It’s OAAA time again! Today I have a short interview with author Kristen Simmons. Her Article 5 trilogy captured many imaginations and her newest release, The Glass Arrow, has been circling the blogosphere. If you’re a fan of dystopians, her books are right up your alley!
Please welcome Ohio author Kristen Simmons.
What are your favorite kind of characters to write and why? (Villains, heroes, anti heroes, regular joes?)
I LOVE writing regular people who are put in terrible situations. Is that an awful thing to say? Ha! It’s true! I like seeing what regular people (like me) do when the stakes are high. In the ARTICLE 5 series, Ember was very much an ordinary girl – she went to school, argued with her mom, spent time with friends – but when her mother was arrested her world fell apart, and she was forced to be more. I love looking at the potential in the ordinary, exploring how we find the strength to do extraordinary things when are backs are pushed to the wall.
How did writing Glass Arrow differ from Article 5?
There were many differences. The Glass Arrow is definitely more sci-fi than Article 5. It takes place in a different version of the world, ten generations in the future, where Article 5 is set in the near present, accounting for a major war in the US which has changed the structure of the government. Both Ember’s world and Aya’s face oppression, but in Article 5 that oppression stems from a militaristic government, where in Aya’s it stems from the patriarchy. Aya and Ember are both survivors, though Aya is born fierce, and Ember’s bravery is acquired over time. Oh, and there are swoon-worthy, secretive boys in both…of course! The writing of them required different types of research, but also different ways of thinking. Ember had to grow into her strength, where Aya has to grow into accepting her vulnerability. It made for very different perspectives.
Your books are all on the dark side, is there a reason for that or does it just happen?
It just happens, I swear. Ok, but really, my worlds are dark because dark stories require a protagonist that is equally as bright. To survive the worlds I create, the characters have to be filled with hope, strength, and tenacity. All traits I love writing.
What is your next project?
My next YA, METALTOWN, comes out in 2016. It’s the story of young sweatshop workers that join together to fight their oppressive work conditions. And of course, there’s a little love story in there too. I love that story, and can’t wait to share it!
Thank you so much to Kristen Simmons for participating in OAAA. She has graciously donated a copy of Glass Arrow to the giveaway.