Monday, June 30, 2014

FFBC: Welcome to the club, Unravel (Linked #2) by Imogen Howson

Unravel (Linked #2)
by Imogen Howson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 8th 2014
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Untold dangers await telepathic twins in this sequel to the futuristic, romantic thriller called classic sci-fi, space-travel adventure at its best. After Elissa and Lin exposed the government's secret experiments inLinked, which Booklistcalled a roller-coaster ride into space that just about everyone should enjoy, their home planet Sekoia is thrown into chaos. Determined to do their part to help the planet they've hurt, they return to Sekoia only to discover that things are far worse that they imagined. Resources are suddenly scarce, people are scared, and there's a rising current of anger against the Spares. When Lissa and Lin find themselves among another group of Spares and twins, they feel like they've found their kindred spirits at last. But a threat none of them could have expected is lying in wait for Sekoia's Spares.

As a child, I loved reading so much that I not only read in bed, at the table and in the bath, but in the shower and – not so successfully – on my bicycle.

I enjoyed books in a slightly unorthodox way, too – many of my childhood books have ragged edges where I tore paper from the margins in order to eat it.

I wrote my first book at eight. It was entitled The Dragon in the Teapot and would probably have been a huge hit if I hadn’t lost the only copy on a family day out.

Some years later, armed with several different types of backups, I’m busy writing romantic science fiction and fantasy for young adults and adults.

I live with my partner, our two teenage daughters, and three cats, near Sherwood Forest in England. I’m a Christian, a feminist, and a lover of cheese, chocolate, stationery shops and eighties pop music. I still read in most places, but I no longer eat paper.

I’m a member of The Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the group blogs The Lucky 13s and Author Allsorts, and the online writers’ community Romance Divas. I’m represented by Mandy Hubbard of D4EO Literary Agency.

You can keep in touch with me on Facebook – – or Twitter –

Or please feel free to contact me by email.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Dirty Dancing.

Anything happy and pop-music-y. I have the shallowest tastes in the world.


Awwww, Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables books. He is such a gentleman!

It’s from These Old Shades, by Georgette Heyer. The hero, the Duke of Avon, is a Bad Man with a Bad Past. The heroine, Leonie, is much younger (and adorable), and calls him “Monseigneur”. He thinks he’s not good enough for her because of his terrible past, and she knows all about it and doesn’t even care. 

They eventually have a conversation in which he says, “Leonie, you are not the first woman in my life.” And she says, “Oh, Monseigneur, I would so much rather be the last than the first.” (Awwww.)

And then he asks her if she’s sure, and she says she never thought he would be so foolish. And then he kisses her and they get married—like, that very day. *melts*

Anything by Joss Whedon. Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse…

Diana Wynne Jones. She died a few years ago and I cried—partly because I was just so sad she didn’t exist any longer, and partly because I realized I would never get the chance to meet her. I wish I’d managed to meet her while I could!

Thank you for having me! And please let me know what you think of Unravel.

Hello Imogen! We are super excited to host you in our FFBC. 

Thank you so much for having me!

Linked is about a girl, Elissa, who has been plagued her whole life by inexplicable visions—and weird phantom bruises that come from nowhere. When she discovers that the source of the visions is the twin—Lin—she didn’t even know she had, who has been raised in a secure government facility and undergone “humane experiments”, they go on the run together. They end up having to escape off-planet, which throws them into the company of the arrogant young spaceship captain Cadan, the best friend of Elissa’s older brother. 

In Unravel, Elissa and Lin, with Cadan’s help, have freed not only Lin, but all the other twins who were imprisoned with her. But in doing so, they’ve caused the collapse of their planet’s government. Their planet is now in chaos and under martial law, and enough people blame the twins to put them in danger all over again.

What fights between spaceships would be like. I spent a lot of time on the website—not so much researching the actual science, but researching what science fiction readers will accept as “realistic enough”, and what are the really obvious mistakes that get made over and over again.

Distrustful, angry, protective, proud, kind.

My favorite scenes were the ones showing the development of Elissa and Lin’s relationship, and also Elissa and Cadan’s. Elissa starts out thinking of Cadan as irritating and arrogant, and he thinks she’s a spoiled brat, and it was a lot of fun gradually making them see each other differently (and even more fun getting them to fall for each other). With Elissa and Lin, they start out kind of knowing each other really well, due to this telepathic link they share. But Elissa didn’t know Lin was real—she thought her visions of her were just dreams—so although she feels weirdly familiar, at the same time she’s this stranger with freaky powers. And that relationship continues throughout Unravel. It’s not a love/hate relationship, but it is a love/fear/confusion type relationship. Which made it interesting!

There’s a really violent scene towards the end of Unravel. It was hard to write it as brutally as it needed to be, and also hard to make all the characters react realistically—but not so realistically that all I had was pages of everyone crying and screaming! Which might be true to life, but which would be pretty dull to read.

I don’t usually write with a message in mind—I’m writing primarily to entertain people. But a definite message that came out during the writing of both Linked and Unravel is that, if a group of people sees another group of people as different, as “other”, it’s a very short step from that to seeing them as not really people at all. And once they’re not people, you can justify all sorts of atrocities. You see it in the way the Nazis treated Jews, in the way white people treated black slaves, and, in the UK, more recently, the way the press speaks about immigrants—both legal and illegal.

Linked and Unravel are not political allegories at all (which is good, because I think you have to be a genius to write an allegory that’s also worth reading as a story), and I definitely didn’t set out to write a book with a message, but I think that point about turning people into the “other” has ended up being portrayed very clearly in both books.

I guess it just matters to me a lot, so it ends up in my writing.

Follow the FFBC Unravel Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Win (1) of (2) hardbacks of Unravel by Imogen Howson (INT)

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