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May 11, 2018

Blog Tour: Yellow Locust by Justin Joschko – Interview and Giveaway

 

Hello Readers!  Welcome to our Tour Stop for

Yellow Locust by Justin Joschko

presented by Month9Books!

We have Justin on the blog today for a quick Q&A.

Click the banner above to follow the rest of the tour,
and be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

 

Selena Flood is a fighter of preternatural talent. But not even her quick fists and nimble feet could save her parents from the forces of New Canaan, the most ruthless and powerful of the despotic kingdoms populating America-that-was.

Forced to flee the tyrannical state with her younger brother Simon in tow, Selena is now the last chance for peace in a continent on the verge of complete destruction.

In her pocket is a data stick, the contents of which cost her parents their lives. Selena must now ensure it reaches the Republic of California—a lone beacon of liberty shining across a vast and barren wasteland—before it’s too late.

Between New Canaan and California stretch the Middle Wastes: thousands of desolate miles home to murderers, thieves, and a virulent strain of grass called yellow locust that has made growing food all but impossible. So when Selena and Simon stagger into Fallowfield, an oasis of prosperity amidst the poisoned plains, everything seems too good to be true—including the warm welcome they receive from the town’s leader, a peculiar man known only as The Mayor.

As Selena delves deeper into the sinister secrets of this seemingly harmless refuge, she soon learns there is a much darker side to Fallowfield and the man who runs it. Before long, she must call upon the skills she honed in the fighting pits of New Canaan to ensure not only her own survival, but that of her brother, in whom the Mayor has taken far too keen an interest.

And she’d better act fast, for an all-out war inches ever closer, and New Canaan is never as far away as it seems.

Yellow Locust by Justin Joschko
Release Date: May 8, 2018
Publisher: Month9Books

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

 

 

Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!

Thanks for having me.

 

 

Describe your book in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)

Seventeen-year-old street brawler Selena Flood flees the eastern totalitarian state of New Canaan with her brother in tow.

 

 

What was your inspiration for writing this book?  Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?

The very first inkling of what became Yellow Locust was an image that struck me on my way home from class at the University of New Brunswick. I pictured two children sifting through the ruins of an old gas station somewhere in the Midwest. It was flat, with neck-high grass growing over what was once a town. The image struck me, though I didn’t have a story to go with it for quite a while. Gradually I started thinking of other characters and seeing them as part of the same world, and the story came together as I started envisioning the connections between them.

 

 

Tell us about the main character(s).

Selena Flood is a seventeen-year-old street fighter. She grew up in the capital city of New Canaan, a totalitarian state that occupies most of the eastern seaboard of what is currently the United States and Canada. Though from a privileged family, she grew up hating the regime, as her parents were dissidents spurred on to work as double agents for the Republic of California. They are caught and executed, leaving Selena with the dual responsibility of looking after her younger brother Simon and bringing a data stick with critical information to their allies on the west coast. Selena is tough as nails and puts on a gruff face, but she’s struggling under the weight of her responsibility. She doubts her capability and wrestles with twin feelings of resentment and love for Simon, who is in many ways Selena’s opposite: timid, artistic, frail. He struggles with his own issues, namely anxiety and a constant fear of being a disappointment to his older sister.

 

 

Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?

I like playing with imagery and the cadence of sentences, and my writing tends to get a little florid. I try to prune it back to keep it manageable, but there are certain flourishes I’m quite fond of and couldn’t bear to lose. Here’s one that jumped out at me when thinking back on it: “The world was a vista of featureless grey. It permeated everything, saturating her until she couldn’t distinguish herself from the nothingness around her. She was a space so vast she was meaningless, a size so large she was invisible, a signal so intense and all-encompassing, she may as well not exist, for she drowned out the universe.”

 

 

Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing?  If so, why?

The challenge with Yellow Locust was less in the writing than the rewriting. More than any other project I’ve worked on, this book went through some major shifts. Whole characters were jettisoned between drafts. I’d estimate that I wrote over 200,000 words for the book, and only ended up keeping 90,000. The main challenge was getting the thing finished, then realising I needed to tear it apart and start over.

 

 

What sort of projects do you have going on right now. Any new books coming out?

The bright side to Yellow Locust taking so long to get published was that it gave me a lot of time to work on other things without the pressure of focussing on a sequel. I managed two write two novels before moving back to the YL universe. One is a horror/crime story set in a fictionalized version of my hometown, Niagara Falls. The other is more YA oriented, though it’s fantasy rather than sci-fi/dystopian. With those out of my system and YL due out, I’ve gone back to the sequel and am about ¾ done the first draft.

 

 

It was great having you on the blog today!  We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we wish you much success!!

Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me!

 

 

About Justin Joschko

Justin Joschko is an author from Niagara Falls, Ontario. His writing has appeared in newspapers and literary journals across Canada. Yellow Locust is his first novel. He currently lives in Ottawa with his wife and two children.

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Lacey Waters
    5/12/2018

    The cover is interesting. The black on yellow is eye catching.

    [Reply]

  2. Elena
    5/12/2018

    The cover looks nice

    [Reply]

  3. Victoria
    5/16/2018

    Awesome post, I enjoyed reading it and learning about Yellow Locust :)

    [Reply]

  4. Lindsay A.
    5/18/2018

    I love the cover! The design is just right – great balance, beautiful, eye catching. This sounds like an epic tale, & I enjoyed the interview too!!

    [Reply]

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