Published by Anna Soliveres on 3-28-2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
» Buy on Amazon
Several hundred years into the future, The Cleansing, known to some as the End of Days, forced the government to create Arks to shelter its people. When Earth became habitable again, new territories rose up from the ashes: Agria, the City of Light, and the Outer Boundaries. For a while, they lived in peace.
A brilliant surgeon known for his invention of Modi’s—the only cure for the deadly disease, vaincre—has gone rogue with his experiments, and the Monarchy is desperate to shut him down. That's where Aeva Storm comes in, a champion athlete with an ego to match. Aeva is the surgeon's secret weapon against the Monarchy. And they'll never know what hit them. After reconstructing her body to become a Modi unlike any he's ever created, Aeva is forced into a fight against all odds. She'll have to break loyalties, hurt family, and turn her back on newly awakened love. Thousands of lives hang in the balance in a battle that will set forth a new era.
Join Aeva on her quest to see whether she's got what it takes to go up against the most powerful humans ever created.
Interview With Anna Soliveres
Can you talk a little about what the book is about?
The heart of this story revolves around a young girl whose unique talents work against her when she is forced to decide the future of the City of Light.
In the City is a fatal disease known as vaincre—a brilliant inventor and surgeon has found a cure of sorts, known as Modification. The procedure replaces a patient’s diseased parts by attaching or melding together synthetic materials to biological tissue. Modification thereby creates stronger, durable, more formidable humans. But the surgeon’s radical experiments to test the limitations of Modification have forced the Monarch (the ruler of the City of Light) to shut down his operations. This is where Aeva Storm comes in. Angry, the surgeon chooses Aeva for her special talents and augments her to become a formidable weapon—a Modi—to be used against the Monarch.
With her family’s lives on the line, Aeva must decide.
What makes your book unique?
I am most excited about the landscape, and the reality of this new world where a new kind of human exists, Modi. But more importantly, I am excited about the protagonist, Aeva who is unlike any female character readers have seen in the Young Adult, Sci-Fi genre. Aeva is a young girl who is unafraid of her abilities. She’s tough, confident in her skills, and knows what it takes to win, even if it means discomfort and pain. But having known how to be a winner all her life, she is finally faced with a challenge both she and the readers will have to discover the hard way: can she survive and save the lives of her family without dooming the rest of the world?
Where did you get the idea for the book?
It was a combination of different things. I loved the concept of iRobot and the dreary landscape of The Road. It’s really a combination of those two things, infused with the kind of attitude and toughness inherent in the characters in Hunger Games.
Is there any message you want readers to get from reading the book?
I want readers to see the value of humility. The protagonist starts off physically and mentally strong only to be made stronger by the use of Modification, so her character growth is sure to be different. She is forced to learn trust, to rely on others, to expand her imagination, and to have hope even when there may be none.
How long did it take to write the book?
It took almost three years to write from concept to final draft. I’d written two other novels prior, but Violet Storm was the novel I couldn’t walk away from and really believed in. It helped me grow to become a better writer, learn how to take feedback, and expand my imagination. Three years is a long time. I don’t think my next novels will take quite that long.
Who is your favorite character, or what character was the most fun to write?
Ruven is my favorite character. He has such a pure heart despite his tortured past, and you’ll come to find that he’s got some kick-ass abilities that were so fun to write him in action with.
Can you talk about how you wrote it? Did you do any outlining? Did it take you in any unexpected directions?
There were so many drafts for this novel, I’ve lost count. I can’t remember the precise formula I used, but it helped me hone my writing skills. It helps me to have an outline, but it’s more directional rather than obsessive and on-point. Outline helps me spark my imagination and I let myself go from there. The unexpected direction was the realization that this story was too big for one book. It was exciting. The world was complex and it was rich with conflict, ultimately going in many directions for each character.
If you could go back and change anything in the novel, what would it be?
It’s hard to say! I feel like everything I wanted to change I ultimately did in the final draft.
How did you come up with the cover?
The cover was a long process. My artist and I originally had a simple design, which was the flag of The City of Light billowing torn in the wind. But in the end, we felt that it didn’t really capture the essence of the story—and that was Aeva. So we decided to put a girl’s face in the cover and give her some exotic eyes (metal gear for pupils) to hint at Modification. We are so happy with the way it turned out!
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
In my early twenties I was going through a sort of identity crisis. I was struggling to be happy in my full-time job, and I felt completely unfulfilled despite having graduated with honors from college and landing a pretty sweet gig at a tech company. It was when I started reading all the new and emerging young adult novels that I began to explore my own talents in writing. Oh, I’d dabbled here and there but when I wrote 100,000 words for my first novel, I realized just how much I loved it. For the first time in my life, I felt like I knew my calling. I spent the next few years working on my craft until I was “ready” to share my stories with the world.
What was the first story that you ever wrote?
That’s a tough one. I’d written so many short stories here and there. My first novel (which will never see the light of day) was about a young girl who could shape-shift, and unlike the other shape-shifters in her world, she was of a noble bloodline that could shape-shift into not just one animal, but any animal she wanted. That made her both superior and an enemy to some.
What is your favorite genre, and why?
My favorite genre is sci-fi/fantasy. No other genre has such diverse elements: magic, faeries, demons, aliens, space ships, high tech innovation, teleportation, and time travel. (I’m sure I’m missing some here.)
Are there any books you are absolutely inspired by?
Brent Week’s work has been inspirational in writing (prose, philosophy, technique) and in storytelling (cadence, structure, balance). Two very important skills when it comes being an effective writer. His ability to captivate you in his worlds, takes some pretty amazing talent. He’s the author of the Night Angel Trilogy and the Lightbringer Series.
What are you working on next?
Violet Storm is the first novel in the Modi Series. I plan on writing the second novel as soon as I finish another book I’ve been working on for almost two years. Crazy how that happened…While I was working on polishing and finishing VS, I had another story that would not let me rest. I’ve titled it Snow Dolls. It’s a world in which every girl over the age of sixteen goes through a Purifcation process, and becomes either a Doll or a Surrogate. Readers will follow the story of three young people who are struggling to survive and cope in this unique world.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
The one thing that really made a difference for me is the adage, “Don’t give up.” Keep writing to your hearts desire. Take feedback, learn humility, keep practicing, and attack it all again.
How do you juggle writing with family time?
I make writing a priority as much as anything else in my life. I’m big on using calendars. I space out my social activities, date nights, travel, and work, and block days of the week and the weekend where I devote solely to writing (in between my full-time job of course). It’s not easy, but it’s important to my happiness. Because I don’t write full-time, I’m not finishing my stories as fast as I want to, but I’ve learned to accept that and be okay with it—which ultimately allows me to stop worrying about how much little time I have to write, and just focus on writing when I can.
I also don’t limit myself to my laptop (because sometimes the pressure of seeing a blank page and the blinking cursor gives me writer’s block), so I write whole scenes and chapters and then transcribe them into my Scrivener file, taking advantage of editing and enhancing the chapter while I do so.
Or grab code here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZDA0MjUxMjM1OGRlZWRmZWM1YmUyMmFkYTM3OWE5OjU0MQ==/