Monday, May 18, 2015

Guest Post + Book Excerpt + Giveaway: In The Beginning There Was Us by Ingrid Jonach

I am beyond thrilled to bring this awesome post today because it’s packed with all good things bookish: an author guest post, a book excerpt and a giveaway! A bunch of thanks to Dianne of Oops! I Read A Book Again for organizing this blog tour. Without much ado, I give Ingrid Jonach to you:

Why I love writing sci-fi YA

by Ingrid Jonach

I love writing for young adults—mainly because I like reading young adult novels, so I guess I feel like I'm writing for myself. And, even though I’m now well beyond the traditional age bracket, my favourite contemporary author remains Sarah Dessen (who has just released her twelfth novel Saint Anything. Yay!).

When I was writing books for kids, I used to get asked all the time whether I had kids myself. I somewhat sheepishly replied,‘No,’ as if this somehow disqualified me from being able to entertain and educate that age group. After all, I was a kid once myself.

And that’s exactly how I look at my obsession with young adult novels. I was—not too long ago—a teenager and it left an indelible mark on me. I think what really appeals to me about writing for young adults is that you’re exploring the transition to adulthood, which gives you some really heavy themes like the loss of innocence and search for identity, coupled with characters who vary vastly in maturity.

I've always been a big fan of fantasy—more so than science fiction. The books I adored growing up were mostly supernatural (for example, anything by Australian author Victor Kelleher). I particularly adored the horror genre. I devoured anything with vampires in it (WAY before Twilight) and cut my teeth on R.L. Stine.

When I started pitching my first young adult novel—When the World was Flat (and we were in love)—to agents, I actually described it as a fantasy novel. Embarrassing as this is for someone with a writing degree to admit, I wasn’t a reader of science fiction and thought of it largely as stories set in space (hard science fiction). When I finally pieced together that Albert Einstein and his Theory of Everything were science and NOT fantasy (duh!), I started describing my story as science fiction fantasy and then soft science fiction and now science fiction romance and sometimes speculative fiction. The genre,however, that I think really sums it up is the non-existent genre of urban science fiction (a hypothetical counterpart to urban fantasy).

My follow up young adult novel, In The Beginning There Was Us, is also urban science fiction (I’m just going to go ahead and coin it as a genre). Both of my young adult novels look at re-imagined histories and possible scientific explanations for the inexplicable in a contemporary setting. For example, scientific theories I have developed (or dreamed up) about ghosts and luck. I use the term ‘scientific’ loosely, of course. The theories are only based in science – the rest is based in what if?

You know how kids go through the ‘why?’ phase. They ask what you’re doing and when you tell them they want to know why. And when you tell them why their next question is inevitably,‘why?’ I think I’ve never left that phase behind. I enjoyed maths at school until my teachers stopped being able to explain to me why I needed to understand trigonometry and calculus. Then I dropped it (something I somewhat regret, but that saw me pass my final exams with flying colours!).

This insatiable curiosity has led me to the science fiction genre. The romance that’s spread throughout my novels is just the icing on the cake. Couple both of those with the young adult demographic and I have so much scope for my imagination!


About In The Beginning There Was Us

Synopsis:
What would you do if you were God? If you had the power to not only give life, but take it away in the blink of an eye? These are the questions that haunt fifteen-year-old Abbey Baxter after she resurrects a boy, long lost to the ages.

The achingly beautiful and eternally melancholy Cole not only serves as a welcome distraction from her long-time crush, Elwin, but also eases the heartache that persists since the sudden passing of her younger brother, Junior, four years earlier.

As the intrigue of her relationship with Cole deepens, so too does the mystery that surrounds a growing phenomenon sweeping through her small West Virginian town, transforming the lives of its residents. Around her, two bedroom cottages are transforming into mansions without explanation and residents are waking up to bank balances that have tripled overnight, all under the watchful gaze of the sinister American Laboratory for Particle Physics, located on the outskirts of town.

As Abbey searches for answers in a bid to solve the mystery in partnership with Elwin, she’s forced into a realization that that some things are better left buried, including her newfound love, Cole.

This cautionary tale of heartache and obsession explores the endless possibilities of the universe and its devastating impact on two young lovers from different worlds. (Add In The Beginning There Was Us to your Goodreads TBR here)

Genre: Young Adult, Science fiction
Date of Publication: April 28, 2015
Purchase links: Amazon | Smashwords

About the Author

Ingrid Jonach writes books for kids and teens. Her young adult sci fi romance novels When the World was Flat (and we were in love) and In The Beginning There Was Us are available now. She is also the author of the picture book A Lot of Things and the chapter books The Frank Frankie and Frankie Goes to France published by Pan Macmillan Australia. Ingrid has worked as a journalist and public relations consultant, and has a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing with Honors in Communications. She lives down under - in Canberra, Australia - with her husband Craig and their pug dog Mooshi.

Find Ingrid on: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube

Major bonus

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of In The Beginning There Was Us


I WAKE TO the sound of sirens and a bedroom lit up, as if by fireworks on the Fourth of July.

I blink owlishly at the ceiling for a moment or two, before I throw back the covers and crawl across my bed to peer through my window at the blue and red flashing lights of a police car and a fire engine. They’re followed moments later by an ambulance and two more police cars.

The five vehicles careen around the corner, like clown cars off to throw confetti on a fake fire, and I realize that they’re headed in the direction of the Lab.

The American Laboratory for Particle Physics—as it’s officially called—is located on the outskirts of our small town and employs at least a third of the population, including my dad.

The Lab has also put our town on the map as the least visited town in the country, unless you count the protesters that camp on the outskirts of Albert Falls. No one else wants to be within a hundred mile radius of the largest particle accelerator in the United States.

I watch through my window as the surrounding houses light up one by one, like fireflies at dusk. It’s more like dawn though. I glance over at the digital clock that sits on my chest of drawers. Yep. 3.46am.

I open the sash and a warm breeze ruffles my curtains as I strain to hear the now distant sirens, which intermingle with the sound of screen doors slamming and neighbors yelling at barking dogs.

I’m suddenly blinded by the bedroom light above my head.

“Pack your bags, Abbey.”

“What?” I ask, turning and rubbing one of my eyes with the heel of my hand.

“Now,” my dad says. I hear his shoes clomp down the hallway and it registers that he’s already dressed.

I remember to place my right foot on the floorboards before my left as I climb out of bed. I may as well go back to bed and pull the covers over my head if I start the day on the wrong foot—so to speak.

It’s just one of many symptoms of my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which my best friend Mali Kendrick had helpfully diagnosed via Google three years ago.

I have a couple of other rituals—including one for walking through doorways and another for putting on seatbelts.

There are others that I make up on the spot. For example, deciding that if I close my eyes for two minutes and thirty seconds I’ll pass an exam, or if I hold my breath through a television commercial my mom won’t need her medication anymore.

I rummage through my wardrobe for my overnight bag and start filling it, not knowing how many pairs of underwear to pack, or whether I need to take my swimsuit.

I shake my head as I stuff it back into my drawer. This isn’t a holiday. It’s an evacuation, I remind myself and the hairs on the back of my neck prickle at the realization.


Giveaway

The excerpt sounds exciting, right? Well, Ingrid is so awesomely providing two of her ebooks to one lucky winner!

1. In The Beginning There Was Us
2. When the World Was Flat (and we were in love) Hint: Dianne of Oops! I Read A Book Again adores this book. Check out her five-star review here.

Giveaway is open internationally! Enter below:

***Good luck!***

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