2108: Eyes Open. I haven't read this book myself, but K.L. was kind enough to agree to guest blog about their book to any readers who might be interested in the subject. K.L., how would you describe your book to your prospective readers? In broad terms, what is your book about?
K.L.: 2108: Eyes Open is an adventurous coming of age story set in the year 2108. It’s about Jewel, who has a propensity for trouble and has just turned 16 in her beloved country of New Zealand. In 2108, New Zealand is the only place in the world that has not succumbed to the heavy-handed, unnatural rule of Aliens, Half-breeds and Bionics. Will New Zealand remain untouched and a bastion of genetic purity, or is war looming on the horizon? Everything hangs in the balance when Jewel encounters a handsome young Bionic. Are his intentions genuine, or is he purely trouble? This book is an exciting and wild ride into the future.
Ana: What themes does your book explore and what do you hope the reader will take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke in the reader? Essentially, do you hope your book will mean to a reader?
K.L.: I had fun exploring a number of themes in this novel. Besides the fascinating technology, Jewel’s dangerous, hair-raising adventures, and the beauty of New Zealand, I ended up touching on some more serious topics as well. Jewel is continually faced with her own preconceived ideas and prejudices about people and differing ways of life. This story follows her journey of growth and understanding regarding various worldviews.
The story also explores the controversial concepts of genetic modification and transhumanism, both of which can be seen as emerging issues in our world today. I didn’t even know what transhumanism was before doing research for this book though! And in case you’re wondering what it is, it’s the belief that humans should try and accelerate human evolution to become something better than we are today. A more dramatic example of transhumanism would be the blending of human genes with animal genes to give a human some sort of “improved” capabilities.
Ana: What prompted you to write this book and did you have a specific inspiration in mind? Were you influenced by a certain author or work that inspired you to add your voice to this genre? Besides the boatloads of money and rockstar fame, what motivated you to write this book?
K.L.: My main motivation was probably fun. I really wanted to have fun writing this book. For a while, I had been dreaming of writing a futuristic novel so I could dream up all kinds of fascinating technology. I also didn’t want to have to worry about being incredibly accurate for my setting. In my first novel, I got around some of the accuracy issues by inventing my own country. But in 2108, I wanted to set the book in New Zealand. New Zealand is one of my absolute favorite places in the world. But because I’m not from there, putting it in the future where I can create some of their “future history” is helpful! In writing about New Zealand, I was able to enjoy getting “lost” there on a daily basis in my imagination. Again, I was pursuing fun.
Another motivator was to try writing in first person, present tense. I had never written in that person/tense and I wanted a new challenge. I enjoy new challenges, and I found I really liked writing in this style. I can’t wait to get back to working on the next book in the series!
Aliens were also a motivation. No, I did not have a visit from one or see a UFO, but I had been reading about others’ experiences and it fascinated me, so I wanted to explore the topic further... and have fun with it.
Ana: If you could compare your book to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why? If the one thing you could say to a prospective reader was, "If you like X, you'll love my book!", which work would be invoked so that a reader could judge whether or not your book is their cup of tea?
K.L.: Reviewers have compared it to Maximum Ride, Hunger Games, Scott Westerfeld's "The Uglies" series, and Academy 7. It’s futuristic dystopian, romance and sci-fi lite.
Ana: Is this your first or only published work, or have you published other books? If you have published other books, how do they compare to this one? Do you have any more books planned, either as a follow-up to this one, or as a completely different book or genre?
K.L.: 2108: Eyes Open is the first in a series. I'm expecting it to have a total of 3 or 4 in the 2108 series. The second one is underway!
I also have another series in progress. The first book of that series is The Realm: The Awakening Begins. The second of The Realm series should be out late summer. The Realm is in the genre of supernatural fiction. I say it's Harry Potter meets Slumdog Millionaire. It’s available in paperback, ebook and audiobook (with full music soundtrack!).
I also just released a single "Love Forever Wins" that is the theme song for that series. Yes... a theme song for a book series. I know that sounds strange, but my friends who did the music for the audiobook took a song in the book and gave it life! And in my humble opinion, I think they did an amazing job giving it a wonderful epic feel. We’re also in the process of making some of the music mentioned in 2108: Eyes Open. Again... such fun! Can you tell I like to have fun?
And then there are a couple other books I’ve written: Fiction Writing Workbook (for ages 10 to adult), and My Very Special ABC Book (for little kids).
Ana: Where can readers obtain a copy of your book for them to enjoy? How can they contact you with any thoughts or questions? And do you have a means by which they can "sign up" to be notified when your next book comes available?
K.L.: My books are all available on Amazon.com or through your local bookstore. Ebooks, audiobooks and music can be found on their respective standard outlets (iTunes, Audible, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.)
And there are tons of ways to connect with me. I have a blog and newsletter where I talk about things like the supernatural, writing tips, book reviews and social issues. I love to have people interact with me on the blog. And if you sign up for the newsletter you get a bit more behind the scenes info.
My facebook fan page is a great place to get up to the minute news as well as a place to interact with me. If you’re a tweeter, the same news is posted to my Twitter account @klglanville. And I can be found on goodreads as well.
I used to be a teacher and LOVE talking with young people about writing and being an author, either in a classroom, book group or some other setting. If I’m in your area, I can come in person, or if you’re further away, there are the options of Skype or FaceTime. You can contact me through my website here to set up events.
Ana: Thank you. I understand you have the first chapter of your book available as an excerpt for interested readers? Is there anything else you wish to add for our readers?
K.L.: Yes! The first chapter of 2108: Eyes Open can be found here. You can also read the first few pages of both of my novels on Amazon.com.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog. It’s a privilege to get to share with your readers!
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