The release day of my third book baby has arrived! I’m excited. This was a novel I wrote in 2010 and shelved for years. In 2012, I rewrote it in first person, present tense. Then I dusted it off in 2015, revamping it from a post-apocalyptic dystopian into a science fiction novel, and sold it to Entangled Teen.
And now, an interview with my main character on the planet Liberty (i.e., The Lying Planet. This is not an excerpt, but you can read an excerpt from Chapter 1 on my WEBSITE):
Earth girl, the year 2147: Hello? This is Kasie McCormick from Earth, messaging the planet Liberty. Is anyone connected to the interplanetary hub right now? I have to do a project for my Social Awareness class, and I need a willing victim.
[ping!] Liberty dweller: Yes. Hi, Kasie, I’m on the hub. Ask me anything.
Earth girl Kasie: Awesome! What’s your name, Liberty dweller? Tell me about yourself.
Liberty dweller: Okay, I’m Jay Lawton. I’m 17, almost 18. Turning 18 is a big deal in my colony. We have this silvery Machine that’s shaped like an octopus, and it scans our brains and Tests us on graduation day. If we score high, we get cool rewards like a wristcomm. The really high scorers get a cloudskimmer or a hover vehicle. That’s what I’m aiming for. I’ve logged in a lot of extra hours working in my parents’ garden and collecting eggs at the chicken compound.
Earth girl Kasie: Uh, that’s…weird. I mean, cool. So what’s the deal with Liberty? I mean, you’re basically from Earth, since humans colonized your planet 90 years ago, right?
Liberty dweller Jay: Yep. Then 25 years ago we had a war, and now most of the planet is bombed out and destroyed. My colony is called Sanctuary, and it’s a safe zone we’ve rebuilt. Refuge and Fort Hope are the other 2 safe zones. We stay away from the outer zones where there’s still a lot of genomide dust.
Earth girl Kasie: What in the twelve galaxies is “genomide dust”?
Liberty dweller Jay: It’s this deadly powder that gets on your skin and in your lungs. Causes genocide, or mass killings. It’s a chemical that burns you—so it’s nothing you want to be around. If the Machine scores us low at our Testings, we’re branded with a “B” on our foreheads and banished to the outer zones where the dust is. Trust me, that’s great motivation to work hard and obey all the strict rules around here.
Earth girl Kasie: Ugh, I bet. Let’s talk about something less creepy. What kind of music do you listen to—any favorite groups?
Liberty dweller Jay: We don’t have recorded music or CDs. At the Nebula, where secondary session kids over 13 hang out and eat, we have live music with technoguitars and singing. I’ve never heard anything besides that. We don’t have movies, either.
Earth girl Kasie: Seriously? Sounds pretty boring. What do you do for fun around the zones?
Liberty dweller Jay: We play helioball, which is this floating, color-changing blob that each team tries to catch when it turns the highest-scoring color. And in the fall we have a Harvest Equinox party. Dancing, sack races, and bobbing for greshfruit, which is sweet like an apple but soft like a nectarine.
Earth girl Kasie: Nice. How else is Liberty different from Earth?
Liberty dweller Jay: Well, we have two moons. Their magnetic pull causes the water from the underground tables to rise every night for an hour starting at 1:00 am. That’s a good thing, because it irrigates our yards and gardens. It never, ever rains here. We also have 13 hours in a day and 8 days in a week, Monday through Restday.
Earth girl Kasie: No rain at all? Wow, interesting. I sure could use an extra day of the week and an extra hour in the day. Especially with this project that’s due tomorrow… So who are your friends?
Liberty dweller Jay: My best friend is Harrel, and my girlfriend’s name is Aubrie…there’s also Peyton, who’s distractingly adorable and clever, and Leonard, who has this annoying scratchy voice and quirky sense of humor. I used to hang with the last two friends back in primary sessions, but they’re rebels now.
Earth girl Kasie: Uh…why are you whispering all of a sudden? Did your parents tell you not to be on the hub right now?
Liberty dweller Jay: It’s night time and I’m not supposed to be awake. And I’m hearing this really freaky noise. Oh, man, I gotta go—
Earth girl Kasie: Wait! I have one more question… Hello? [dead silence]
Earth girl Kasie: Are you okay, Liberty dweller? Jay—Jay?
Connect with me: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads |
Purchase links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
Do you like to read (or write) dystopian novels? How about post-apocalyptic?
Have you ever written up an interview with your book character before? (it's fun!)