Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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Fifteen-year-old Albert has just received an invitation that could transform his disappointing life completely – a chance to belong to an advanced and hidden society that only reveals itself to a select few.
Immersed in a new world of mind-boggling technology and intriguing peers, Albert will overcome his fears enough to ignore a few suspicious details. But soon he'll find his family dragged to the center of a scandal that threatens to tear them apart and erase their very identities.
A conflicted Albert must find the strength to challenge authority by relying on his newfound allies and gift for Revelation.
Prepare for adventure, humor and suspense in this fast-paced tale of a “normal” family striving for their place in a “perfect” world.
Today I have an interview with author M. Mariz, author of The Chosen of Gaia (see my review), and a giveaway for a signed paperbook copy. The Chosen of Gaia got 4.5 stars at Amazon and you can see the reviews or buy a copy at Amazon.
Where did you come up with the idea for the Chosen of Gaia?
The main idea of the book came to me through a dream, when I was sixteen – I dreamed about a teenage boy who was invited to be part of an advanced and hidden society. But I was also inspired by my grandma, who passed away a few years ago. She was very connected to nature and also very superstitious, believing that dreams carry hidden messages.
Do you think you might revisit Gaia one day in a sequel?
I’m actually writing a new YA novel right now, but I won’t completely discard developing a sequel for The Chosen of Gaia in the future. I love Gaia’s characters and it would be nice to work with all of them again.
The story starts off presenting Gaia as a perfect utopia. But then we learn it really isn’t. It is a very human trait to think that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. What message do you want readers to get from reading the book?
Gaia is my dreamy, utopian world. It’s not only technologically advanced, but inhabited by morally evolved people who constantly promote goodwill and self-actualization. But it also raises questions about the nature and hearts of the human race. The novel will make you think if it would be possible to one day have a perfect society with absolutely no problems and crimes. Humans are human… we make mistakes, some are driven by ambition, others by malice and jealously. Could we really erase our animal instinct and live in endless harmony?
Did you find the story took any unexpected directions or were you surprised with how any of the characters turned out?
Everything was quite a surprise as I just had a brief idea of how the story would start and how it should end. I really liked the way Albert turned out. He’s a mix of different people that I know who are very insecure and shy – they are naïve and pure-hearted at the same time, and that makes them suffer more but also seems to guide them along the right path. It did surprise me how he ended up growing so much stronger throughout the story.
If you had to do it over again, is there anything you would change about the book?
Every time that I read the book I want to make changes – sometimes just a small description, but sometimes I want to add a whole new scene or even an outcome. When I first decided to write Chosen Of Gaia the main idea was to do it as an action-packed story, but I think that if I had to it over, I’d make the story a bit longer and with a few more details.
The book has a great cover. Can you talk about who designed it and how you came up with it?
The cover shows the dream tsunami and the invitation that begins the book. I wanted to pass the feeling to the readers that they share in the invitation to discover the unknown world of Gaia. I drew a concept with my husband and we sent it over to a designer, who made it look so much better.
How do you go about writing your stories? Do you use a strict outline, etc.?
I have to confess that my creativity works in a different way… I always try to picture the story as if I’m watching a movie. Then I try to find the most vivid words to describe the scene and to create the dialogues. I have a very flexible outline. As I develop the story and characters I always decide to explore new directions.
What are some of your favorite books and authors?
That’s a tough question. I’m a fan of so many different stories and authors, but I think my favorite ones would be:
1. Dom Casmurro by Machado de Assis (he’s a classic Brazilian novelist)
2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
3. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Enter to win a signed paperback copy OR a Kindle copy of the Chosen of Gaia. Contest ends Friday, September 27, 2013.