We are super excited to welcome back Caragh O'Brien to The Book Monsters. Kristen and I are super huge fans of the Birthmarked trilogy.
After defying the ruthless Enclave, surviving the wasteland, and upending the rigid matriarchy of Sylum, Gaia Stone now faces her biggest challenge ever. She must lead the people of Sylum back to the Enclave and persuade the Protectorat to grant them refuge from the wasteland. In Gaia's absence, the Enclave has grown more cruel, more desperate to experiment on mothers from outside the wall, and now the stakes of cooperating or rebelling have never been higher. Is Gaia ready, as a leader, to sacrifice what–or whom–she loves most?
Describe Promised in five words or less.
First, Kate and Kristen, let me say how great it is to be back at The Book Monsters for another blog tour with you! How totally fun to continue our conversation into a new book. Thank you for having me by!
My 5-word description:
Gaia takes on the wall.
Was Promised any easier or harder to write than the previous books in the series?
Promised had new challenges that made it just as impossible to write as the other books. I especially found it tricky to have two casts of characters to play with, one set each from Book 1 and Book 2. When the societies collided in Book 3, I couldn’t realistically keep all my favorites developing as significant characters in the foreground, and that led to some frustrating decisions. Also, this book has an escalating viciousness that troubled me. At one point, I sat back and really wondered about myself. I don’t think I’m that dark as a person, but I guess part of my mind can go pretty far.
Gaia discovers Sylum and its people in Prized. With Promised, readers find themselves again back in the Enclave. How did you come to the decision to bring Gaia and her people back to the Enclave? Why the Enclave and not a new town or oasis?
You know, I never really considered taking Gaia to a new town or oasis. I guess Gaia could have sent out some scouts to look for other outposts of civilization. She could have interviewed a few nomads about what else is out there. Hmm… It’s too late now, I suppose. I decided to bring her back to the Enclave because I knew it would be a total mess, with tons of conflict, personal and political. I was also really curious to see what Leon would be like around his twisted family again, and I wondered how all of those nice Sylum guys would do meeting some extra women.
What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting the Promised release date?
People have been very nice to me about the series, and honestly, I’m so grateful for their interest. I just hope they’ll like the last book. I tried my best with it, and the entire team at Roaring Brook has done an amazing job.
What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?
These days, I’m exploring a new young adult sci-fi project. So far, trying to keep the layers of it straight is boggling me, but I like my main character enormously and I’m curious to see where it all will take me. I do love writing, that’s for sure.
What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Ha! I don’t have one I’ve always wanted to be asked, but I like the idea. I wish there were a question that could get me to reveal what I’m really like inside, since that’s what I always want to know about other people in interviews. But I can’t really answer it because I’d think too much about it, and then my private, obstinate side would refuse to offer up a tidy summary of who I am. I have too many sides, apparently. I’m probably best off writing another book and letting it speak for me.
Again, many thanks to you, Kate and Kristen. It’s been great to come by again!