Aug 15, 2012

Glitch Blog Tour: Heather Anastasiu Interview

In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.

In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.

Release: August 7, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Author Bio (Spotlight)

Heather Anastasiu is the author of the young adult sci-fi novel,GLITCH (St. Martin's Press/Spring 2012). She recently moved to Minneapolis with her family, and when she’s not busy getting lost exploring the new city, she spends most days writing at a café.

Random Facts About Me:

• I played the piccolo in my high school marching band.
• I paint a little, but for some reason, only in winter.
• So, the last name, I know it looks like Anastasia, but it has a U on the end: Anastasiu (rhymes with 'so-nice-to-see-you'). It's Romanian in origin.
• I like body art. Well, I like art of all kinds, but especially body art, i.e. tattoos, because it's the art you get to take with you. I figure, there's so much about the body we're given we don't have control over (hips, nose, forehead, chin, height, foot size, health), so much that we get no choice in, but hair color and ink designs? Hello world, this is me and the kinds of things I find beautiful!
• I was in a wheelchair for a year during college because of health problems. Being wheel-bound and knee-high for a year certainly changed my perspective on life (pun intended).
• Yes, I am a fan of cheesy puns.
• My favorite book is East of Eden because it blew open my world when I first read it at age 20.
• I also unabashedly love Twilight. I even wrote a chapter in a forthcoming book of academic essays about how Twilight, for all its shortcomings, can also have positive implications for readers in that it provides a platform for public participation in a communal female myth. It's compulsively readable and is all about engaging our fantasy lives and letting us participate in vicarious wish fullfillment.
• I like pink and black together, but not apart. | @H_Anastasiu |

I know this is a cliché question, but where did you come up with the idea for Glitch? It’s such a unique and interesting idea!

The seed for the idea came when my husband and I were discussing a Popular Science article about research being done about implanting the equivalent of memory chips in Alzheimer’s patients. Then I started thinking about all of the kinds of technology we might, more and more, start putting into our very bodies. So that helped me build the framework of my dystopian society. The emotional arc of the story grew out of my longtime determination to live my life fully awake and engaged in the world around me. Glitch’s central metaphor of being a drone who wakes up to a world of color and passionate feeling is one that’s always hit close to home for me.

When you started writing Glitch, did you know how the book or the series was going to end? If not, did that terrify you not knowing exactly where the story and the characters would end up? If you did know the end, without giving anything away (obviously), have things changed from what you originally planned?

I wrote Glitch so that it would work either as a standalone or the beginning of a series since I didn’t have an agent at the time and I’d heard that was the best strategy. But I definitely hoped I’d get to do it as a trilogy, and when I talked on the phone with my agent for the first time, he agreed. That’s when I wrote synopses for the second and third book. I’d always had a very basic amorphous idea in my head about where all these characters would end up, but only so far as figuring out the big plot hooks and mystery reveals. Writing the synopsis was the first time I’d really thought them out in detail. Those big basic ideas have remained pretty much the same, but everything else has been up for grabs. For me it’s important to leave space to be surprised as I write, so I haven’t worried about sticking to the synopses. I feel like my writing is freshest when I allow it to still partially be an act of discovery.

Have any of your characters surprised you as you wrote? You expected them to turn out one way but as you wrote and got to know them, they turned out a lot different than you expected?

I think Max definitely surprised me. He was the one who started out as a more flat character, then midway through the book, he became the one I stayed up at night thinking about. For me (and I know I might be alone in this, lol) he’s the character I feel most sympathetic for because I could imagine all the angles of what he was going through.

How terrified were you when you found out Glitch was out in the wild for review? More importantly, how nervous were you when the first review/rating surfaced?

I thought I would be super calm and cool about it. Silly Heather. I’d been reviewing books myself for years. I’d talked to all my other writer friends, and had prepared myself (or thought I had) for the mixed bag that I knew reviews would bring. Then review copies went out, and I remember I got my first two reviews on a Friday—one glowing, one ripping it to shreds. Yeah. I totally curled up on my bed sobbing and clutching my pillow. That was when I put the self-imposed embargo from reading reviews myself. I know that reviews aren’t for the author—it’s meant to be a conversation among readers. I’m delighted that people have read and are responding to it. My husband reads them and vets them for me, forwarding the positive ones to me. I also love when bloggers @ me on twitter with links to their reviews.

If you could give an aspiring author advice what one thing would you tell them?

Don’t ever give up. I can’t tell you how many days I’d sit down at my laptop and not feel like writing. Or worse days, when I’d poured months of sweat and tears into project, sent it off with my heart full of hope, and gotten rejected. And rejected. And rejected. Did I mention there was a lot of rejection? ;) I’ve said before that being a writer often feels like running head first into concrete walls. Repeatedly. But with each hit, you peel yourself up off the ground, and just start writing again, hopefully a little heartier and a little wiser as you learn from your missteps. You dig in for more revisions, or start a completely new project. You find ways to renew your creative well, let yourself daydream, and just. keep. writing.

Did you have any say in the cover design for Glitch and the recently released cover for its follow up, Override? Were these covers the original design or were different options thrown around?

Ooo, yay, I love cover questions! I am so bananas in love with my covers. The initial cover for Glitch had a stock photo of a girl in a similar pose, but she didn’t look quite right for Zoe, so then my publishers set up a photoshoot and we got the fabulous girl who’s on the cover now. One of the most Cinderella-like experiences of this whole publishing gig was getting to see that cover for the first time. And for Override, I love that they came up with a visual for the arm panel. It was so insanely cool to see something I’d just dreamed up in my head fully actualized like that.

Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?

I’d have to say Zoe. I’m writing through her voice, and being in the head of someone who was such a blank slate at the beginning of the novel was both really exciting and really challenging. The challenge came because she doesn’t have a history or a cluster of meaningful memories like a normal teenager would. Everything is new. The taste of a strawberry. Learning what family means. Sights, sounds, kinesthetic experiences. Then add to that I’m writing her in this future with a culture very different from ours. There were days I’d sit down at my laptop and wish I could just write dialogue like, “dude, let’s grab some Micky D’s after seventh period.” Yeah, that doesn’t quite work in a dystopian society ;) Instead I had to find ways to center her dialogue and thoughts on things as she was learning them, in ways that I hoped would still be relatable to my readers. But in the end, this sense of constant discovery was one of the things that made writing Zoe’s character feel fresh and exciting for me.

If you could go on a book tour with one other current YA author, which would be your absolute number one choice? (Even though every YA author kicks major ass!)

Libba Bray, because she’s a total rockstar and seems like she’d be hilarious to spend time with on tour!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful interview, very interesting questions and thorough responses.

    Thank you for participating.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...