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The Fingerprint of ALL OUR YESTERDAYS

Three reasons why ALL OUR YESTERDAYS is different from anything else you’ve read, in picture form.

 

1. There are six prominent characters, but they’re made up of only three people.

characters

2. The main character was inspired by equal parts killer robot from the future and privileged girl who pretends to be mean so long she actually becomes mean.

heroine

3. The story was developed using a top-secret plotting formula revealed here for the first time.

chart

 

Marina has everything. She’s got money, popularity, and a bright future. Plus, she’s best friends with the boy next door, who happens to be a gorgeous prodigy from one of America’s most famous families.

Em has nothing. Imprisoned in a small white cell in the heart of a secret military base, all she has is the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

But Marina and Em have one big thing in common: they’re the same person.

Now Em must travel back four years in time in order to avert the terrible future from which she’s fled, and there’s only one way to do it. She must kill the person who invented the time machine in the first place: someone from her past. A person she loved.

But Marina won’t let them go without a fight.

Kate Karyus Quinn & The Inspiration Behind ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE

Mindy McGinnis & the Inspiration For NOT A DROP TO DRINK

Nicole McInnes & the Inspiration for BRIANNA ON THE BRINK

When I began writing BRIANNA ON THE BRINK, there were only a couple of things I knew for sure. I knew it would be a Contemporary YA novel, and I knew it would deal in some way with the broad themes of loss, betrayal and forgiveness.

A year or so before that, I had started playing around with a story told from the perspective of a married woman betrayed by a teenage girl, but it wasn’t until the teenager tapped me on the shoulder demanding that her version of the story be told that I knew I’d found Brianna’s voice.

From that point forward, it seemed like every time I asked myself “What if?” my main character was right there with an answer (knowing everything, of course, as most teenagers do). And her answers intrigued me.

What if, for example, a girl raised in a neglectful, sometimes dangerous, environment becomes a popular cheerleader in high school, thanks to the mean girl who plucks her from obscurity?

Answer: She’ll probably thank whoever’s-in-charge-up-there-in-the-sky that she’s finally been given some power in her life and at school—even if that power means making life a living hell for those beneath her on the high school food chain, including teachers who don’t measure up on the coolness scale.

What if this girl–high on a recent football team victory and at a bar illegally with her friends–meets an older guy who seems to “get her” in a way no other guy has before?

Answer: She’ll probably let down her guard, and maybe even (temporarily) her sanity, leaving herself open to consequences nobody can see coming. Consequences like losing her status at school, being kicked out of her home, and even feeling responsible for a near-stranger’s sudden death.

What if this girl finds herself abandoned and alone, shunned by those she thought would help her?

Answer: She may just have to rely on the one person she’s tormented the most, forcing her to choosing between clinging to the ledge of fear and abandonment – or jumping into the unknown where a second chance at hope might just be waiting.

The end result of those question-and-answer sessions with my main character is BRIANNA ON THE BRINK, which hits shelves in Spring, 2013. And now that the book’s release is only a handful of months away, the one thing I know for sure is that I can’t wait for Brianna to share her story with readers everywhere.

Polly Holyoke & the Inspiration for THE NEPTUNE PROJECT

The premise of The Neptune Project (and series) came to me gradually, over many years. Growing up in Colorado, where we’re definitely a little short on oceans, I always looked forward to those rare, wonderful occasions when I actually got to see the sea. Whenever my family went to a beach, I was mesmerized by the waves and wondered what the world was like beneath them.

My favorite cartoon when I was little was Marine Boy, an anime series about a boy who could breathe seawater after he chewed “aqua gum.” He had these awesome propellers built into his shoes so he could zip around the ocean. He and his dolphin pal Splasher often saved people or the sea from colorful villains and environmental threats. Because my parents were big Jacques Cousteau fans, we saw plenty of his televised undersea adventures as well. When my husband and I took up scuba diving in our twenties, I finally got to explore that fabulous, vivid and strange undersea world for myself. I always tell non-divers that scuba diving feels like flying because you can move through three dimensions in a way you simply can’t on land.

I’ve never believed the sci/fi stories based on the premise we’ll just leave this planet if and when we ruin it completely. If things go that badly for our species, we won’t have the resources to leave Earth because it takes so much energy to lift even a small amount of mass out of our atmosphere, much less hundreds or thousands or millions of people. But the more I read about gene splicing, the more it made sense to me that we might eventually go back into the oceans that cover four-fifths of our planet. Dolphins and whales were land mammals that returned to the water… why can’t we, someday, with help from geneticists?

The more I played with this idea, the more I realized the sea would make a wonderful, fresh setting for a children’s story. But researching The Neptune Project has presented some challenges. With only a BA in history, I had much to learn about oceanography, marine mammals and genetics. I still have a well-thumbed copy of Genetics for Dummies in my car! Some of my favorite research moments included swimming with domesticated dolphins, snorkeling with wild spinner dolphins in Hawaii, and spending hours talking to dolphin trainers and researchers about these incredible animals.

I believe the end result of my research and writing is an action-packed adventure story for middle grade readers. I hope children will enjoy the tale of shy Nere Hanson and her companions as they struggle to adapt to their perilous new world. Nere must lead a group of Neptune kids across hundreds of miles of dangerous ocean, relying only on their wits, her loyal dolphins and each other to reach the safety of her father’s undersea colony.

Lydia Kang & the Inspiration Behind CONTROL

…or Lydia and her Double Helix Rainbow of Scientific Happiness

I have a major sci-fi/fantasy hang up.

I love books and movies where the characters have weird powers, or mutations. But it always bugged me when the mutation wasn’t explained. Why can this person fly after getting zapped by lightening? What is the cause? What happened to the DNA? Don’t you dare tell me it just “changed.” I will spend the rest of the book wondering why.

So when I conceived of the different characters in CONTROL, I wanted each unusual trait to have a biological reason behind it. But at the same time, I tried to make it accessible to anyone who isn’t a science nut like me.

So when you read CONTROL, don’t expect to see someone flying, because I haven’t discovered a biologic reasons for them to do so.

Sure, some molecular biologists might rip apart the ideas I’ve come up with. If that happens, I’m not going to be disappointed. I’m going to be like, “WOOT! Molecular biologist are reading CONTROL!” 

Demitria Lunetta & the Inspiration behind IN THE AFTER

IN THE AFTER was inspired by every horror/alien/zombie/vampire movie I have ever seen. In these movies, people are always safe (more or less) during the day. It’s at night when the awful stuff happens, when monsters jump from the shadows, to scare the characters and the audience.

I started thinking about a creature that stole that comfort of daylight; one that had poor eyesight, so was less active at night. A world where humans had to live out their lives under the cover of darkness, and the nighttime itself became something to look forward to, the shadows a place for solace, rather than something to fear. Thus was born the Florae.

Since the creatures I created do not have very good eyesight, I had to still make them frightening, still a threat to humanity. I thought of that silent moment in films, full of suspense and terror, right before you know something terrible is about to happen. What if my MC, Amy, lived in that moment? That’s why my creatures, the Floraes, have incredible hearing. They hunt by sound and Amy must live out her existence in silence, in a world where monsters roam the day and your only hope for survival is to stay quiet and hide.

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