I am SO excited to be part of the Middle Ground tour hosted by The Readiacs. If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know how much I truly loved Awaken, the first book in this series. I was extremely excited when I received an email invitation for the tour, as I could not wait to get back into Maddie and Justin’s world. I hope you enjoy the interview with author Katie Kacvisnky.
In this provocative cautionary tale for teens, the sequel to Awaken, seventeen-year-old Maddie’s rebellion against the digital-only life grows dangerous. Maddie is in Los Angeles, trying to stay out of trouble. But one night, a seemingly small act of defiance lands her in the place she fears the most: a detention center. Here, patients are reprogrammed to accept a digital existence. Maddie is now fighting for her mind, her soul, and her very life. Once again, Katie Kacvinsky paints a disturbing picture of our increasingly technology-based society.
Interview with Katie Kacvinsky
The scene where Maddie and friends go out to a nightclub to sit in front of a digital screen and socialize, instead of actually talking to the attendees, was the most absurd idea ever. It really drove home how lost society is without technology. How did you come up with this particular scene?
I had a lot of fun with this scene! I was inspired to write it after I read an article in Wired Magazine about scientists doing research on monkeys. They hooked monkeys up to machines that read their brain waves, and the monkeys were able to manipulate robot arms around with their minds. It was FREAKY, but also fascinating. It made me wonder how much our lives would change if technology allowed us to move things with our minds, instead of doing it with our hands or bodies. That idea inspired the dance scene.
“The Cure” was horrifying and experiencing it through Maddie’s eyes was terrifying. Was this cure always part of the story, or did it form as the story progressed?
Yeah, The Cure made the story go to some dark places. I always knew I wanted the drug to be an important factor in the book, but I ended up doing a ton of research on psychology and just our brains in general in order to get a feeling for how the drug would even work. I studied dreams and the subconscious versus the conscious mind—it was really fascinating to study while I was writing the book.
Justin shows vulnerability during this installment and it was a beautiful thing. Will we see more vulnerability from Justin in the future? He appears to be like an onion, with many layers.
Isn’t an Ogre like an onion? Just kidding (Shrek reference). Yes, Justin definitely changes in this book. You get more of his background story, and he goes through his own struggles throughout the book, just like Maddie, but comes out of it stronger and more aware. Justin is wound very tight in the first book, and I did that intentionally. I wanted to make his character slowly unravel and yes, in the third book we’ll definitely continue to see his vulnerable side.
I’m worried about Maddie’s ultimate decision going into the next book. What non-spoilery hints can you give us?
All I can say is that Justin and her friends and her parents will all be surprised with Maddie’s decisions in the third book. She seems to go out of her way to keep people guessing in every chapter. Maddie is immune to fear in this book, and she’s also determined, which can be a dangerous combination.
What are you reading right now?
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn.
What 5 words best describe you?
Random, loner, overly-emotional, observant, carefree
All giveaway entries across the blog tour will be entered to win a grand prize: One (1) signed copy of Middle Ground and Maddie’s Journal (US Only). I AM SO JEALOUS.
Meet Katie Kacvinsky
Katie Kacvinsky was born in Wisconsin. She worked in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, has lived in Phoenix, AZ, Redding, CA, Milwaukee, WI and currently Oregon. She taught high school English and worked for a young adult magazine before writing full-time. She owes most of her writing inspiration to traveling.
Check back next Thursday for my review of Middle Ground!
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