I’m hosting an interview today with Christine Manzari, author of YA dystopian “Deviation”. I hope you enjoy the interview, I certainly had a blast reading through the author’s responses.
1) How long have you been writing?
I used to write short stories and poetry in high school and college, but I wrote my first novel in 2010.
2) Is Deviation your first book? If not, please tell us a little about your first book.
Deviation is actually the second book that I finished writing, but it’s the first book I published. The first book I wrote was a fantasy that is still sitting in my computer waiting for a massive rewrite. The characters in that book lived in a kingdom that was divided into five distinct realms. The inhabitants of each realm had magical control over one of he elements—fire, water, air, earth, and spirit. An unknown force was stealing magic and the heroes were searching for answers.
3) Why did you choose dystopian as genre for your book?
I read and love all different kinds of books and actually have story ideas for a variety of genres. I chose the dystopian genre for this book because I wanted to write a story about super heroes and villains who were created and controlled by a government program who dehumanizes them. To the Program, the Sophisticates are not people with choices or freedom, but weapons to be used in their War on Terror. The gritty feel of a dystopian future after a devastating terrorist attack was the perfect backdrop for genetically altered teens who are considered to be nothing more than human weapons, but who desperately want their freedom.
4) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
My biggest piece of advice for aspiring authors is to read a lot. I think reading is the single most important thing a writer can do. It’s important to know what you do and don’t like in writing styles, to see how different people tell stories, to discover a variety of characters and worlds, and to improve your knowledge of storytelling. You will get better by reading what others write. My second piece of advice would be to set aside a time to write every day and then sit down and DO IT. Even if you only get out one paragraph and it’s total crap, write it. My third piece of advice is to surround yourself with other people who like to write. They will motivate you. Writing is a lonely journey sometimes and it’s helpful to have someone to talk to who knows exactly what you’re going through and who can talk you through all the perils of character flaws, plot holes, and writing blocks that you will face.
5) Do you have any works in progress you’d like to tell us about?
I’m working on several projects now, but I’m really excited about the new adult book I’m writing that takes place in Venice Beach. The title of the book is Hooked and it’s about a snarky, adrenaline junkie, skater girl named Cat who is obsessed with 80s movies and graffiti. Love isn’t really Cat’s thing and she doesn’t trust easily, so when she meets Huck, a confident and rich pretty boy who is her complete opposite, she thinks that a one night stand with him could be fun and harmless. But when all of the secrets they didn’t share are revealed, Cat and Huck discover how easily a one night stand could ruin everything. The problem is, they’re hooked on one another.
Author: Christine Manzari
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Being a Sophisticate of the Program seems like it’d be a pretty sweet deal: a little genetic alteration and anyone can be smarter, faster, and stronger. It’s a dream come true. All you have to give up is your freedom.
Cleo is a Sophisticate and she has a bright future in the Program. But she has a secret. When she gets upset, bad things happen. Explosive things. Things she can’t control.
When her secret is discovered, she’s sent to the Academy to train in the military branch of the Program. She’s destined to be a human weapon in the war that’s been going on since Wormwood occurred nearly 30 years ago. She soon learns that although her ability is unique, there are others like her — other Sophisticates with lethal skills and odd code names like Archerfish and Mimic Octopus.
Immersed in a dangerous game of supernatural powers and dubious motives, Cleo doesn’t know who to trust. Ozzy, the annoyingly attractive cadet who has perfect aim in weapons class and deviant lips behind closed doors, begs her not to use her powers. He’s the golden boy of the Program, but can she trust him? Or will she find herself a target, caught in his crosshairs?
The first thing Christine does when she’s getting ready to read a book is to crack the spine in at least five places. She wholeheartedly believes there is no place as comfy as the pages of a well-worn book. She’s addicted to buying books, reading books, and writing books. Books, books, books. She also has a weakness for adventure, inappropriate humor, and coke (the caffeine-laden bubbly kind). Christine is from Forest Hill, Maryland where she lives with her husband, three kids, and her library of ugly spine books.
Deviation on B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deviation-christine-manzari/1116503777