March 31, 2011

A Cornucopia of Dystopia: Dark Parties by Susan Grant

Guest Post by Sara Grant

Can you tell us about your journey in writing a dystopian novel? Why did you choose that genre? What was your writing process like? What kinds of books can we expect from you in the future?

I didn’t set out to write a dystopian novel. I wanted to explore issues of identity – both personal and national. I built my world and developed my characters to enhance my ability to examine this theme. But in the writing, the world, characters and plot evolved and influenced each other in a way that, I hope, ties them inextricably together. 

Dystopian novels allow readers and writers to explore ideas and themes in a way contemporary fiction can’t. You whittle away the part of the real world that doesn’t serve your story. Dystopian stories also can offer a complete escape from everyday life. Practically it allows writers to rid teen protagonist of pesky parents, cell phones and the internet, which allows for greater adventure and risks.

Dark Parties was the result of my move to the UK. Both the US and UK are struggling with immigration issues. I believe that diversity makes us stronger. So I said: what if we closed our borders to people and ideas? Dark Parties is my answer.

Dark Parties started as a short story, which I submitted to the SCBWI British Isles ( Undiscovered Voices anthology ( I let my friend and fellow editor Sara O’Connor and my niece Megan read it. They both wanted to know what happened next and encouraged me to write the rest of Neva’s story. I told myself that if my story was selected, then I would write the novel. And, luckily it was included in the anthology. My agent Jenny Savill received a copy…and the rest, as they say, is history. 

I still find it amazing that I’m drawn to write dystopian novels. I’m the biggest optimist. I believe the best in people and have great hope for the future of the planet and humankind. 

My second book is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2012. It’s another dystopian novel. Its working title is Half Lives. It’s very much a work in progress, but here’s what I know so far:

Half Lives chronicles the journey of two unlikely heroes – Icie and Beckett. Both struggle to keep themselves alive and protect future generations from the terrible fate that awaits any who dare to climb the mountain. Even though they live hundreds of years apart, Icie and Beckett’s lives are mysteriously linked. 

Half Lives is a race against time and the battle to save future generations. It’s about the nature of faith and power of miscommunication – and above all the strength of the human spirit to adapt and survive.

Dark Parties Book Trailer


More information on Sara Grant

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