Ask the Author: A.L. Davroe (Nexis) (Blogmas Day #5)

Samstag, 5. Dezember 2015

   For todays Ask the Author I'm bringing you the amazing A.L. Davroe, author or Nexis, a fascinating new YA sci-fi read. I'm very happy that she agreed to do this interview with me, and her answers are really great and detailed, so have fun reading them!
   Here is Nexis and her interview:

Nexis by A.L. Davroe Cover
Nexis by A.L. Davroe
December 1st 2015 by Entangled: Teen

Number of Pages: 304 Pages (Paperback)
Series: Yes, #1 in the Tricksters Trilogy/Series (?)

   In the domed city of Evanescence, appearance is everything. A Natural Born amongst genetically-altered Aristocrats, all Ella ever wanted was to be like everyone else. Augmented, sparkling, and perfect. Then…the crash. Devastated by her father’s death and struggling with her new physical limitations, Ella is terrified to learn she is not just alone, but little more than a prisoner.
   Her only escape is to lose herself in Nexis, the hugely popular virtual reality game her father created. In Nexis she meets Guster, a senior player who guides Ella through the strange and compelling new world she now inhabits. He offers Ella guidance, friendship…and something more. Something that allows her to forget about the “real” world, and makes her feel whole again.
   But Nexis isn’t quite the game everyone thinks it is.
   And it’s been waiting for Ella. (

Interview with A.L. Davroe

   1 – Describe Nexis with a twitter pitch.
   My favorite one-line way to describe Nexis is: “Matrix meets Tron meets Ender’s Game.” That’s usually epic enough to answer all the questions.

   2 – What sparked the idea for Nexis? The sole idea of writing a futuristic tale involving a virtual reality game or something completely different?
   There is a fun story behind this. The initial idea for Nexis came about when my agent, Louise Fury, was still part of the L. Perkins Agency. She and Lori Perkins and I were eating dinner at a convention and they were talking about wanting a Steampunk Cinderella story. I also write Steampunk, so the idea was intriguing to me. On the spot, I came up with a Cinderella who loses her whole leg instead of just a shoe and ends up with some crazy Steampunk gadget for a leg instead. I didn’t want to do another Steampunk story though, so I decided I’d try and do a futuristic Cinderella instead. I’ve always been a huge fan of anime and, if you’re also a fan like me, you’ll probably be able to pick out some of my influences. Anyway, I wrote this sort-of futuristic Cinderella story. The initial set up in the original version was very Cinderella, but then, I flew off course with the whole virtual game idea and the ending. The work and the character became so much bigger and better than its initial starting point. After numerous edits and Cinder coming out in print (yes, I wrote Nexis that long ago), I decided to nix the Cinderella aspect all-together and really make Nexis its own story. I really love what this story has become and the journey that the characters and I have taken.

   3 – What was the most challenging about writing Nexis and which scene was the most fun to write?
   Oh, gosh. You know, the challenging bit came after writing the story. Editing is always harder and making this book stand out against some of its contemporaries really challenged me. Also, adding “levity.” My editor wanted that. I don’t consider myself a humor writer nor do I have the type of humor that most people appreciate, so I still cringe a little when I think about how my readers will respond to flying monkeys with glitter bombs…Though, I’d laugh my butt off if I saw one…*shrug* Oh well, at least I giggled a lot while writing it? As for the most fun to write? Hm…I donno, I’m kinda fond of the scene where Gus first takes Ella to the cottage and then chases her around like an idiot trying to lick her. It’s so corny, and I’ll never forgive myself for having a male lead “wag his eyebrows” and yet, I couldn’t seem to erase it either!

   4 – What do you like most and least about your main character, Ella?
   This is a tough one! Okay…I guess I love how Ella grows up and becomes such a strong character throughout this series. She’s also very real in that she doesn’t just have that exponential progress upward arc like many heroines do. Life looks like an EKG in my humble opinion, so Ella regresses, has bad days, and moments of weakness just like everyone else who has gone through trauma or emotional hurdles. In this way, her strength is also her weakness. Sometimes I dislike writing her because I created her to be this way. It’s hard writing someone who is damaged and realistic. But, it’s the truth of the situation and, in the end, I wouldn’t change that about her.

   5 – In retrospective, is there anything that you’d change about the story or are you happy with the way it turned out in the end?
   I love most things in Nexis. I love the setting, the game, the social structure, my characters and their relationships. I think if I changed anything it would be small stuff like the timestamps or names or what someone’s Mod or Alt looked like.

   6 - How did you come up with the name Evanescence for the city? Does it have anything to do with the band or is that simply a coincidence?
   Haha, no, nothing about the band. Besides the fact that I just think it sounds cool, the meaning of the word, evanescence, is “to gradually fade away.” I liked the idea of that, especially in the wake of an apocalypse like the Bio-Nuclear War. I wanted the names of the cities to invoke emotions that new citizens might have had the day they entered the domes. Some are positive feelings, like Selestia ( heavenly) and Allegra (joy or living). Other city names have a sad quality -- like they are supposed to remind you of the humanity we used to be – Cadence (end notes -- but perhaps not the end of the song), Evanescence (gradual fading – like walking off into the distance until no one can see you anymore), Adagio (slow beat – like the plodding of feet going into the dome or the constant heart of humanity).

   7 - How did you feel when you first realized that this story you had written would soon be read by thousands of people and how do you feel now, years later, before your next book will be released? Did the feeling change or is it still the same?
   Honestly? I don’t think it has sunk in fully. I keep thinking this is a dream or it’s too good to be true -- like it’s going to be taken away. I don’t think I’ll actually believe it’s a ‘thing’ until the book releases and those thousands of people DO buy the book and read it, LOL!

   8 – What do you think about the cover for Nexis? Does it do the story justice?
   OMG. I cannot tell you how much I love this cover. I had a different cover, not too long ago, but the publisher changed it last minute. I liked the other cover – didn’t love it – but it was acceptable. Then I got this email saying they were going to change it. I’ll never forget it, I almost threw my phone across the room when I read the email. I was so mad they were changing it so close to release! BUT, then I opened the folder containing the new mock-ups. It was between this cover and another one with a different model. I saw this one and, well, if you’ve ever had love at first sight, you’ll know how I felt. I was just so happy to see it. So relieved. The background is perfect, the foreground is perfect. The model is perfect. She’s not exactly Ella in my head, but she COULD be in someone else’s and her stance is so emotive and the red dress…*sigh* I LOVE MY COVER. Can you tell? LOL!

   9 – Do you have a writing routine or do you write whenever creativity strikes?
   Very much whenever the mood takes me. My muse is persnickety. But, she gives me good stuff when she does decide to cooperate, so I let her do her thing for the most part and write if and when she deems it time. It was hard to write the sequel to this novel because I was on a deadline and that’s the first time I’ve ever had to do that. But, I managed. It was an entirely different process, trying to coax my muse against her will, she retaliated, leaving me shell-shocked (and frankly I’m still confused by my own book). But hey, I did it! Still, I prefer to work at my own pace…

   10 – What advice could you give aspiring authors?
   It’s seriously all about luck and timing. You could put hours and hours into writing and revising, going to workshops, and honing your craft until you have the best piece of literature ever written, but you may STILL not get an acceptance letter. Above everything, this industry is a business. If an editor doesn’t think they can pitch it, doesn’t have room for it, doesn’t have the budget for it, or doesn’t think there is a large enough market for it, they aren’t gonna take it, even if they loved it. That’s just how it is and it doesn’t mean you should give up on your dream.

   11 – If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
   Man, this is a hard one. Hm… I’ve always loved the idea of being able to communicate with animals. Not only can you call on them to help you out in times of need, but you could also have an even better relationship with your best friends! I would love to just put a call out and have a horse just trot up to my house for an afternoon ride, or have a fox deliver a letter for me, or ask the birds what the weather is going to be like today.

About the Author

   A.L. (Amanda) Davroe writes both YA and adult speculative fiction. She prefers revisionist tales in paranormal, romance, Steampunk, and fantasy. She is the author of Salvation Station (adult psych horror), The City Steam Collection (adult psych horror), For Your Heart (YA Paranormal Romance) and her YA Sci-Fi novel, Nexis, is coming out with Entangled Publishing December 1, 2015! By day, Amanda lives in Connecticut with her two feline hench-creatures and makes cheese. 
   She's a terrible blusher, has a weak spot for cuddly animals, loves Laffy Taffy and Cadbury MiniEggs, and she's a huge advocate of alternative healing methods. Amanda also wears purple shoes and corsets...Though not always in the same ensemble. She's a Capricorn, a Hufflepuff, a bit gothic, and a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal.

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// Twitter: @ALDavroe // Facebook // Goodreads //

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