand Mikah well, but Olivya was never
distant from me.
If you look at an array of covers of YA novels published in the last few years, almost without exception, they will graced with beautiful Caucasian teenagers. Olivya is half African American and half Japanese with a head of wild, unkempt dreadlocks. There is a lack of strong female protagonists of color in the YA urban fantasy marketplace, and our book fills that niche. Olivya is a headstrong girl with her own way of doing things, but she’s also a warrior, very smart, highly sensitive, and strong. In the YA demographic, girls do most of the reading, and we directed our story toward them. We believe our book provides a strong role model for young women of every race. However, there is a lot of action as well, and boys enjoy the story too.
What are you currently working on?
We are currently hard at work on the sequel to The Apocalypse Gene, which should be released in the summer of 2012.
Thanks for stopping by Suki & Carlyle!!
Buy Link: Amazon
Global pandemic is raging. Olivya Wright-Ono's once loving home has been converted to a hospice for the dying. Her ability to see auras forces her to witness, with agonizing detail, the vibrant colors of life consumed by malignancy.
The beautiful and troubled, Mikah, is an elite Empath in the ancient Kindred clan, led by the brooding, ever-morphing, monster named Prime. Mikah has learned a terrible truth . . . the plague is linked to Kindred origins. When Olivya sees evidence of disease creeping into her mother's aura, she has no one to turn to but Mikah. Can he unearth the Kindred secrets and find a cure? Can she trust this boy whose power allows him to manipulate her very emotions?
With her mother's life, and that of the world, in the balance, Olivya and Mikah embark on a quest to stop the Pandemic, only to discover it is far, far more than a mere disease . . .
Carlyle is a burly dude from San Diego. He can look menacing at a glance, but as soon as he opens his mouth, pure intellectual. They are eternally grateful for the day they met at an on-line writer's workshop. They've been together for four years. On the outside. Suki and Carlyle are totally disparate. On the inside, they are the REAL Neo-Twins. You'll have to read The Apocalypse Gene to find out who the Neo-Twins are, but here's a hint: They are twisted devils with mirror-melded auras.
As writers, Suki and Carlyle have complementary skill sets. Lyle is plot master and edgy dialoguer. He is a huge fan of Japanese anime, and he draws upon this to choreograph fight scenes. Suki enjoys painting a character's emotional landscape and writing vivid descriptions. They both have wild imagination.
Suki and Carlyle treasure every opportunity to share their work.