GETTIN’ LUCKY: An Interview with Eve Silver, Author of RUSH

Today I’m thrilled to present Eve Silver, author of RUSH (book one in the sci fi trilogy known as THE GAME).

I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC and I could not put RUSH down. It’s a thrilling, fast-paced adventure about a girl who finds herself in a game where the stakes are life and death.

Rush CoverSo what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?
Sixteen-year-old Miki Jones’s carefully controlled life spirals into chaos after she’s run down in the street, left broken and bloody. She wakes up fully healed in a place called the lobby—pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game in which she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures.
There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says that the game is more than that, and that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.
I have to ask the obvious question first. The concept of RUSH plays heavily into gamer culture/terms. Are you a gamer?

I remember my first system—a Super Nintendo—and the games I fell in love with—Donkey Kong Country, versions 1, 2 and 3. The mineshaft and the treetops and the saw blades were a blast. But, no, I’m not a gamer. I consider myself a game spectator. My husband and sons are gamers (Call of Duty, Gears of War, Bioshock, Mass Effect, Skyrim, Starcraft, Halo, Oblivion, to name a few), but my role is more observer than player. Some of these games have truly incredible story lines and I like to just sit back and watch them unfold.

Miki is a great heroine. I love the balance of ordinary problems mixed in with fantastical elements. On the one hand, she’s worried about her father’s drinking – and on the other, she has to deal with the fact she’s now a teenage soldier.  How did you develop her?

I aimed for keeping it real. Even though Miki faces fantastical challenges and issues, I wanted her grounded as a real person, someone you might know from English class, someone with genuine problems, likes and dislikes, interests and opinions. I hoped Miki would be an ordinary person faced with a situation that’s far outside ordinary, and that would allow readers to feel what she feels even though they aren’t likely to ever face a Drau.

In the world of RUSH, teens are given weapons and no training, then told to fight for their lives. Confession time: if you were put in this situation, how well would you do?

The whole fighting thing might be a problem for me. I have no training in martial arts or weaponry except for the one time I went to The Gun Store in Las Vegas and got to fire a Beretta M9, M4, and M249SAW. Given that I was terrified the whole time and that the power of the recoil on each one sent me flying, I suspect that handling an unfamiliar weapon would be a challenge. On the other hand, I’ve been known to stay cool in fairly adverse situations, so keeping a level head would probably count for something, right? (That wasn’t rhetorical…please say yes…)

Following up with that last question, who would you want on your hypothetical team? (Fictional or otherwise.)

Hmmm…in no particular order: Jason Statham, RDJ (as Ironman), Thor, Uma Thurman’s character from Kill Bill, Sigourney Weaver’s character from Aliens, Goku from DragonballZ, Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach, Claire Bennet from Heroes, Hit Girl from Kick-Ass, Master Chief from Halo, Sheppard and Garrus from Mass Effect. That should do it.

The whole concept behind the game is both really cool and really creepy. You managed to evoke the sense that there’s a conflict much bigger than any of the individual characters. How did you go about developing this world and its rules?

Usually, I’m a pantser—that means I just sit down and write the book by the seat of my pants without planning or plotting. I’ve written 18 published books that way (and a whole bunch more that are buried in the back yard where they belong). But in a book like RUSH, pantsing wouldn’t work because I needed rules for the game. So I started out by researching a number of video games and the systems of scoring. From there, I created a small manual that outlined the rules of the game in RUSH, the scores, the bonus points. I had that all planned out, but not the story itself. I just can’t write that way. So I pantsed the story, and paused to add rules to my little manual as I went and the plot became clear to me.

You started out writing for adults and then made the leap into writing for teens. What was the hardest challenge writing for a younger audience? How did your past writing experiences shape this novel?

Before I started the story, I was concerned about the shift to a younger viewpoint character, writing the book in first person present tense, and capturing a teen voice. It’s funny, but the things I was most afraid of ended up not being problematic at all. Once I started typing, Miki flowed. The story flowed. I had a ton of fun writing RUSH.

My past writing experiences shape every story I start. I constantly strive to make the story I’m working on the best it can be, better than the last, deeper, stronger, more resonant for the reader. I’ve learned a great deal since my very first book about pacing and action and how to weave emotion onto the page. And I hope that everything I learned from writing RUSH will help strengthen the next book and the next.

I won’t give any spoilers, but eeeek – that ending! Are there any juicy tidbits you can share about the sequel?

Hmm… I can tell you there will be action, aliens and adventure. The expected becomes unexpected. The truth becomes lie. Answers are shredded until they become questions. Romance. Kissing. And an ending that just might have you saying, “eeek—that ending!”

That didn’t help much, did it?

Definitely! And for the final question: as this community is All for One and OneFour KidLit, we’d like to know what two or three books inspired you as a kid.

As a little kid:
• Bread and Jam for Frances by Russel Hoban
• the entire set of Dover Children’s Classics fairy books (The Red Fairy Book, The Green Fairy Book, The Blue Fairy Book, etc. by Andrew Lang)
• The Ghost of Dibble Hollow by May Nickerson Wallace

and as a teen:

• Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
• The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
• anything and everything by V. C. Andrews

Thanks so much for inviting me to be interviewed!

Thanks for stopping by!

Eve Silver HeadshotEve Silver lives with her gamer husband and sons, sometimes in Canada, but often in worlds she dreams up. She loves kayaking and sunshine, dogs and desserts, and books, lots and lots of books. Watch for the first book in Eve’s new teen series, THE GAME: RUSH, coming from Katherine Tegen Books, June 11, 2013. She also writes books for adults. Visit Eve at http://www.evesilver.net and follow her http://www.twitter.com/Eve_Silver

Here’s where you can buy RUSH:

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Books A Million – Indiebound – The Book Depository

Emily Lloyd-Jones lives on the western edge of California, where she works in a bookstore by day and writes YA novels by night. She’s addicted to coffee, the internet, and snarky humor. When not writing, she’s usually online or playing with her neurotic cat. She wastes a lot of time on Twitter. Her debut, ILLUSIVE, will be released by Little, Brown in the spring of 2014.
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