I am thrilled to post Book Blips again this year--posts that highlight debut authors from the Class of 2K11. Today's Blip is about Julia Karr's YA novel XVI, released January on Speak (an imprint of Penguin Books for Young Readers.) Here is Julia's summary and what inspired her to write the book.
Short summary of book:
Nina Oberon's life is pretty normal: she hangs out with her best friend, Sandy, and their crew, goes to school, plays with her little sister, Dee. But Nina is 15. And like all girls she'll receive a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday. XVI. Those three letters will be branded on her wrist, announcing to all the world - even the most predatory of men - that she is ready for sex.
What inspired me to write it:
The first inspiration for XVI was a mental image I had of a girl trying to block out the constant barrage of media in a futuristic world. XVI began life as a NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) novel. On my quest for the requisite 50K words to win NaNo, the story unfolded, its underlying inspiration becoming the belief I have that all girls should be themselves, not clones of what society wants/expects them to be. Media images portray girls in ways that major corporations decide based upon their product lines and what they must formulate as an easy sell once the desire has been instilled in the consumer. I'd like to believe that most girls would prefer to be who they want to be deep down inside--but bucking a major media push, one that is deeply ingrained in the collective psyche of teen girls--is not an easy thing for anyone to do.
Author Bio: Julia Karr lives in Bloomington, Indiana with her four cats and three dogs. She grew up in Seymour, fifty miles southeast of her current home. Her love of books led her to be the youngest child to complete the library’s summer reading club – garnering her a photo on the front page of the Seymour Daily Tribune. When her two daughters were little, she wrote them bedtime stories; now that they are grown, she writes novels. Her first book, XVI, a young adult futuristic thriller that began its life as a NaNoWriMo experiment, will be published by Speak/Penguin Books for Young Readers in Spring 2011.
author website: http://juliakarr.com