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Monday, October 7, 2013

Autumn in the City of Angels by Kirby Howell (Review & Interview)

Genre:
Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Paranormal
Publication Date:  April 14th 2013
Pages:362
Published By:  Streetlights Publishing
WebsiteKirby Howell 

Autumn in the City of Angels on Goodreads
My review copy:Review copy provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:



A plague of epic proportion sweeps the globe, leaving less than one percent of the world’s population immune. Among the living is Autumn Winters, the teenage daughter of a famous actress. When Autumn’s parents don’t come home and the city is overtaken by a dangerous faction, she goes into hiding with a small group of underground survivors. They’re led by a mysterious young man who harbors an unearthly secret, and with whom Autumn feels a deep connection.

Autumn in the City of Angels is the first novel in a series, followed by Autumn in the Dark Meadows and Autumn in the City of Lights.
(Goodreads)


The temperature of my blood dropped several degrees, and I took a step back. My heart quickened. "Storm?" I prompted, looking at the boxes on the dock labeled "non-perishable."
She'd been my closest friend since sixth grade when she'd punched Travis Bainbridge in the stomach after he teased me for being too short to reach the top shelf in my own locker. Sarah and I were like puzzle pieces, complete opposites who just clicked.
I heard Grey say something, but it sounded like he was at the bottom of a well. I felt him take my hand. It was so good, so warm, so reassuring. I leaned toward him, pulled by a web of wonderful sleep. His arms looked comfortable and inviting, then I heard Rissi's shrill voice call my name as I crashed face first into Grey's shoulder.



This was a great beginning to what looks to be an amazing series. From the very beginning of the book, I was jumped into an amazing story. Autumn Winters is the main character in this series about a plague (the Crimson Fever) that kills 99% of the population.

There's a lot put into this book and the two authors who make up Kirby Howell really know how to deliver! There's action, romance, mixed with a little bit of Sci-fi. Once I started this book, I just kept reading it. I couldn't put it down. Every character written on the pages feel like they could jump off the page and become a real person. That's how real it felt while reading. I felt like I could really connect with Autumn.

There's a plot twist and you have to beware the fever and Grey, the dreamy and swoony love interest, may have more to them than you'd first think. It's very interesting. There's not too much that I can say without giving it away. But I really enjoyed this novel and I am looking forward to continuing on with this series. It was a very refreshing piece to add to the dystopian genre.

Do you like dystopians? Do you like action mixed with the perfect amount of romance and sci-fi? Then you should definitely pick this novel up! You won't regret it!


 

So, Kirby Howell is actually 2 different people, how did you become a writing team?

Dana and I met in our very first scriptwriting class when we were freshman at the University of Alabama.  My boyfriend had just broken up with me and Dana consoled me with tissues, lip gloss, and candy from her purse in the girl’s bathroom before class.  Best friends for life after that.  It just seemed natural to pair up to write that semester’s big project together: a feature length script.  We had so much fun doing it, we kept on writing together after that. 

What inspired you with the Autumn Series?

Jessica: The inspiration for the story came from a dream that I had.  I was very surprised that it had a clear beginning, middle, and end.  Often, my dreams are not so succinct.  Dana and I developed the story from there, plotting out the entire trilogy before we started writing.  Other apocalyptic books or stories involving a young woman learning how to survive have continued to inspire us throughout the writing of this series.  I read White Oleander by Janet Fitch years before writing this series, and Astrid’s story has stuck with me and colored my vision of Autumn’s progress through her own trials.

Dana: We’d always talked about writing a book one day in the distant future, but for the time being though, we were focused on screenwriting.  Then we started talking about the Autumn idea, and the more we discussed the story beats, it became clear to us that it was far too big to be a feature.  But we were too excited about the story to put it off to “one day” turn into a book.  We also knew that the subject matter was timely, and we didn’t want to miss the wave of YA apocalyptic fiction.  So we started researching the publishing world and got to it.

Can readers expect to see other books or series by Kirby Howell?

We’re currently writing the third installment of The Autumn Series, Autumn in the City of Lights, which is scheduled to be released April 2014.

We’re also working on another YA series called The Wayfarer about a teenage girl who loses someone very close to her and goes on a quest to find him.  We’ll be releasing the first book in this series in late 2014 (hopefully)!

Where do you do your best writing?

Jessica: I don’t think I have to be in a particular location to do my best writing.  It’s more of a mental state with me.  My chores need to be done, errands run, bookkeeping and correspondence taken care of… basically, my mental to-do list needs completed before I can concentrate completely.  A mind unrestricted by tasks is free to imagine without constraints. 

Dana: As far as the “mental state” goes, I’m the same as Jessica.  I can’t even focus on my computer screen if my desk is slightly cluttered or things aren’t at a ninety-degree angle.  So all of that needs done.  But I do have a preferred place to write.  I like writing late night at my computer desk with my little Cairn Terrier curled up on my feet.  There’s something about her warmth and steady breathing that soothes me… I also like to rub her tummy with my feet while I work.

What is your favorite thing about Halloween and why?

Jessica: My mom’s favorite holiday is Halloween and went nuts with her decorations around the house that time of year.  Because of that, the decorations have become my favorite part of Halloween: bundles of orange leaves, dried corn cobs, pumpkins and squashes, and hidden witches and ghosts in dark corners.  The candy isn’t bad either. 

Dana: Well, aside from the fact that our debut series is closely tied in with the “Autumn” season… I’m a big fan of scary movies, stories and books.  I think I own just about all of the greatest horror movies ever made.  Don’t even get me started on which one is my favorite!  The week before Halloween, my husband and I watch as many of the “greats” as we can squeeze in… and whatever new documentaries there are about those films. 

And then, of course, on Halloween night, we may dress our little dog up to receive Trick-or-Treaters!

What are your favorite thing(s) to do during the fall season?

Jessica: I love carving pumpkins!  My husband and I always make an evening of it: we put on Alien or Aliens and toast the pumpkin seeds after carving. 

Dana: Oh, that’s a no-brainer.  College football, hands down.  Roll Tide!

What is your favorite Halloween candy?

Jessica: Anything that contains peanut butter and chocolate. 

Dana: If it’s got dark chocolate in it, I’m happy.

What is your favorite book to read around Halloween?

Jessica: I’m a big scaredy cat and à la Joey from Friends, I believe scary books belong in the freezer.  Though, I have read the Stephen King’s The Stand.  I loved it, but it will be a while before I read anything like that again.  See my blog post on my scaredy cat status here: http://kirbyhowell.com/?p=875

Dana: I’ve been really enjoying the works of H.P. Lovecraft lately.  I’ll probably read a couple of his short stories on the night while I wait for candy-goers to appear on my doorstep.

Thanks so much girls for letting us get to know you guys a little bit more! It was such fun asking about Halloween and the "Autumn" season!





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