Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Blog Tour + Giveaway- Proxy by Alex London

I'm pleased to be a part of the Proxy blog tour. This book sounds amazing and I cannot wait to open it up! I've got a short excerpt from Proxy and then the author, Alex London, wrote a little bit about the writing of the book. Enjoy!

Proxy excerpt: “When night fell, they sat around a campfire tucked into a giant cave at the base of the canyon. Outside, the horses grunted and stomped and drank water from old stone troughs that smugglers had used for decades, centuries maybe. The smugglers’ trailers were as ancient as they were secret.” – page 265, PROXY

Choosing favorites is difficult. There are the scenes that I had fun writing and there are the scenes I struggled and struggled and struggled with that ended up shedding some important light on the work as a whole. I love the scenes that come easily and I love the scenes that demand a lot of me, so it’s hard to choose just one!

I love the first chapter of Proxy because it exists in the finished book in almost the same form as when it poured out of my fingers. I wrote it a very long time ago, before I knew what the book was even about. I knew the story would be about two boys, a patron and his proxy, who takes the punishments when his patron screws up. I knew I wanted to open with the patron screwing up, but I really didn’t know much more than that. As I wrote the scene with Knox and the girl in the stolen car, it all became very clear to me—who Knox was, what his mistake would be, how it would set the world in motion and how much Knox had to grow from the spoiled brat in those opening pages to the boy we see on that final page. The middle was hard, but the beginning told me a lot about the book was writing to the end.

There is also a camping scene in the desert in the middle of the book where the three central characters (Spoiler Alert: there’s a girl) get to (briefly) be normal teens again, silly, flawed, sarcastic, hormonal. I love that scene. Syd gets to be himself in a way we rarely get to see him in the story, open, comfortable in his skin, laughing. Knox gets to make fun of himself, and the girl-who I can’t say much about for plot reasons-gets to make fun of both of them. It was a scene that felt good to write, it made me think of my own good times with my friends in high school, joking even when the world around us seemed to have gone mad. I also love exploring the friendship between these two boys, one gay, one straight, and it was the scene where I think they both the most comfortable with each other. It was a chance to catch their breath before all hell broke loose again. A chance for the reader to breathe too.

And lastly, the last scene of the book, which I rewrote and reconceived a million times (well, seven times, counting when I hid out in Penguin's offices and tweaked it in pencil one last time on the final page proofs). I ended up surprising myself with what happened. I don’t want to ruin it, but I did not expect it to go the way it did (although looking back it seems inevitable…like I was setting it up from page one…I just didn’t know it). It makes me cry and it makes me smile and I hope readers won’t be too mad at me for it. I'm very proud of that scene. Spoiler Alert #2, with apologies to Dickens: It’s a far, far better scene I wrote, than I have ever written; it is a far, far better ending than I could have ever known.

Here's a bit about Proxy:

The adventure novel of the year! Inspired by The Whipping Boy and Feed, this adrenaline-fueled thriller will appeal to fans of The Hunger Games for its razor-sharp insights into the nature of human survival and its clever writing.

Knox was born into one of the City's wealthiest families. A Patron, he has everything a boy could possibly want—the latest tech, the coolest clothes, and a Proxy to take all his punishments. When Knox breaks a vase, Syd is beaten. When Knox plays a practical joke, Syd is forced to haul rocks. And when Knox crashes a car, killing one of his friends, Syd is branded and sentenced to death.

Syd is a Proxy. His life is not his own.

Then again, neither is Knox’s. Knox and Syd have more in common than either would guess. So when Knox and Syd realize that the only way to beat the system is to save each other, they flee. Yet Knox’s father is no ordinary Patron, and Syd is no ordinary Proxy. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test both boys’ resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay. Some debts, it turns out, cannot be repaid.

A fast-paced, thrill-ride of novel full of non-stop action, heart-hammering suspense and true friendship—just as moving as it is exhilarating. Fans of Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series, James Dashner's Maze Runner, Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking series, and Marie Lu's Legend will be swept away by this story.

Alex London writes book for adults, children and teens. At one time a journalist who traveled the world reporting from conflict zones and refugee camps, he now is a full time novelist living in Brooklyn.

You can find Alex London on twitter and his website.

I also have an ARC of Proxy to give away, courtesy of Penguin. US residents only! Just leave a comment by Monday, July 1 at 9pm EST and you're entered!

Find the next stop on the Proxy blog tour on WORD for Teens tomorrow!


  1. This book looks *so* good, and I hear the main character is LGBTQ - and, if so, it'll make it potentially even better. Thanks for hosting the tour, James, and to Alex for writing an interesting blog post that has me excited to read PROXY.

    My email is dreaminginbooks AT gmail DOT com, too, if you need it. :)

  2. I can't wait to read this one!

  3. Thanks for the chance to win!
    Sounds like a great read!!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com