Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight! Today I have A.K. Downing visiting with her fantasy novel, Into the Air. She has been kind enough to do an interview with me, so keep reading and enjoy!
A.K. Downing grew up in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania and spent her summers exploring the ﬁelds, woods, and orchards of her grandparents’ farm. She studied graphic design at Kent State University and currently works as a Creative Director. Her young-adult, dystopian fantasy novel, Into the Air, was a category finalist in the 2017 National Indie Excellence Awards. The story follows teenager Mia Bryn and her father as they escape the safety of their underground compound and try to survive in a world no one has inhabited for more than a hundred years.
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About the Book
When Mia Bryn escapes her underground compound, she never imagines her world will explode. Separated from her father and attacked by lethal creatures she never knew existed, Mia tries to survive in a dangerous land she’s only dreamed about. As she battles for her life, Mia finds an abandoned girl, discovers a link to her mother, and is captured by Archer, a cunning, golden-eyed guard. Together, Mia and Archer unravel an evil plot to overthrow the Provinces and Mia realizes she must find a way to save herself and those she loves…or die trying.
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Keep reading for an interview with the author:
What is your favorite book?
I love to read different genres, but YA is my guilty pleasure. A few of my favorites are: City of Bones | A Court of Thorns & Roses | Life of Pi
What is the most recent book you’ve read?
I’m finishing “A Court of Mist and Fury” by Sarah J. Maas. Somehow I JUST discovered Maas and can’t seem to get enough!
Who is your author role-model?
I love the wit of Charlaine Harris, the epic story telling of Diana Gabaldon, and the teen-age angst of Cassandra Clare.
Where is your favorite place to write?
In the car. It’s when my head is clear and the ideas flow. Ideas do come to me all the time, though. I keep notebooks everywhere!
How do you read a book – cover-to-cover or last page first?
I read cover-to-cover, although I skip ahead sometimes to make sure someone isn’t dead!
What is a writing goal you have?
To finish The Air Series before my daughter is in high school. Look for the Book 2 in Spring 2018!
If you could sum up your writing style in a word or phrase what would it be?
Into the Air doesn’t neatly fit into one category. It’s a post-apocalyptic story, but takes place a century after “the catastrophic event,” and focuses on a healing earth. It’s science-fiction in the sense that it takes place in a future world, but it doesn’t rely on new technology. And it’s fantasy because my main character has “powers.”
Your book has such a unique plot. Where did you find your inspiration?
A few years ago, my husband was watching “prepper” shows. During one episode, a man built an underground compound for his family in case there was a “catastrophic event.” The idea stuck with me and filled me with questions: How long could people survive underground? How would they know it was safe to enter the outside world again? Shortly after, I started writing “Into the Air.”
Will we get to read more about Mia and her adventures above ground?
Yes! There are two more novels. The second will release Spring 2018 and picks up a week after the first ends. Mia struggles with her increasing importance, grows closer to Archer, and is reunited with someone she thought was dead.
How do you describe Mia’s experience in the air?
Mia’s experience is a contrast in opposites. She’s thrilled to escape her compound, but almost dies trying survive in the outside world. She’s terrified that her father has been taken, but discovers a connection with Archer. She thinks her life is ordinary, but discovers she’s more important than she ever imagined.
I am rooting for Mia and Archer. What’s next?
Mia and Archer come from two different worlds. In some ways their worlds collide and in other ways, they remain separate. It’s a romance that will keep you guessing.