Hello book lovers! It’s my privilege to be introducing you to a debut author today: Deanna Fugett. The first book in Deanna’s YA dystopian trilogy, The Gliding Lands, releases tomorrow, and so I took the opportunity to have a little chat with her about it. But before we settle in, we need to share around the yummy goodies Deanna has brought with her. Mozzarella sticks (can you believe I didn’t know such a thing existed until now?!) and an English toffee cappuccino for everyone!
Photo credits: Mozzarella sticks from Recipe4Living; English toffee cappuccino from ehow.com
Help yourself, and join us for a chat!
~ About the Author ~
Deanna Fugett’s heart belongs to writing. Author of edgy YA Dystopian fiction with an underlying message of hope, this stay-at-home mom of four focuses on writing as much as humanly possible. She was published at the young age of six in a local newspaper and is excited to be published again. It only took twenty-six years. She enjoys the thrill of writing fiction that deals with intense topics and prays it will impact people for the better.
~ About the Book ~
But a slave isn’t likely to get those answers.
When her abusive Downer family throws her from their hovel, Fear takes refuge with a family who shows her love for the first time. Surely they can’t be trusted. Years of abuse and molestation has taught her that.
Then her brother discovers where she’s hiding and tries to kidnap her. Fear will never let him touch her again. Her new family conceals her at the Fallen, a ranch that hides parachute babies from the Uppers who discarded them.
Just as she’s beginning to embrace yet another home, Fear’s new little sister, Happy, is kidnapped and taken to the Uppers’ temple harem. Fear must go against her namesake, find a working hoverpod, and journey to the dreaded Gliding Lands before the little girl’s innocence is ripped from her forever.
Can she save Happy in time?
And will she find answers to the burning question of why anyone would throw her away?
~ Interview ~
KATIE: Thanks for being my guest today, Deanna!
DEANNA: I’m very happy to be here!
Let’s start the interview by taking a little ‘flight of fancy’. Finish these sentences for me:
If I was invited to a dress-up party, I would go as…
Well, I’m going to a sort of dress up party at the end of this month. During Realm Makers, we have a cosplay night, and I’m going Steampunk this year. BUT if I had my pre-kid body and an endless supply of money, there’d be no stopping my creativity with costumes. I’d even wear a costume everyday if I could. Kaylee from Firefly. Gender bender version of Will Ohmsford from Shannara Chronicles. Tris from Divergent. TOO MANY IDEAS. I love any old-fashioned dresses as well. The prettier the better.
I know who to go to for ideas next time I get invited to a costume party!
If I could assign one household task to the fairies forever, it would be…
Ugh. This one is so hard. Either cooking or cleaning, but right now I’m leaning toward cooking. I hate cooking in the summer because of the heat. I’d probably say cleaning in the winter though.
Yeah, a hot day can even take the enjoyment out of a roast—and that’s saying something!
If I was a musical instrument, I would be a…
Flute. Airy and whimsical.
My idea place to read would be…
Oh, in Anne’s cherry tree for sure.
“I had made up my mind that if you didn’t come for me tonight I’d go down the track to that big wild cherry tree at the bend, and climb up into it to stay all night. I wouldn’t be a bit afraid, and it would be lovely to sleep in a wild cherry tree all white with bloom in the moonshine, don’t you think? You could imagine you were dwelling in marble halls, couldn’t you?” —Anne of Green Gables
Oh, I love that answer! ❤ Anne-with-an-‘e’!
So, let’s talk about your new release. Ending Fear is a dystopian novel. What draws you to the dystopian genre?
I love dystopian because it always touches on the big issues in the world. It doesn’t necessarily teach a moral lesson, but it does get you to think about issues that plague our society and the world around us. Gets those gears turning. Takes us into the future and asks the question “what if?”
Very true! It asks the kind of ‘what if’ questions that take us out of ourselves and force us to consider the bigger picture, don’t they?
So, where did you get the inspiration for this novel?
A childhood friend was the original inspiration for my main character, Fear, but Fear easily morphed into her own person after a short while. I’m a character-driven writer, not a plot-driven writer, so I get inspired by people, not the events around me. Although, that’s not entirely true. The Hunger Games and Divergent were big inspirations in me writing this particular story, for sure.
I haven’t read the Divergent series, but I’ve seen the movie, and I have to credit The Hunger Games with getting me interested in and thinking about dystopian fiction in general. I resisted reading that series for so long, but once I started, I was hooked!
Can you give us an overview of the world of your novel?
The western hemisphere is split firmly between the Uppers, those elite living in floating cities, and the Downers who are left on earth to do their bidding, living in squalor and oppression.
That very neatly segues into another question I’ve been keen to ask. You’ve chosen very obvious names for the characters and settings in your novel: eg. Fear, Happy, Uppers, Downers. Why is this?
Well, sometimes that leads people to believe I’ve written a modern allegory, but that’s not actually the case. At least it wasn’t my intention. (I’ve had my story compared to Hinds Feet in High Places quite a few times.) I honestly just wanted unique names. I have a fiery passion for names, and I also loathe certain names with a passion. I didn’t want to have to make up “fake” names (personally not a fan of made-up words used as names) but I wanted something that screamed “different” and “futuristic.” I figured if people are using the names Apple, Jupiter, and Legend now, then having an entire civilization of names based on human characteristics might not be too far off.
The Uppers and the Downers are groups of people. So I basically thought of drug use and how my story world reflected a lot of that and put that drug terminology in for my people groups.
I’d have to agree with you on the future possibility of names based on human characteristics—and they’d be easier to spell than some of the names you come across these days!
In what way do you most identify with your main character, and in what way are you most unlike your main character?
Well, I tried not to put too much of myself into Fear, but I just couldn’t help it. When my husband read one of my earlier drafts, he looked up, smiled, and said something to the extent of “I can really tell you wrote her. She’s got a lot of you in her.” But I’ve expanded her character a lot since then. I’m sure she still shares a lot of my quirks and thinking patterns, though. I mean, she is my main character, and I gave her a lot of the same passions and heart that I have.
I think I’m most unlike her in the fact that I’ve never wanted anyone to die. So there’s that.
Lol! That’s definitely a good difference to have! And I think it would be pretty difficult for a character you wrote not to reflect you in some way.
You like to write fiction with “an underlying message of hope.” What is the message of hope you want people to take away from Ending Fear?
That there is more to this world than just living for ourselves. That if we give to others, sacrifice of ourselves, that just maybe we can make the world a better place. That sounds cliché, but that’s the message in a nutshell.
Well, if it’s clichéd, I’m pretty sure it’s only because we constantly need the reminder to look beyond ourselves. Or maybe that’s just me… 😊
Thank you so much for chatting with me today, Deanna!
If you were going to have a name based on human characteristics, what would your name be?
~ Extras ~
Did you know Deanna has a colouring book you can purchase as a companion to this novel? The illustrations are by talented artist Keighley Kendig:
Artist Keighley Kendig began drawing when she could barely walk and hasn’t stopped since. She landed her dream job at Disney World, where she sees dreams come true every day. She adores bringing book characters to life with her many artistic endeavors. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org to book her for your own coloring book or project, or you can follow her on Instagram at @keighleyk to learn more about her. Click here to purchase.
There will also be a Facebook party to celebrate this release on 20 July 2017, from 7pm-9:30pm MST. Click the graphic below to go to the event page:
~ Scavenger Hunt ~
If you’ve been following this blog tour, you’ll already know what this is all about, but for those of you who haven’t, you have a chance to win a signed paperback of Ending Fear and a colouring book (US only) or an e-book of the novel only for international entries. All you have to do is visit each stop on the blog tour (listed below), collect that stop’s clue, and put together the mystery sentence to enter. Once you’ve put all the clues together, make sure you click here to enter!
Here’s your clue for this stop:
~ Blog Tour ~
10 July – www.jebraunclifford.com // www.dthomasclark.com
11 July – www.livkfisher.blogspot.com
12 July – www.jmhackman.com
13 July – www.unicornquester.com // www.sheheartsfiction.wordpress.com
14 July – www.JustBJordan.com
15 July – www.landsuncharted.com
16 July – www.bakerkella.wordpress.com
17 July – www.fictionaficionadoblog.wordpress.com
18 July – www.quillsandinkblotts.wordpress.com
19 July – www.laurinboyle.wordpress.com
20 July – www.micheleisraelharper.com
21 July – www.joyfulantidotes.com