NOTE FOR OUR REGULAR READERS: Digby is excused today’s interview duties as he is having his quarterly de-lousing session upstairs with Mrs Macready.
JD: Today we’re very pleased to have Jade Kerrion, award-winning science fiction author, in our Dubai dungeon. Welcome, Jade.
JK: Thanks, John.
JD: You must be a wee bit jet-lagged, missy. You’ve been over half the planet recently, right? But this is only stopover in the Middle East?
JK: Yes. I’m in the middle of a 70-week blog tour, which has taken me as far afield as Sweden. It’s been exhausting, but fun. The adrenalin buzz gets me through.
JD: What do you think of Dubai? Lots of buildings here that wouldn’t look out of place in a science fiction novel.
JK: I’ve only just got off the plane, so I haven’t had much of a chance to look around yet.
JD: Well, you look pretty good on all this travelling, I must say. Feel free to slip off your shoes and relax. In fact, take off whatever you like. I can always switch off the video feed if you’re feeling shy.
JK: Ha. Not a chance.
JD: Can’t blame a guy for trying. And if I may be so bold, what’s a drop-dead gorgeous chick like you doing messing around in science fiction anyway? I thought that was for adolescent boys and overweight, middle-aged men who live in their mother’s basement.
JK: Ah, but I grew up on science fiction. My first crush was on Luke Skywalker. I was only three. Yes, girls do mature faster than guys; it’s a fact.
JD: Ever been to a Star Trek Convention or dressed up like a Klingon? Anything like that?
JK: Klingon, no. Well, for one, in the endless Star Wars versus Star Trek debate, I’m a Star Wars kind of gal - not that I’ve ever dressed up as Princess Leia from the scene from Jabba’s Palace. There are no pictures, and you can’t prove anything.
JD: OK, Jade. Let’s cut to the chase. You can only be here for one of two reasons. Either you’ve flown all the way to Dubai to seduce me, or you’re plugging a book. Which is it?
JK: The book.
JD: You don’t have to answer so fast. Think about it for a while.
JK: The book.
JD: Your husband need never know.
JK: Still the book.
JD: Damn. My British accent isn’t doing anything for you?
JK: Apart from giving me a slight feeling of nausea, no.
JD: In that case let’s move on to your writing. Your first novel, ‘Perfection Unleashed’, was a great success, winning a whole gaggle of awards. For those who haven’t read it, it’s a rattling good action story set on a dystopian Earth populated by humans, clones, mutants and in-vitros. It’s packed with diverse characters, multiple story-lines, and it has some serious points to make about genetic engineering and intolerance towards people who are ‘different’. When I reviewed it my headline was ‘Frankenstein Meets Richard Dawkins, With Guns’. What were you thinking about when you wrote it?
JK: I loved your headline, by the way. I wished I’d thought of it. Anyway, I was really just thinking that it would be nice to do something with my undergraduate degree, which is in Biology and Philosophy. The moral, biological, and societal issues raised in ‘Perfection Unleashed’ played nicely into my areas of supposed expertise. More importantly, I thought it would be important to write a book that would address the concepts of perfection and humanity without once mentioning an android, or worse, a vampire.
JD: The book reads a bit like a movie script. Was that a deliberate ploy on your part?
JK: No, I think it’s just a natural by-product of my writing process. I write the movie I see in my head. Sometimes, I’ve been known to act out scenes too. The actual process of writing stalls unless the scene in my head is fully played out. It’s probably no surprise that the process of translation from mental movie to words on a page retails a bit of that movie-like feel.
JD: By the way, I noticed a couple of references in the book to Singapore. Was that a nod to your family history or a dangling hook for future books?
JK: It is a bit of both. I’ve lived in Singapore for a few years and know the area well enough to write credibly about it. More importantly, though, Singapore is the kind of pragmatic, centrally-controlled country that would take to genetic screening and the genetic revolution like a duck to water. Singaporeans can be quite obsessive about ‘getting ahead’ and what better way is there to get ahead than to start in the womb, or rather, the test tube? The fourth novel in the series, which will be released in 2013, will take place in Singapore.
JD: Now at the end of ‘Perfection Unleashed’ you left a number of issues unresolved for some of your main characters. I’m trying to steer away from spoiler territory here, but we need to move onto the plugging part of this interview.
JK: And not before time.
JD: You know you’re quite witty for a girl?
JK: Do you know you’re close to getting a slap?
JD: How close? OK, I’m zipping it. Even though I find the slapping image strangely appealing. Meantime, tell us about the sequel, or should I say TWO sequels that have just hit the ether.
JK: Let me tell you about the sequels by telling you about the novel covers, which are rife with symbolism.
In ‘Perfect Betrayal’, the spotlight focuses on Danyael Sabre. Danyael, an alpha empath, is rare and coveted, and Galahad’s escape provides an impetus for powerful men and women to seize Danyael for their opposing ends. ‘Perfect Betrayal‘is the flashiest cover in the Double Helix series and features curved and concentric rows of dominos arranged in a yin-yang pattern. The yin-yang symbolizes the interdependence of seemingly contrary forces, and the cover emphasizes the duality of the forces at play; light, dark; male, female; fire, ice. Two hands - one male, the other female (representing the two contenders for Danyael’s empathic power) - are poised to push at the dominos from either end. The dominos will fall; the question is, will Danyael?
In ‘Perfect Weapon’, the cover shifts from the abstract to the concrete. Weapons abound; first and most obviously, the sniper rifle and person behind the scope of the sniper rifle. Too large to miss are the inhuman forms of the genetically altered super soldiers clustered in front of the Capitol. The scope of the sniper rifle, however, is focused on a lone and seemingly harmless cripple, Danyael Sabre. Who is the perfect weapon; the remorseless mercenary Zara Itani whose finger tightens on the trigger; the super soldiers that are genetically bred for war, or Danyael Sabre, the alpha empath who can, with a touch, heal or kill?
JD: And these books are available, where? And in which formats?
JK: All three books in the series are available in paperback and multiple e-book formats on all major online retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, etc. My website, http://www.jadekerrion.com has links to all the retail sites. ‘Perfection Unleashed’ is on sale for $0.99 for the duration of my tour, through March 1st.
JD: Jade, it’s been a real pleasure. Thanks for dropping in. Perhaps if you’ve got some time I could show you round the city? Maybe have a little private dinner somewhere afterwards. What do you think?
JK: I think given the option I’d rather be torn to pieces by some failed genetic experiment.
JD: Fair enough.
Synopsis of ‘Perfection Unleashed’:
His genetic code sourced from the best that humanity offers, Galahad embodies the pinnacle of perfection. When Zara Itani, a mercenary whose abrasive arrogance exceeds her beauty, frees him from his laboratory prison, she offers him the chance to claim everything that had ever been denied him, beginning with his humanity.
Perfection cannot be unleashed without repercussions, and Galahad’s freedom shatters Danyael Sabre’s life.
An alpha empath, Danyael is rare and coveted, even among the alpha mutants who dominate the Genetic Revolution. He wields the power to heal or kill with a touch, but craves only privacy and solitude - both impossible dreams for the man who was used as Galahad’s physical template.
Galahad and Danyael, two men, one face. One man seeks to embrace destiny, and the other to escape it.
The award-winning ‘Double Helix’ series, consisting of Perfection Unleashed, Perfect Betrayal, and Perfect Weapon, will challenge your notions of perfection and humanity, and lead you in a celebration of courage and compassion. Science fiction, urban fantasy, and action-adventure readers will enjoy this thrilling roller-coaster ride as it twists and turns through a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution.
Jade Kerrion, a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, unites cutting-edge science and bioethics with fast-paced action in her award-winning 'Double Helix' series which draws rave reviews for its originality and vision, and is described as ‘a breakout piece of science fiction’.
Now for all the internet links and techie stuff that you Sci-Fi weirdos love ...
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008E98YFM
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009YLG59Q/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009YMFSE8