Today I have the pleasure of hosting Destiny Allison, author of Pipe Dreams, on her blog tour! Below is the description of her book, my review, and then an awesome interview with Destiny. Enjoy!
Beneath the park bench, a young girl cries for help, her voice a cold hand on Vanessa’s throat. The naked girl is desperate, but compassion for the Fallen is never forgiven. In a moment of hesitation, Vanessa sets in motion a chain of events that will determine mankind’s fate.
Unbeknownst to her, Lewis is still haunted by her thick, auburn hair, serious eyes, and mocking laughter. She is the symbol of all he hates and her interaction with the girl is what he needs to gain control of the virus. As his plan unfolds, Vanessa is forced to flee. Escaping through the sewer, she finds love, heartbreak, and the red beam of a gun sight dancing on the slick, black wall. In the deep dark of the foul pipe, she also discovers she has been betrayed. That’s when she learns Texas is real.
Pipe Dreams is a dystopian novel set in the near future. If gene splicing could merge Margaret Atwood and Suzanne Collins, the resulting author might write this book. – Goodreads.com
I’ve read many dystopian novels, yet none like Pipe Dreams. From the first page, the reader jumps right into Vanessa’s world, not with a big information dump, but by learning as you go along and I liked that. And what a world it is, created by men with good intentions – but you know what they say about that.
The story was loaded with characters, some very engaging and others extremely vile, and while some books have so many it’s hard to keep them straight, that wasn’t the case here. The characters are so strong and have such depth, it was hard to choose a favorite, although I was partial to Ramirez and Michael.
I especially enjoyed the style of writing, and this is one of my favorite lines: “The heavens had opened, rendering the neighborhoods, towering buildings, and graceful boulevards nothing more than a minute, a dream, and a collective hope.” Simply beautiful. During the highly emotional last few pages, I was so engrossed I even heard a soundtrack playing in my head – good music too.
Destiny Allison has crafted an absorbing, dangerous, and intelligent story – a must for dystopian lovers.
I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Teri: You’re an artist and have some beautiful works of art on your website (wish I could see them in person!) and have written a nonfiction memoir, Shaping Destiny. What brought you over to fiction?
Destiny: I had absolutely no intention of writing fiction. After Shaping Destiny, I knew I needed to do a follow up. Shaping Destiny is about the relationship between art and life from an individual perspective and I was going to do a book about it from the community perspective. I had the outline, but was out of my writing discipline. I set an attainable goal of 500 words a day and started flexing the muscles. About a week later, Vanessa’s voice was in my head and I let her talk. I was as surprised as everyone else. I finished the first draft in a month. It just took over and was so much fun that I was hooked.
Teri: Pipe Dreams was an intense story of action, relationships, loss, and science -how much research did you have to do?
Destiny: I did a fair amount, especially around behavioral genetics. It’s a field that fascinates me. Still, I learned just enough to sound believable without intruding on the story itself. For me, the sci-fi components are a way of suspending reality so that the story can shine a spotlight on human nature.
Teri: You had such engaging characters (Ramirez and Michael were my favs) and despicable characters. How difficult was it to write the abhorrent characters?
Destiny: I actually loved writing them. It was liberating. Like imagining the perfect crime or wondering if you have the ability to kill if necessary, bringing life to Lewis and his crew gave me the ability to explore those aspects of being human. I think we all have a dark side that we suppress. I’m not Lewis, but in some ways I understand who is he is and why. In fiction, we can let the monsters out for a little while. That makes them easier to recognize in real life.
Teri: I think everyone can identify with Vanessa in some way. Was it her voice that spoke to you first in the idea phase of Pipe Dreams?
Destiny: Yes. Vanessa’s voice came through like a flash flood in an arroyo. I didn’t expect her, but had to listen to her. In the first several drafts, her voice was in first person. It was like she was writing the story, not me. I loved her from the first, even though she’s a wreck, because she is so real to me. So often, heroines are a version of men’s fantasies — powerful, kick ass, and sexy. Vanessa has all those capabilities, but she doesn’t know that and lives in a world that won’t allow her to be anything but what she is. Courage is never fearless. It is that which faces adversity in spite of the fear. We get to see Vanessa evolve, but her evolution is not swift, profound, or Hollywood. It is more the evolution we experience ourselves. She takes little steps, has relapses, and tries again.
Teri: Can we look forward to a sequel?
Destiny: Yes you can. 🙂 I’m two days away from finishing the first draft and I’m really excited about it. I hope to release it before Christmas.
Teri: Tell us five random things about you.
Destiny: I like red wine on ice, even in the winter.
Walking without my dogs is like swimming without water.
I love thunderstorms, the more violent the better. Intense weather thrills me.
I lost most of my hearing in my twenties, didn’t know it until my thirties, and ordered hearing aids yesterday. I’m terrified and not sure I’ll be able to handle the sensory explosion when it happens. Already the world is noisy to me.
I grew up in a cabin in the middle of the woods. Our nearest neighbor was ten miles away. Without phone, television, and sometimes electricity, my world was defined by wilderness and books.
Thanks so much for stopping by Books & Such, Destiny – it was great having you!
Make sure to come back tomorrow and read the guest post by Destiny on Writing Related to Art!