Publication date: May 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Lisa T. Cresswell
The sun exploded on April 18, 2112. It exploded in a Class X solar storm the likes of which humankind had never seen.
They had nineteen minutes.
Nineteen minutes until the geomagnetic wave washed over the Earth, frying every electrical device created by humans, blacking out entire continents, every satellite in their sky.
Nineteen minutes to say goodbye to the world they knew, forever, and to prepare for a new Earth, a new Sun.
Generations after solar storms have destroyed nearly all human technology on Earth and humans have reverted to a middle ages like existence, all knowledge of the remaining technology is kept hidden by a privileged few called the Reticents and books are burned as heresy.
Alana, a disfigured slave girl, and Recks, a traveling minstrel and sometimes-thief, join forces to bring knowledge and books back to the human race. But when Alana is chosen against her will to be the Vessel, the living repository for all human knowledge, she must find the strength to be what the world needs.
1. Where/how did you come up with the idea for your story? Did it suddenly pop into your head or were you brainstorming?
My stories seem to grow out of things I’ve seen, read, or heard about on NPR – usually a combination of all three! I had read about solar storms and the dangers they can pose to our satellites and our power grid. E-books were really taking off about that time, and everyone was wondering if we might stop printing books altogether some day. It got me wondering, what if all our books became electronic in the future, and we suddenly lost them? How catastrophic that would be! I always wanted to take part in NaNoWriMo, so I wrote up the initial outline for Vessel and started writing in November 2011. I didn’t win NaNo that year. I write too slow! But I kept working on Vessel off and on for several months until I finally finished. It sold to Month 9 Books in 2013.
2. Did you start with the main character, the world or the overarching concept?
It’s been so long ago, I’m not sure what came first. I think it was Recks. I had put the name in my back pocket for a future story. When I finally wrote Vessel, he seemed to fit. Most of my stories do start with characters.
3. Panster or Plotter? Or in between?
I originally tried to be a pantser years ago, but I failed miserably at it. I learned, after a lot of grief, that I absolutely MUST have an outline figured out before I start to write. I have to know beginning, middle, and end, or I will get bogged down and lost every time.
4. Are you a fan of writing contests?
They’re all right. I entered one of my first books in a YA discovery contest and it won third, which got me a phone call consultation with an agent. She requested to see the full manuscript, but she didn’t end up representing me. Overall, I think it was a good experience and it gave me the courage to keep trying.
5. How did you find your agent? How many query letters did you send?
I’ve sent dozens of queries over the years, but I’ve yet to find an agent. ;) I seem to have better luck with editors.
6. What's the best marketing tool you've found so far?
I think the best marketing tool is a really great story. Tweets don’t sell books. Blogs don’t sell books. I’m not even sure if paid advertisements sell books. If people like a book, and they tell other people they liked it, that’s the best advertising there is.
7. What do you like best about your mc?
Alana is strong, strong, strong. She doesn’t think much of herself at the beginning, but she overcomes her self-doubt. She’s been so beaten down, but she never loses hope for something better. I love her spirit.
8. What do you like best about your main antagonist?
Hmm. Anders is not very likeable. I find him rather terrifying to tell the truth. He’s cold, calculated evil.
9. Anything else you would like to share about your journey or your upcoming launch, including links to giveaways or ways people can help spread the word?
I just want to say thank you so much for hosting me. I’d be tickled to death if folks ordered the book and added me as friend on Goodreads. I love to hear from readers, either through reviews or directly on my blog or Twitter.
I should also add that I’m donating a portion of my book proceeds to the International Justice Mission to help end slavery. http://lisatcresswell.blogspot.com/2015/04/even-bookworms-can-help-endslavery.html Alana suffers through slavery in the dystopian future of Vessel, just as many people around the world suffer through slavery right now. It’s my sincere hope that one day slavery will only exist in fiction. Please visit www.ijm.org to learn how you can help too.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Link to Goodreads:
ABOUT LISA T. CRESSWELL:
Lisa, like most writers, began scribbling silly notes, stories, and poems at a very young age. Born in North Carolina, the South proved fertile ground to her imagination with its beautiful white sand beaches and red earth. In fifth grade, she wrote, directed and starred in a play “The Queen of the Nile” at school, despite the fact that she is decidedly un-Egyptian looking. Perhaps that’s why she went on to become a real life archaeologist?
Unexpectedly transplanted to Idaho as a teenager, Lisa learned to love the desert and the wide open skies out West. This is where her interest in cultures, both ancient and living, really took root, and she became a Great Basin archaeologist. However, the itch to write never did leave for long. Her first books became the middle grade fantasy trilogy, The Storyteller Series. Her first traditionally published work, Hush Puppy, is now available from Featherweight Press.
Lisa still lives in Idaho with her family and a menagerie of furry critters that includes way too many llamas!