Wistful YA with Michelle Reed, Author of Life AD 2: M.I.A
During the fall season, I stepped back a bit from promoting others to focus on parts of my personal life - parts which are currently unfolding and will be shared with you in due time. BUT ... I couldn't leave the lovers of young adult literature high and drive just before the holiday season. Thus, reason being for last week's YA giveaway. (PSST...you still have time to enter - last date being Dec. 19th.) And today I have another treat for you.
The world where my next young adult guest comes from is a repeat for you. I first highlighted her world in my review of Life AD in YA Author Michelle Reed. But this is the first time she visits the Alleyway herself. Please welcome main character Dez.
Hi Dez! After reading the beginnings of your story in book 1, I can't wait hear you in personal. Give the folks a little insight into yourself.
Well, for starters, I'm dead. So there's that. Not the best way to start an interview, being a big downer like that, but I mean, you asked. You didn't say "Hey, are you alive?" or anything, but...well, it's kind of hard to leave it out with a leading question like "tell the audience about yourself."
And I'm Dez, by the way. I'm seventeen years old--well, technically I'm eighteen, now, but one of the many, many stupid rules of Atman is the whole "Oh, you're stuck at whatever age you were when you died, blah, blah, blah," thing, so seventeen I am. Forever. Nice, huh? I know you can't see me, but I'm rolling my eyes right now for dramatic effect.
Sorry, I'm being super crabby today. I have no idea what that's about.
Anyway, I grew up in Wisconsin, and I was planning to go off to college and become a biomedical engineer, but the whole being dead thing kind of got in the way of that.
Psst .. I wonder if the 'dead' part shocked them? #snicker
So obviously your world is a bit different. Mind sharing a few facts?
Well, we have six days each week that are scheduled with meetings, activities, counseling sessions, etc. Can you believe we have to go to something called SHARING CIRCLE? Six days a week? I kid you not.
But I've made some pretty great friends here, so I should probably stop complaining so much.
Atman City is A-MA-ZING. We're not allowed to go, but I went anyway. A few times. And, yeah, I get why we're not supposed to go, but there is so much to see. Coolest place ever, and I would go back in a second if I could get away with it. But I'm pretty sure Crosby would go ballistic if I tried that again.
What's your biggest challenge in life? (No pun, I swear.)
Nothing in life comes close to the challenges of death. Dying on the side of the road was the easy part. The constant scrutiny, the rules, the off-limits city (although that hasn't really stopped me), the staff members who will chase your ass down if you get out of line, or are stupid enough to run...it's crazy.
Okay, let's help the readers see what your saying. Here's an image of your current life.
Dez is finally hitting her afterlife stride. She hasn’t missed a meeting or session in forty-two days, and she’s put the adventures and danger of her first days at Atman behind her. Life after death is becoming tolerable, yet nothing is quite what she’d hoped. Confusion over her feelings for Charlie, residual resentment over losing Hannah, and a continuous stream of unwanted assignments leave Dez restless and argumentative.
In a missed encounter with Crosby, her prying gaze lands upon a single entry in the datebook on his unoccupied desk. These few, hastily scribbled words reveal an enormous secret he’s keeping from her. Possessed by a painful sense of betrayal, she once again sneaks off to Atman City, determined to find answers to an unresolved piece of her life.
It begins as all their adventures do, but as light falls into darkness, a stop in an unfamiliar neighborhood sets forth a chaotic series of events. Dez will have to fight for her very existence, and will face painful, irreparable loss in an afterlife teeming with demons wielding ancient powers.
In M.I.A.: Missing in Atman, the second book in the Atman City series, Michelle E. Reed continues the story of Dez Donnelly, pushing her to her limits and surprising readers at every twist and turn of the vast world that is Atman.
Death was only the beginning.
Key eerie music...
Enough of all this serious stuff. Time for fun: What's your creator REALLY life?
I prefer the term storyteller.
Uh ... okay ... storyteller.
She writes in her pajamas. She rewards herself with chocolate. She's married to the guy she started dating right out of high school, and they have an adorable six year old son. She loves dogs, she's a total dork, and a movie nut.
Oh, this one's good. She watches the Walking Dead with her "hiding blanket." Literally. She hides her face behind a blanket and peeks out to watch the show. Big baby.
To be honest, I use a throw pillow to hide my face while watching the Walking Dead.<3 Any other juice info, like how's your relationship?
She and I get along pretty well, and she's helped me a lot. When I first came to her, I was all alone, dying on the side of the road, and she asked me to tell her what was going on. She recorded those final moments, and all the moments that have come since.
Our general relationship is this: she asks me to tell her what happens next, and most of the time, I do.
But I do tend to wake her up at night. She's not so crazy about that.
Geez, I can understand that. I need my sleep, too. But I'm sure she ends up appreciating your insight, Dez. You really are quite cool. Thank you for sharing your world with us.
YA Author Michelle Reed
Michelle was born in a small Midwestern town, to which she has returned to raise her own family. Her imagination and love of literature were fueled by a childhood of late nights, hidden under the covers and reading by flashlight. She is a passionate adoption advocate who lives in Wisconsin with her husband, son, and their yellow lab, Sully. Website|Twitter|Facebook| Goodreads