Monday, November 4, 2013

AUSTRALIAN BLOG TOUR - INTERVIEW & REVIEW - SEAN WILLIAMS - JUMP - TWINMAKER # 1 - YA SCI-FI - ALLEN & UNWIN -- AUSSIE AUTHOR ROAD TRIP - DAY 4


Rachel from The Rest Is Still Unwritten designed the banner


Day 4: I am technically on the Allen & Unwin Australian Blog Tour for Jump , Twinmaker # 1 by Sean Williams , but we needed some manly blood on my Aussie Author Road Trip so I slid it in.  




The Kombi van has crossed the border into South Australia, my home state.  I had better swing by and say G'day to the folks while I am here.

Check out my review and my Q & A session with Sean. 

So, let's give it up for the very talented man who writes for Star Wars , co-writes with other lads with surnames ending in 'ix' and is a New York bestselling author.

You can find all of Sean's written works here at Goodreads.



About this author



#1 New York Times bestselling Sean Williams lives with his family in Adelaide, South Australia. He’s written some books--thirty-nine at last count--including the Philip K. Dick-nominated Saturn Returns, several Star Wars novels and the Troubletwister series with Garth Nix. Twinmaker is the first in a new YA SF series that takes his love affair with the matter transmitter to a whole new level. You can find some related short stories over at Lightspeed Magazine.




By: Sean Williams
Published By : Allen & Unwin
Released : 1st November 2013
Details: Paperback from publisher for review, 352 Pages

RATING: 3.5 D-MAT STARS!

Blurb: Goodreads

Clair lives in a world revolutionised by d-mat, a global teleport system that allows people to transport themselves instantaneously around the world. 

When a coded note promises improvement – the chance to change your body any way you want, making it stronger, taller, more beautiful – Clair thinks it’s too good to be true, but her best friend, Libby, is determined to give it a try.

What starts as Libby’s dream turns into Clair’s nightmare when Libby falls foul of a deadly trap. With the help of Jesse, the school freak, and a mysterious online friend called Q, Clair’s attempt to protect Libby leads her to an unimagined world of conspiracies and cover-ups. Soon her own life is at risk, and Clair is chased across the world in a desperate race against time.




Q & A SESH with SEAN


Michelle: Hello Sean. My name’s Michelle and I write for the Australian book blog Novels On The Run. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I am a former Adelaide resident of twenty years myself and I now live on the Sunshine Coast in QLD.

SW: Hi Michelle! Nice to meet you. Greetings from Parkside, where it’s lovely and sunny, but probably not as sunny as where you are right now. :-)

Michelle:  What five words describe Sean Williams the AUTHOR?

SW: Prolific, diverse, hardworking, grammatically correct (except for this sentence).


Michelle:  What five words describe Sean Williams the man behind the writer? 

SW: Obsessive, persistent, curious, lazy, honest.

Michelle: I am currently half way through Jump your first book in the Twinmaker series. Could you please give me your explanations/descriptions of the following terminology from Jump? Augs, bumped, fabbed, Air, d-mat, infield, WHOLE and peacekeepers.

SW: Cool. I hope you’re enjoying the book! Here are the explanations:

Augs = augmentations, like contact lenses that function in the same way our computer monitors do today, or earrings that take the place of speakers. Wearable computing so you’re never out of touch, unless you want to be.

bumped = kinda like texted, except you can do it with sound and pictures rather than just text.

fabbed = fabricated, like made in a 3D printer but much, much better.

Air = what lies beyond what lies beyond the Cloud.

infield = your inbox, only you see it in your vision via your augs.

WHOLE = World HOlistic LEadership. WHOLE is a terroristic group devoted to stopping the spread of any kind technology that makes the world less real, like fabbers that fabricate copies of food or clothes, and d-mat, which takes a person apart and rebuilds them somewhere else (aka the ultimate means of getting around).

peacekeepers = police, army and security all rolled into one, worldwide.

Michelle: Q is an interesting character. Could you give me five words that describe Q?

SW: Curious, dedicated, observant, trusting, young.

Michelle:  I have read the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld, I can see there is some influence in Jump. Where were you and what were were you doing when you came up with the idea for the Twinmaker series?

SW: Isn’t the Uglies series great? Scott and I have been friends for ages, and I remember talking about the idea for Jump with him long before I started writing it. I was worried that Jump might be too much like his books, but he reassured me they weren’t (and wrote an excellent blurb to back that up, much later). The idea of combining d-mat with urban myths and teen anxieties about appearance (not so different to grown-up anxieties) came to me in a flash one day--I don’t know where or how, but I remember sitting with Scott and trying to see if it would go somewhere interesting. So in a very real way he was there at the very beginning, and encouraged me to keep going.

Michelle: Crash is the second book in the series. Would you please be able to give us a non spoiler quote from Crash, to wet our whistles?

SW:  “Clair ate the sandwich.” That’s my favourite sentence in the whole book. Not very exciting, though, is it, so how about this one instead? It’s the opening line from the novel: “The day the world ended, Clair Hill was sitting at a table in a tiny interview room opposite two uniformed peacekeepers, one of whom was the tallest woman she had ever met.”

Michelle: What song did you listen to the most while writing Jump and why?

SW: I always listen to music while writing, but never anything with lyrics. They get in the way of the words in my head. So I listen to a lot of electronic ambient music instead, music that won’t interrupt but will get me moving, stop me from being distracted by the everyday stuff going on around me. Erik Wøllo and Steve Roach’s album The Road Eternal and Jon Hopkins’ soundtrack to the movie Monsters were my favourites while I was writing Twinmaker.

Michelle: What song did you/ are you listening to the most while writing Crash?

SW:  Future Flows by Steve Roach and Tales from the Ultra Tribe by Steve Roach and Byron Metcalf. (Too new for YouTube links, alas.) The titles fit the book, but that was completely unintentional!

Michelle: You have co-authored different works with Shane Dix (the Force Heretic series) and Garth Nix, (the Troubletwisters series), as well as writing your own stories. Can you tell us a bit about writing a story with another author, and how that works? 





SW: Like Steve Roach (as you can tell from my answers to the questions above) I get a lot out of working with other people, but only people whose names end in “ix”, so far. :-) It can be ideas, or a different voice, or even just company, since writing can be very lonely at times. With both Shane and Garth, we sat down and worked out the story before one of us started writing a first draft. With Troubletwisters, Garth writes the first chapter, then I do the rest, then the manuscript goes back to him for rewriting. By the time it’s bounced back and forth between us a few times, we have no idea who wrote what bit, which is as it should be. It’s not about which of us wrote which line, but both of writing the whole, together. 





Michelle:  Girls often talk about a book boyfriend. Do you have a book girlfriend that you can tell us about?

SW:  It might be a bit creepy if I had a book girlfriend from a YA novel because she’d be less than half my age! But when I was a teenager, I had a huge crush on Jessica from Logan’s Run (the book, not the terrible movie), and if I was a teenager now, it would be Julie from Elizabeth E. Wein’s brilliant Code Name Verity.

Michelle: What book signing or event have you attended that has been the most memorable for you and why?

SW:  Earlier this year I did a signing in Book Expo America in New York, which was pretty amazing. I’m glad so many people came along, so far ahead of Jump’s release! Really, I’m grateful to everyone who’s ever come to any event I’ve been part of, but I’ll never forget my first signing experience, which was twenty years ago in LA, as part of the Writers of the Future Contest. I was a winner, some young kid from South Australia flown halfway around the world to frock up and accept this award. The signing went for hours. It was amazing (ask Elizabeth E. Wein: she was there as a winner too). It was also a long time before anything like that ever happened again. :-)

Michelle: If I gave you a plain T-shirt and a marker, and told you to write a quote on it that would mean something to you. What would it say?

SW:  Cunctando regitur mundus. It’s an old Roman saying that means something like “waiting, one conquers all”. This phrase kept me going through all my early years of being a starving writer. I figured that if I never gave up, I’d eventually get somewhere.

Michelle: What has been the most surprising, unexpected thing that has happened to you from being a writer?

SW:  That what I said in the question , If I gave you a plain T-shirt and a marker, and told you to write a quote on it that would mean something to you. What would it say?
 turned out to be true.

I’ve been writing for 23 years, and for 13 of them I’ve been able to make a living doing nothing but that. That’s the most amazing thing of all. I remember very well what it was like all those years ago, starting out with nothing, and it still feels a bit like magic to be where I am now. The best kind of magic, when the world rewards you for doing something you love by allowing you to do it more often. Everyone should be so lucky.

Michelle:  Thank you again Sean for your time, and all the best with your writing!

SW: Thanks for the great questions, Michelle. My pleasure!




BOOK REVIEW by Michelle:


A great idea Sean has come up with. Who wouldn’t want to go into a d-mat booth and within seconds you could be somewhere on the other side of the globe doing a Lucky Jump or go visit your friend Libby, who you go to school with who in fact lives in Sweden... but you live in Maine.

How exciting!

How innovative!

What a way to parrrttayy!

No cost to travel, pick a destination and away you go.

No repercussions.

None?

Well maybe some.

Stainers aka the Abstainers are the non d-mat users, the old school way of living. Jesse and his father Dylan are Stainers. They grow their own veggies. Ride a bike. Jesse has never been inside a booth. They have their conspiracy theories about all this technology and it worries them.

Clair and her friends are all for using d-mats and fabbers etc. It is the way they live. Dirty washing, no problems, fab yourself up something new to wear.

Then Improvement makes its way onto your radar. Plastic surgery is nonexistent. Follow the instructions, find the fault on your body you want improved ...and be improved.

No cost.

No repercussions.

Or could it evolve into something more sinister and suicidal?

Clair finds out her friend Libby has used Improvement and away the story goes on a wave of questions needing answers and discoveries.

Clair’s life is about to be turned upside down and what she believed was harmless and fun, is turning out to be something else.

WHOLE are rebelling against technology. Clair will find herself having to decide who to trust and who to align herself with in a race against time to save Libby. To stop VIA. 

I will be honest and admit I really wanted a glossary in this book because I am not the first to note being a little off balance with the technology and the world we were all plopped into. I myself felt like I had used a d-mat and been whisked from my bedroom into the story line. I personally would love a prequel novella giving me the world information and the why of it. I felt a bit lost for part of the book.

The sub characters were great. Sean will keep weaving more characters into our infield as we read on.

I know Zeppelin Barker aka Zep was a bit of a player, I am not up for cheating lads, but I didn’t really feel that connected to Libby. Libby wasn’t Libby for a great deal of the book. Clair has her faults and it takes two to tango. Zep and Libby didn’t feel right. When you are seventeen you do stupid things. It’s a right of passage to growing up.

Zep I felt more connected to his character because he had attitude and he wasn’t a flat character. Jesse is a great guy, but I felt like he wasn’t giving me his all. We can fault Zep, but bottom line, he was a good guy...I think.

This book isn’t about romance, although Zep was giving it a try. I don’t know, maybe because he was a bit of a bad boy, he just grabbed me more than Jesse. I wanted to shake Jesse up a bit and get him to be more alive, bit rougher around the edges. He is a good guy and a nice guy, but I wanted more from him. I know there was the kiss, but I wanted more emotion.

I like Turner. He is a character with surprises.

Now Q. LOVE Q. I think everybody LOVES Q. There was something so intriguing about Q that kept the pages turning for me.

Who is Q?

What is Q?

Does Q know who she is?

There was an uber intrigue there and she is quite a captivating character. Very James Bond with a letter for a name.

I did enjoy the twists Sean threw in. He did leave me quite sad early on into the read and I felt gutted. I was like NOOOoooOOooooo!

Then...

I was like NOoooOOooooo...again! Dang it! But I have hope. I can see what Sean was showing the reader. This makes me want to pick up Crash # 2.

Now, the pee pee scene. I gotta say, Sean, and I went back and reread the scene, I did wonder why nobody commented. Jesse has pj bottoms on, no shirt and Clair notices. Nobody notices the pee pee situation, it just kind of faded to black. He doesn't notice she is in her knickers and shirt tails and he is a seventeen year old boy. I found it quite memorable for the wrong reasons. Not unless everybody is just waaay too polite to notice. I mean a full bladder, dude. LOL!

Warmth flooded down her unclad thighs. The hot, pungent smell of urine hit her nostrils a second later.

I loved that ahaaaaa moment you get when the series title makes sense. It's rather frightening knowing that in Sean's world that is possible. Oh the enormous potential for disaster with that.

This installment left me intrigued to know more and to get below the surface of the characters and to, fingers crossed, get to see someone else again. I can’t handle another NOooOOOoooo. It made me sad!

I am looking forward to where Sean takes us in Crash # 2. I absolutely love the covers to this series. 

I am all G-ed up to JUMP and no doubt CRASH!



Michelle


Jump: Twinmaker 1 is published by Allen & Unwin and is now available at all good bookshops and online.

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Brandi I think you read/reviewed this one under the title Twinmaker :) Or was that another Brandi? Ha!

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