Last year, the first book in Stephanie Diaz’s Extraction series was published. I loved this sci-fi dystopia, set on the planet, Kiel, where only the highly privileged living in the core of the planet have a chance of the good life. The less fortunate live on the surface, subjected to the poisonous effects of Kiel’s moon. In the sequel, Rebellion, the main character, Clementine, and her allies continue to rebel against the system. Stephanie stops by the blog today to answer some questions about Rebellion.
Q. At the beginning of Rebellion, Clementine is dealing with intense feelings of guilt following events at the end of Extraction, and she’s adapting to a new environment. Do you think her experiences have helped or hindered her ability to cope?
A. Her experiences make it super hard for Clementine to cope with everything that’s going on, in the beginning. She’s suffering from a mild form of PTSD, having flashbacks of the trauma she’s faced. It affects her ability to function in a normal, safe way. It isn’t until she forces herself to examine her guilt and her pain that she finally comes to terms with what she’s been through and decides she’s not going to let it hold her back anymore. She won’t let guilt or fear stop her from fighting Commander Charlie.
Q. Clementine’s feelings for Logan caused her to put herself in danger at times, but they also gave her a softness she might not have had otherwise. How would her story have differed if Logan wasn’t in the picture?
A. I think she’d be a lot more reckless. Clementine’s desire to protect him does put her in danger, but he’s also the reason she tries so hard to escape the danger, because she knows how much her death would affect him. Logan is the person in her life that she trusts more than anyone. He grounds her, talks sense into her, and reminds her she’s strong and capable of surviving. If he were out of the picture, I think she wouldn’t have as big of a reason to keep fighting to stay alive.
Q. Charlie, the villain of the story, is… all sorts of villainous. Does he have any redeeming qualities, and what scares you most about actual people like him having a great deal of power?
A. Commander Charlie is one of those people who believes, utterly and completely, that everything he’s doing is “for the greater good,” even though he’s harming thousands of people with his policies. He believes he’s protecting the humans that are stronger and more intelligent than the rest, so he’s saving the “best” part of the human race, and the other parts don’t matter. His only redeeming quality is his love for his daughter, but even that becomes overpowered by his beliefs after a certain point. I’d be terrified of dealing with someone like him in real life. It’s difficult to argue with a person does so many horrible things but believes his morals are perfect.
Q. On a more lighthearted note, if you wielded the kind of power over people that Charlie does, what would you make them do for you?
A. Buy me books and chocolate. Worship me. Adore me. The usual. 😛
Q. Finally, here’s my favorite version of “Which would you rather”: zombie apocalypse or alien invasion?
A. I’m gonna go with zombie apocalypse. Although an alien invasion could be an interesting experience, when it comes to whether or not I’d be able to survive such an incident…I’m not so confident. It would depend a lot on what kind of aliens showed up and what they wanted from us humans. But in general, it’d be a crapshoot. I’d feel somewhat more prepared going into a zombie apocalypse, having binge-watched plenty of The Walking Dead episodes. (Side note: You all should read Courtney Summer’s fantastic zombie novel, This is Not a Test, if you haven’t.)
About the Author
Stephanie first knew she wanted to be an author when she was in second grade, sitting in a book club drinking tea and reading books like The Egypt Game. She dreamed someday people might drink tea while devouring books she had written. She wrote her first book soon after, a 30-page fantasy story–complete with a hand-drawn map–stapled together and presented to her younger sister for a birthday present.
Now twenty-two years old, she lives in San Diego with her family. She graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in film production and a publishing deal for a young adult sci-fi trilogy. She is the author of Extraction and the forthcoming Rebellion and Evolution.
When she isn’t lost in other worlds, she can be found singing, marveling at the night sky, or fangirling over TV shows.