I am so excited to be hosting a spot on blog tour for BLUESCREEN by Dan Wells I adore Dan and his books and it happens to be BLUESCREEN'S release day so ya!!!! I have an interview with Dan to share with you today! And make sure to enter the awesome giveaway for a finished copy of the book!
Haven't heard of BLUESCREEN? Check it out!
Los Angeles in 2050 is a city of open doors, as long as you have the right connections. That connection is a djinni—a smart device implanted right in a person’s head. In a world where virtually everyone is online twenty-four hours a day, this connection is like oxygen—and a world like that presents plenty of opportunities for someone who knows how to manipulate it.Marisa Carneseca is one of those people. She might spend her days in Mirador, the small, vibrant LA neighborhood where her family owns a restaurant, but she lives on the net—going to school, playing games, hanging out, or doing things of more questionable legality with her friends Sahara and Anja. And it’s Anja who first gets her hands on Bluescreen—a virtual drug that plugs right into a person’s djinni and delivers a massive, non-chemical, completely safe high. But in this city, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and Mari and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that is much bigger than they ever suspected.Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence, returns with a stunning new vision of the near future—a breathless cyber-thriller where privacy is the world’s most rare resource and nothing, not even the thoughts in our heads, is safe.
Now on to the interview!
Hi Dan! First I want to say welcome back to Two Chicks on Books! I can’t wait for my readers to read BLUESCREEN and am so happy that you could stop by for a visit!
For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about BLUESCREEN and the characters?
Bluescreen is a cyberpunk story, which basically means "science fiction set in the very near future, with virtual reality and brain computers and a lot of moral gray areas." This is the first of my new Mirador series, about a group of teen girls in 2050 Los Angeles, who play video games on the semi-pro circuit, and get involved in a lot of dangerous digital crimes. Whereas today everyone has a smart phone, in 2050 we've all moved on to the next phase of technology, where everyone has a phone/computer/gaming console installed directly in their brain. This device is called a djinni, and it helps keep everyone connected 24/7, at the speed of thought.
There are a lot of characters, but I'll focus on four:
Marisa Carneseca is our main character, a part-time hacker from a fading LA neighborhood called Mirador. She does her best to keep up with school, but she's way more interested in Overworld, a virtual reality sport where she and her friends are practicing to reach the big leagues. Marisa's best friend is Sahara Cowan, the leader of their Overworld team and something of an Internet celebrity: she has two camera drones that follow her everywhere, recording her life and streaming it live in a 24-hour vidcast. Their other best friend is Bao Behar, one of the only people in LA who doesn't have a djinni. His family is on the poorer side of Mirador, and Bao has to spend his nights picking digital pockets to keep his family going. Last of all we have Anja Litz, the wild card--Marisa met her online and the two became fast friends, but Anja is shockingly rich and more than a little unpredictable. As the book begins, Anja introduces her friends to a digital drug called Bluescreen, that crashes your djinni to give you a buzz, and it turns out to have secrets of its own.
So book 2? Do we have a title yet? How about a cover?
Book 2 is done and with my editor now; we don't have a cover yet, but the tentative title is "Ones and Zeroes."
Why Sci-Fi have you always been interested in this genre?
I grew up reading SF, and watching it on TV with stuff like Star Trek and Doctor Who, so it's always been a favorite. When I got to high school I started to read William Gibson and Neal Stephenson, and others in the cyberpunk genre, and I'm thrilled to finally have a chance to tell my own stories about shady digital wastelands and beautiful, terrifying technologies.
Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?
My favorite character to write in Bluescreen was Marisa, and she was my favorite in the sequel, and will probably be my favorite in all the future books as well. I love her attitude, caught between so many shifting identities: she's a gamer, and a hacker, and a daughter, and a sister, and a friend, and a leader, and a follower, all at the same time. She's tough and angry but also loving and peaceful. She's hopelessly romantic, but easily disillusioned when people don't live up to her lofty dreams. My favorite way to describe her is this: in Overworld she's the group's warrior, but in real life she's the group's healer.
My least favorite character isn't in the book anymore :) I can do that, because I am ALL POWERFUL.
What is your favorite passage/scene in BLUESCREEN?
There's a scene in the book where a gang war erupts right outside her family's restaurant. Her younger sisters' lives are at risk, and she has to do something to save them, and I'm very proud of the solution she comes up with.
Ooh! And the NeverMind! The NeverMind is a way of talking to people online that's totally secure, so you can't be spied on, but it's basically like a virtual reality formed by the other person's mind, and when Marisa uses it to talk to a mysterious informant things get very weird....
What kind of research did you have to do for the story?
Most of the research I did for this book was technological--what can we already do, and what will be able to do in 2050? It's a lot of speculation, a lot of educated guessing, and a lot of fun wish fulfillment (I totally want a robot to do my laundry).
What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
My favorite author is Bernard Cornwell, who writes historical fiction, and I just learned that he put out a new book in my favorite series, called the Saxon Chronicles. So I'm reading that :)
What inspired you to write YA?
Adult books are designed to impress you, but YA books are designed to entertain you. How could I choose anything else?
Lightning Round Questions
Twitter or Facebook?
If the sorting hat were to place you into a house at Hogwarts which house would you be put in?
According to Pottermore, I'm a Hufflepuff.
Black Canary, but not the TV version. I love her in the Birds of Prey comic; she and Starling are such a great team.
Favorite TV show?
Of all time? Breaking Bad. If you're just talking about current TV shows, either Person of Interest or Agent Carter.
Sweet or Salty?
Hypodermic needles. I can't stand them. I can watch the most gruesome autopsy scene CSI has ever filmed, and not flinch a muscle, but as soon as a character needs to get a shot I have to look away and think about my happy place.
Song you can’t get enough of right now?
I'm a huge K-Pop fan, and the one I can't get out of my head today is Her by Block B.
Movie you’re most looking forward to?
Mine! I also write horror novels, and one of them has been made into a movie! It's called I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, and it debuts at the SXSW film festival in Austin next month! I'm practically bouncing off the walls.
Thanks so much Dan for answering my questions!
Dan Wells is a thriller and science fiction writer. Born in Utah, he spent his early years reading and writing. He is he author of the Partials series (Partials, Isolation, Fragments, and Ruins), the John Cleaver series (I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, and I Don't Want To Kill You), and a few others (The Hollow City, A Night of Blacker Darkness, etc). He was a Campbell nomine for best new writer, and has won a Hugo award for his work on the podcast Writing Excuses; the podcast is also a multiple winner of the Parsec Award.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of BLUESCREEN, US Only.
2/8/2016- Fire and Ice- Interview
2/9/2016- A Dream Within A Dream- Review
2/10/2016- One Night Book Stand- Guest Post
2/11/2016- 5 Girls Book Reviews- Review
2/12/2016- Kindle and Me- Guest Post
2/15/2016- Fangirlish- Review
2/16/2016- Two Chicks on Books- Interview
2/17/2016- Ryan's Bookish Confessions- Review
2/18/2016- Wishful Endings- Interview
2/19/2016- Downright Dystopian- Review