We have a lot of fantastic authors at OneFour KidLit and are excited to introduce them all to you. One author, four questions. Today we’re talking to Emily Lloyd-Jones, author of ADVERSE EFFECTS. Here we go!
Hey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen?
This story is pretty typical. I was a very introverted child who got her hands on a copy of Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles. It was the first time I’d truly been immersed in a fantasy world. I remember looking at the tattered cover and thinking, This is what I want to create.
I began writing. Some of it was original fiction, some of it not. Most of it really sucked. I continued writing. Years passed. My writing slowly became less sucky. In fact, if you squinted and were sort of tipsy, it began to look like passable fiction.
Fast forward to July 2011 and I was watching far too many superhero movies when I should’ve been working on my master’s thesis. (See? Procrastination isn’t all bad.) While I enjoyed the movies, there was this nagging voice in the back of my mind. It kept whispering, “These are all unrealistic. Come on. What would really happen if humans suddenly ended up with superpowers?” I was unable to stop thinking about it. What followed was four months of frantic writing followed by four more months of revision.
In February 2012, I entered the querying trenches. I got rejections. Quite a few of them. I fretted and drank a lot of coffee.
In the end, I signed with a fantastic agent: Quinlan Lee of Adams Literary. My book was picked up by Little, Brown – something I will never stop being giddy about.
What’s your debut book about? Can you share any cool details with us?
Well, it’s my interpretation of what would realistically occur if a small percentage of the population ended up with superpowers. The short answer: bad things happen. The long answer: people with powers are seen as the new atom bomb. They are the ultimate weapon – and the government knows that. Citizens who end up with superpowers (called “adverse effects”) face the choice of either joining up with the feds or trying to make a life outside of the system.
As for cool details… well, all of the superpowers in the book are based off of stage magic. When I was world-building, I wanted my characters to have somewhat realistic abilities. (No bullet-proof skin for my heroes.) I did some research into the several branches of stage magic and channeled each one into an adverse effect.
What inspires you to write?
To quote Gandalf: “Questions. Questions that need answering.”
I’m very much a what-if kind of writer. I get mentally hit upside the head by possibilities: what if superheroes did exist? What if we suddenly found out that magical creatures were real? What if giant genetically engineered woodchucks rose up and conquered humanity? What would really happen? How would people react? What would change?
If a question lodges itself in my brain – to the point where I’m thinking about it even when I’m supposed to be doing other things – then I know it’s worth pursuing.
What cool facts might readers not know about you?
- When I jot down my characters’ basic info, I include what Hogwarts house they’d belong to.
- I’m sort of a music fanatic. Nearly all of my computer is dominated by my music collection and a lot is really obscure.
- I was an anime nut in my teen years. I count Gundam SEED, Yu Yu Hakusho, Sailor Moon, and Orphen among my influences.
| 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, ADVERSE EFFECTS, will be released by Little, Brown in the spring of 2014.