Today I am very happy to welcome Vera Brook talking about her YA novel Sand Runner and a little about herself – the book is available for pre-order and if you are in the US or Canada as I know many of my visitors to this site are, there is a goodreads giveaway going on as well, linked below.
Tell us a little about your current novel, what readers can expect from it…
SAND RUNNER is a YA science fiction novel. It’s set in a dystopian future, and it follows a 16-year-old Kaiden Reed—or Kai for short—who gets recruited for the No Limits Race, a brutal competition that’s the most popular sports event on the planet. The winners become instant icons and get insanely rich. But there is a price to pay. The runners have to upgrade their bodies to qualify for the race. And, of course, there is more to the No Limits Race than Kai expected from years of watching it on TV, and he has to make some difficult choices along the way.
In terms of what the readers can expect? High stakes, a fast-paced plot, and lots of suspense. SAND RUNNER was inspired by science and technology—specifically 3D printing and bionics. But that’s just the background. The story is really about a group of characters who have to learn to trust and rely on one other in life-or-death situations, even though they don’t always see eye to eye. And Kai is at the center of this. The story is about him finding out what he’s made of. And also what he wants in life, what he values, and how far he’s willing to go to fight for his dreams.
Academic or creative at school?
Can a person be both? I was always a bookworm and interested in every subject, so I did well in school. I’m a very curious person by nature, so I was motivated to learn. But I also kept notebooks with story ideas and took black-and-white photographs. So I always had a creative side, too.
First job you *really* wanted to do?
When I was a small kid, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I loved animals and my family always had dogs. I thought a veterinarian was someone who talks to animals and they talk back. Once I discovered that wasn’t true, I lost interest.
Do you remember the moment you first wanted to write?
Good question. Depends on what you mean by “write.” I started keeping notebooks with story ideas in 4th or 5th grade, I think. So I wrote, and I wanted to be a writer, for a long time. But I wasn’t serious about it at first. I never finished things. I would start a story, and then jump to a new one.
It was pretty recently—maybe 3 or 4 years ago—that I got serious about writing. The biggest difference is that now I set writing goals for myself and I push myself to finish things. So for me, writing is more about discipline than about inspiration. I always have more ideas than I know what to do with. The trick is to resist the temptation to stop writing, or to jump to another project, when I get stuck.
Funniest or most embarrassing situation you’ve found yourself in?
I’m terrible with names. So any time I run into someone and they address me by name, and I frantically search for their name and nothing comes up. Until I have to say, “Sorry, remind me of your name again.” It’s very embarrassing.
DIY expert or phone a friend?
Depends on what’s broken. If it’s something like my car, then I wouldn’t even dream of trying to fix it. But if it’s something I’m trying to do on the computer – like format an ebook, or write a line of HTML code—then I’m going to give it a try first, before asking for help.
Also, it’s amazing to me how many online resources there are. People are very generous with sharing their knowledge and information. Indie publishing community is wonderful for that. You just poke your head into one of the Facebook or Goodreads groups and ask your question, and without fail, several people will respond and help you out. It’s nice.
Sun worshipper or night owl?
Definitely a night owl. I love the sun. But I’m just not a morning person. Everything takes me twice as long in the morning, pre-coffee. But at night, I can stay up until late and get a lot done. It’s also my favorite time to read.
A book that had you in tears. A book that made you laugh out loud.
Actually, one and the same book had me in tears and made me laugh out loud. Or a series of seven books, to be precise. The Harry Potter series. I love J. K. Rowling’s writing. I love the characters, the magic, the humor. But I love the darkness in these books, too.
About the Book:
Welcome to the No Limits Race.
In the near future, 16-year-old Kaiden Reed makes a bold and dangerous decision to enter the most brutal sports competition on the planet. One in which he will undergo a radical upgrade and become a new kind of athlete and a new kind of hero.
Part human. Part machine.
All Kai wants is a shot at a better life and to impress the girl of his dreams. But the stakes in the Race are higher, and the choices tougher, than Kai ever imagined. The physical challenges are just the beginning.
Ten days. Ten contenders. One winner.
Does Kai have what it takes to compete? How far will he go to win? And should he trust the person who recruited him in the first place – or is she using him to carry out a bold and dangerous agenda of her own?