Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blog Tour, Interview, & Giveaway: Twinmaker (Sean Williams)

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Twinmaker (Twinmaker, #1)Hardcover, 352 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Balzer + Bray

High-stakes action combines with issues of friendship and body image in this timely and thought-provoking exploration of the intersection of technology and identity.

You can be Improved....

In a near-future world in which technology can transport you anywhere instantly, can a coded note enable you to change your body—to become taller, stronger, more beautiful? Clair is pretty sure the offer is too good to be true. But her best friend, Libby, is determined to give it a try, longing for a new, improved version of herself.

What starts as Libby’s dream turns into Clair’s nightmare when Libby falls foul of a deadly trap. With the help of Jesse, the school freak, and a mysterious—but powerful—stranger called Q, Clair’s attempt to protect Libby leads her to an unimagined world of conspiracies and cover-ups. Soon her own life is at risk, and Clair is chased across the world in a desperate race against time.

Action and danger fuel Sean Williams’ tale of technology, identity, and the lengths to which one girl will go to save her best friend.

Sean Williams
#1 New York Times bestselling Sean Williams lives with his family in Adelaide, South Australia. He’s written some books--thirty-nine at last count--including the Philip K. Dick-nominated Saturn Returns, several Star Wars novels and the Troubletwister series with Garth Nix. Twinmaker is the first in a new YA SF series that takes his love affair with the matter transmitter to a whole new level. You can find some related short stories over at Lightspeed Magazine. Thanks for reading.

1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

The truth is, I don’t really know. The notion of a matter transmitter has been rattling around my head for years, but combining it with urban myths and the beauty myth was what really got it going. Where those last two came from, I don’t know. They may have been ideas that seemed small at the time, random thoughts that slowly grew into significance the more I thought about them. There was no lightbulb moment. Once I had those pieces in place, though, I knew they were the heart of the novel.

2. Who is your favorite character in the book?

Clair Hill, the protagonist. She’s inspired by my eldest niece, a remarkable young woman who is much smarter and braver than I ever was at her age. Clair is different to her, but I admire her just the same--for her resourcefulness and her determination, but also for her love of the people around her. That’s what drives her, not personal gain. She’s a good person and she’s trying to do good things, so when she makes mistakes, as everyone does, I can’t help but forgive her.

3. Which came first, the title or the novel?

The title. It’s from a book published in the 1980s called The Mind’s I by Douglas C. Hofstadter and Daniel C. Dennett. They describe a machine called the TeleClone Mark IV, which is very much like d-mat in that it takes you apart in one spot and builds you again in another. They describe it as a “murdering twinaker”, a phrase that has always stuck. It rattled around my head for years before finding the right home.

4. What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

Most of my favourite scenes are the ones where Clair and Jesse are on their own--when Jesse is cooking dinner at home, for instance, or when they’re trudging through the middle of nowhere. The spark between them is important to me, and I love exploring it. Ditto their differences in opinions regarding d-mat.

5. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

There are several very important things: to read a lot; to keep writing and finish what I start; to write only what I love. I think the last one is the most important. If my heart’s not in it, the book’s never going to work. Readers can tell if you’re faking it.

6. What do you like most about the cover of the book?

I think it’s a superb cover in ever respect, but the thing I like most is the slight change between the upper image and the lower one. It’s not something you see straight away. You might not even notice it until you’re through the book. But it’s one of those “aha!” moments that reinforces the message of the book, subtly but powerfully.

7. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2014?

Clariel by Garth Nix--the latest of his Old Kingdom books. Can’t wait.

8. What was your favorite book in 2013?

Rose Under FIre by Elizabeth E Wein--a beautiful, moving, harrowing, unique novel that everyone should rush out and read tomorrow.

9. What’s up next for you?

Right now I’m working on Crashland, the sequel to Twinmaker, and a bunch of short stories set in the Twinmakeruniverse. You can find links to those stories at, plus a whole bunch of stuff relating to the series.

10. Is there anything that you would like to add?

My favourite sentence in Crashland is (spoiler alert) “Clair at the sandwich.”

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