A little bird told me an advance copy of RIVER ROAD is winging its way toward me. Wonder what I should do with it? Any ideas?
In the meantime, I’d like to welcome a great author to Preternatura today. Andrew Fukuda used his background working with immigrant teens in Manhattan’s Chinatown to craft Crossing, his first book, which was selected by the American Library Association Booklist as an Editor’s Choice, Top 10 First Novel, and Top 10 Crime Novel in 2010. This week, he releases The Hunt, first in a new series from St. Martin’s Press. Read on for a chance to win a copy of The Hunt! For more on Andrew, check out his website.
ABOUT THE HUNT: Gene is different from everyone around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him, and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret: It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night–a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood. When he’s chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible–and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive in stronger than ever. But is it worth the cost of his humanity?
Now, welcome, Andrew!
My favorite scene would have to be where Gene first encounters the other humans (or “hepers” as they’re called in the book). There’s awkwardness, curiosity, distrust, misunderstanding, and cautiousness in droves. As well as a sprinkling of humor. And it’s all done with virtually no dialogue. Very Castaway-like, if I do say so myself. There’s so much going on in the minutiae of their actions, so much communicated in their silences. The scene rolled off my pen and later required very little editing – a rarity for me!
The hardest scene to write was probably the now-infamous spin-the-bottle scene. Many readers can’t get past the elbows and armpits (if you haven’t read the book, I think I’ve just lost you!), but there’s actually so much going on here at an emotional level. I wanted that scene to spotlight Gene’s sense of estrangement from society, where the reader would most acutely feel Gene’s loneliness. I must have revised that scene a dozen times to get the nuances right, and the whole process proved to be quite emotionally exacting.
Favorite book when you were a child:
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Your five favorite authors:
Stephen King, David Guterson, Jhumpa Lahiri, John Burnham Schwartz, Ernest Hemingway.
Book you’ve faked reading:
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. I was simply too busy that semester sunbathing on the quad and playing intramural sports. Somehow I was able to write a paper on the book overnight; I grabbed random quotes and wrapped them around a completely random theory. The professor gave me an A+.
Book you’re an evangelist for:
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Stark and disquieting, it slayed me inside with its haunting gracefulness. The last paragraph devastated me, and still does with every rereading.
Book you’ve bought for the cover:
Jim the Boy by Tony Earley. Go ahead, take a look at the cover, and tell me you don’t smell the sweet mountain air, hear the laughter of children soughing in the grass, feel the summer sun burnishing youthful hope into your skin. But the cover evokes childhood, like the language of the book itself, with a deceptive simplicity.
Book that changed your life:
Favorite line from a book:
“They wept together, for the things they now knew.” From Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. A sentence that captures–with painful precision–the separation of intimacy, the intimacy of separation.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. I read it when I was still a naïve, thin-skinned 10-year-old. The book’s ending floored me; I couldn’t move for an hour. But now, after reading a few too many novels with a Sixth Sense–like plot twist, I’m too hardened and calloused to be caught by surprise anymore. Somebody sandpaper my skin down, erase my reading memory, and put The Murder of Roger Ackroyd back in my hands again, please.
Favorite book about books or writing:
Stephen King’s On Writing.
That’s an easy one! I’m currently going through revisions for The Hunt Book 2 (we actually do have a title but we’re staying mum on that for a bit longer). After that, on to The Hunt Book 3. I’ve been evolving from a pantser to a plotter with every book, so I have a feeling I’ll be outlining Book 3 microscene by microscene.
Want to win a copy of The Hunt? (I say yes, you certainly do–I really liked this one.) Just say so. As always a comment gets you entered into the contest. Blog followers get an extra entry. Twitter followers @Suzanne_Johnson get a third entry, and a fourth entry for a Tweet or Retweet of the contest. Now, join the hunt!