Interview with Katie French about The Believers (Breeders #2) and December Dystopia Giveaway

December 1, 2013 Giveaways, Interviews 1

Interview with Katie French about The Believers (Breeders #2) and December Dystopia GiveawayThe Believers by Katie French
Series: The Breeders #2
on 11/21/2013
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 245
Format: eARC
» Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

They’ve escaped the Breeders, yet their journey has just begun.

Riley and Clay are once again on the run from the Breeders. The group may have escaped the deranged experiments at the hospital, but as one of the world's last free women, Riley can never be safe. On the road back home, Riley and her crew are captured by a band of savage men. Their destination: the Citadel, run by a bizarre religious prophet named the Messiah. Somehow he knows their secrets. He wants them to join his group of Believers, but only if they’ll drink the baptismal water and swear allegiance.

The problem is there’s something wrong with the water. Something wrong with the people. And there’s human moaning coming from the bottom of a dark crevasse that no one wants to talk about. If they can’t figure out what’s going on, Riley and everyone she loves could become a Believer forever.

I have an interview today with Katie French, author of the highly-rated YA dystopia The Breeders, about her new book The Believers. Check after the interview for your chance to win her books or books from a variety of authors via the December Dystopia Giveaway.

Interview with Katie French

Can you talk a little about what the book is about?

My new release is title The Believers. It is a sequel to The Breeders Book 1, a young adult dystopia. Here’s the summary:

They’ve escaped the Breeders, yet their journey has just begun.

Riley and Clay are once again on the run from the Breeders. The group may have escaped the deranged experiments at the hospital, but as one of the world’s last free women, Riley can never be safe. On the road back home, Riley and her crew are captured by a band of savage men. Their destination: the Citadel, run by a bizarre religious prophet named the Messiah. Somehow he knows their secrets. He wants them to join his group of Believers, but only if they’ll drink the baptismal water and swear allegiance.

The problem is there’s something wrong with the water. Something wrong with the people. And there’s human moaning coming from the bottom of a dark crevasse that no one wants to talk about. If they can’t figure out what’s going on, Riley and everyone she loves could become a Believer forever.

Where did you get the idea for the book?

The original series idea came from the Rihanna song. It goes a little something like this, “Want you to make me feel like I’m the only girl in the world.” I started pondering what that would be like and figured it wouldn’t be as glamorous or sexy as Rihanna made it sound in the song. Every man would want you for one purpose or the other. The Breeders was born from there.

What message do you want readers to get from reading the book?

I never set out to write a feminist book, but my series took on a mind of its own. I want people, especially young girls, to think about what life is like for woman in places like Afghanistan and Iran. To live completely under male control is terrifying and some women face that every single day. Our freedom isn’t free and shouldn’t be taken for granted.

How long did it take to write the book?

About a year. I started with ideas back in the summer of 2012, but then I took about six months to finish up another project. I’ve been working solidly on it since this spring. I find with each book it takes me a little bit less time, but then I’m a full time working mother and wife, too. And there’s that pesky thing called sleep.

Who is your favorite character, or what character was the most fun to write?

I love Riley. She is spunky and strong and loves her family. She is nothing like me though. She says all the things I think, but never say because I live in polite society and have to worry about what people think of me. It’s very cathartic writing her character.

Can you talk about how you wrote it? Did you do any outlining? Did it take you in any unexpected directions?

I’m a plotter wannabe. I often start with a really engaging scene in mind or the ending. Then I try to outline the events leading up to that. Often though, when I write, I tend to veer from the outline a lot. So I start with a map and then do a lot of off-roading.

If you could go back and change anything in the novel, what would it be?

Hopefully nothing, but then I haven’t gotten any reviews yet. I really poured over this novel, reading and revising for months and months. Right now I feel like it is as good as it can get. Maybe I wish I didn’t have to kill off the characters I did, but their end was bound to come sometime.

How did you come up with the cover?

My cover artist is a friend of mine who is a photographer. He knew I was a writer and told me he’d like to design my covers if I ever needed one. So far he’s done four and they are all equally fantastic. He and I collaborate and he lets me tweak and move things around over and over until I’m satisfied. A lot of authors can’t be that hands on, so I’m really fortunate.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Around second grade I had an inkling, but my dream really took off in seventh grade when my English teacher pulled me aside and told me that my writing was amazing and vastly beyond my peers. You can imagine what that praise did to my little self-conscious ego. I began a young adult novel soon after that, writing long hand in notebooks in my room. I still have that draft somewhere in my basement.

What are you favorite books and authors?

I love good speculative fiction of any kind so J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Stephenie Meyer (don’t laugh), Veronica Rossi, Julianna Baggott, Holly Black, Margaret Atwood, Lloyd Alexander.

What are you working on next?

Right now I am currently writing a Young Adult horror novel for my (failed) NaNoWriMo project. I may not make 50,000 words this month, but the book is really taking shape and scaring the pants off me at night. It’s about a girl who gets messages from a corpse in her mirror. She and her friends have to solve the mystery of why people are killing each other from her ghost’s clues. And it’s set on Mackinac Island, which has been really fun so far.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Find a way to conquer the fear. I find publishing to be akin to walking around naked. You can’t do it unless you’ve slain the fear dragon inside you. I don’t think anyone will be successful if they can’t find a way to squash all those awful voices in their head. I wasn’t able to have a successful writing career until I got a Master’s degree in Counseling and learned how to talk myself out of being afraid to finally publish.

How do you juggle writing with family time?

My husband would probably say not well. I’m actually one of those people who is fine with working late into the night and giving up sleep and pretty much anything fun. I’ve dropped almost all other hobbies and anything else I can’t farm out. I don’t really watch TV or play mindless games on my ipad or go out much. I just spend time with my family, work and write. Someday things will be more balanced, but for now, I’m okay with my life.

Giveaway

dystopia december giveaway
Enter for your chance to win one of five ebook copies of The Breeders by Katie French, or any of the other books shown below:

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About Katie French

Katie French imagined herself an author when her poem caught the eye of her second grade teacher. In middle school she spent her free time locked in her room, writing her first young adult novel. Though her social life suffered, her love for literature thrived. She studied English at Eastern Michigan University, where she veered from writing and earned an education degree. She spent nine years teaching high school English. Currently she is a school counselor, doing a job that is both one of the hardest things she’s ever done and the most rewarding. In her free time she writes, reads great books and takes care of her two beautiful and crazy children. She is a contributor and co-creator of Underground Book Reviews, a website dedicated to erasing the boundaries between traditional and non-traditional publishing. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two children. You can find her at www.katiefrenchbooks.com, at www.undergroundbookreviews.com or on Facebook.

One Response to “Interview with Katie French about The Believers (Breeders #2) and December Dystopia Giveaway”

  1. Book Wookie

    My favorite dystopian book is one the books in The Hunger Games trilogy, probably either The Hunger Games or Mockingjay.

    Thanks for the giveaway!