Character interview with Cheyenne (as she is at the beginning of the book):
So tell us about yourself.
I'm a senior at Khabela high--a math and science school in Austin my mom's boyfriend, Mayor Tydal picked. I love literature and to get lost in books, and tend to make a few, good friends. I'm in love with someone I wish I wasn't.
What was your first impression of Elysian Fields?
I didn't like it, but Teo knew what was best, so I allowed myself to see what he saw. Instead of maniacally perfect homes and a street isolated in the middle of an all-encompassing woods, he built this paradise where we could be together away from the Living Rot. He kidnapped me to get there, but looking back, I know he must have done it that way to save time. He wanted his world to work and so did I.
Could you describe Teo to us?
He has this amazing dark skin, and the kind of voice that always carefully enunciates every single word. He's not robotic, though. He's so very far from that. He's graceful, and when he moves, it's as if his muscles are connected to music. He was the only person to talk to me at Khabela when I moved in, and we immediately had a connection as we saw that we read the same kinds of books.
When you were younger, have you ever thought that you could have a relationship with one of your teachers? Why?
I never would have dreamed of it, mostly because it sounds so sick and is against the law. But then you think of Medieval cultures where the women married at thirteen and the men were thirty-five, and you look at my mom who's six years younger than Mayor Tydal. Six years is all that separates Teo from me. Six years. When I'm forty-two, he'll be forty-eight. How many of us think there's much of a difference between those two ages? Of course, the nay-sayers would say, "But you're in high school, and he's your teacher." Do you think I chose for it to be like this? One month from now, I'll graduate and he won't be my teacher anymore. According to the law, we'll suddenly be legal, all will be okay. One month. And yet right now my relationship is considered gross. We love who we love. We can't help who we have a connection with. Now, if I was a freshman, and Mr. Richardson hit on me, that would be gross.
What are the things that you value in life?
Quality conversation and looking to history via the classics. (Teo, I might add, is fully equipped to handle both.) I despise small talk. I want to talk to someone about things that matter, depth. I want to learn from the stories of old and bring the lessons the people learned in our lives and become better.
If you could change one thing in your life now, what would it be? Why?
You mean, besides the Living Rot devouring the better half of the earth? And the fact that Teo and the others aren't getting along? That he doesn't know how to lighten up and they don't get him? In my old life, I would say I wanted my mom not to be influenced by Mayor Tydal so much. Now, I just want Teo's and my relationship to be cemented and smooth and for everyone to live in peace with us here.
Could you tell us one thing that you regret?
I regret not saying anything positive to my mom the last time I saw her. We'd barely spoken the past few weeks, and I don't even really remember what we last talked about.
Any last words?
Um... watch out for snakes?
Paperback, 296 pages
October 22nd 2013, Spencer Hill Press
A virus that had once been contained has returned, and soon no place will be left untouched by its destruction. But when Cheyenne wakes up in Elysian Fields--a subdivision cut off from the world and its monster-creating virus--she is thrilled to have a chance at survival.
At first, Elysian Fields,with its beautiful houses and manicured lawns, is perfect. Teo Richardson, the older man who stole Cheyenne's heart, built it so they could be together. But when Teo tells Cheyenne there are tests that she and seven other couples must pass to be worthy of salvation, Cheyenne begins to question the perfection of his world.
The people they were before are gone. Cheyenne is now "Persephone," and each couple has been re-named to reflect the most tragic romances ever told. Everyone is fighting to pass the test, to remain in Elysian Fields. Teo dresses them up, tells them when to move and how to act, and in order to pass the test, they must play along.
If they play it right, then they'll be safe.
But if they play it wrong, they'll die.
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About the Author:
Mary Gray has a fascination with all things creepy. That’s why all her favorite stories usually involve panic attacks and hyperventilating. In real life, she prefers to type away on her computer, ogle over her favorite TV shows, and savor fiction. When she’s not immersed in other worlds, she and her husband get their exercise by chasing after their three children. The Dollhouse Asylum is her first novel.
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