Wednesday, February 3, 2016

YA Reads Blog Tour, Guest Post, & Giveaway: Ascendancy (Karri Thompson)

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AscendancyAscendancy by Karri Thompson
Published by Entangled Teen Published on November 30th, 2015
Genre: YA Dystopian 

 I’ve been lied to, deceived, and manipulated once again. I shouldn’t be surprised, but in a way I am. You’d think I’d be treated with dignity, my every desire fulfilled by those who need me the most. But instead, they plan to control me, keep me hidden, and force me to be complacent while I give birth over and over again. Hell, I’m the one who’s supposed to save humanity, right? I’m the one with the power to re-populate this world of clones, my ancestors who were produced from harvested DNA. Michael. He loves me. At this point, he may be my only friend. There may be others. Tension is building in the regions. A secret sect is growing. A rebellion is imminent. My awakening into this future should have been my savior, my renaissance, my ally. But instead, it has become my plague. 

 Karri Thompson, a native of San Diego, California, grew up hanging out at the beach, playing sports, and eventually attending San Diego State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in education. When she’s not nerding out at San Diego Comic-Con or watching Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings movies for the umpteenth time, she can be seen doing normal people stuff like teaching high-school English, cooking delicious meals for her family (she attributes all of her culinary skills to the Food Network), and attending her son’s football games. In her spare time, she writes young adult and new adult fiction, her biggest passion, and loves listening to hard rock music and going to concerts. She hopes to live long and prosper, and that you will, too. 

What gave you the inspiration for this book?

Two things were the major inspirations for this series: my wish to go forward in time and a hot guy named Michael Hutchence.

First of all, this series begins in 3025 A.D. There are a few surprises and a lot of plot twists in these books, so I can’t say too much without spoiling the plot, but I can say this: when seventeen-year-old Cassie Dannacher is “awakened” 1,003 years into the future, she enters a very different world that desperately needs her help. Oh, and the geneticist working on her case is totally hot! Being a huge Star Wars and Star Trek fan, the future has always fascinated me. I’d love to enter the future 1,003 years from now – not at the same expense as Cassie, since she never sees her friends or family again– but just visit it for a week or two and come back.

I’m not one of those people who will camp out in line for the next iPhone (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but I’m a bit of a gadget person, and I’m constantly blown away by our own technology in the 21st-century. Writing about our world 1,003 years later, gives me the opportunity to speculate at what our world be like during that year, and I love being able to do that. This series was definitely inspired by other books, movies, and television shows that do the same thing.

When it comes to Michael Hutchence, the lead singer of the band INXS, he was my high-school rock-star crush. He influenced one of the major surprises in the book along with the character Travel.

Okay, so I know many, or more likely most of you, are scratching your heads and thinking, INXS? Michael Hutchence? Never heard of them. Yeah, I know. I just totally dated myself. My high-school years were in the late 1980s.

INXS was an Australian rock band fronted by the main lyricist and vocalist, Michael Hutchence. After seeing their music video for “The One Thing,” on MTV (when MTV used to only show music videos) I was an instant fan, not only of the band’s music, but of Michael. At that moment, he became my rock-star crush. Check out the video on YouTube, and you’ll see why?

Soon my bedroom walls were covered with posters of INXS and Michael, my album collection (yeah, I’m talking vinyl) contained everything ever recorded by the band, and I read every article about them that I could get my hands on.

As a high-school English teacher, over the years, I’ve seen so much of my high-school self in my students. From NSync and the Backstreet Boys, Hanson and the Jonas Brothers, to Justin Bieber and One Direction (yeah, I know. It’s all about Harry with 1D – that’s what my students tell me), young girls have been and are still doing what I did when it came and comes to being the ultimate fan.

Of course, with boyfriends and college, I grew out of my crush, but Michael and INXS’ music always held a special place in my heart, and I remained a fan. Unfortunately, in 1997, Michael committed suicide, and with the sad news, I regretted the fact that I had never met him or had seen INXS in concert. His life was cut way too short.

Well, guess what? I brought Michael back on the written page with the character Travel who, as the series progresses, becomes a more dominate character. In fact, Travel was originally an Australian rock star. Through edits that was eventually changed, but in the series, he still has a slight Aussie accent, and he looks like Michael Hutchence with his brown, wavy hair, brown eyes, and cool rock-star walk.

How exactly did I bring him back? That’s the part I can’t tell about without creating a plot spoiler.

But I can end by saying that my idea for the series sprung from my long-time crush on the talented and hot Michael Hutchence and my long-time fascination with wanting to visit the future. MIRROR X and ASCENDANCY have taken me to another world, and in the process, I kind of got to meet, Michael Hutchence – at least my perception of him.

Michael was the only good thing to come out of my awakening. I didn’t know how long we’d have together, but I realized I wanted to make every second with him count. Twisting to face him, I brought my right leg to the other side of his body and kissed him gently at first, and then a little harder as he brought his hands to my back, massaging his fingers against my shoulder blades. His lips moved to my neck, and he slid his hand through the hair at the base of my head. I lay against him, savoring his warm breath at my throat as his chest pressed against mine. “Duck!” Cradling my body, he scrambled to the floor, bringing me down with him. “What?” I whispered. “I saw something outside. A shadow. It looked like a person.” “Victoria! I need to get her.” Crawling on my hands and knees, I entered the living room and picked up my sleeping baby. “Behind the couch. Let’s go.” “Watch her,” I said, and rested her on the floor next to Michael. Drawing the laser pistol from my waist, I scooted to the edge of the couch where I could see the back door. “I locked it,” he whispered, “but any Security guard or SEC can open it.” The door slid open. I aimed my pistol, my arms and hands trembling. 

 A signed copy of Ascendancy by Karri Thompson; open US only

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