My attic is dusty and has a plethora of junk in it. I must say it's a fun place to hang out and look at what's rolling around in my head. If you don't mind the dust, I'd love to have you.
Welcome to my attic, RJ Crayton! WooHoo! Even Benny is happy, at least I think he is, he’s making his little sloth peeps at her. I think it’s his way of flirting with her.
Come in and sit, RJ.
So, who are you and where did you come from?
My name is RJ Crayton and I hail from Peoria, IL, an All America City winner 4 times, so you can call me an All American girl.
Obviously you’re a writer, what is the name of your book and the general plot?
I have two books out at the moment, and they’re part of a three-book series. Life First and Second Life published in 2013. This year, the final installment publishes, and that should put an end to the trilogy. Life First is about a society that has survived a massive pandemic that killed most of the population. The remaining people are dedicated to the principle of Life First, which maintains you preserve human life at all costs, even if that means donating your organs to others who need them more. In Life First, Kelsey has been marked for donation and is supposed to give a kidney to an ailing man. Only, she doesn’t want to. Throughout the novel, during Kelsey’s bid to escape, we learn the reasons for Kelsey’s reluctance to go along with society and give up her organs. It’s quite exciting, yet still raises some interesting issues.
Where did you come up with the idea?
The idea for my first novel came from a news story about a woman who refused to have c-section because she didn’t want the doctors to “slice her open like a pig.” The baby died and there was some talk about whether the hospital should have sliced her open without her permission to save the baby. So that story got me thinking about the issue of body rights. When does one person have to sacrifice his or her body to injury to save the life of another person? I wondered what a society would be like if people were expected to sacrifice their body integrity to save another person?
Which of your characters do you like the most and why?
Hmm. I think my favorite characters are Kelsey and Susan, at this point. They’re best friends, and the protagonists of the series. Kelsey is the main person we follow in book 1; Susan the main person in book 2; and in book 3, we get equal parts. They’re both fun characters to write for because they keep getting curve balls thrown at them, and it’s great to see how they react. Kelsey is interesting, because we learn so much about her through Life First, and how she came to be against the government policy of giving up your organs for your fellow man. Susan, we know from Life First is determined and gritty, but we really get to see her mettle tested in Second Life. We also get to see her vulnerable side, which is really lovely.
Which one do you hate the most and why?
Since this isn’t book specific, I’m going to go with the gentleman in charge of the facility that’s holding Susan hostage in the second book in the series, Second Life. His identity isn’t revealed until about three-quarters of the way through the book, so I won’t give his name. However, I will say he is despicable because he’s got an agenda to protect and he’ll do anything to protect that, hurting whoever gets in his way.
You’re stranded on an island and you are granted three things;
The first thing you’re granted is an IPod with only one song loaded, what is it?
Oh my. That is so tough. I like music, and being stuck with only one song would be hard because there are so many I like. I think I’d do better with one album, not just one song. If you’re forcing me to pick one, I think I’d go with Skidamarink (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM1ypI8KF0E ). It’s a children’s song, and I used to sing it to my kids all the time. It might just inspire me not to give up on this island, and to keep going so I can get home to my kiddies. Though, I think I’d only want the Ella Jenkins version, as some of the versions I found on YouTube would be fairly annoying.
The second item is a book with the last chapter missing, what is it and who wrote it?
The last chapter is soooo important. Why take the good stuff away? All things considered, how about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It’s a long book, has nice references to previous books, so you can imagine the other books, and hopefully, they’ll count the epilogue as the last chapter and you get basically the complete book.
And the third thing you’re granted on this island is a lunchbox with a sandwich and a full thermos, yummy, what kind of sandwich and drink would you appreciate?
I’m a pretty simple girl. Since I’m on an island without adequate refrigeration, I think I’d like a cashew butter sandwich on multigrain bread and a thermos full of water. Yeah, water is my preferred drink most times, even when I’m not on a desert island.
What is the biggest mistake you have made in your life? Not writing or publishing mistake – any mistake. Even if it happened in 3rd grade, I wanna know about it.
Happened when I was 8, and I wanted a piece of bacon, which my older brother also wanted. I decided to make a statement and stab my fork down into the bacon–literally stake my claim. He simultaneously decided to stake his claim by grabbing it, and it all went horribly awry. I still cringe when I remember that fork sticking out of his arm. Horrible, horrible, horrible. And I learned one of life’s good lessons: it’s rare to need to literally stake a claim.
So the mistake would be that you didn’t get the bacon?
What would you do for a Klondike bar?
Nothing. I’m more a cake girl than an ice cream one. If only you asked what I’d do for a cupcake…
Benny’s running to get you a cupcake—it might take a while
You’re still stranded on that island and two people show up, the character you love the most, and the one you hate the most, and they both know what you said about them. What do you do?
I’d pull a Rodney King and say, “Can’t we all just get along?”
Flash round favorites:
spring (warm, but no bugs)
Place to visit
Place to live
Anyplace warm (I admit, I may be biased by the current weather)
I don’t have one
Pluto (stop dissing my little guy; he’s not a ‘toid’)
And last of all, favorite memory-
Probably holding my children for the first time.
Anything else you would like to add?
Here’s the official bio + links.
R.J. Crayton grew up in Illinois and now lives in a Maryland suburb of Washington, DC. She is a fiction writer by day and a ninja mom by night (What is a ninja mom, you ask? It’s the same as a regular mom, only by adding the word ninja, it explicitly reveals the stealth and awesomeness required for the job of mom). Before having children, Crayton was a journalist. She’s worked at big publications like the Wichita Eagle and the Kansas City Star, and little publications like Solid Waste Report and Education Technology News. Her first novels, Life First and Second Life, were published in 2013. The third novel in the series will be released in 2014.
RJ Crayton loves connecting with readers. If you talk to her, she’ll talk back, so please check out her:
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rjcraytonauthor
Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/RJCrayton
Goodreads Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7111348.R_J_Crayton
Books are available online at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble
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