Blog Tour Stop: Renegade by J.A. Souders (Interview + Giveaway)

Renegade (The Elysium Chronicles, #1)
by J.A. Souders
Series: The Elysium Chronicles #1
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: November 13, 2012

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Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.


1. What inspired you to write Renegade
Well, I’ve always wanted to live in an underwater city. I went to school to become a marine biologist and even joined the Navy in the hopes of either starting or living in one. But, well, I never did find that key to Atlantis, so I decided to make one a better way. I’d make it up and write a story around it. After years of scrubbing a ton of manuscripts that just weren’t right because an underwater city would be my version of a utopian society, it finally hit me. I was half watching my son play the video game BIOSHOCK and half watching a documentary on the world’s fascination with perfection. It all meshed in my head and the story was born.

2. How did your writing career begin?
Once upon a time, there was a baby girl born with a pencil and a notebook. She grew up being too nosy for her own good and with too much of an active imagination. :P No, but seriously. I think I’ve always wanted to write. But I don’t think I considered it seriously as a profession until one of my middle school English teachers pulled me off to the side after reading one of the stories I was supposed to write for her class and told me that she really thought I had a knack for writing and would I want to enter this into a contest because she was sure I’d win. I was extremely flattered and I entered. I did end up winning. After that I kept writing and writing, but I was always too afraid to pursue publication until after my daughter was born and my husband convinced me to go ahead and try, because the worst anyone could say was they didn’t want to publish it.

3. Who was your favorite character to write?
Believe it or not, it was Mother. She’s just so deliciously evil that it was entirely too much fun to write her story and think of her backstory to come up with why she is the way she is.

4. Did you do any particular research for the book?
I did so much research for this book I thought I was back in school and researching for a research paper! I researched everything from what the glass in the windows is made of (clear aluminum, BTW.) to what technology would make sense, how they’d get oxygen, how they’d have electricity, what weapons would work for certain scenes, what type of food they’d have given the space constraints. Even different forms of government to determine how this city would run best, but still be flawed.

5. Playlists for novels are becoming more popular. Did you write with music? And what song do you think best encapsulates Renegade
I do write with music. I typically pick a playlist that I feel gives me the mood I’m looking for in the story. Most of the time I end up tuning the music out as I’m writing, but the mood works it’s way into the story anyway. I’d say the song that most encapsulates Renegade is Keep Holding On by Avril Lavigne.

6. If you could describe Renegade in three words, what would they be?
I’m going to have to steal Ann Aguirre’s blurb of it. It’s just so perfect that I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Grim, vicious, riveting.

7. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Keep writing. Never give up. And never compare yourself to anyone. Everyone’s journey is so different that if you spend your time comparing yourself to other people, you’ll always be disappointed.

8. Since Nawanda Files highlights books into movies, what is your favorite movie that was adapted from a book? 
I’d have to say the Hunger Games movie. It’s one of the best adaptations I’ve ever seen. They’ve stuck fairly close to the original story and while I’m disappointed they’ve left a few things out (Peeta’s leg!), most everything they changed made it better or was an understandable change.

Thank you so much J.A. Souders for stopping by Nawanda Files! I know I can't wait to read Renegade!

About the Author
J.A. Souders lives in Florida with her husband and their two children and is an active member of RWA, DFRW, YARWA, SCBWI, and SFWA. RENEGADE is her first novel.

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1 comment:

  1. I totally already have this book on my tbr list! I don't know when I'll get a chance to read it because my current book budget is near non-existent but somehow I'm going to make it work. Haha. I love the idea of an underwater city plus I'm always up for oodles of secrets and intense revelations. Great interview!