Hello my fellow little munchkins. How are you all doing? I am doing well. I tried curling my hair today and I think that I did pretty well but hey thats my opinion. I am taking my first test in my cultural anthropology class so I am a little excited and a little nervous just because it is a test and I don’t want to fail.
Anyways, why don’t we get into this interview already?
This is my stop during the blog tour for The Jade Rebellion by Alanna Mackenzie. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 18 February till 3 March. See the tour schedule here.
By Alanna Mackenzie
Genre: Science Fiction/ Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 1 May, 2018
A reckoning. A rebellion. The worlds of artificial intelligence and ancient magic collide.
Crystal City glistens with diamonds, but its dazzling beauty comes at a deadly price. The capital of Khalendar thrives on a steady supply of gemstones from the neighboring Barrens, a colony of the Empire.
Walter Saltanetska translates AI code for the Khalendar government, helping to breathe life into the ambitious vision of the AI Masters. When Walter discovers a terrible secret which could destroy the life of his lover, Elaine, he decides to tell her despite strict orders to keep what he translates confidential.
What begins as a catastrophe eventually grows into a rebellion. Elaine is taken captive by the AI Masters, and Walter must do everything in his power to rescue her. He starts his quest with a single goal in mind, finding Elaine, but along the way Walter discovers that saving her is only a small part of his destiny. During his travels, he encounters a long-lost relative, a warrior matriarch, and a mystical kingdom forgotten to time. Yet Walter’s true journey occurs not in physical space, but the captivating depths of his mind.
An inventive blend of dystopian science-fiction and fantasy, the Jade Rebellion explores whether we can overcome technological determinism by preserving history, nature, spirituality, and ultimately, our humanity.
What made you want to write this book?
Ever since I was a child, I’ve wanted to write fiction – not really for any specific reason, but simply because I enjoy telling stories. I wrote my first novel, The Jade Rebellion, for that same reason: I love storytelling. I think there are other, deeper motivations behind writing this novel, too. I have always considered myself an environmentalist, and I believe that writing The Jade Rebellion was a way for me to imagine solutions to environmental issues and other complex problems besetting our world today.
A major theme of The Jade Rebellion is environmental conservation – not just for its own sake, but because we as humans are deeply interconnected with the environment and rely on it to survive. Technology can sever us from our connection with nature by making us forget that we are so reliant on it, but we can overcome that amnesia with a concerted social effort. I have always been interested in the history of our relationship with the environment and technology. Humans use technology to control, manipulate and enslave nature – in much the same way as the artificially intelligent robots in my novel enslave the humans in an attempt to separate them not only from nature, but also from their own human nature. On the other hand, humans have the ability to harness technologies – such as renewable energy – which promote a collaborative rather than destructive relationship with nature.
As a writer what would your spirit animal be?
This is a great question, because I like to include spirit animals in my novels – they actually play a major role in the sequel novel to The Jade Rebellion. I think my spirit animal would be a bird of some kind – maybe an owl – because I consider myself an observer who learns, analyzes and discerns rather than an extrovert who likes being at the center of the action.
What advice do you have for other writers?
My advice for other writers is to be as genuine as possible, and not to sacrifice your inner voice. I think that many of us are striving for the perfect image, brand or writing style. This might translate to financial success, but in my opinion what the world today is lacking is authenticity. If everyone wrote in their authentic voice, the world would have the benefit of so many rich and diverse perspectives rather than cookie-cutter novels that are designed to cater towards a specific demographic or which blindly adhere to the tropes of a certain genre. Perhaps the answer lies in striking a delicate balance between effectively branding yourself, and in being brave enough to retain your true voice as an author.
What is your favorite quote of your book?
“Imagine a planet. Millions of light-years away from Earth, an orb the color of a dusty purple sunset sits majestically on a carpet of endless sky. The planet looks quiet, a single dot nestled into the vast patchwork quilt of the universe, revolving lazily around its sun. In reality, though, it is quietly waiting for something unbelievable to happen: its own colonization.”
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
Publishing is becoming more and more decentralized, which is very exciting news – less so for traditional publishers, but more so for authors. The decentralization of publishing has given authors so many more options for getting their work into print. It is truly a revolution that has widespread effects on society. Self-publishing is a double-edged sword, however; on the one hand, it opens the door up to so many creative voices who would otherwise be discouraged by the arduous path of traditional publishing, but on the other hand, it means that virtually anyone can publish anything they want, which lowers the bar in terms of standards and quality controls. It’s like YouTube – there is some brilliant content on that platform, but also a ton of content which can be politely termed as not so brilliant. We still need traditional gatekeepers like publishers, but they are becoming increasingly less relevant in today’s world of flat, decentralized media.
How did you decide to pick out your book cover?
I found a talented cover designer through my editor, Josiah Davis. Before deciding on an idea for my book cover, I sent the cover designer some information about my novel and a few inspirational images that reflected the themes and setting of my novel. After he had reviewed this, he sent me his conceptualization for the novel’s cover design, which I thought was excellent. When he sent me his first draft of the cover design, I had barely any revisions to suggest because it was so similar to my idea of what I wanted the cover to be like.
Do you think the cover plays an important part of the buying processes?
Yes – I think it is a very important part of the buying process, because the cover serves as a window into your novel, giving prospective readers clues about what your novel will be like.
How can your readers discover more about you and your work?
Readers can visit my website, www.alannamackenzie.com, to learn more about my work. Also, they can drop me a line on my Twitter, @willowpublish, and I will do my best to answer right away.
You can find The Jade Rebellion on Goodreads
You can buy The Jade Rebellion here:
Alanna Mackenzie lives in Vancouver, Canada. She holds degrees in History, French studies, and Law from the University of British Columbia. An environmentalist at heart, she believes in using the law as a tool for social and environmental change. When she is not pursuing that passion, she can be found brainstorming the next chapter in her novels, playing Irish fiddle tunes on the violin, and hiking West Coast trails.
You can find and contact Alanna Mackenzie here:
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of The Jade Rebellion. One winner will win a physical copy of The Jade Rebellion by Alanna Mackenzie (US Only).
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below: