Seeking Utopia is my third novel and my first attempt at writing a sci-fi/post-apocalyptic novel. It centers around three main characters -- Emily, Ryan, and Silas -- who are facing the end of the world together. The entire story takes place over the course of about a month and we see how each character grows and each tells the story from their own point of view. I based the characters of Ryan and Emily off of my fiance and I and I tried to make the characters as flesh-and-blood true to life as possible in the hopes that people can relate to them. Also, it's important to note that there are themes in this book that may not be appropriate for people under the age of 17.
This book, with the editing and publishing process included, took me about a year and a half to complete. Normally it doesn't take me that long and I can crank out a book in a couple of months, but I worked really hard on this one, did a lot of research, and talked to some friends of mine who are published sci-fi writers for advice.
At the risk of sounding crazy, I got the idea for this book from a UFO sighting. Back in October 2010, my dad and I were on our way home from a trip to our local Wal-Mart store to get some groceries and we stopped off at a gas station for coffee. On the 2.5 mile or so drive back home, we saw something football-shaped and glowing orange in the sky hovering over downtown. Neither of us could tell what it was and we were both curious, so we drove in the direction of downtown with the orange glowing football-shaped thing in our sights the entire time. Suddenly, as we turned onto a side street, we heard helicopters fly overhead and the orange glowing thing just vanished. That summer, the History Channel came out with a documentary called "I Know What I Saw" about UFO sightings. My dad and I were watching a part of it together and we saw someone being interviewed who said they were in an airplane about to land at the Albany International Airport (which, living in Albany, NY, isn't too far from us) when they saw something football-shaped and glowing orange out of the window. That person described exactly what we had seen! Right then, I knew I wasn't crazy and started writing down the information and description of the UFO that my dad and I saw. I was always a skeptic when it came to UFOs, but after seeing what I saw, I know we can't possibly be alone in the universe.
Since our last interview, I have been busy with school. I finished my junior year at college and will be starting my senior year on August 27th. I was involved with something called Sponsor-A-Scholar, which is basically tutoring with a twist--instead of just helping the students with their homework, I was in a group with two other young women and we worked together to come up with fun social studies lessons for the kids. Also, I became a volunteer at the New York State Museum, a history blogger, and an Examiner for examiner.com writing about Albany, NY and New York State history. Now that I'm done with school for the summer, I've been looking for jobs, researching and writing for my history blog and Examiner articles, and my dad and I have been working on developing a history-based webshow which I hope to start filming soon. I want to send a copy of the show to our local PBS station in hopes of getting my own TV show, although my ultimate goal is getting a show on the History Channel. Also, I recently got engaged to my boyfriend of four years (he actually proposed on our four year anniversary) and I've been working on my fourth book, Somewhere In Between, which is a continuation of my second novel, Balancing Act. Because of a hectic school schedule this coming academic year, I do not know when it will be finished and published. My hope is to have it finished and on the market by March of 2013.
Get the Seeking Utopia paperback here and wherever fine paperbacks are sold. Check back for the ebooks soon!