It's a huge pleasure to have the amazing Sara Grant here today! Welcome back, Sara!! Anyway, she's here to kick off the blog tour for her AWESOME new book Half Lives. Squee! I really recommend this book! :D
Ok, I'll hand over to Sara now...
Think Desert Island Discs without the sand and sun – and paper versus vinyl.
In my new teen novel Half Lives, teenage Icie escapes to a top-secret mountain bunker – her only hope of surviving after terrorists release a deadly and potentially world ending virus. Hundreds of years later, 18-year-old Beckett leads a cult that worships a sacred mountain. But Beckett and his beliefs are under attack. Icie and Beckett must fight to survive. They are separated by time but connected by a dangerous secret that both must protect at any cost.
While writing Half Lives, I often wondered if I, like Icie, had minutes to pack and escape what would I take with me. My first challenge would be that I’m a planner. I don’t get out of bed without a to-do list. When I pack for a holiday, I typically create a list and then lay out the items I want to pack a few days in advance. The thought of not having time to plan and think and strategize – well, my character would probably be the first to perish in a disaster film.
So when I was asked to blog about what books I’d take with me to a thankfully fictional underground bunker, I was pleased I had time to plan. I have about a hundred books in my ‘to-read’ pile so the idea of having time to sit and read, sounds lovely. Yeah, not so much if the world is ending outside my bunker…
When compiling my list, I had four overall strategies: 1) I wanted books that could take my mind off what could be happening outside the bunker, 2) Books that I could read again and again, 3) Big books that would take me a while to read and ponder, and 4) Books that would help me remember what I’d left behind.
Anyway…here are the books, I’d stuff in my backpack, cart across country, and bury in a bunker with me.
To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee. It’s one of the most beloved books of all time. I love everything about it. And it plays a significant role in Half Lives.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris and Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. I picked these books because they make me laugh. I listened to this Sedaris collection as an audiobook and I frequently burst out laughing. (Which got me loads of strange looks, especially while riding the Tube.) And I loved Silverstein’s poetry when I was a child. It’s a slice of my childhood but could also be my go-to book when times got tough.
The complete collection of Agatha Christie. I love mysteries. There’s something cosy and comforting about settling in with an Agatha Christie story. Murder on the Orient Express. And Then There Were None. Murder is Easy. I know most of these stories already but am willing to read the again and again.
In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust. It’s the longest book ever written. I’m thinking bang for my buck here. It would take me a long time to read all seven volumes and more than 4,000 pages.
The Oxford Book of American Short Stories edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Again, I’ve tried to consider how I might preserve what I love most about reading in my cloistered environment. I could get a taste of multiple genres, but also I’d be able to read them even once my sanity and attention span diminished from lack of sun, nutrients and humanity.
I’d also take a photo album stuffed with pictures of my family, friends and favourite things. And I’d take a notebook and lots of pens and pencils. A writer’s got to write after all – especially if it is the end of the world.
This is probably more than I could carry in my backpack. And it would be just like me to perish on the road side because I’d packed too many books. My husband often asks if I really need six books for a week’s holiday. My answer is always, ‘um, YES!’ (This is where a Kindle comes in handy.) But I would take the proper printed books with me to the bunker.
I hope I never, ever have to make a quick escape, but if I do, I have my reading list all ready!
Sara is an author of fiction for teens and younger readers and freelance editor of series fiction. She has worked on twelve different series and edited nearly 100 books. Dark Parties, her first young adult novel, won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for Europe. Her new novel for teens – titled Half Lives – is an apocalyptic thriller. She also writes – Magic Trix – a fun, magical series for younger readers.
Sara was born and raised in a small town in the Midwestern United States. She graduated from Indiana University with degrees in journalism and psychology, and later she earned a master’s degree in creative and life writing at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She lives in London.
Thank you so much, Sara! I can't even begin to think about bunker books... Is it totally stupid to want to buy all the books I already have on my Kindle? Cause that's what I'm thinking... But what if there isn't any power! No way to charge said Kindle!!
Ok. World and society. Don't collapse until after I'm long dead. Ok? Ok.
Anyways, thanks again Sara! It's been great having you!
And follow the tour over at one of my most favouritest blogs tomorrow: I Want To Read That. And READ Half Lives: it rocks!! :D