I'm so excited to have the Viral Nation Blog Tour stopping by today! Below you will find my interview with author Shaunta Grimes and an awesome giveaway. Also, be sure to check out my review of the fantastic Viral Nation...
(first in a series)
by Shaunta Grimes
July 2, 2013
After a virus claimed nearly the entire global population, the world changed. The United States splintered into fifty walled cities where the surviving citizens clustered to start over. The Company, which ended the plague by bringing a life-saving vaccine back from the future, controls everything. They ration the scant food and supplies through a lottery system, mandate daily doses of virus suppressant, and even monitor future timelines to stop crimes before they can be committed.
Brilliant but autistic, sixteen-year-old Clover Donovan has always dreamed of studying at the Waverly-Stead Academy. Her brother and caretaker, West, has done everything in his power to make her dream a reality. But Clover’s refusal to part with her beloved service dog denies her entry into the school. Instead, she is drafted into the Time Mariners, a team of Company operatives who travel through time to gather news about the future.
When one of Clover’s missions reveals that West’s life is in danger, the Donovans are shattered. To change West’s fate, they’ll have to take on the mysterious Company. But as its secrets are revealed, they realize that the Company’s rule may not be as benevolent as it seems. In saving her brother, Clover will face a more powerful force than she ever imagined and will team up with a band of fellow misfits and outsiders to incite a revolution that will change their destinies forever.
What three words best describe VIRAL NATION?
Beware the Company!
Viral Nation is a book about a group of misfit kids who figure out an epic secret, and accidentally start a second American Revolution.
The prologue. I wrote it as a short story for a fiction work shop, and it started everything. It changed my life.
This is hard! Page 117 has my favorite kiss.
Another tough one. I think I'd have to say Clover though. She was my favorite to write.
From page 136: Their father stood there, tall and lean, an older, colder version of West. He held a book he’d taken from the low, overstuffed shelf that ran along one wall, under the big windows that looked out over the backyard. The book was a novel. A mystery that belongedto him.
Where did the idea for VIRAL NATION come from? Were you inspired by any specific books/movies/pop culture?
I was definitely inspired by books, movies, and pop culture. For instance, the only TV show my husband and I watch together it The Walking Dead. That show made me start wondering how I thought people would really respond post-apocalypse. Would it be every man for themselves, or would people band together? I was also inspired by one of my favorite television shows, which was canceled way too soon and was written by Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Jericho. Viral Nation came together when several ideas kind of merged. I wanted to write about how people respond in crisis, how a nation might rebuild itself, and about a generation that was born at or after the apocalypse.
You don't see many YA heroines who are autistic, but your character Clover is. Why did you choose to create and write about an autistic heroine? What sets her a part from other YA heroines?
The simple answer is that my son has autism and I was very inspired by the relationship between him and his older sister. I think Clover is different from other YA heroines because she processes information differently, she sees the world from a different angle. I think she's an odd mix of tough and fragile.
Time travel plays an important role in VIRAL NATION...if you could time travel, when and where would you go?
I would go into the future. Maybe beyond my own future, because I don't think I'd like to know how or when I die. Maybe meet my great-great-grandkids or just check out how things change. It's crazy to think just how much things have changed since I was a kid in the 80s—what would things be like 50 years from now?
If you could “borrow” any character from a book or movie or tv show to write about, who would you pick and what would you do with them?
Do I have to pick one? I'd dance with Johnny Castle, solve a mystery with Nancy Drew, just hang out with Jo March. This list could go on forever.
Fill in the blanks:
I'm really awesome at ___.
Making peanut butter frosting. I'm not kidding. Yum.
I'm really embarrassed to admit that ___.
I can't stop myself from watching at least a few minutes of The Notebook if I see it on when I'm channel surfing.
My first literary crush (author or character) was ___.
Definitely Johnny from S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. Sixth grade.
The best thing I've ever eaten was ___.
My grandma's Shepherd's Pie. I've tried to recreate it, and it's just not the same.
The last great book I read was ___.
I just finished The Book Thief and was totally blown away.
If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by VIRAL NATION, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
I think it would be carrot cake made with honey. It would be rustic, but delicious. Since Mrs. Finch would probably make it, maybe I'd call it Bird Food.
Shaunta Grimes has worked as a substitute teacher, a newspaper reporter, a drug court counselor, and a vintage clothing seller. No matter which direction she strays, however, she always comes back to storytelling. She lives in Reno with her family, where she writes, teaches, and perpetually studies at the University of Nevada.
Win a copy of Viral Nation!
Thanks to Shaunta and her publisher, I have one copy to give away to one winner.
-will end 7/12
-must be 13+, one main/free entry per person
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-I am NOT responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes (prize is being shipped out directly from pub)
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