Anyway, I'm going to be posting guest posts from other authors about their love for dystopia. And you'll be able to win copies of their books! First up we have the lovely Trish Milburn who writes adult romance for Harlequin and paranormal young adult books for Bell Bridge Books. Her latest YA release, White Witch has an amazing quote from one of my favorite authors, Sherrilyn Kenyon. When Sherri says something is "Fresh, fun and dangerous! I can't wait til the next one!" You know you gotta read it.
So go ahead - read Trish's blog below and then comment to win your own copy of White Witch. The question of the day is:
Do you like post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction? If so, what are some of your favorite titles?
(Bonus points if you say Tomorrow Land...just kidding!)
The Fraidy Cat and Her Love-Hate Relationship with the Dark
By Trish Milburn
Have you ever met someone, thought you had them figured out, only to learn something about them that surprised you? Take me, for instance. I’m what one might call a, uh, fraidy cat. Or a weenie. I’m afraid of the dark to the point where I can’t walk into a dark room, even if I was just in that room with a light on. Dude, how much sense does that make? I routinely freak myself out when I’m home alone. So it might be surprising to also learn that I love darker-themed movies, TV shows, books and music. I listen to goth/hard rock/metal (Lacuna Coil, anyone?), The Walking Dead is one of my favorite shows (along with Lost Girl, Supernatural and Game of Thrones), and I absolutely love dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction, especially young adult fiction.
So why would someone who is a self-confessed fraidy cat like stuff where the characters are facing the end of the world or at least the end of the world as we know it? I think it’s because those stories really distill things down to basic survival. Some people have what it takes to survive, perhaps even thrive, in a survival-of-the-fittest scenario. Take Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead. Before the zombie apocalypse, he was probably someone a lot of people looked down on, a potentially uneducated “redneck” who liked to hunt. During the zombie apocalypse? Suddenly, he’s catapulted to someone you want with you, him and his mean crossbow, zombie-killing skills. And because he’s no longer looked over or looked down upon, his better qualities can be seen by those who wouldn’t have noticed before.
It’s also interesting to see people who might have been weak or soft or just normal prior to an apocalyptic even find an inner strength and will to survive they never knew they possessed. This could be said of Andrea on The Walking Dead. She went from someone who wanted to commit suicide at the thought of having to live in a world full of zombies to one bad-ass sharpshooter who is more than happy to dispatch zombies to their once-and-for-all deaths. I’d like to think I’d find that type of inner strength should I be faced with an apocalyptic event, but I wouldn’t bet money on it. :)
With the release of The Hunger Games in theaters only a day away as I write this, heroine Katniss Everdeen also comes to mind. Hers is world where the government is the enemy, and it’s a world of polar opposites – haves and have-nots. Katniss lives in the have-not end, a world that looks a lot like Appalachia with its poor residents, deep seams of coal and dangerous mining jobs. While those who live in other districts have easier lives and some even live in lavish excess, for Katniss, her family and friends in District 12, it’s very much a fight for survival each day. That fight is magnified a zillion-fold when she enters the Hunger Games and literally has to fight for her life.
Since I was young, I’ve loved survival stories – Robinson Crusoe, The Swiss Family Robinson, Julie of the Wolves. While these are tales of survival in our world, one free of any sort of apocalypse or cataclysmic event, I think it’s a natural step to also enjoy stories that magnify the fight for survival. And since they don’t have to be based in the world’s realities, it opens up a fantastic array of possibilities.
Some of the great reads from the past few years:
- Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
- The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner
- Midnighters series by Scott Westerfeld
- Ashfall by Mike Mullin
- Across the Universe by Beth Revis (also sci-fi)
- Shipbreaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
~ ~ ~The first in Trish Milburn’s Coven trilogy about dark witches, White Witch, is out now from Bell Bridge Books. Book 2, Bane, will be out in early summer, and Magick, the final installment in the trilogy, will be out this fall.