Wednesday, November 1, 2017

FFBC: Welcome to the tour, This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

This Mortal Coil

by Emily Suvada
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: November 7th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Science Fiction


In this gripping debut novel, seventeen-year-old Cat must use her gene-hacking skills to decode her late father’s message concealing a vaccine to a horrifying plague.

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?

Hello Emily! We are super excited to talk to you about THIS MORTAL COIL and to have you in our FFBC tours. 

Favorite Book? 

Favorite TV show? 

Battlestar Galactica

Favorite movie? 

Howl’s Moving Castle

Favorite Song? 

From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness by Coheed & Cambria

Favorite Food? 

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat. 

Hogwarts, Narnia, and Rivendell!

What were your favorite books growing up? 

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series by Douglas Adams, and Slapstick by Kurt Vonnegut.

Favorite Quote? 

“They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.” - Dorothy Parker

What are your fandoms? 

Harry Potter, Miyazaki, Star Trek, The 100, and Tool.

What are your fave Sci-Fi TV Shows or Movies?

I love Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Hackers, Orphan Black, Jurassic Park, Firefly, The Fifth Element, The Matrix, and Star Wars!

Name a recent book you read that you would recommend to our YA fans? 

I absolutely adored An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson!

Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about THIS MORTAL COIL?

THIS MORTAL COIL is set two years after the outbreak of a plague that kills its victims in a pretty horrifying way… Most survivors now live in bunkers that are run by a group called Cartaxus, but our hero, Catarina, has been told by her father to stay away from Cartaxus at all costs. She’s a genehacker - in this world people have the ability to rewrite their DNA, downloading and using ‘apps’ to change their bodies. When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with the news that her father has coded a vaccine, but that only Catarina can decrypt it, she embarks on a journey across the country to release the vaccine and end the plague.

Can you tell us 3 interesting/random things about Cat?

Oooo, I like this question. Here are three cool things about Cat:

1) As well as being a hacker, Cat is an amateur scientist. She mentions making gunpowder in the first chapter, and she can usually be found in her lab, working on her own experiments. 

2) When we meet her, Cat is a little bit feral. She gave up on having clean clothes a long time ago and just. does. not. care. She’s not very good at taking care of herself, can’t cook, and sleeps on a mattress on the floor beside her fireplace.

3) The letters of her surname, along with her nickname, Cat Agatta, are the bases that make up DNA - G,T,C, and A.

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book series? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of THIS MORTAL COIL).

#thingsthatmakeyougoBOOM, #genehacking, and #TheSumOfOurGenes

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?

The first idea that came to me was the image of Cat, this feral girl living in a cabin in the woods during a horrifying outbreak. I loved the idea of her being resourceful and pragmatic, doing whatever it took to survive, and one day being confronted with an enemy soldier who says he’s come to protect her. So naturally, she tries to kill him. 

This interaction forms the first big plot point in the book, and once I had that image in my mind, I just kept adding cool things - genehacking, a virus that makes people explode, awful experiments on people - until the rest of the plot fell together. I take inspiration from a lot of things - almost everything I watch or read influences and textures my writing. The book is basically a love letter to my favorite tropes in YA and science fiction. 

Tell us your favorite quote from THIS MORTAL COIL.

There’s a lot of danger in this book, and several life-or-death moments for Cat. This is a quote that I wrote when my editors encouraged me to focus on what my character thought about mortality:

“The universe is continuous; I am the anomaly. I am the thread that begins and ends, the flame that sputters out. A chance collection of proteins and molecules that perpetuates itself, bound by the electric fire of my mind.”

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write? Or which part was the most difficult to get through?

The scene that was the most fun to write was one at the midpoint at the book. Cat discovers that her life might be at immediate risk and has to go to extreme lengths to save herself. I’m not going to say any more than that, but trust me - you’ll know the scene when you read it. That scene was fun to write and rewrite, trying to make it more intimate and shocking each time.

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for THIS MORTAL COIL– Which one would you pick?

Probably 46&2 by Tool. That band was one of my major influences, growing up, and the song has relevance to the book in more ways than one.

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read THIS MORTAL COIL (specific music, snacks…)? 

This is a demanding book, and almost every single scene ties into a twist or reveal later on (or is building up to more twists in the rest of the series). It also moves at a demanding pace, and only gives you a few good opportunities to put it down. My recommendation would be to get comfortable in a place where you can dive into the story, although that’s my recommendation for most books! You might also want to plan a vegetarian meal for the evening, too... 

What’s next for you? 

I’m working hard on Book 2! This is the start of a series, and Book 2 begins right after the end of THIS MORTAL COIL. There are *so* many more twists to come. Keep an eye out for details on the sequel in the months to come!

Thank you so much for everything, Emily!

Emily Suvada was born and raised in Australia, where she went on to study mathematics and astrophysics. She previously worked as a data scientist, and still spends hours writing algorithms to perform tasks which would only take minutes to complete on her own. When not writing, she can be found hiking, cycling, and conducting chemistry experiments in her kitchen. She currently lives in Portland, OR, with her husband.