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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Book Tour: Amongst the Ruins by Saewod Tice.


Tell us about your latest book.  Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?

My current release is titled Amongst the Ruins and it’s the first in The Chronicles of 2020 series.

Set in a dystopian future, Amongst the Ruins follows Shilo, a young and unusual girl, from childhood to revered woman. 

In the year 2220, only about 15% of Earth's population have survived and thrived after the Nuclear Disaster of 2020. With the collapse of modern society, the population has regressed into eight clans.

Amongst these clans, an unusual girl grows from child to adult.

Raised on the run and in hiding, Shilo wants to be free of the expectations of women. But in a ruined world where anyone could be an enemy, only the radiation-twisted mutants are clearly identifiable. A fertile female is a precious treasure, and any lapse in caution can mean a loss of the freedom she longs for.

Training as hard as a soldier would, in order to free herself from social constraints, she finds herself faced with an offer from a new clan--an offer that provides her with what she desires. But her recently found independence brings discovery, and discovery brings two very different men from her past—and each of them is determined to claim her.

One is obsessed with owning her, the other desires her as the only person who can make him love again.

Have you ever used contemporary events or stories “ripped from the headlines” in your work?

Sometimes contemporary events inspire me to write scenes and such.  I do like to take commonly used story ideas and put my own wicked twist on things.  Where Amongst the Ruins was inspired by watching ‘Life After People’ on the History Channel, some of my other books are my own take on familiarly used storylines – rock star enemy love, Vegas marriages, falling for the employer, and so on. 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?

Finding time, especially after being published.  It seems I have less time to write now, which is astounding since it was hard to find time to begin with. J 

How did you deal with rejection letters?
The first rejection letter was painful, but I’ve been lucky compared to some of the horror stories I’ve heard.  My rejections have never been harsh or made me feel bad about my writing.  I’m also lucky to have some great co-authors to help keep my head up, guide me, and make me see the rejections as a tool to help improve my writing and/or submissions method.
Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?

It depends first on the genre and then on what the story line calls for.  Being a multi-genre author, I have to gauge exactly how far to go in each story I write.  While a young adult book will obviously have the line drawn before it goes into inappropriate, I’m not the type of author who believes in fading to black in an intimate scene just because it’s young adult - Nor would I take the intimacy into overly erotic.  It’s all about knowing your audience and what you are comfortable putting out there.

Excerpt:
Two birthdays came and went since we’d abnormally settled in the abandoned town we called Nohme.
Apparently Hagor relished his authority and leader status too much to give it up. A trail of other groups who joined our settlement only fueled his power-hungry desires.
In the early stages of governing, each member of our small town had a voice in matters. And while the pretense of everyone having a say in the growing town of Nohme was upheld, it grew more obvious who made the choices. Voting became routine, but somehow everything ended up in Hagor’s favor. The taste of power on his lips, people waited for the day they would need to bow or make offering to him, as if he were a god.
During those two years I’d learned more and more about society’s expectations. Much of my knowledge came from the eldest women in the group, who had come from different clan backgrounds. In the middle of a cleared area they would sit around a large oak tree gossiping about intimate topics. The younger children would play on restored swings and slides a few yards away.
Mother often tried to shoo me away. Sometimes she did not.
Last fall, they talked about how Hagor had filled both Abby’s and Inell’s bellies. Laughter spread when the oldest woman joked that he’d need yet another companion now. Abby is only two years older than me. By summer, they speculated as to the identity of his third woman. All the ladies knew he had one, but not who it could be.
Also that summer, a time came when Adley bounced into the house after a three day absence, his arms full from a successful scavenging. He dumped the contents onto the table, and we eagerly joined him.
“What do you have?” Mother asked.
He didn’t answer her immediately. “Shilo, this sack is for you.”
I caught it, excited to see what he’d given me.
“Mazy, this is yours.” Adley tossed another sack, and it landed at her feet.
“Mother these—”
“Where did you get these things?” Alarm rang in her voice and covered her features.
“There’s a city merely a day from here. We’ve been going east and west, but north is the way we should’ve been headed from the start. They still have large buildings with things in boxes that have never been touched.” He tapped his toes in a little dance. “If I’d known what our search group was walking into up there, I would’ve taken the cart. The moment the watchers demolished the brick wall it. . . I can’t even tell you.”
Mazy pulled a long, yellow dress from her bundle and held it to her shoulders. “Adley, thank you. It’s—”
“You entered a city, and you did it knowing I wouldn’t approve?” Mother gasped like someone had taken all her breath.
Seeing what Mazy had gotten, I quickly opened my bag. There were jeans, shirts, socks, and underclothes. I’d worn the same four outfits for so long! To have something new and only ever mine . . .
“Are you out of your mind? Do you know what could’ve happened? What if They were there?”
“We’ve been watching it for a week. We took precautions. Six of us went, all in pairs. It’s perfectly safe.”
Now older, Adley pressed further his role of patriarch. He frequently acted counter to Mother’s concerns and rebelled against her decisions. But . . . Mother was always right. What if they really were there? What if the Nigredo came for my brother?
“Safe?” Mother snorted.
“As safe as can be,” he said. He offered her the last bag.
“Don’t return to the city, Adley. Promise me you won’t.”
He already began shaking his head. “I can’t do that. There’re still so many places left untouched. I can’t believe the things still stored there.”
“What about the contamination? What about Them? They travel the cities and could show up tomorrow. Or perhaps it’s a trap, with you none the wiser.”
I’d never seen anyone from the clan Nigredo, but I knew what they looked like. Oversized skulls, deformed bodies, scars. Insanity.
Adley made no promises that night, and Mother went to bed soon after the confrontation. For a moment before sleep, I considered going through the things Adley had brought—I hadn’t even gotten to thank him.

It was still dark when screams woke me. For once they weren’t my own. When the silence came, I rolled to my side snuggling back into the blankets. It must have been another nightmare.
Then, the screams multiplied, and shouts from men rang out. My eyes shot open, landing on Mazy’s empty blankets across the room. Where is she? Is that her screaming? Had someone had taken her? Were they still here? Would I be next?
No. The screams exploded outside. Peeking through the boards on my window, I saw houses burning and large, dark shadows running after people in the chaos. Was our house on fire too?
My bedroom door flew open, and I screamed.

Saewod Tice
www.saewod.webs.com
www.thechroniclesof2020.webs.com
Twitter - @saewodtice
Facebook & Goodreads – V Saewod Tice
 Blurb: In the year 2220, only about 15% of Earth's population have survived and thrived after the Nuclear Disaster of 2020.

With the collapse of modern society, the population has regressed into eight clans.

Amongst these clans, an unusual girl grows from child to adult.

Raised on the run and in hiding, Shilo wants to be free of the expectations of women. But in a ruined world where anyone could be an enemy, only the radiation-twisted mutants are clearly identifiable. A fertile female is a precious treasure, and any lapse in caution can mean a loss of the freedom she longs for.

Training as hard as a soldier would, in order to free herself from social constraints, she finds herself faced with an offer from a new clan--an offer that provides her with what she desires. But her recently found independence brings discovery, and discovery brings two very different men from her past—and each of them is determined to claim her.

One is obsessed with owning her, the other desires her as the only person who can make him love again.

1 comment:

MDOBSON said...

Thank you for hosting Saewod today.