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Monday, January 16, 2012

Annie Oldham - Interview/Giveaway

The Burn
The Burn is full of nuclear fallout, roving gangs, anarchy, unreliable plumbing. That's what Terra's father tells her. She has lived her whole life in comfort in a colony at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. She hates it. And she would pay any price to leave. But when Terra finally escapes the colony, she finds out her father is right. 

She finds a group of survivors that quickly become friends, and every day with them is a race for survival. When she witnesses and commits unspeakable acts, she has to decide where her loyalty lies: with the colony she despises or The Burn, where every day is filled with nightmares

You can read my review HERE

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Today I have the extreme pleasure to welcome Annie Oldham, author of The Burn, to the stage (please ignore the fact there is not an actual stage here…) Welcome Annie!  How are things with you today?
Oh, you know, just feeding my kiddos lunch, wrangling the mess in the house, trying to squeeze in some writing. The usual :)

Great, Annie!  Let’s jump right in.  Can you tell our readers a bit about The Burn?
The Burn is Terra’s story. She’s a girl who lives at the bottom of the ocean in a colony (where some people fled just before WWIII, when most major cities were destroyed) and everything is prescribed: her job, her food, her schedule. She’s tired of it and wants something more. She wants to escape for the Burn (the land). She’s heard it’s horrific, but she knows there has to be something more than her carefully controlled life.
And then Terra does escape the colony, and she finds out everything she’s heard is true. But there’s also so many things she finds that she hadn’t heard about, like the friendships she makes and the love she finds. But in the midst of it all is always fear.

Now I’ve seen around that The Burn was inspired by The Little Mermaid.  Can you elaborate on that?
Not The Little Mermaid (Disney) but The Little Mermaid (Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale). There’s a big difference. 
You are absolutely right. (Readers, you can read the HCA story here)
I was reading the original one day and I wondered if I could retell it, but with a girl, not a fish. And the biggest question was how to get a girl living on the bottom of the ocean. So I thought of the colonies and why they would be there, and the retelling quickly turned into a dystopian novel. I think the mood of a dystopian genre matches both the darkness and the glimpses of hope of the original.
The original fairy tale is dark and frankly for me, much more compelling. The mermaid has to sacrifice much more than a glowing ball of a voice to go on land, and she pays with her life at the end of the story. I’ll tell you now that Terra doesn’t die, but she does pay the same price to go on land and she does have to give away a part of herself at the end to come to peace with herself.

I’m guessing anyone who has read The Burn is desperately excited for a sequel.  What can you tell us about The Reaping?
I won’t tell much, ha ha :) But I will tell you we’ll see more of the corrupt government you got a taste of in The Burn. You’ll also see more of sweet Jack and a few other familiar characters. But you’ll also meet some new ones. It’s going to be intense, and it’s going to be scary, and there will also be sweet, tender moments as well. And Terra finally finds her place and role on the Burn.

And I see you are working on another novel, Bound.  This one sounds very interesting.  Is there anything you can share with us about that?                                   
I’m really excited about this one (though I say that about every book I’m working on at the time!), and I love the characters. Here’s a little synopsis for you:
Wyn has power, the same power that drove her mother to insanity. A power she's not sure she wants or can even wield. She is the Binder, the one mortal on earth who can seal the gate to the faerie realm. But then a man with influence and insatiable hunger in her world covets the power of the faerie realm and will stop at nothing to get it. And if he succeeds, humanity will be enslaved forever. Will Wyn be able to control the power that controlled her mother, and stop him?

Annie, you have books in a couple different genres.  What is your favorite genre to read personally?
I love reading YA fantasy and YA paranormal. Those have been my favorites for years now, and I always find myself coming back to them.

And this one is super tough… You are on a deserted island, just you and a soccer ball.  A package floats up to you on shore with one book in it.  What book do you hope to find?
Oh, Wilson, what would I do without you? :) The book: probably The Lord of the Rings. That book is so big and dense that I enjoy it and find new things to like about it every time I reread it.

And I see you grew up in OH.  You went to college in Utah.  You live in Az.  No, I’m not a stalker.  LOL.  But those are all very different places to live!  So what gives, are you a warm weather woman, or a cold clime creature?  (ok ok, not the best choices lol)
In Ohio and in Utah, I loved the snow and the seasons changing. Loved it. Growing up, I lived for a snow day. My siblings and I would play in the snow for hours. Now I’ve lived in Arizona for a couple years, and I’m such a wimp when it comes to the cold. I hate being cold.

Have you had any crazy jobs?
I was a pearl diver at SeaWorld for a couple summers. How’s that for a crazy job? No, I’m being serious. And there was a SeaWorld in Ohio once upon a time. A well-kept secret, apparently, because almost no one knows that. I dressed up in the traditional Japanese diving costume (best question from a show-watcher ever: “Are you Japanese?” Um, no. Did you see my blue eyes and blond hair and almost albino complexion?) and swam to the bottom of the little pool and grabbed pearl-laden oysters. It was the best summer job ever.

How do you feel about social media?  
I have a love-hate relationship with it. I understand the need for it, but there are too many sites out there. Can’t we just have a universal social media so I don’t have to check Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.? Please?

And what is your favorite dessert?
The better question would be what isn’t my favorite dessert. A few loves: sticky toffee pudding, ice cream (the flavor is irrelevant), and brownies.

When you write, do you listen to music? (and what kind, of course!)
I cannot listen to music and write at the same time. I love music, so when I listen to it, it takes up too much space in brain and I can’t concentrate on my writing.

And lastly, is it soda or pop?
It was pop in Ohio and soda when I came west. So I’m ambidextrous with my carbonated beverages :)

Ok, I think that about covers all of the bases.  Thank you so much for stopping by Fictional Candy, and for the awesome giveaway!  Best of luck on all of your upcoming releases, they are definitely on my watch list!

Giveaway is open internationally to people age 13 and older, void where prohibited
Prize is one ebook of The Burn
Giveaway starts at 00:00 1-16-12 and ends at 11:59 1-20-12
Winner will have 48 hours to respond to winning notification, or a new winner will be chosen.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway