A Guest Post with Rebecca Finlayson–author of X & Y
“Olivia Adonane has it all; remarkable intelligence, stunning beauty, and – as the daughter of the head of the Triad, Society’s top three Human Designers – immeasurable wealth. Yet, all is not as it seems. Olivia discovers a dark secret about her homeland, formerly known as Great Britain, where humans are designed in the womb, and she watches her best friend, Lily, die in a secret chamber below the Triad Building in London. From here on, she has a choice. Will she continue on her pre-designed path, following in her father’s footsteps to become the country’s most powerful Human Designer? Or will she seek to rebel against the government, attempting to expose and overthrow the seemingly-invincible regime so that her fellow citizens can be truly free?”
Every author has a dream of where their book could end up – top of the New York Times list, worldwide bestseller, movie deal . Sure, they may not believe it could ever happen but dreaming is still fun. At least, that was the case for me.
The problem I had was to not let those dreams distract me from the actual novel-writing process.
When I sat down to type the first words of “X&Y” I had to forget about all the YA novels I had read, particularly the Dystopian ones, and just focus on my story. How could I make “X&Y” the best it could be on its own terms, and not compared to, say, The Hunger Games? How could I make Olivia, the protagonist, successful as a character in and of herself, and not trying to live up to Katniss Everdeen’s reputation?
Good writers read and learn from successful writers, but for me there came a point where I just had to forget about all the rest, otherwise I would lose sight of what I was doing, which was trying to communicate something about the world I had built in my head. I wanted to build good relationships with my characters because they’re great characters (at least, I think so). I wanted to do something that many good authors have done successfully – i.e. portray a vision of the future as a warning to our society. ‘Society’ (the futuristic new version of Great Britain in X&Y) could exist. At the rate our technology is developing, it wouldn’t be crazy to think so.
Dreams of a movie deal aside, I am personally very proud of “X&Y”. I am letting others decide whether it can stand up to other YA Dystopian novels, but I am glad that it’s out there and that readers are enjoying it. I hope whoever reads this post will join them!
Since graduating in 2010 with a degree in Classical Civilisation, Rebecca worked as a Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant at Blue Coat Academy in Coventry. She took a year off from September 2012 to July 2013 in order to engage in charity work and concentrate on some writing projects. During that time she completed two novels and began work on a third. Her debut novel, a YA Dystopian fiction called “X&Y,” is now available on Amazon Kindle. Her second novel, an epic fantasy entitled “The Secrets of Nethiaria: The Magician’s Book” will be released as an ebook in Spring 2014.
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