The City Center
During the man-made apocalypse in the 21st century, a group of elites killed off a majority of the population. Only two groups of survivors remained - those selected to reside inside the utopian Los Angeles City Center and the rebels, relegated to live on the Outside. Centuries later, Ava Rhodes escapes the City Center and goes on a journey to seek the truth about her supposed utopian home, sending the City Center’s leader, Chief Morray, into an obsessive pursuit for his property.
Book Genre: Dystopian Sci-fi
Published October 2013
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Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/CW_-5
Some of the City Center residents—usually mid-ranking—had access to the dark-market where they could obtain forbidden downloads from the days before. Ava loved the old movies, so Delilah got her a download of Roman Holiday. Ava could relate to main character, Princess Anne, who was also constrained by her high rank. She loved living vicariously through the young princess who escapes her tedious duties to have an adventure in Rome, tasting life outside of royalty. Ava often recreated the scene on the crowded dock, dancing under the twinkling lights with holograms of handsome Italian men. She longed for a day when she could be free of her constraints, but she knew that was an impossible dream.
After the movie, Ava stepped into the washroom to shower before the night’s Arena event. The fitness scanner analyzed her temperature, blood pressure and weight. The results spewed across a digital panel and were transmitted to the Health Ensurance Bureau. She couldn’t wait to see what bland meal plan they’d mandate for the week leading up to Graduation Day. Purification water rushed over her body and she rinsed away the long day. The air system dried her off and she stepped into the beautification area.
“Wardrobe selection,” Ava instructed the system.
Two holograms appeared before Ava: a gown of shimmering silver and a simple black dress, which she selected. She waited a few minutes for the dress to imprint and selected a minimal beautification level for hair and makeup. She knew James wouldn’t be happy with this demure look. But that’s why it was so perfect. She smiled at her reflection and left for the Arena.
Hi Simone and welcome to my blog
Firstly can you tell us about yourself?
I live in Los Angeles. I have a Boston Terrier fetish. I love cake. I write because I can’t stop hearing voices in my head.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a kid. Wrote my first “book” at the age of seven. It was about how to make babies and my parents were amused and horrified.
What inspired you to start writing novels for your chosen genre?
I’ve always had a dark side. I tried writing memoir for years, but it just didn’t take. Too depressing. So I took my darkness and put it into a futuristic dystopian world, where it seems to do well.
Have you published any other novels, if so can you share the details?
My dystopian book series includes three books, and I’m working on the fourth (hoping to publish in the summer). The City Center is the first book in the series and kicks off Ava’s journey as she fights for independence from her nemesis, Chief Morray. The two are up against each other throughout the series. They’re both pretty stubborn.
Are you working on anything new right now and can you tell us more?
I’m publishing a series of short stories that were inspired by my books. The Voices of the Apocalypse Series includes ten short stories. Each story is about the same event – the apocalypse – and seen through different eyes.
What motivates and inspires you to write?
I’ve always loved writing. I don’t feel right with myself when I’m not writing something. Even if it’s journaling. It’s like breathing.
Can you offer any advice to the fledgling authors, just starting out?
Write -- even when you don’t feel like it. I rarely feel like doing anything, but once I shut up and write, my attitude shifts and four hours has gone by.
What is/are your all-time favourite novel/s?
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Can you tell us who your favourite indie author/s is/are?
What are you reading at the moment & would you recommend it to us?
I just started reading Hugh Howey’s “Wool” and it’s incredible. I can tell how much he loves to write just by the way he takes his time with each word.
If you could Time Travel - what year would you visit and why?
1982. I would tell that little girl to write more consistently, finish projects, study the craft, learn the business, and don’t let anyone plant seeds of fear or doubt. Also, don’t drink. Or do drugs.
Do you have a favourite quote, if so what is it?
Let go or be dragged.
If you could be any character in any novel, who would it be and why?
Chief Morray. He’s the all-powerful dark one.
How do you come up with the Titles for your novels?
I usually pick something very simple that’s mentioned somewhere in the story. I’ve tried to be clever with my titles and haven’t had any luck so far.
When working on your current novel, were there any moments when you thought:- OMG what am I doing with this plot line? Or: Who are these people I created? etc…
Every time I sit down to write I question the story I’m working on: is it any good, does it make sense, what is my point? Then I shut up and write. After I’ve reached a solid word count, I can relax a bit. If I start to question a scene or something a character said, I leave it be and let it germinate. There’s great comfort in editing, especially if you’re a control freak like me. Editing is where I can go back and clean up my messes.
What is your preferred method of writing:- The plot pre-planned from day one, or just go with the flow and see what happens next?
For books, I need to do an outline first. I do a plot outline and character arc outline. Things always change as I’m writing, but outline gives me the overall picture so I have some direction. For my short stories, I come up with a character first and then something happens, forcing them to step up.
If you don’t like a character you’re writing about, what do you do?
a. Kill them off instantly
b. Get over it and learn to like them
c. Give them a whole new personality
d. or something else – do tell?! Please!
I try to figure out why I don’t like that character. I’ve had to do major overhauls and minor tweaks. I look at what I need to change with the inner dialogue and their interactions with other characters. I want to love my characters – even the bad guys. I’ve taken feedback from readers to help create better characters.
Do you have any weird writing rituals? (Such as, you can only start writing after you’ve scoffed all the choc-chip cookies and drank 3 cups of full-caff coffee? Or only after you’ve listened to a certain song or playlist? etc… do share)
I must have hot tea by my side. Whenever I get really stuck, I go to a coffee shop and get a chai tea. That always helps.
Other Novels available by Simone are:
Very many thanks to Simone for joining us today and sharing her novels and an insight into her writing life, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
See you all soon