Author Of The Week: Chat with Kristen Simmons (Pacifica), Plus Giveaway!!
Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!
Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!
We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!
Introducing Kristen Simmons, YABC's Author of the Week!!
Kristen Simmons is the critically acclaimed author of the ARTICLE 5 series, THE GLASS ARROW, METALTOWN, and PACIFICA. She has worked with survivors of abuse and trauma as a mental health therapist, taught Jazzercise in five states, and is forever in search of the next best cupcake. Currently she lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, where she spends her days supporting the caffeine industry and chasing her rambunctious son.
For too long our people have suffered, plagued by overcrowding, disease, and lack of work. We have only just survived for too long. Now we must take the next step and thrive.
A new beginning.
Blue skies. Green grass. Clear ocean water. An island paradise like the ones that existed before the Melt.
A lucky five hundred lottery winners will be the first to go, the first to leave their polluted, dilapidated homes behind and start a new life. It sounds perfect. Like a dream.
The only problem? Marin Carey spent her childhood on those seas and knows there’s no island paradise out there. She’s corsario royalty, a pirate like her father and his father before him, and she knows a con when she sees one. So where are the First Five Hundred really going?
~ Interview ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
This story may not seem like it was inspired by family's history in WWII - it's about pirates! And climate change! - but it actually began with the stories my grandmother and great-grandmother told me growing up. During WWII, my great-grandmother was interned in a camp for Japanese Americans. She was considered a potential traitor, separated from her family, and subjected to severe racism, simply because of the way she looked. This is my history—who I am. And since I process the world through a lens of fiction, I knew writing my story would look very different.
When I closed my eyes to imagine her life, I saw a survivor—a bright light in a world in ruins, the ground quaking beneath her feet, the sky filled with lightning. I saw her friends being ripped from their homes and their families, with no indication of where they were going. I saw drowned cities, and islands made of trash, ruled by those who could survive their banishment. I saw the foundation for what would become PACIFICA.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
I love both Marin and Ross. I think they compliment each other nicely. He's a rich, privileged boy with a big heart, and she's a smart, tenacious girl who can fight her way through (almost) anything. They learn a lot from each other.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel for sure! The title went through many changes. BLOOD AND TAR was the last one before PACIFICA!
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
The most important thing I've learned is that vulnerability is rewarded in writing. In life, we often unconsciously protect ourselves from vulnerability, fear, and failure, but in writing the best thing you can do is to dig into all that and lay it on the page. It's hard, but the end product is real, and ultimately worth it.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love my covers! GLASS ARROW, METALTOWN, and PACIFICA were all done by the amazing Christopher Gibbs. I think he does such beautiful work. I love the way he captured the storm in this cover, and Marin looking longingly out over the water.
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2017?
I am a huge SIX OF CROWS fan, which I read last year. Kaz! Inej! Nina! ALL OF THEM. I love that book (and the sequel) so much!
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I'm working on revisions for my new series, about a girl who gets accepted to a school for con artists. I absolutely LOVE this story. It's so different from anything that I've done, and I hope people love it. THE PRICE OF DECEIT is the first book, and it comes out next February or March.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to write?
Ha! Basically the entire book! Like I said, this one was really personal to me. I guess probably the most difficult was the riot scene. It was the outward translation of everything I imagined my great-grandmother must have been feeling when she was taken to that internment camp.
By: Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen Books
Release Date: March 6th, 2018
Three winners will each receive a SIGNED copy of Pacifica (Kristen Simmons) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
I was drawn in by the image and synopsis shown when I first saw this novel here on YABC and now I'm determined to read it!
The inspiration for this book is tragic yet beautiful. Simmons' great-grandmother sounds like a phenomenal woman. The plot and the cover of this book, inspired by her life-story, highlight the danger of a system that offers hardship and destruction disguised as peace and prosperity.