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

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Blog Tour- Guardian by Alex London + Interview

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"In the new world led by the Rebooters, former Proxy Syd is the figurehead of the Revolution, beloved by some and hated by others. Liam, a seventeen-year-old Rebooter, is Syd’s bodyguard and must protect him with his life. But armed Machinists aren’t the only danger.

People are falling ill—their veins show through their skin, they find it hard to speak, and sores erupt all over their bodies. Guardians, the violent enforcers of the old system, are hit first, and the government does nothing to help. The old elites fall next, and in the face of an indifferent government, Syd decides it’s up to him to find a cure . . . and what he discovers leaves him stunned."

I absolutely loved Proxy and was so excited to read the sequel and see where things went from the end of the first book. Guardian is a crazy ride through this new overturned world and I really enjoyed following Syd on this new journey, especially with the prospect of an actual two-way romance this time.

and now I have an interview with Alex:

1) How did you get the idea for Proxy and Guardian? Will there be any more books in the series?

Proxy was the book I’d wished existed when I was a teen—an action-packed cyberpunk thriller with a gay protagonist that engages with the big ideas about the world we live in. It’s about the things that concern me—debt, privilege, inequality, justice, forgiveness, friendship.

Guardian, its sequel, has a very different set of concerns. While its still a thriller, it is certainly darker and more somber than Proxy. Our hero is dealing with the aftermath of some pretty intense stuff and I didn’t want to gloss over it or make it easy. Healing is hard and it doesn’t always work as planned. Sometimes, when things break, no clever plot twist can unbreak them. I wanted to explore how these characters live in a world where that’s the case. I wanted to question the values they have, the ideologies and the beliefs they hold and I wanted to create circumstances to test those things. So Guardian came from this urge to push my characters farther than I ever thought they’d go to see what happens. I think they emerge stronger, if not exactly unscathed. It is, hopefully, still a wild ride (and unlike in Proxy, there’s some romance!)

As of right now, there are no plans for more books in the series, but I have more stories about these characters I could tell and probably one day will. It may not be, however, with another book. What form these stories take is still very much an open question. But if the publisher wanted more books in the series, there is certainly more I could write.

2) These are your first two YA books. Before that, you'd written middle-grade fiction and adult non-fiction. What brought you to YA, and what was different about writing in this genre?

I don’t really write for a particular audience, but I do write books that have more appeal for a particular audience, so my middle grade books are usually about kids in that rage or written in a style that appeals to that age rage, but adults and teens can enjoy them too. It’s the same with YA. They are stories that (hopefully) young adults are drawn to and hopefully they speak to authentic young adult truths, but ultimately, the question of genre or audience isn’t one I think much about. I tell the stories I want to tell and I hope the right audience finds its way to them one reader at a time.

3) What is your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor(s)? Or, if you don't like those, your favorite snack to have while writing or as a reward for writing?

I like Jelly Belly’s just fine (I’ve actually done their factory tour twice) but whenever I finish a manuscript, I celebrate with a bag of Tate’s Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies. I tell myself I’ll only eat the suggested serving size. I usually eat the whole bag.

4) What book(s) are you currently reading, or are about to start? Any books you're looking forward to reading?

I can’t wait to read 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith and The Young Elites by Marie Lu, two very different YA novels by two very different YA writers, each of whom has such a vivid style and generous imagination that they make my jaw drop on a regular basis. I’m about to start reading David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, which I’ve been waiting for for years—he’s my favorite living writer—and I can’t wait to dive into it.

Alex London writes books for adults (One Day The Soldiers Came: Voices of Children in War), children (Dog Tagsseries; An Accidental Adventure series) and teens (Proxy). At one time a journalist reporting from conflict zones and refugee camps, he is now a full time novelist living in Brooklyn, NY, where he can be found wandering the streets talking to his dog, who is the real brains of the operation.

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Read the Exclusive 3 Chapters from London’s new release, GUARDIAN here.

You can read the short story PUNISHMENT, the PROXY prequel on Wattpad for free right now! Meet Syd, Knox, and Liam (from Guardian) at 15.

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