Hello Susan, and welcome to Shift! Can you tell us a bit about The Extinction Trials?
Extinction Trials has a sticker on the cover which says ‘Jurassic Park meets Hunger Games” and that’s pretty accurate. It takes place on Earth – but not as we know it – this Earth has only two continents. One with humans and one with dinosaurs. The human continent is completely overpopulated, people are starving, and every year a few of the most hardy humans are selected to go to the dinosaur continent to try and find new food supplies. This year, the selected humans find out they’re going to the dinosaur continent for a whole other reason and that’s when it all gets very interesting!
The Extinction Trials is very different from a lot of YA available at the moment. What inspired you to write the series?
My boys. I am an avid reader. I don’t read books I inhale them. I read around a book a night and my sons just hadn’t developed the same love of reading. I bought them countless books but nothing really engaged them. Then, i asked them what they wanted. Young Lara Croft, Young Indiana Jones and dinosaurs was the reply. I’d written more than 30 romance novels and decided to write a book for my sons.
Although The Extinction Trials has hints of romance, the books are noticeably lacking in relationships. Was this a conscious decision?
Because I write romance in my other writing life, I really didn’t want to write YA romance. Plus, I didn’t think i’d be any good at it. What I did want to write about was people. Family. Friends. And those who struggle to make any kind of relationship and why. So, i the beginning it was a definite conscious decision. But, by the time book 3 comes around, people and relationships may be starting to evolve.
If you lived in Earthasia, would you sign up for the Extinction Trials?
Not a blooming chance! I’m crap at swimming. Can’t climb anything, and as for running, I was always last in the running races at school. If we end up on Piloria together, just think of me as dinosaur bait!
What is your favourite dinosaur and why?
It has been – and always will be – the T-Rex. The master, and the most terrifying dinosaur, that’s why!
The next instalment in The Extinction Trials isn’t out until next year. Is there anything you can tell us to keep us going until then?
While I was writing book 3 I saw an interesting news report on prehistoric spiders……yes, really. So guess what’s coming??
Anyone who follows you on Twitter will know you read a lot of YA. What books have you read recently that are absolute must-reads for Shift?
Are you ready for this, because I read a LOT of books!
Adam Silvera – They Both Die At The End
Neal Shusterman – Scythe
Mel Darbon – Rosie Loves Jack
Shea Earnshaw – The Wicked Deep
Amanda Hocking – Freeks
Amy McCulloch – Jinxed
Will Hill – After The Fire
Teri Terry – Contagion
Lauren James – The Loneliest Girl In The Universe
Marie Lu – Warcross
Thank you Susan for taking the time to talk with us!