Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Apocalypse Now: An Interview with STRUCK Author Jennifer Bosworth

Today we have Jennifer Bosworth, author of the incredible apocalyptic thriller STRUCK, in bookstores now.

About STRUCK:

Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

Jennifer, first things first, how do you plan to celebrate your release day?

I have a feeling I’ll be spending much of that day on my computer, as usual. But I’ll keep it celebratory with a few bottles of Chimay at the ready.  

Mia Price is a “lightning addict”, a compelling vice if I’ve ever heard one. How did you come to create her?

I set out to write a book about a girl who was simply a human lightning rod, but after a draft or two I started to think to myself, “Actual human lightning rods exist, and I’m pretty sure none of them enjoy being struck by lightning. But what if they did? What if it became like a drug to them?” The thing about drugs is that they are, for the most part, extremely dangerous, just like being struck by lightning. And many drugs give you a rush, make you feel more alive (or so I hear). Lightning is energy, and energy, in a sense, is life. It began to seem like a plausible addiction.

Your villain, Prophet, leads a religious cult. Whenever we deal with the R-word, there’s a risk of readers getting some pre-conceived notion of what a book is or isn’t. Have you seen much of that as buzz for STRUCK grows? If so, how do you deal?

Finally! I’ve been dying for someone to ask me about this. You’re the first person to do so, although not the first person to jump on the subject. Most of the reviews I’ve read have appreciated my handling of the subject of religious fanaticism, but most have been careful to warn others that, if they are sensitive about the subject, STRUCK might not be the book for them. I hope this has the opposite effect on those reluctant to read a book that deals with the R word, and they see it more as a dare. And I really do think it’s important to note that STRUCK deals with RF––religious fanaticism––not so much your basic R. But, regardless, some readers will be offended. I’ve come to terms with that. When it comes down to it, though, I’d rather leave readers angry than apathetic.

How has your publishing journey been? Super fast? Excruciatingly slow? Tell, tell, tell!

My experience, like most other authors’, has been excruciatingly slow. I think that’s the norm in the publishing world. But at least the downtime has given me plenty of time to work on new books, and to build a solid following. Sharks drown if they stop swimming, and I consider myself a bit of a shark. I need to keep moving forward at all times or I got crazy. Also, I occasionally bite the legs off of surfers.

Your book trailer looks like it’s promoting some upcoming summer blockbuster. First, Wow! Second, can we expect to see Mia battling Prophet on the silver screen soon?

First, thank you! Second . . . I hope so. I really, really hope so. But STRUCK would be an expensive movie to make due to special effects, so it needs a built-in audience to get a film deal. Either that or I can attempt the biggest Kickstarter campaign in history. We only need to raise $50 million, people!

You’re going on tour this summer, right?

Yes indeed. Macmillan is sending me and three other debut authors––Leigh Bardugo, SHADOW AND BONE; Anna Banks, OF POSEIDON; and Emmy Laybourne, MONUMENT 14––on a 14-day tour called the Fierce Reads Tour. We start in L.A. and end in New York. Along the way we’ll meet up with a number of other authors, including Jessica Brody and Marissa Meyer. And I’m sure we’ll get up to some shenanigans . . . at least if I have anything to do with it.

What’s next for you?

Right now I’m working on a ghost story set in Southern Utah that I would describe as a mash-up of Big Love and The Ring. After that I’m going to get back to a post-apocalyptic fantasy western I’ve been working on over the past year. I’ve also got some screenwriting projects in the works, including one adapted from a short film my husband and I produced called FOLLOWERS, which you can view on my website. If you scare easily, watch with the light on.

Will there be a STRUCK sequel?

STRUCK could go either way. It works as a standalone, but I wrote in threads that can be extended into a sequel. And if the reading populace demands a sequel, by God I’ll give them a one!

What’s your favorite writing snack?

Does whiskey count as a snack? If not, then Lemonheads. I’ve probably consumed more Lemonheads than anyone else on the planet. Oh, and kettle corn. I’m addicted to kettle corn. I go through phases where I eat it for at least one meal a day.

And since this is the Lucky 13s blog, I have to ask - what's your favorite superstition?

Lightning never strikes twice in the same place. I’ve built my career on that one being wrong. ;)

Jennifer Bosworth lives in Los Angeles, California, where lightning hardly ever strikes, but when it does she takes cover. She is the writer half of a writer/director team with her husband, Ryan Bosworth. Learn more about her at http://www.jenniferbosworth.com/



  

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great interview Jennifer and Lamar. It was interesting reading about the religious fanaticism, something I noticed for sure when I read Struck. I really enjoyed your book Jennifer. Enjoy your debut.

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  2. Terrific interview! Great questions and some of my favorite answers ever, especially "When it comes down to it, though, I’d rather leave readers angry than apathetic." YES.

    Also, love the writing/swimming analogy, which seems appropriate on so many levels. Keep swimming, keep moving forward!

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  3. Fabulous interview! And I about died when I saw the book trailer. SO GOOD! I've been very excited for STURCK. It's such an incredible concept. And the book tour sounds like so many kinds of fun! I hope it's a blast.

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  4. "Also, I occasionally bite the legs off of surfers." This cracked me up. Plus, I happen to love reading about religious cults so I'm definitely snapping this one up.

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  5. Thanks everyone for commenting, and thanks again to Jennifer for warning us about swimming around her. :)

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