Marked by Laura Williams McCaffrey
Publisher: Clarion Books
Release Date: February 16th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
Sixteen-year-old Lyla lives in a bleak, controlling society where only the brightest and most favored students succeed.
When she is caught buying cheats in an underground shadow market, she is tattooed—marked—as a criminal. Then she is offered redemption and she jumps at the chance . . . but it comes at a cost. Doing what is right means betraying the boy she has come to love, and, perhaps, losing even more than she thought possible.
Graphic novel–style vignettes revealing the history of this world provide Lyla with guidance and clues to a possible way out of the double bind she finds herself in.
How did you come up with this idea? Because it sounds very good and also it is an interesting mix of genre/formating.
I was reading this fabulous book by Michael Chabon called The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which is about comics artists during and after World War II. In the novel, the author describes some of the comics the characters draw. I thought about what the characters in my story would really care about, and I decided it was a serialized comix story. I decided to include the story in the novel. Originally, I wrote it in prose. When I showed it to my editor, we decided it should be illustrated.
How do you see the dystopia genre?
I’ve always loved dystopian fiction. When I was in high school, in 1986, I loved 1984. Later, I read and loved The Handmaid’s Tale. I’ve loved a lot of the dystopian stories that have been published more recently, like Feed, Ship Breaker, DMZ, and Love is a Drug. I love how authors of great dystopian stories take something from our world today, something that worries or troubles us, and exaggerate it or logically expand it, so we can see more clearly why the thing worries us. They help us better understand our fears.
Advice for writers to be? And which is the harderst part of being a writer that you did not expect it to be like that.
I thought that once I’d written a novel I would have learned how to write novels. I didn’t expect each novel to pose its own particular challenges. With each book I write, I have to learn new things. I guess what I’m saying is that I didn’t expect writing to require quite so much hard work. I also didn’t expect how much I’d enjoy working so hard.
I read, I write, I teach. I've published short stories in Cicada, YA Review Network, Solstice Literary Magazine, and Soundings Review. Clarion Books will release Marked, my YA dystopian fantasy, in February 2016. My other fantasy novels are WATER SHAPER and ALIA WAKING (both published by Clarion Books). For more information, it's best to visit my website: http://www.laurawilliamsmccaffrey.com