Saturday, August 13, 2011

OUR FIRST INTERVIEW & FEATURE! The Divas Dish...with Lenore Appelhans of LEVEL TWO

The Divas a new feature on Dystopian Divas, and will someday have a fancy button or banner when Diva Schuyler stops having sobbing, swearing breakdowns every time she tries to create one. In the meantime, enjoy the feature, in which the Divas gossip with interview excellent authors of dystopian reads.

The Divas Dish...with Lenore Appelhans of Level Two!
Before Dystopian Divas, there were Zombie Chickens who rate books and whole months of the year devoted to dystopian reads, like this year's Dystopian August.Who was the evil genius (well, actually, the very nice author and blogger) who masterminded such feats? Lenore Appelhans, who has been blogging since 2008, and who recently received a book deal AND a movie option at the same time--um, yeah, that's kind of a big deal! Lenore has graciously allowed the Divas to dish with her. First, though, we want to show you an excellent resource from Lenore's blog that's happening RIGHT THE HECK NOW! It's Dystopian August on Presenting Lenore. Check out the dys-tastic button: 
Wondering what upcoming dystopian or post-apocalyptic books to save your grimy pennies for? Wonder no more. There's book reviews, interviews, giveaways, other great features...and yes, Zombie Chickens who recommend books.
Now on to the DISHING!
What began your fascination with dystopian literature? What aspect(s) of the genre attract you the most?

I can't really pinpoint a beginning of my fascination.  I enjoyed dystopian lit long before I realized it existed as a category.  But my mini-obsession probably started with Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series which was also the first set of books I formally reviewed on my blog.  Without a doubt, I am most attracted to the "what if" questions posed.  I like to see see authors take an issue or idea and then roll down the slippery slope and imagine the world through that lens.  It's fun but it also makes you think.

Tell the Divas about your upcoming debut, the dystopian novel Level Two. Will the book be a stand alone or a series? 

I am not really allowed to reveal too much.  It's not a traditional dystopia.  It's set in the afterlife and a lot of the plot takes place in the main characters' memories of her life on contemporary Earth. I imagined Level Two as a standalone - so it will stand alone.  But there is also a lot of potential for a series, so I'm exploring a sequel right now.
Level Two has been optioned for a film, which is SO exciting! Can you tell us anything about where you are in this process?

It is exciting - though I've heard that only like 1% of books that are optioned are ever actually made into films.  So it's still a long shot.  All I know right now is that CBS Films is waiting for the final draft of the book.  So we'll see.

You recently received your first check as an author--congratulations! What other jobs have you held in the past? (And, most importantly, did you buy yourself anything fun and
Diva-worthy with the money?)

Thank you! My first job was walking my 5 year old neighbor to the bus stop.  I was 10, but she was still able to knock me down on a regular basis and make me eat grass.  I really had to earn my $5 per week.  In high school, I did some babysitting and tutoring. In college, I worked in catering, concessions, as a teacher's aide, at Subway as a Sandwich Artist, in telephone customer service for an office supply store and as a teacher of English as a foreign language.  Once I moved to Germany, I started working as an advertising copywriter, which I still do on a freelance basis. My diva-worthy purchase was a trip to Argentina in May with my husband.  I love to travel! (Diva Schuyler: Now THAT is a truly Diva-worthy gift to yourself and your family! Especially with the whole childhood trauma of being knocked down by your neighbor. Anyway, two feather boas UP on your choice!)

What food or drink would you miss the most if the government banned it?

Chocolate.  But if you believe the upcoming dystopia All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin, you know that the black market will find a way to provide banned food and drink! 

Which dystopian (or post-apocalyptic) scenario strikes you as the most realistic? Which one frightens you the most?

Most any scenario that deals with a global pandemic (excepting the zombie virus ones of course). Executive Orders by Tom Clancy is not a dystopia, but there is an outbreak of highly contagious Ebola and that freaks me out so much.

Scary indeed!
Many thanks to Lenore Appelhans for taking part in the Dystopian Divas' first interview, and in our first feature, The Divas Dish...!  Check out all the ways you can Big Brother (or Sister!) Lenore:
Follow Lenore on Twitter: @lenoreva
Brave New Words (a blog of YA sci-fi authors debuting in 2012), to which Lenore contributes: Brave New Words

~Diva Schuyler  
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