I'd like to welcome Joelle Anthony, author of Restoring Harmony, to Flipping Pages!
I got to ask Joelle a question about her work, so here it is!
Flipping Pages for All Ages: Restoring Harmony reads like a contemporary YA mixed with a Dystopia YA. Was it your intention to create the feel of both genres in the book? Also, what are some of your favorite Contemps and Dystopian novels?
Joelle Anthony: I had no intention of writing a dystopian novel. In fact, I didn’t even know what a dystopian novel was until after my publisher put that label on Restoring Harmony. I set out to write a contemporary novel. While the setting is a key factor in the plot of RH, I purposefully set the book ten years after the Collapse so that it would be a backdrop and not the “big event” in the book.
Dystopian is an interesting label for RH. I’m not sure it fits exactly. If you look up the definition, then in actually does fall into that category, but most people who love dystopian have commented that they don’t really find RH all that dystopian. If I had written the book five years ago, before all these exciting books in this category came out, I think probably all anyone would say about it is “it’s set thirty years in the future” and most people would consider it a contemporary novel. It just happened to catch a wave, I think.
Don’t get me wrong though. I’m very happy to have the label on it because I think it has brought me a lot of readers who might not have considered reading it. Also, for the squeamish readers (like moi!) who don’t do well with violence, it’s a nice, hopeful dystopian story!
I always hate to admit this, but since you asked…I haven’t read any dystopian. Not even The Hunger Games. I know, I know…but honestly, I’m really pretty wimpy when it comes to reading any sort of violence, gore, or even (maybe especially) psychological and implied violence. It burns itself into my memory and frankly, that’s just not something I want in my life. I joke about being wimpy, but honestly, it’s a choice I make to keep my life peaceful and happy. I love that there’s so much out there for everyone to choose from though. I would never say people (or kids) shouldn’t read anything. I believe strongly that each person needs to make their own choices and writers should write what they need to write!
Some of my more recently read favourite contemporary novels are:
Rose Sees Red by Cecil Castellucci (which is set in 1982, so maybe it’s historical?)
Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu
The View From the Top by Hillary Frank
Bow Grip by Ivan Coyote (adult fiction)
The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard
Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
Mockingbird by Katherine Erskine (NBA finalist! Yay, Kathy!)
(^^^Kathryn is the YPL NBA Winner, Congrats!!)
Anything and everything by Paula Danzigger, Jerry Spinelli, and John Rowe Townsend
That's a great list of contemporary's you've got there and I will definitely by checking out the ones I haven't read.
I want to give Joelle a big thanks for stopping by, and Teen Book Scene for letting me be a part of this tour!!