Monday, 28 January 2013

The Prey UK Blog Tour


I am thrilled to be part of The Prey UK Blog Tour especially because of how much I enjoyed reading The Hunt (review here) and I can't wait to find out what happens next!  First things first though, here is a little bit more information about the book:

For Gene and the remaining humans—or hepers—death is just a heartbeat away. On the run and hunted by society, they must find a way to survive in The Vast... and avoid the hungry predators tracking them in the dark. But they’re not the only things following Gene. He’s haunted by the girl he left behind and his burgeoning feelings for Sissy, the human girl at his side.

When they discover a refuge of exiled humans living high in the mountains, Gene and his friends think they’re finally safe. Led by a group of intensely secretive elders, the civilisation begins to raise more questions than answers. A strict code of behaviour is the rule, harsh punishments are meted out, young men are nowhere to be found—and Gene begins to wonder if the world they’ve entered is just as evil as the one they left behind. As life at the refuge grows more perilous, he and Sissy only grow closer. In an increasingly violent world, all they have is each other... if they can only stay alive.

Writing a sequel can be hard and so I am pleased to welcome Andrew Fukuda to the blog today to talk about his experience of writing the sequel to The Hunt...



Writing the bridge book of a trilogy is notoriously difficult. Every author knows that. I know that. But because I had a good mental outline for The Prey, and had a solid grasp of how to write the sequel, I believed I wouldn’t be afflicted by Sequel Syndrome.

Oh, blissfully-ignorant, naïve self.

Truth is, The Prey pawned me. All the classic author nemeses eventually reared their ugly heads: nagging self-doubt, writer’s block, anxiety, looming deadlines, pressures (self-inflicted and otherwise) etc., etc. Even as I made significant headway, even as I continued to believe in the vision I had for The Prey, these nettlesome worries continued to corrode away my confidence.  I think every author comes to this roadblock at some point with each new manuscript. At least that’s what I’ve read on countless author blogs. No matter the author’s prior successes, each new book brings with stunning indifference and regularity its own slough of despond. I suspect many actually revel in this kind of pressurized environment; it somehow catalyzes their creative processes. Other authors, I think, react in opposite fashion, caving in a little (or a lot); and their breakdown can be later detected in the white spaces of the novel like frantic, barely-audible whispers of panic.

For me, and for this book – because every book has its own unique difficulties and corresponding solutions – help came from unexpected quarters. The breakthrough occurred when reading a tweet by Marie Lu. In it, she quite cleverly and humorously imagined that when she wasn’t working on the Legend trilogy, she imagined her characters as movie stars lounging around the set and grousing about the director (or, in this case, the author). That tweet was hilarious and stayed with me. It had an unintended effect – it made me look at my own Hunt characters anew. It made me realize the level of affection I had for them. For Gene, for Sissy, for Ashley June, for the dome hepers.

And that’s what propelled me forward, got me past the slough of despond.  My characters. I really – at the risk of sounding hokey  – care for them. It’s not that they are mere extensions of my better self: artificially processed and perfected alter egos, and the act of writing them no more than a twisted form of narcissism. No; in fact, there are aspects of their personalities, and decisions they make, that positively make me cringe. They are flawed, scarred characters nursing galling insecurities. But they matter to me.

I made a resolution: I would not subject Gene, Sissy, and Ashley June to a stale filler sequel.  Instead, I would plunge them into a world where they would be able to breathe, where they would come further to life. Where they would be discoveries to themselves as much as to me (and by extension, the reader). I would do them right. This prospect thrilled me, and that’s not hyperbole. I veered from formulaic narrative structures and dared to venture onto paths that allowed them to come into their own. Whenever I came to a roadblock, I asked: what allows my characters to come to life? And that was the key. Together we came out of the slough and into a novel I’m delighted with.

The Prey is published on 29th January, 2013 in the US and 31st January, 2013 in the UK.  To find out more about Andrew and his books, please click here to visit his website.  Also, see below for the rest of the blogs taking part in the tour.


2 comments:

  1. Love the cover, and it definitely sounds like an interesting story!

    Best,

    Alexandra~

    ReplyDelete