By Kristen FloodGenre: YA Science Fiction
Inno shouldn’t exist. But she does. She is very real. Born illegally outside of the breeding facilities, she has been raised to believe that it is her duty to infiltrate Ares Academy and take down the government. But can she fit in with the obedient masses of the military? Pepper should be dead. She should have had her memories wiped and been placed on the streets to die. But she was immune. She has spent her life undergoing experiment after experiment and now has been charged with one task. But can she be trusted to spy for her captors? Mint is a military officer. The Seers have deemed him worthy of joining Ares Academy. There he will be molded into the perfect solider, the unshakable image of obedience, efficiency, and apathy. But what if there was another way? Is standing up worth standing out?
What inspired you to write this book?
In 2012, my senior year of high school, I submitted to the L. Ron Hubbards contest. At the time I only wrote fantasy but as I started my short story I realized that it wouldn’t work for the contest. With only weeks left before the submission I decided to do something I had never done. I decided to write a science fiction piece. I called it Blue Birds and sent in to the contest. I lost. I got an honourable mention and I thought, “Well I just wasn’t good enough.” I let the story go and I let it collect dust until a conversation with a friend brought it back up. That is when I found out that this contest had 1,000 people enter a quarter and an honourable mention but me somewhere in the top 50. So I decided I turn Blue Birds into a book and see where it took me. It was a casual project at the time because I didn’t really have time to write a book. July 15th of 2015 my husband and I had a baby. During my leave from work, I realized that there was never going to be a good time to write a book that I was always going to be busy. So during the hardest college semester of my life with a new-born baby I wrote and finished Blue Birds which I had renamed, Seeking Incandesce. That book released June 17th of 2016. Now, writing just consumes my life and I absolutely love it.
Do you have a favorite character, or in what ways do any of the characters represent you?
My favorite character is Pepper. She wasn’t originally supposed to have such a big part in the book. She had three scenes in the short story and lived in Inno’s memoires. But as I dusted off that short story to write my book, I realized that no one shined as brightly as Pepper. In the background of Inno and Mint so many different things were happening that only Pepper knew about. I think that Pepper’s journey in itself is extraordinary and it’s what made this book into a trilogy.
What surprises did you come across when writing the book?
Pepper was by far the biggest surprise of the book for me. Her character is so unique in general and the way she complements Inno is truly amazing. I try to put a bit of my own ideas on the world into my books. One of the main themes is identity and I think that Pepper and Inno display that so well. Another big surprise for me was Inno and Mint’s relationship. When I wrote this book they were supposed to fall in love but Inno and Mint just weren’t meant to be. I think seeing these characters on paper is such a rewarding experience.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead characters?
If this book was to be made into a film I would love for my cover model, Shyan Scurek, to play Pepper. I think that Lena Headey would make a fantastic Clarabelle. Lena plays Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones and I think that her mannerisms fit perfectly with Clarabelle’s cool and collective personality. Clarabelle is a villain you love to hate.
Anything you would like to say about writing? Encouraging words for potential writers?
I think that a lot of people that want to write get caught up in where to start. Then they get caught up in their fear to fail. So I think that I would say start by writing. Write that book, write that blog, and just keep writing. Fail. Do it. Go ahead and fail a hundred more times if you have too because the path to success is covered in broken glass and if it doesn’t hurt you haven’t gone far enough. There is never going to be a good time to write so do it in between diaper changes, homework, lunch breaks, and whatever crazy hectic schedules you have. Write because you have too, don’t make it a choice, set a deadline and do it.
About the Author
Kristen Flood is a YA science fiction author and poet. At twenty-two, Kristen published her first book, The Museum: A Collection of Dark Poetry. Now twenty-three, she has released her second book, Seeking Incandescence. Kristen lives in Missouri with her husband and son. When she’s not writing or chasing her toddler she spends her time cramming for tests and turning in last minute assignments at the University of Missouri St. Louis. Kristen plans to release two books in the coming year but until then she is just trying to get through finals.
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