Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fabulous New Fiction: 2k11 Debut Author Julia Karr + Give-away!

Give-away - win a copy of XVI - see the note at the end!!

This is the first post for the debut class of 2k11! I'm truly thrilled that my first guest is not only my mentee, but my Penguin pal - and we also share editor fabulous Jen Bonnell - Julia Karr. Her YA novel XVI sounds brilliant - and you can win a copy! Here she is discussing things that might happen in a future world...
The Class of 2K11 debut authors are being mentored by The Class of 2K10 authors. I am so fortunate to have Janet as my mentor! Thanks for being so supportive, Janet; thanks so much for having me on your blog. 
Can you believe there are only 4 weeks left in the 16 Weeks to XVI tour? I know I sure can't. My feelings fluctuate from sheer terror to unbounded excitement (maybe those two emotions are much closer than I think!) 
A recent reviewer of XVI wondered how things could go so wrong from present day to XVI's world. Well, XVI takes place in the year 2150, that's 139 years in the future, several generations from now. I think that's plenty of time for current trends (if unreversed) to morph into common practice, and even law. Here are the four things that have me thinking of a future not-so-bright. 
1. The vise-grip that media has on nearly all westernized nations. If it's on TV or the Internet - it must be the truth. A viewer chooses their channel of choice and believes every word that comes out of the mouths of the talking heads that continue to shape the beliefs of their listeners/watchers. At some point in the future, there may not be a choice of channels, but just one news source backed by wealth, which runs the government and through them, the media. (I do worry about this!) 
2. Currently the distribution of wealth in this country is becoming increasingly polarized. The rich are indeed getting richer, the middle class is disappearing and the have-nots are growing at an alarming rate. In the future, it is entirely likely that not only will the gap increase between the wealthiest and the poorest, but those in between will be judged; sorted by earning capabilities, spending habits (which are encouraged by Media, see above), housing, etc. The ability to move between tiers will become increasingly difficult. 
3. It is impossible to miss the increasing sexualization of teen and pre-teen girls. (I mean, come on - baby booties that look like high heels? Blech!) I challenge you to turn on the TV or the internet and go for five minutes without seeing young girls dressed in clothes that would look as natural on a lady-of-the-night as they are beginning to look on our children. And, that's the thing. The more often you see girls dressed in tight-fitting, revealing clothing, the more acceptable it becomes. Of course, girls should be able to dress attractively, but there is a huge difference between attractive and sexually provocative. 
4. Relinquishing freedoms in the name of safety. Such as: GPS trackers planted in our babies so that if they are kidnapped we can find them. And, then not taken out because, what if, as an adult, we were lost or kidnapped? Sounds like a good idea, right? 
Covert government surveillance of suspect conversations and activities, seems logical, right? Because, of course, the government is only going to eaves-drop on suspected crinimals. Government-mandated, imbedded identification. Easy, right? Takes care of identify theft and it’s always there, follows you from cradle to grave. 
I don’t know about you guys – but, I want “less” government interference in my life – not more. And, to quote Benjamin Franklin, “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. 
So, what do you think? 130 years from now, could these extremes happen? Check out some of these links and let me know what direction YOU imagine the world heading.
http://tinyurl.com/3xpfwma
http://tinyurl.com/3526hf2
http://tinyurl.com/6ew9nx 
Hope this interview gives you an idea of why I find dystopia such a fascinating subject about which to write. 
Now – on to the contest! This week’s prize is a pre-order of XVI. To be eligible to win, all you have to do is leave a comment (and contact info please!) (Contest is U.S. only – sorry!) 
Next Friday morning (the 17th), Random Number Generator will pick the winner! And – all commenters will be entered in the Grand Prize drawing to be done in Week 1. 
Again, thanks so much for having me on your blog, Janet! It’s been such fun!
You are so welcome, Julia! Julia's website is: http://juliakarr.com 

65 comments:

mcorriel said...

XVI sounds fascinating. I love the idea of looking into the future with a mind on the present trends. Good luck Julia and great interview as always Janet!

Lexie said...

I can't wait to read this book! Thanks for the giveaway!
lexie.bookbug(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Lexie said...

I can't wait to read this book! Thanks for the giveaway!
lexie.bookbug(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Becky said...

This book looks great, can't wait to read it.:)

geckyboz[at]gmail[dot]com

Megan Bostic said...

Yeah for Julia!! Her novel sounds brilliant and I can't wait to read it! It's so lovely that us 2k11ers have these wonderful mentors in the 2k10ers.

Gabrielle Carolina said...

Janet- I love your books and I can't wait to start loving on XVI. I am fascinated by Dystopian for the same reasons.

You can find me at my blog: http://themodpodgebookshelf.blogspot.com (my review of Faithful comes out this month)

or at my e-mail: BellaCarolina33(at)aim (dot) com

Carrie Harris said...

I have two young girls, so the prostitot phenomenon particularly kills me. We need more books like XVI!!! And I need medication.

No, seriously. I have twin daughters. I NEED MEDICATION.

Laura said...

I'M DOING THE 2011 DEBUT AUTHORS CHALLENGE FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS YEAR AND THIS IS ONE OF MY MUST READS!!

LAURABCRUPI@GMAIL.COM

Bwyatt said...

I fall more and more in love with this book the more I read about it. I can't wait for it!
britneywyatt[at]gmail[dot]com

Janet Fox said...

Wow - thank you all for coming by! I knew this novel would be a big draw. :)

Gabrielle - thank you so much - hugs! And hugs to everyone!

Julia :) said...

This book sounds so awesome!!!! I love dystopian fiction. :)

a_hobbit_of_the_shire(at)yahoo(dot)com

Carole Estby Dagg said...

This is 1984 for the 21st century - and at the rate we're going I don't think it's going to take over 100 years to get there. I was born just 24 years after women got the vote, and I've seen an amazing amount of change just in my lifetime.

Herbach said...

I'm really, really excited to read Julia's novel!

2k10 mentors are very nice, too!!

Tess said...

So often I think of dystopian as simply fun escapism with my reading but Julia makes some really good points here. These higher, societal concepts are important to consider.

Aside from that, this cover rocks and I'm looking forward to this release soooo much!

gae polisner said...

Imma scared and need some of Carrie's medication... but I agree books like this are important (and always have been - 1984 anyone? - to remind us what unchecked media/government, etc. can lead to rather quickly if we're not careful.

Looking forward to finishing Julia's book (I've just started it, and it's good!).

Thanks for the interesting interview Janet.

Angie Smibert said...

I hear ya, Julia. The Ben Franklin quote is one of my faves! .

Marquita Hockaday said...

I love that Ben Franklin quote as well. My cuz and I are really looking forward to XVI and have it as one of our choices for the Debut Author Challenge!

marquita_hockaday(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

Amy Fellner Dominy said...

What great points Julia makes. Chilling, really. I'm looking forward to this book and I know that even with the futuristic setting, it'll hit home for me and teens today!

Denise Jaden said...

Can't wait for this book, and I love, love, love the cover!

Abby Stevens said...

I can't wait to read XVI! I'd love to win a preorder!

abby @ abbystevens dot com

Kiki Hamilton said...

I have read the book and I can tell you it's great! And given the discord and mixed messages coming from the government today - not a future that is so hard to imagine.

Sheila said...

What a terrific piece on Julia. I can't wait to read this book.

RK Charron said...

DO NOT ENTER ME IN CONTEST
Excellent guest post by Julia Karr.
Thank you for that & the links.
I'm looking forward to XVI.
All the best,
RKCharron

Reena said...

I've had this on my to read list for a couple of months now, ever since I first heard about it. Very excited to read it!


I am at http://reenamccarty.blogspot.com/

Allisyn said...

I'm really looking forward to XVI's release! I really enjoy reading dystopian fiction.

June G said...

You have delineated much of what my friends and I have talked about for some time now. I don't find dystopia fascinating as much as frightening.

Your book sounds awesome. I'll be reading it, one way or another. Thanks for your thoughts.

june (at) writingisablessing (dot) com

Elie said...

Those things, like the GPS do sound convient, but it takes control away from people.

Almost time Julia!

exploringeliza said...

This book sounds awesome. I know I'm not alone in saying that dystopia is one of my favorite genres. I think that our current world, if looked at through some idealistic lenses of the past, could qualify. Wikileaks, anyone? Since when did it become okay for governments to frame individuals for crimes, just because they don't like what they have to say?

And yes, that cover is great. I love the girl's expression. Looking forward to reading this!

zandila at gmail dot com

Janet Fox said...

I'm so impressed by everyone's enthusiasm - go Julia!!

thejoyofpash said...

My day job is a bookstore. Guess what book I'll be recommending.

Horserider said...

The worst part is, everyone reads the books, but they don't get it. They write it off as fiction and say "that could never happen" when it is happening. Every day. It's amazing and scary how many parallels there are between 1984 (among other books) and the real world today.

The worst part of being a teenager today is knowing that twenty years from now, I'm still going to be living with the decisions other people are making right now.

I can't wait to read XVI!

rkhorserider(at)gmail.com

Wilda said...

Wow, it sounds really interesting. I love books that are set in the future. Can't wait to read it!

Krispy said...

This was a fascinating interview, and I'm even more intrigued by XVI! Thanks for the giveaway and interview!

nudging.along[at]gmail[dot]com

sarahem said...

Wow, scary. Thanks for the chance to win.

smartin_90 (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

Heather (Book-Savvy) said...

I can't wait to read XVI! Thanks for the great interview and giveaway!
hmk10974 @ yahoo .com

Kristi said...

This cover is gorgeous! I can't wait to read this book...thanks for the interview and the giveaway!

wardkristi (at) hotmail (dot) com

Heather said...

4. Relinquishing freedoms in the name of safety. Such as: GPS trackers planted in our babies so that if they are kidnapped we can find them. And, then not taken out because, what if, as an adult, we were lost or kidnapped? Sounds like a good idea, right?

- Sounds helpful, but then you're exposed 24/7.. can't give up too much freedom for "safety".

gatosqueak (at) gmail (dot) com.

Shannon said...

This book sounds amazing.
I love Dystopian novels!
jersqueenie(AT)gmail(DOT)com

flip_flop_caitlin said...

This book sounds really good :)
I recently read another book on what the author thinks were comming to, its called "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins, and i love reading books like this, i have my own idea what were turning to...i like to hear other people views to, especially in an awesome book :)

A.C. said...

That sounds really cool. And intense. Can't wait to read it.
alcannette @ yahoo . com

A Year In 1.3 said...

I love to read about dystopias!
thetinytauntaun(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Michelle said...

I just heard about this book from a newsletter I get everyday...XVI sounds like it will be one of my favorite book. I love book that are current and make me think!

mecoppen(AT)oakland(DOT)edu

Lynette said...

I was so pleased by your explanation regarding your foray into dystopian fiction. I share your concerns regarding the media and the aggressive sexualization of young girls. I'll be looking forward to your book!

Emily Rose said...

That sounds very interesting! Can't wait to read it!

lemmyrose@gmail.com

Dreanda said...

This book matches my interests perfectly! I love reading about what could possibly happen in the future if society keeps heading down the path it's on. I am sure it will be amazing!

My email is dreanda.z@hotmail.com

LissLou said...

Oh my goodness, this book seems like it would be perfect for me. I have long been a fan of dystopias and I do indeed worry about the direction our society is heading. Looks like this will be a wonderful read!

alias_samwise(at)hotmail(dot)com

CatherineS said...

Wow, XVI seems like it's just going to be AMAZING!!! I can't wait to be able to read it!
fantasyfan94@verizon.net

alashi said...

sounds great and like it will be a good comment on the direction that the world could possibly be going in. can't wait to read it!

alashiche@yahoo.com

sasha said...

XVI sounds compelling. I can't wait to read it! Dystopian novels are my favorite. :)

--Sasha Switz,
fiveforfighting42(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

Rinnyxhearts said...

The book sounds awesome! I worry about that junk all the time and always talk about how the world will be like in so-so years. Can't wait to get my hands on it.
Info:
Brandyann
xxmorbidxloserxx@hotmail.com

LeeLee said...

I can't wait to read this book. It really does sound amazing. And thanks for the giveaway!

mleauna[at]hotmail[dot]com

CKatherineZ said...

You sound like my parents, wow. but it sounds really interesting and I always need more reading material. This book will be on my reading list for sure.

CKatherineZ said...

You sound like my parents-wow. But this book sounds really interesting, and I always need new reading material. Though I don't really have room for it on my shelf. . . . This book will definitely be on my reading list.

CKatherineZ said...

You sound like my parents-wow. But this book sounds really interesting. It will most definitely be on my reading list.

Mariah said...

Great Interview!
Thanks for the giveaway!!
Mariah650@hotmail.com

grace said...

This sounds like an interesting book, I'd certainly be interested in reading it!

Janet Fox said...

WOW. XVI is HOT!! I'm so pleased for Julia and so happy to host her here. Thanks for coming and commenting!

Deepshikha said...

I love dystopian fiction, and this sounds like it'll be amazing!
fallingblueskittles(at)gmail(dot)com

Aurora said...

I totally agree about the sexualization crap. Not that it's worse now than before, but more obvious.

Ludwig said...

Oooooh, this looks fascinating! I'll definitely be on the lookout for it (:

Kira said...

XVI sounds like a fascinating read! I can't wait to get my hands on this one! Thanks for the giveaway!

kira(dot)thomas(at)yahoo(dot)com

Kai said...

I cannot even begin to stress how much I agree with Julia. There have been a lot of dystopia books that I've come across, but yours drew my attention solely because of the emphasis on the female role in society. It is sad to say that such a future does not seem unlikely to me. Thank you for sharing those links--it only opened my eyes further to just how much government influence there is. But it's also evidence of the dangers of advancements in technology, as it grows to be an invasive part of society and in our lives. The fact that media is such an influence on our culture--not that art, music, etc. hadn't been in the past, but now it's just so widespread--is saddening.

I look forward to reading your book!

And thank you for the chance to win a copy of it.

e-mail: emwhyhuang@gmail.com

Julia Karr said...

Wow! Thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting. Many of your remarks are so thoughtful and I'm glad to see that not all of us are allowing the media's wool to be pulled over our eyes!

This week's winner is Marquita_Hockaday! YAY! Congratulations, Marquita! I've sent you an email with details on the pre-order.

And last, but not least, thank YOU, Janet for hosting me on your blog! It's been sooo much fun! You've been awesome!

Janet Fox said...

Thank you, Julia, congratulations to Marquita, and thank you all for coming by - more great 2011 debuts coming soon!

Vivien said...

Can't wait!

Vivien
deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com