Swanky Seventeener Jilly Gagnon recently interviewed Everly Frost, author of the YA science fiction novel FEAR MY MORTALITY, published April 5, 2016 by Month9Books.
About the Book:
The future is bright for 16-year-old Ava Holland and the residents of Evereach. They don’t have to worry about old age or even getting sick. In their world, humans regenerate, heal, and live for hundreds of years. Mortality isn’t something to fear. Disease has been all but eradicated. Everything changes when Ava watches her brother die and he doesn’t regenerate. Ava’s genetics are called into question by the government, scientists, extremists, and Ava herself. Could her genes hold the answer to mortality? Is she an anomaly or something to be feared? Determined not to become anyone’s guinea pig, Ava doesn’t stick around to find out. She wants answers too, but the only person who can help her is 17-year-old Michael Bradley, the boy who killed her brother. If either of them have even the slightest chance of survival, they must find the genetic keys hidden in Ava’s DNA before it’s too late.
About the Author:
Everly Frost wrote her first story when she was nine. She grew up in a country town, lived for a little while in Japan, and worked for several years in Canberra, Australia’s capital city. Now, she lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and two children.
You can find Everly online at http://www.everlyfrost.com.
Jilly: The idea for Fear My Mortality was so interesting and unique. What inspired you to write about a world in which mortality has been essentially eliminated?
Everly: I was sick a lot as a kid and I constantly wished for super healing powers so I’d get better faster. Imagine if we had the ability to heal at exponential rates, if the functions of repair cells in our bodies were so drastically accelerated that illness wasn’t a possibility, let alone death. The idea stuck with me.
Jilly: Fear My Mortality is the first in a planned trilogy. I don’t want to make you give out spoilers, so instead I’ll ask: did you plan the entire trilogy before writing Fear My Mortality? How does knowing your story will continue beyond the end of this book change your planning and writing?
Everly: I have a plan for the entire trilogy, but it wasn’t something I had all figured out before I started writing. As a debut author, you need to be prepared to write a stand-alone book. Knowing the story will continue absolutely changes things. There’s more scope, and in fact there’s a need, for loose ends and a bigger picture. I can’t wait to reveal things in the second and third books.
Jilly: I loved that Ava was a dancer (full disclosure: I spent years at the barre). Were you a dancer as a teenager? How did it work its way into your novel?
Everly: I loved to dance, but there wasn’t money for lessons when I was a kid. My amazing single mother prioritized our education and I’m glad she did. But, for Ava, one of the reasons she’s survived as long as she has is because she’s physically strong and agile, which is directly because of dancing. I absolutely admire anyone who can make dance their life. It’s a thing of beauty that requires a lot of dedication.
Jilly: What’s your favorite part of the writing process? What about your least favorite part?
Everly: My favorite part of the writing process is the creative part, especially because with fantasy/sci-fi I can let my imagination run wild. My least favorite part is … well, I was going to say editing, but I enjoy even that, so I guess my least favorite part is thinking of a great line when there’s no pen or paper in sight.
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
That would be writing! There’s no other job on earth where I get to create worlds, design cities and buildings and technology, and make the impossible possible.
Would you rather be mortal in a world where everyone’s immortal, or immortal in a world of mortals? Why?
I’d rather be mortal in a world of immortals, because I think immortality has its costs.
Favorite movie version of a book ever?
Sense and Sensibility. I’m a sucker for Jane Austen.
Favorite time of day to write?
In the morning when ideas are fresh.
Was Fear My Mortality the first young adult novel you’ve ever written?
It’s my third young adult novel and my fifth manuscript.
If you had to give up one of the following “writer’s necessities,” which would you sacrifice: chocolate, coffee (or tea, if that’s your preferred caffeine source), or wine?
Wine, because I don’t drink much of it so it’s an easy sacrifice. Don’t ever make me give up coffee!
About the Interviewer:
Jilly Gagnon writes young adult fiction, comedy, and personal essays. In the past her work has appeared in Newsweek, Elle, The Toast, The Hairpin, Vanity Fair, The Onion, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, among others. Her comedy book series Choose Your Own Misery (co-authored with Mike MacDonald) will debut in 2016. So far three titles are planned. She has lived in the Boston area for over 10 years, but will always be a Minnesotan at heart. She recently started to play the violin, because she’ll also always be a masochist.