Article 5 is the first in the trilogy, do you already know how everything will end?I do. But if I told you I’d have to kill you. And I like you Shellie, so that would make me very sad.
When can we look for the next installment to come out?The books will be released on a yearly schedule. So, Book 2 comes out in February 2013, Book 3 in February 2014. It seems far away…but I have a feeling it will be here before I know it!
Which character was hardest to write and why?Tucker Morris was the hardest to write. He’s a tricky guy – there are many sides to him, not all of them what they seem, just like anyone, I suppose. Plus, he went through the most changes. In the first draft, he was actually Ember’s high school boyfriend! (I know, I know!)
Sounds like you had a lot of interesting encounters while doing your Ride-Along Research for Article 5, was there any other research experiences that stuck out?Well, the ride-along with the police was certainly the most exciting! I mean, it’s not like I drive 120 mph to burglary calls every day! (Or maybe I do…)
Most of the research for ARTICLE 5 was library-oriented. I knew I wanted to write about a society that had abolished the separation between church and state, and replaced the Bill of Rights with a set of Moral Statutes. I also knew I wanted to include a military regime, and an opposing resistance. I had to read up on the American Revolution, and to explore the founding documents that granted citizens personal freedom in order to understand the magnitude of overhauling a country’s core belief system.
But, to answer your question, I did have a VERY informative training session on how to assemble, clean, and fire a handgun. Also, I had some great talks with high school students about how they would survive in a setting like that in ARTICLE 5. Those were all very memorable experiences.
What drew you to write a dystopian novel?To me, a dystopian setting is just an exaggeration of the world we live in – a more extreme focus on the challenges we face every day – finding food, finding work, surviving. All of the frightening, negative things that we are confronted with here come to life in a bigger, bolder way in a dystopian. And though the world may be a harsher place, it actually highlights the amazing resilience and ability of humanity. It forces characters to be stronger, wiser, and braver. To make choices that impact their survival, choices that, in the end, have potential to show great growth. And as a reader, and a writer, that gives me hope that I can survive this world.
You said that A5 was built upon the setting of moving to Kentucky, why is that?
Well, it takes place (at least in part) in Louisville, Kentucky. That’s where the story begins anyway… We were living in Louisville while I wrote ARTICLE 5. It’s a fascinating place, one that’s very close to my heart. Louisville is actually a huge city, but it has a very small-town, country feel. Anywhere you go you’ll find a clash of history and modern culture, traditional values and new progressive ideals. It was the perfect place to inspire!
Are you a morning person or a night owl?A morning person! I wake up early and go exercise, then suck down caffeine and get to work. I love daylight and sunshine. I’d fail as a vampire.
What are some things that us readers may not know about you?I have a sweet greyhound named Rudy! He’s 80 pounds of pure love and likes to be the center of attention all the time (he’s sort of a diva that way). He’s a rescue, and wasn’t treated very well in his previous life, so we like to spoil him as much as possible (also contributing to his diva-ness). He deserves it. He did inspire one of the locations in ARTICLE 5 – the house on Rudy Lane!
*The release dates have been changed from the previous dates to January 31, 2012 then we must wait another antagonizing year for book two and yet another for book three...yes it may just kill me*
Here are some places that you can follow Kristen -
Kristen Simmons - Facebook
Brave New Words
She doesn't have twitter...I've been trying to get her on the twittah though lol
Author - Kristen Simmons
Publisher - TorTeen
Release Date - January 31, 2012, 384 Pages
*A review copy was provided by TorTeen for a honest review*
New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.
The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.
There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.
Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.
Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.
That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.
If you’re looking for a book that is action packed, adrenaline pumping, and has a guy that makes your heart melt, you have found the right one! I couldn’t wait to start reading this and as I knew, I wasn’t disappointed. We are brought into a world where the War has ended, they have done away with The Bill of Rights and have replaced them with Moral Statues. Instead of police they have soldiers for the Federal Bureau of Reformation, FBR, mainly known as the Moral Militia.
Unlike other dystopian novels that I have read, Ember actually remembers what it was like before the war, before everything deteriorated around her. When the days that she and Chase could do whatever, stay out as late as they wanted, and anyone could read whatever they felt like at any time without the worries of being arrested. I was carried away in this new world where everything is scarce after the war. You cannot trust anyone both Ember and Chase have learned that the hard way. There are so many twists and turns, I couldn’t guess what was about to happen next and I absolutely loved that.
Just five pages in your already throw into an action packed heartbreaking scene where Embers mother is being taken into custody. Among the soldiers is Chase, Embers neighbor and only love before he was drafted to join the MM. Ember doesn’t give up easily she fights as well but ends up being taken to the Girls Reformatory and Rehabilitation Center. She has heard stories of those arrested and taken away, most don’t come back…and now she sees why. The journey that she is about to go on is one that makes her see just how bad things are and how much one will go through for the person they love.
There are so many things that I loved about this book. I literally couldn’t put it down (unless absolutely having to like…sleep and work). I was sucked in from page one and wasn’t let go until the very end, and man-oh-man was I taken on a journey like no other! I love this world that Kristen has created. The way that she has paced everything was so perfect, the no-hold-back action, creepy scenes that sends shivers all over, and a beautiful heartbreaking love between two people that just made my heart melt again and again. It felt like I was right there along with Ember and Chase during their journey that I found my heart beating frantically when they were faced with certian situations.
I absolutely loved the flash backs that Ember had of Chase, we get to see what he was like before having being drafted. We get to see and experience just for those brief moments what their relationship was like and what they have already went through and still have to go through to betogether.
This is one book that will definitely stay with me and one that I highly recommend. It had everything that it needed in there from the action to love, it definitely played on my heart strings, and has me yearning for the next book in this trilogy…which by the way cannot come fast enough, I thought it was a long wait from 2011 to 2012 HA! now I have to wait until 2013 to get more of
And now for the giveaway. I will be giving away 2 copies of Article 5 (will be ordered on release date), there will be 2 winners & you will also get this swag that Kristen sent me, and can I say that they are awesome! I love them to pieces. (Note: The invitation is not part of the swag, just letting everyone know when and where the official launch will be, man do I wish I lived closer to Tampa right about now!)