Today, please welcome debut author of XVI Julia Karr. Thank you Julia for giving me the chance to interview you. XVI sounds like a great dystopian book I can't wait to read. For those of you interested, it was released yesterday, so go run out and buy it! :)
Julia Karr was born in Indiana, and moved to Chicago when she was fifteen. After the initial culture shock of going from quiet, small town living to Carl Sandburg's, "stormy, husky, brawling," metropolis, she fell madly in love with the city. Her schooling in the art of writing came from reading, voraciously. While students were being forced to read the classics, Julia was busy going on author binges. As a young mother, reading books to, and eventually with, her daughters, she fell head-over-heels for children's literature. Not a far stretch for someone who had loved reading since the age of three. While still working a nine-to-five job, after hours Julia can be found at home, sitting on the couch tapping out stories on her laptop, with one of several cats draped behind her and her dogs sleeping nearby.
For more info on Julia, visit her sites:
XVI by Julie Karr
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: Available Now
Summary: Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world - even the most predatory of men - that she is ready for sex. Considered easy prey by some, portrayed by the Media as sluts who ask for attacks, becoming a "sex-teen" is Nina's worst fear. That is, until right before her birthday, when Nina's mom is brutally attacked. With her dying breaths, she reveals to Nina a shocking truth about her past - one that destroys everything Nina thought she knew. Now, alone but for her sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while staying one step ahead of her mother's killer.
1) Julia, what inspired you to write XVI?
J: I really wanted to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I needed a character and a location. I’d had a flash mental picture of a girl in a futuristic New York City. She ended up being in Chicago - but, that mental image was the seed of XVI.
2) Why did you decide to name your novel, XVI?
J: The pivotal age for girls in the book is sixteen. But, I didn’t like that - it was not menacing enough. There is something impersonal and far-removed in Roman numerals. Hence, XVI.
3) Throughout the book, who was your favorite character creation?
J: Oh, I love all my characters! If I have a special fondness, it would have to be for Pops. And, Sandy... she’s irritating and ditzy and a difficult best friend - but, she’s special.
4) If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything?
J: Oh, probably everything, lol, but, then it wouldn’t be XVI, would it? I think every artist/creator of anything would be tweaking indefinitely if they didn’t just stop at some point. I believe it was Martin Scorcese (I could be wrong on that - but it was a famous movie director) who said that he doesn’t watch his own movies because he’d see more things he wanted to edit.
5) Was it hard setting up a plot that takes place in the year 2150?
J: It was difficult, but fun. I love imagining how things would be in the future. Although, it can be hard to remember (especially in early drafts) that cars are trannies and buses are transits and communicators are PAVs, etc.
6) Are you currently working on any other Young Adult novels?
J: Yes. I’m currently writing the sequel to XVI, tentatively titled “The Sisterhood.” Besides that, there are a few others on the back bunner. I am never short of ideas - time, yes - ideas, no.
7) Besides writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
J: I don’t have much spare time anymore, but when I do, I like to be outside. I have a small (and oft-neglected) garden and I enjoy puttering around in it. I have 4 cats and 2 dogs, so they take up a lot of anything “spare.”
8) Last but not least, do you have anything you'd like to say to your readers?
J: Just that I hope they like XVI. I hope some of the ideas resonate with them. And, I hope they will find themselves wanting more of Nina and her friends.