(The Van Winkle Project, #1)
Release Date: June 30, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen; 318 pages
Cassie Dannacher wakes up in a hospital over 1,000 years into the future after her space capsule is retrieved from space. She soon learns that 600 years prior to her arrival, the earth was struck by a plague, killing over half of the world’s population. Naïve and desperate, Cassie, who longs for home and is having trouble adjusting to the new, dictatorial 31st century government, is comforted by Michael Bennett, the 20-year old lead geneticist at the hospital where she was revived.
But why is Cassie in genetics’ hospital in the first place, and why do several of the people around her seem so familiar, including Travel Carson, the hot and edgy boy she is fated to meet? Soon she discovers there is a sinister answer to all of her questions – and that they want something from Cassie that only she can give.
It wasn’t hard for me to imagine a future world, but it was hard to come up with something fresh and unique, especially because there are so many dystopian novels out there. The future world I create in MIRROR X is definitely different from The Hunger Games and Divergent. I love world building. There is actually a lot more in the second book because Cassie, the main character, does a lot more traveling.
How much researched went into this book? There is a lot of medical talk and details that I imagine consisted of plenty of research.
I did a lot of research on cryogenics and something else I don’t want to say because it will give something away. Let’s just say that I learned a lot about DNA in the process I didn’t want any plot holes in the book, so I made sure that all of the medical information was correct. I even discovered a theory called “ancestral memory.” This concept comes out in book two.
How fun was it to create Cassie, who is waking up in this brand new world right along with the readers? Finding out the reality of not only the world she now lives in but what is expected of her (though I’m not sure I’d describe that as fun).
I love Cassie. I really had to get inside my own head and think about how I’d react waking up under similar circumstances. At the same time, she’s a teen, and one of the issues she has to deal with is scary for any female, but especially for a young girl. Cassie’s reactions and emotions are as authentic as I could make them.
I know this is a cliché question but I must ask where you came up with an idea like this for a book? It’s a bit twisted, a bit dark and a bit just . . . shocking (in my opinion)
Thank you! I love that you think it’s a bit twisted and dark. Without giving away some of the major twists, I can say that I’ve always been intrigued with the idea of bringing back someone who died – not in the form of a Zombie (though I’m a huge fan of The Walking Dead) but as a new person with a new soul – if that makes any sense. There is one person in particular who I wish I had met, but he died before I was even born. If you want to know who this individual is, you’ll have to read MIRROR X This person just might make an appearance.
Some of the character names are very unique in the book (while some are rather ordinary) – where did you come up with these names? Like Travel?
I came up with the names Travel and his brother Trail by thinking about the role of their characters and their personalities. Travel’s name fits him when you think about where he actually came from – again, I don’t want to give anything away. When it comes to Trail, in book 2, the reader will see how the name fits. Magnum – well he’s a rebel, and I think that name is perfect for him. I’ve always loved the name Cassie, so that was an easy one. Michael is an ordinary name, and he starts out a bit vanilla, but ironically he isn’t ordinary at all.
If there was one YA book you’d want in the hands of readers (besides your own, of course), what one book would you recommend?
Right now I’m reading GOING DOWN IN FLAMES. A fellow author with Entangled wrote it, and it released the same day as MIRROR X. I met her at our publisher’s conference. She is really sweet and a talented writer. It’s a unique, fun read with dragons. I can’t wait to read the second book.
Karri’s debut YA novel, Amateur Angel, was released May 1, 2012. The next book in that series, Hollywood Angels, came out September 1, 2013. The first book in her upcoming dystopian trilogy, The Van Winkle Chronicles, will be released by Entangled Publishing Summer 2014.
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