First and foremost, what or who inspired this series? Was it a memory, a dream or an idea?
The first book, Memento Nora, was inspired by an idea--as well as some real life experiences of friends and family. The idea came from reading about current research in memory and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Some scientists are trying to find a drug that will lessen the grip of traumatic memories on the brains of PTSD sufferers. So I took it to the next step. What if the pill completely erased a particular memory and was available at a Starbucks-like shop on the corner? What kind of world might that be?
What was Memento Nora like when you first wrote it? To what extent is it different to the present version?
The very first version of Memento Nora was a short story, which appeared in the May 2008 edition of Odyssey. The theme of that issue was memory. You can read the short story here (http://www.angiesmibert.com/blog/?page_id=6) on my website--along with a few of the other short stories I've written. The short story is about Nora's decision of whether or not to take the pill. The novel is about the consequences of that action.
Actually, I didn't start writing the book until after the short story came out. I reread the story, smacked my forehead, and said "duh, I need to write about what happens next." The first draft or so of the story was all from Nora's point of view. Then I realized she didn't know the whole story. That's when I wrote the other two points of view (Micah and Winter).
When it came down to character development, how did you mold Nora and Micah?
I built the world first, at least to some extent, and then I molded Nora to be an unlikely hero in that world. She starts off as a very happy consumer, oblivious to what's going on, and with a lot to lose. Micah is the opposite--and also the least likely guy the old Nora might fall for. A homeless skateboarder artist.
How will you describe your writing style?
Someone once told me I pack a lot into a few words. So, yeah, I might say my style is lean and voice-y.
One of the things I like about your books is that they tend to be short. So how do you manage to fit in and finish an entire story in such few pages?
Good question. In addition to the style thing (see above), I tend to jump right into the action and not rely on a lot of exposition--unless it really serves the story or character's voice well. I figure the reader is smart enough to get the world building clues from the story itself (dialogue, action, description, etc.) without being spoonfed huge chunks of exposition.
Any plans for future novels?
Yes, I'm planning future novels, but they won't necessarily be in the Memento Nora series.
Thanks for the interview!
Angie Smibert was born in Blacksburg, a once sleepy college town in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. She grew up thinking she wanted to be a veterinarian; organic chemistry had other ideas. But she always had stories in my head. Eventually, after a few degrees and few cool jobs—including a 10-year stint at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center—she wrote some of those stories down.
She has published many short stories, for both adults and teens.
Follow Angie: Website | Twitter
August 13 2013, Marshall Cavendish
It begins with the name JONAS W. on the side of a cardboard coffin—right before the funeral procession blows up. Then it’s the whisper in the back of Micah’s head: Your father betrayed his country. You can’t always trust your own brain. Not when you have one of the mayor’s mandatory chips in your skull. Micah knows that the chip developed by TFC (the corporation that runs the Therapeutic Forgetting Clinics) does more than just erase unpleasant memories—it implants new ones. The MemeCast warns citizens to “fight the hack.”
Micah and his friends have each lost something—a parent, a relationship, a home, maybe even their own identities as they remembered them to be. But together, they can make sure some things are never forgotten.
Election Day is coming, and Mayor Mignon is set to be elected to Congress. It’s time to build a new electronic frontier, one that’s not controlled by the mayor and his cronies. It’s time to get out the vote and shake up the system. It’s time to finally say enough.
What's up for grabs? Pre-order of The Meme Plague by Angie Smibert.
You should be at least 13 years old.
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