Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jade Kerrion - Perfection Unleashed: A Double Helix Novel - Author Interview

Author Interview

1. How did you come up with the title?
The original title of the novel was Genesis, which, in hindsight, was profoundly unoriginal. Both an agent and my editor advised me to change it, and my husband came up with the title "Perfection Unleashed." It's an apt title for the novel which details the social upheaval and personal chaos unleashed in the wake of the perfect human being's escape from Pioneer Laboratories.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There isn't a single message that I'm uniformly trying to push through the novel. Instead, "Perfection Unleashed" poses multiple questions and perspectives, and leaves the reader to ponder the answers. How does society offer equal access in the face of unequal talents? How should society manage the perception of unfair advantages, in this case, genetic advantages? What constitutes perfection, and can anything or anyone really be perfect? Are our genes the only things responsible for making us human, or is there something humanity?

And for those who don't want to get philosophical, "Perfection Unleashed" is a contemporary science fiction action/adventure that you can enjoy just for the ride. *wink*

3. How much of the book is realistic?
For me, the best kinds of books are the ones embedded with just enough realism so as to make it indistinguishable from pure fantasy. "Perfection Unleashed" is based on the premise that today's cutting-edge, highly experimental science becomes mainstream in the future. In fact, genetic engineering is mainstream today; we just haven't applied it to humans yet. In the novel, I also make reference to the alteration of the brain's synaptic activity through the sharing of a circulatory system. That particular experiment was recently conducted by researchers at Stanford University. Where possible, my characters are grounded in reality. For example, Mu Xin is the clone of an exceptionally talent ancient Chinese queen, Fu Hao, who also served as a military general and high priestess. Her tomb was unearthed by archeologists in 1976.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
I should hope not. I edited the book so many times, it feels as if I've already done it all over again. Several dozen times, no less.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Editing. Prior to "Perfection Unleashed," I'd never really conscientiously edited my work before. Sure, I'd check for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, but I didn't agonize over excessive use of adverbs and adjectives. In order to edit "Perfection Unleashed," I read books on self-editing and followed their advice almost to the letter. I hacked, slashed, and burned my way through my novel. 120,000 words became 90,000. Then only did I send my manuscript to my editor. The manuscript came back awash in a sea of red. So much for self-editing. The good news is that I'm learning and getting better every day. My second manuscript was much less red than my first. At this rate, by the time I get to my 100th manuscript, I should have self-editing down to an art form.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Perseverance is the most important characteristic on the long and lonely path toward being published. Whether you go the traditional or indie route, the journey is full of tempting detours. Almost everything else, including cleaning the house, looks appealing in the face of a writer's block, and most people can think of something they'd rather be doing at 2 am instead of staring at the computer, reworking that paragraph for the tenth time. Most of us have busy lives. I juggle a full-time job and a household sloshing over with testosterone, including two little boys who have yet to gracefully lose their belief in their own immortality. I've made lots of sacrifices (most importantly, giving up excessive computer gaming) but I love weaving a story around what it takes to be perfect, and more importantly, what it means to be human. I've fallen in love with my characters, even the ones who won't shut up and go to sleep at night. Taken as a whole, I've gained far more than I've lost; perseverance (and a wee bit of inspiration) got me this far, and it'll take me the whole way.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I knew I was a writer at the age of thirteen. I wrote a school essay about two people sitting by a lake and watching the sunset; the overly saccharine scene ended with a marriage proposal. I dabbled in writing over the years, and in my mid-twenties, I started writing fan fiction based on my characters in the MMORPG, Guild Wars. I was accused of keeping my readers up at night, distracting them from work, housework, homework, and (far worse), from actually playing Guild Wars. It's all well and good to disrupt the time management skills of gamers, but why not aspire to something greater, like disrupt everyone else's time management skills? So, in November 2010, I decided to take the plunge and write books that aspire to keep people from doing anything else useful with their time.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
It's hard to narrow the list to one name, but I think Neil Gaiman would top the list. As a storyteller, he's unparalleled. His Sandman series is like a tapestry, each thread perfectly and subtly woven into place. Gaiman brings together mythologies and seemingly unrelated stories in a way that shines light on the whole. You get glimpses of what the full story could be but it's tantalizingly elusive. When you finally turn it over to see the whole picture, it's breathtaking.

9. Tell us your latest news.
I'm excited about the launch of "Perfection Unleashed," the first novel in the Double Helix series. The novel is a 2011 Royal Palm Literary Award winner and a 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award finalist. One of the judges calls it "a breakout piece of science fiction." I hope my readers and reviewers agree, and enjoy reading the novel as much as I enjoyed writing it. The second novel, "Perfect Betrayal," will be released in December 2012.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love hearing from you. Please visit my blog and follow me on my Facebook page and Twitter handles. I'll share fun facts on the world of the Double Helix, offer sneak previews of upcoming novels, and host novel giveaways. Feel free to e-mail me. I always reply!

About the Book

Two men, one face. One man seeks to embrace destiny, the other to escape it.

Danyael Sabre spent sixteen years clawing out of the ruins of his childhood and finally has everything he wanted—a career, a home, and a trusted friend. To hold on to them, he keeps his head down and plays by the rules. An alpha empath, he is powerful in a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution, yet his experience has taught him to avoid attention.

When the perfect human being, Galahad, escapes from Pioneer Laboratories, the illusory peace between humans and their derivatives—the in vitros, clones, and mutants—collapses into social upheaval. The abominations, deformed and distorted mirrors of humanity, created unintentionally in Pioneer Lab’s search for perfection, descend upon Washington D.C. The first era of the Genetic Revolution was peaceful. The second is headed for open war.

Although the genetic future of the human race pivots on Galahad, Danyael does not feel compelled to get involved and risk his cover of anonymity, until he finds out that the perfect human being looks just like him.

Price: $9.99 (paperback), $2.99 (e-book)
Number of pages/words: 212 pages/~87,000 words
Genre: Science fiction
Publisher: Createspace
Release date: June 2012
Buy links: Amazon

About the Author

Award-winning author of "Perfection Unleashed," Jade Kerrion holds B.A. degrees in biology and philosophy from the Johns Hopkins University and an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia. When not writing or working, she ekes out time for dance and computer games. She resides with her husband and two sons in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Links to connect with Jade:

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