Oscar Banks has everything under control. In a town where his father brainwashes everyone, he's found a way to secretly fight the subliminal Messages. He's got them all fooled: Oscar's the top student and the best-behaved teen in town. Nobody knows he's made his own Messages to deprogram his brain. Oscar has even found a way to get rich. For a hefty price, he helps new kids escape Candor, Florida before they're transformed into cookie-cutter teens. But then Nia Silva moves to Candor, and Oscar's carefully-controlled world crumbles.
The main idea of Candor is different than other books I've read. What inspired you to write this particular story?
I was inspired by a mosquito truck! I was living in a planned community in central Florida, where a pick-up truck drove around town twice daily, spraying bug spray off the back of the truck. One night I was walking the dog and I got caught in the spray. The town always swore it was harmless... but what if, I wondered, it had something "good" in it? What if there was Prozac in there, and that was why everybody was so nice? From there, I jumped to brainwashing !
Is there a character from Candor that was your favorite to write? Least favorite? Why?
Oscar was probably my favorite, because his voice came roaring into my brain to restart a salled project, completely rework it, and make it into the book CANDOR is today. Least favorite---hmm, no honestly I really loved all my characters. Nia sometimes was a little hard to get to cooperate... just like she is in the book!
What has your road to publication been like so far?
Well, it was five years of writing, revising, writing, revising and then everything has moved so fast since I got an agent. Life is a fantatic whirlwind at the moment. Everyday I learn new things about how to improve my craft, as well as how to better promote my work and how to connect with other writers.
How long did it take you to write Candor?
It took my five years, but in that space of time I wrote 2 other novels, numerous short stories and picture books, had a kid and moved to a new state!
The ending of Candor came as quite a shock. Can you tell us if there is going to be a sequel?
I haven't decided yet... my next one won't be a sequel but after that, who knows?
If you could send out a subliminal message, what would it be?
Hmmmm. How about "Question Authority"? That would make for some interesting times. Not enough people question what they're told--by their leaders, their managers, their teachers, or the press! I'm not saying that the world is one big conspiracy, but we should be sure that our opinions and actions are truly our own.
Aside from writing, what are some of your favorite things to do?
Well, I watch far too much television... I am the kind of person who sits down in front of her TV with the "TV PREVIEW" edition of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY and programs, say, 20 different things to record on her DVR. I just love storytelling of any kind.
I love to do writing things of course--meet my writer friends for "writing dates", go to book clubs, or go to writing conferences. And I read tons. Besides that, I spend my time hanging with my family, trying to find time to hit the museums and a few plays/musicals every year, and traveling.
What are some of your favorite books to read?
I read very broadly, at least within the YA Genre! I nerd out just as any other reader about the big releases, like CATCHING FIRE, but I also love finding debut authors who have something new to say, like Malinda Lo's ASH.
Do you have any projects that you are currently working on?
I am revising another YA novel for Egmont USA.
Anything else you would like to say?
We've been having a lot of fun with online promotional stuff for CANDOR. Come check out the website for the "real" Candor, FL at http://www.candorfl.com/! Check out the facebook fan page, too, we'll be doing even more cool stuff there soon too.
Thanks so much Pam for a great interview! You can check out my review for Candor here.