Hi hello and welcome to another edition of Interview With the Author! Today, I have the pleasure of sharing an interview with the author of Nexis and its upcoming sequel Redux, A.L. Davroe. Please join me in welcoming her and get ready for an awesome interview!
Hi Amanda, and welcome! Before we get started, could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your book?
Hello everyone, I'm A.L. Davroe. You can call me Amanda. I write speculative fiction for adults and teens and I am talking about, Nexis and Redux, the two books that make up my Tricksters Series. The series follows Ella, a young programmer who lives in Post-America after the Bio-Nuclear war. Ella's futuristic world is made up of robots, domed cities, genetic engineering, biotechnology, and virtual reality, but she is put in a situation that removes her from her insular world and sets her on a course that shakes the foundation of both the real and virtual worlds. I like to think its like a mix of Matrix, Tron, and Enders Game with a heroine at the helm.
1. Where did you get your inspiration for Nexis/Redux?
I first got the idea quite a few years ago when I was having lunch with a couple of women from my agency. They mentioned wanting a Steampunk Cinderella story and I immediately got the idea for a Cinderella who loses her leg instead of her shoe and gets a cool gadget as a replacement. I was sick of writing Steampunk, though, so I decided to make it a futuristic story instead. A few months later, Nexis was finished. Obviously, it took on a very different life than the Cinderella story we know and love. Redux came as an organic extension of the story, specifically a showcase of Ella's problem-solving skills and developing strength.
2. How did the character naming process go? Was it easy or difficult to name your characters?
Ellani Drexel just happened. I have no idea where that name came from but it just jumped out of my mind and became the main character. Most of the other names were similar. Quentin actually had a different name in the original version of Nexis. At the request of the publisher, I changed it. It was really hard changing his name. It took me forever to find a new name that I liked and it was hard to write the sequel with the new name. His personality changed as a result and I had to make some edits to the first book to reflect that. I refused to change anyone elses name as per request after that, LOL! The only other name that changed was Zanes. I'd known from the beginning that I didn't like the original name I picked for him. It just wasn't him, but I had to wait for the right name to come to me. After I changed Quentin's name, Zane popped into my head directly after as if they came as a pair. And what a pair they are!
3. Is there a story of how the Anansi came to be a part of the Nexis world? Did you draw inspiration from anything for it?
You know, I want to say yes, but I cant seem to remember what the reason actually is. I think I had just wanted to call this novel Anansi's Baby when I first wrote it? And somehow Anansi and the Tricksters got incorporated in. I really couldnt tell you how. My mind works in mysterious ways and it's often best not to delve too deeply lest I find scary things. XD
4. There were a lot of interesting elements introduced in Nexis (disfavored live outside the domes in toxic air, bio-nuclear war). What are some things that will be expanded upon in Redux?
Redux deals mostly with Ella venturing outside of Evanescence. So, you'll be meeting some Disfavored and understanding their world. You'll venture a little into The Waste, encounter some cannibals, and understand how Evanescence operates. You'll also get a little bit more of the gaming world and the tricksters as well. :D
5. Was Redux easier or more difficult to write with Nexis already written and the world already established?
By far, Redux was much more difficult to write. Nexis came exceptionally easy for me. I wrote it in just a few months and it endured very little content editing throughout its publication process. Redux was much more difficult to initially write. It also had to go through a full re-write and a number of heavy content edits before it got to a place we all agreed on. Partially, that had to do with me having to grow as an author. I had to learn to build a story that allowed my characters to showcase their strengths and work on their weaknesses. The other part had to do with a change in how the original layout of the plot ended up having to change due to some publication decisions.
6. Are there any ideas/plot points that you had originally written that were eventually taken out?
In Nexis, not too much except for that pesky name change. In Redux, yes. I wrote Redux with the impression that there would be more to the series. But, alas, the final decision came down to make it a two book series and I had to rewrite Redux to wrap up the story arc. This meant cutting out a huge cyberpunk aspect that would have been too large and complex to handle in one book and replacing it with something else. All said and done, I'm happy with what I came up with and I hope readers are too.
7. In the world of Nexis, people have long forgotten things of the past such as straws. What is one thing you would include in Nexis that you couldn't live without?
The Nexis you read about in my novel is close to what I'd hope was included in the real thing. Warren Drexel, the creator of the game, is much like me- very curious and obsessed with history. I'd want lots of historical aspects, of course, but also lots of art, food, and those little comforts we all know and love like dogs. All the greatness of humanity mixed with the unfathomable wonder of the natural world -- open plains under a blanket of stars and the lushness of a virgin forest. But, when all is said and done, the one thing I absolutely cant live without is chap stick.
8. If you had the opportunity, would you modify/alter yourself or stay natural?
You know, thats such a hard decision. On many levels, we as human beings attempt to modify ourselves every single day women especially. It's one of the reasons I wrote Nexis to begin with- to highlight how our obsession with personal perfection could backfire. My Superego wants to be the better person and say, “stay Natural.” But, the self-conscious member of our society that is my Ego tells me to Modify and Alter as much as I can to reach perfection. So, my logical answer is that I'd want to be Natural, but I might very well fold if the pressure became too great.
9. Is there anything you can share about the future of the Tricksters series?
Tricksters, at this time, is wrapping up with Redux. I do hope to one day revisit the world and hopefully put out a few more stories. I really want to do a few companion pieces and perhaps a third novel expanding on the future of Evanescence, Ella, and the rest of Post-America, but well have to see. I do leave a few lose threads at the end of the story so that I can come back to this world and its fabulous characters at a later date.
10. What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring writers?
My usual advice is to just stay true to yourself and realize that success in this world is based entirely on luck and who you know. It often times has very little to do with you or your skills as a writer, so continue to have faith, work on your craft, and keep trying.
Thank you so much to A.L. Davroe for joining me for this interview and Entangled Teen for making this possible! I hope you all enjoyed getting some insight into this amazing author and her books and if you're interested in learning more about A.L. Davroe or picking up Nexis and Redux (releasing on 21 March 2017!), check out the links below!
Meet the Author
Be sure to check out my review for Nexis and keep an eye out for my review of Redux, coming soon! Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you in the next chapter!