Today is my stop during the book blitz for the Red Sector Chronicles by Krystle Jones. There is a guest post about building a dystopia world and a character interview the author did with her main character Sloane. There is also a giveaway on this blog for the Red Sector omnibus and there is a book blitz wide giveaway!
The Red Sector Chronicles
by Krystle Jones
Genres: Dystopia, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
The strength of Sloane’s heart is about to be put to the ultimate test.
After the Eclipse – the night vampires began openly slaughtering human victims – everything changed. Out of fear, the government salvaged what remained of the human population and enclosed them in massive, security-laden cities called White Sectors, while marking the vampire infested territory as Red Sectors.
When seventeen-year-old Sloane McAllister’s twin brother disappears, she seems to be the only one who thinks he isn’t dead, and she vows to stop at nothing to find him. Gathering her courage, she braves the Red Sector to search for clues to his whereabouts. By chance, she encounters Aden, a handsome, charismatic vampire with a hidden agenda. He turns Sloane against her will and whisks her away to his underground city. Enemies quickly become friends as Sloane struggles against her attraction to Aden, and resists her growing loyalties to the creatures that ruined her life.
But the vampires themselves are the least of her problems. A war is brewing between the humans and vampires, along with a growing web of deceit and betrayal. And before it’s all over, loyalties will be tested, hearts will be broken, and no one’s lives will ever be the same.
You can add the Red Sector Chronicles series to your to-read list on Goodreads
You can also add the omnibus to your to-read list on Goodreads
Vampire Apocalypse: Building a Dystopian World
When I first started writing my Red Sector Chronicles series, I didn’t know at the time I’d be writing dystopia. I was actually leaning more toward urban fantasy, since that’s what I read a lot of. But then as I developed my characters and brainstormed story ideas, I came to realize this storyline would work better in a futuristic America, where vampires ruled supreme.
But boy, did I have my work cut out for me!
Here’s the thing: Dystopian worlds are a lot of fun to write about, but they’re also a lot of work. I actually found them to be almost as involved as my epic fantasy worlds! In a dystopian novel, the world itself has a lot of influence over the rest of the story, especially the atmosphere. Dystopian novels – at least all the ones I’ve read – often imbue a very bleak, dark future. This can make the story somewhat heavy and depressing, which affects the characters’ attitudes and the themes of the story. There are more upbeat/comedic dystopian stories out there (Warm Bodies, anyone?), but the large majority I’ve seen are toward the depressing order.
Now, I like a little bit of humor in my books, so I tried putting that in my trilogy to provide some relief from the heavy atmosphere. Death hangs over my heroine through a lot of the story, since I also love thrillers, and I knew too much tension can strangle a reader. It’s like watching one of those movies where there’s so much action you eventually become desensitized to it, and it loses its effect. So that was something I had to watch out for.
I knew I wanted my vampires to be scary more so than sparkly (for the record, I love Twilight), but I’m also a little in love with the idea of the “romantic, dreamy” vampire that looks more like a human. So I decided to have both, the regular vamps and the Rogues, or flesh-eating monsters. Then it was a matter of figuring out how they fit into this dark world, and how they had altered history. That’s another thing, the “what went wrong” factor. Every dystopian novel has it, from killer plagues to the zombie apocalypse. For me, I decided vampirism was more of a disease rather than a fantasy element (witch cursing a prince, or something equally fantastic), and the Rogues were going to be the vampires who’d fallen prey to their bloodlust and lost their minds to it. The “what went wrong,” “what’s happened since,” and “where we are now” play a big part in dystopian stories.
The more I figured out about my dystopian world, the more I realized I was going to need a story bible. There’s no way to keep all those details straight, because you’re pretty much making stuff up after a certain point, from alternate history, to world building, to the way society and the government function in this alternate universe. Especially if you’re writing a series, a story bible is wonderful for keeping yourself from sticking your foot in your mouth in later books. If you’re going to be the queen of the universe, you have to keep track of what you put into it.
Lastly, I’d say the one of the big decisions about writing dystopian is deciding how much fantasy versus science fiction you’re going to have in the story. For me, my world was pretty grounded in science fiction, as I think most dystopian stories are, but there are definitely sci-fi books and movies that incorporate some fantasy elements (i.e. Star Wars). I’d say figure this out in book one and stick with it. If you’re writing a series steeped in reality and explainable science, and you suddenly have flying magical unicorns floating around your pages, readers will 1) be thrown out of the story; and 2) not believe it one bit. So stick to one or the other (no fantasy elements vs. some fantasy elements). Just be sure not to let the fantasy overwhelm the sci-fi, or else it becomes more fantasy.
Those are some of the things I had to think about while writing my dystopian novel. Hopefully, they’ll help you write yours, if you’re a writer, or give you a glimpse into what a writer thinks about, if you’re a reader. Thanks for reading!
Today, Krystle Jones, author of the young adult dystopian/PNR series The Red Sector Chronicles, will be interviewing her main character, Sloane McAllister!
KRYSTLE: So, Sloane, tell the readers a little about yourself.
SLOANE: Um… *tucks hair behind ear and stares at the floor* I’m, uh, a vampire hunter who kind of became a vampire. *laughs* Yeah, EPIC fail.
KRYSTLE: *grins* How’s that working out for you?
SLOANE: Well, you know, it was a big adjustment at first. And by big adjustment, I mean I totally freaking hated it! *laughs* But you get used to it, and being a vampire isn’t all bad. *looks at handsome blond vampire off-stage*
ADEN: (shouted) Yeah, it isn’t!
SLOANE: Get out of my interview!
KRYSTLE: Aden, darling, you’ll get your turn in a minute.
ADEN: *sad face*
SLOANE: *sighs* Why does he have to look so cute when he’s sad?
KRYSTLE: Anyway, back to the vampire thing. How did you feel when you first went into the Red Sector to look for your brother?
SLOANE: Scared to death! Duh! I mean, the Red Sectors are crazy dangerous. All those vampires… *shudders*
KRYSTLE: And yet you went anyway.
SLOANE: *glares at author* And whose fault is that?
KRYSTLE: *grins* I think you relish being in danger, a bit of a thrill-seeker, as it were. Not to mention you’re stubborn and reckless.
SLOANE: Hey! Those are my finer qualities. And I wouldn’t have had to be in dangerous situations if you hadn’t kept putting me in them.
KRYSTLE: You know you liked it.
SLOANE: *suppresses a smile*
KRYSTLE: Right. Well, thanks for coming today, Sloane! Good luck staying out of trouble. You’re going to need it. *last part grumbled*
SLOANE: I heard that! Vampire hearing, remember! *points to ears*
About the Author:
Krystle Jones was born and raised in the small, southern town of Tullahoma, Tennessee. Reading and writing have been lifelong passions of hers. In addition to being a novelist, she is also an award-winning flutist, and moonlights as a voice actress. Her voice can be heard in the popular online game, Alice is Dead 3.