Today we're excited to chat with Chris Babu, author of The Initiation. Read on for more about Chris and his book, plus a giveaway!
Meet Chris Babu!
Chris Babu has always had a thing for young adult books. He's also a math and science geek, with a math degree from MIT. For nineteen years, he worked as a bond trader on Wall Street, riding the subway to and from work every day. Now he writes full-time, always with his trusted assistant Buddy, a 130-pound Great Dane, who can usually be found on his lap. They split their time between New York City and the east end of Long Island. Their omnipresence at home drives his wife Michelle and daughter Lily crazy. The Initiation is his first novel.
In a ruined world, Manhattan is now New America, a walled-in society based on equality. But the perfect facade hides a dark truth.
A timid math geek, sixteen-year-old Drayden watches his life crumble when his beloved mother is exiled. The mystery of her banishment leads him to a sinister secret: New America is in trouble, and every one of its citizens is in jeopardy.
With time running out, he enters the Initiation. It’s a test within the empty subway tunnels—a perilous journey of puzzles and deadly physical trials. Winners join the ruling Bureau and move to its safe haven. But failure means death. Can Drayden conquer the Initiation, or is salvation out of his grasp?
A Chat with Chris Babu:
1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
Not coincidentally, I wrote a story about a hellish journey through the NYC subway on the exact route I took to work for 11 years.
2. Who is your favorite character in the book?
I think police officer #3. Just kidding. It’s Drayden, for sure. He’s a gifted kid, but so lacking in confidence. I find myself rooting for him to believe in himself!
3. What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
The red/green hats challenge, because it was incredibly difficult to write. It’s a complex problem and not easy to explain, or translate from theory to real life. I think it turned out well.
4. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
I’d say to never stop believing in yourself. There’s so much rejection and failure along the way, plus long odds and countless experts who say you won’t be successful. Don’t listen. You can accomplish whatever you want if you’re willing to learn and put in the work.
5. What do you like most about the cover of the book?
Oh my, the background image, which many people believe is a drawing. It’s a photograph of an abandoned subway tunnel taken by photographer Greg Berg. All those stunning colors are actually in the original photo. I fell in love with it right away.
6. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2018?
I love Rick Riordan and can’t wait to read The Burning Maze
7. What’s up next for you?
The sequel to The Initiation, currently titled The Expedition, is due out in December 2018. I’m busy writing the third, and final, installment in the series right now.
8. Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Drafting is the party. Revising is the cleanup afterwards. I’ll take the party all day!
9. What would you say is your superpower?
I have an insane tolerance for sleep deprivation. I routinely stay up all night writing and can easily go 30+ hours without sleep.
10. Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
The Initiation is a book about inequality. I donated a portion of the preorder proceeds to Unicef, which helps impoverished children. I also recently established a relationship with Concern Worldwide, which battles extreme poverty around the world.
By: Chris Babu
Release Date: February 27, 2018