Character Interviews (Linux)

Hello, everyone! If you haven’t already heard, Caged went on sale last week. My fierce YA scifi novel can be purchased in ebook or paperback form here: Caged (Idyllic Series Book 1)

But today, we have another character interview for you! Per Eden’s request, I’ve dragged Linux here. These questions are going to be hard. Let’s torture a Linux.

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(Just like before, interviewer questions are in bold.)

Hey, Linux. What’s your full name? Alyx… I don’t, um, really know my last name. That’s alright. Do you have any nicknames? Yeah. Linux is actually one. Eden also calls me Lin, among other things. Where did that nickname come from? Um… Linux is an operating system for different devices. Some of the cybernetics in Druxy run on the Linux system. Since I do a lot of the coding for the Luddites, it just seemed to fit.

Where were you born? Somewhere in Druxy, I guess. You don’t know? *shakes his head* My parents didn’t live long enough to tell me. Also, most of my memories before Eden are blurry. Did you know your parents names? *shakes his head* Sorry…

I should be the one that’s sorry. I’m going to dig into this a little more. Is that okay? *nods* How would you describe your childhood? Lonely and scary. I was young when my parents were harvested. Most of my time was spent running and hiding from the Artificials. Do you remember what happened to them? *shakes his head* I think I’ve blocked most of it, out. I just know they were harvested.

Where did you learn about computers, then, if your parents weren’t around? I did learn some of it from them. They were both proficient with machines, too. What I didn’t learn from them, I got from experimentation. 

Want to talk about something happier? Yes, please. Who are your friends? Eden and her brother, Cyrus. Is that all? *cringes* The other Luddites our age haven’t always been kind to me. That’s unfortunate. Do you know why? *nods* When I first came to the tunnels, I was really weak and withdrawn. I didn’t help or really pitch in. Everything scared me. They resented me for being useless, basically. That’s terrible, Linux. I’m sorry. *shrugs* It’s okay. it’s not so bad anymore. 

Who has had the most influence on you? Eden. Definitely. Why? *blushes* She… She inspires me to be braver. I’m not as scared when she’s around. Aww. That’s cute. Are you and Eden dating? What?! No! *turns bright red* We’re just friends! That’s it. Sorry I asked. *laughs* Do you want to be more than, um, friends? NO! She’s like an older sister! I— she— we—

*laughs* Let’s just move on. What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you so far? *rubs back of neck* This one time, I stepped on a rat in one of the outer tunnels and screamed so loud that everyone within a mile probably heard me. That’s not that bad. *still red in the face* I also fell when it tried to climb on me and ended up with a very… obvious… mud stain. They called me Poopux for a month. *hides laughter by shuffling interview questions* That’s unfortunate. I’m sorry, Poo-LINUX

What’s the best memory you have so far? When Eden found me. Why is that so powerful to you? She rescued me from the brink of death, nursed me back to health, and gave me a purpose. I’ll be forever indebted to her. 

What’s your biggest fear? The cyborgs— Artificials, cybernetics, Idyllics. All of them terrify me. But don’t you go with Eden on runs? *grimaces* Yeah… but I’m always a scared mess. My stomach hurts every time we go out. 

I asked Eden this question, but I want to know what your opinion is. Do you believe in the existence of soulmates/true love? *thinks* Um, sure. Some people fit together perfectly. Everyone has a opposite, a person to balance them out. Have you met your soulmate? *looks away* I don’t want to answer that…

Let’s finish with some short, easy questions. What’s your favorite hobby? Building and coding. Favorite color? Electric blue. *blushes* Do you like to read? Sure. I like it better when Eden reads to me. 

What makes you laugh? When Cyrus tells me jokes. What makes you sad? When someone’s mean to me. What makes you mad? When people insult or doubt Eden. 

Okay, two questions left. This one’s from Eden, actually. Where do you see yourself in five years? *hesitates* Honestly? Yes. Be truthful, please. We can take it. Dead, more than likely. Us humans don’t stand a chance in this world. 

Last question: Who should I interview next? Cyrus or Knox? Cyrus. Keep Knox waiting. it’ll kill him to be last. 

Have a good weekend, guys! See ya on Monday!

Character Interviews (Eden)

Tomorrow is the release of Caged!!! Are you as excited as I am?! Probably not, because I’m having minor heart palpitations over here. 

In preparation and in celebration of Caged’s release, I called in some co-hosts. I’m going to be conducting some interviews with the main cast— Eden, Linux, Knox, and Cyrus. Ladies first, of course. 

**Words in bold are spoken by Amy, the interviewer**

Hey, Eden! Bear with me; I know you hate being in the spotlight. We’ll start easy, I promise. What’s your full name? Do you have any nicknames? Um… My full name is Eden Cavalleri. People call me lots of things behind my back, but mostly just Eden in front of me. Knox calls me Angel sometimes.

Where and when were you born?The tunnels underneath the city of Druxy. Pretty sure that’s where we were all born. It’s pretty gross to think that I was born in the same place were rats sleep. Don’t you sleep there, too? Yeah… *shudders* Change the subject. 

Who are your parents? Alaric and Lydia Cavalleri. My dad was a council member. He oversaw Luddite health. Mom was a gardener. She helped feed everyone. Who do you think had the hardest job? Mom. Definitely. It’s almost impossible to garden when you live underground. 

Do you have any siblings? One. Cyrus. What’s he like? *smiles* Cyrus is the best person I’ve ever met. He’s optimistic, funny, kind… He always had faith in me, even when I had none for myself. Man, he had a temper, though. I remember this one time he fought another council member because they snapped at me. *laughs* Good times…

Where do you live now? And with whom? Well, I’m kind of on the run. I can’t tell you where I am or who’s with me. The Artificials and Idyllics are probably tracking me.

Okay, that’s fine. What’s your occupation? I was a runner. What’s that? I went outside the tunnel system to look for supplies, mostly weapons, medicine, clothes. That kind of thing. Was it dangerous? *laughs* I’ll let them read my story to figure that one out. 

Let’s get a little more specific to your world. Humans are endangered, right? Yes. What’s their biggest threat? The Artificials. They’re like robotic police officers. They’re specifically designed to hunt down humans and capture them. What happens once they’re caught? Well, there’s two options. You will either be killed and used as a host for the cybernetics, or you’ll become an exhibit in the Anthros. 

Let’s talk about the Anthros for a minute. What is that? Anthros is short for Anthropological Park. It’s basically a facility where machines study humans. They conduct all sorts of tests, mental and physical. Some subjects become exhibits, where you stand in a glass box and machines come to look at you. Kind of like a zoo, huh? So I’ve heard. I’ve never seen a zoo, only read about them. 

So you like reading! What’s your favorite book? That’s an impossible question to answer! I love all books. Same. But stretch your brain. I guess if I had to pick, it would be my poetry book. It’s a collection of Sara Teasdale poems. 

Let’s talk about your past a little. I know it’s hard. I’ll try to skip the bad parts. I really appreciate that. Describe your childhood in one word. Loving. Care to elaborate? Sure. We didn’t have a lot, but I never felt unloved. My parents made sure Cyrus and I had happy memories from that dark time. 

What’s one of your best memories? Ice skating. The tunnels connected to the river, and Dad engineered some skates for us out of old knives and shoes. It was a disaster, and we were all black and blue by the end of the night. Mom worried that we would get sick, but luckily, we didn’t. 

What do you consider the most important event in your past? The day my parents were captured. Why? It moved me to be the best runner that I could be. Taught me to be careful when dealing with the machines. 

Okay, easier questions. Are you a pessimist or an optimist? Pessimist, for sure. I’m the best at finding the worst case scenario. 

What’s your greatest fear? The Luddites being killed off. 

Do you believe in soul mates/true love? Of course. Some people are just meant for one another. Do you have one? *scowls* Yeah, no. 

What’s your favorite color? Green, for sure. Why? It reminds me of the outdoors. 

Last one, who do you want me to interview next? Linux. He’s going to hate it. *laughs* Should I go easy on him? Absolutely not. Make it as torturous as possible. Got it. 

Have a great Monday! Tomorrow’s the BIG DAY!!!

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SURPRISE!

Hey, everyone! Sorry for not updating yesterday. I’ve been doing really good on my Monday and Friday schedule, which I hope to stick to once work starts back up. Yesterday was uneventful, though. We watched Hamilton (finally but that’s another blog post), and I got some writing done.

But really, nothing happened! I was waiting for today.

Guess what came in the mail today?!

MY PROOF!!! I finally get to hold Caged in my hands, and to be honest, I might NEVER let it go. 😭😍😭😍😭

To say my emotions are running a little haywire would be an understatement. I am elated, y’all. Enjoy the following mess of a video. I’m sorry in advance ‘cause I got a little excited, and my voice did weird things.

Two days, y’all!! Two more days until release!

Something Different

Hey, everyone!

I am on vacation this weekend and don’t have a blog post planned for Caged. Right now, I’m getting ready to set up pre-orders, but there’s been so many issues along the way. The cover wasn’t the right size, I made a million formatting mistakes, and everyone I’m working with lives on the other side of the world. facepalm Frustrating doesn’t begin to cover it.

I keeping my head up, though!! Pre-orders will be ready soon, and until then, I’m just enjoying what little bit of summer I have left. Which brings me to….

VACATION!

For this year’s summer trip, we decided to spend five days in Bradenton, Florida! I know what you’re thinking. “Oh my god, Amy. Florida has like a million cases of Covid. What were you thinking?” I was thinking BEACHOCEANBEACHOCEAN. But also like, I can wear a mask and social distance to the max. I’m a hermit anyway. I sleep most of the day and never want to go places.

So, we went. We are staying in this adorable tiny house on a shared property.

Our home away from home.

I would show you the inside, but you’ll just have to check out their AirBnB listing here: Tiny House Paradise

We depart for home tomorrow, but here are some various beach pictures and short descriptions for each. Enjoy!!

Manatee Beach, 7-11
Same day, same beach but an absolutely stunning sunset. We chose the perfect time to come.
A poorly taken panorama from
Neal Preserve. This was from a watch tower built during the Great Depression.

You can learn more about Neal Preserve here: Neal Preserve. While we wanted to see all sorts of local wildlife, we most saw rabbits and pigeons. The mosquitoes loved us though. I’ve never been swarmed by so many bugs in all my life. Some advice: always wear bug spray in the evenings in Florida. ALWAYS.

Another shot from Neal. That black stuff is extremely shallow water that smelled like DEATH. Just saying.

While there were many other adventures, I didn’t keep my phone on me at all times. So, here’s a bulleted list.

-We got trapped in a rainstorm. I walked/ran to get our car while Brandon sat and waited in a cop car.

-I somehow managed to knock my knee on the stairs climbing to the balcony to the bed. It hurt so bad that I cried.

-Elliott learned that he’s terrified of lizards. Do you know how many lizards there are in Florida?!

-The owners of the property had a super sweet dog named Winter that I didn’t even get a picture of. But he was the best part of the whole thing. Lol

Overall, it’s been really nice to get away and spend some time at the beach. There’s just something so relaxing about the water.

See you guys soon with updates on Caged. Xoxo.

Caged Cover Reveal

IT’S TIME!!!!

Let’s be honest. What writer doesn’t dream of the day they get to see a PROFESSIONAL cover for their own book? I’ve been waiting for this day to come quite literally for as long as I can remember. And while I had to take my own route, there’s nothing wrong with this road I’m on. I’m beyond excited to show you my cover.

DRUMROLL, PLEASE!

I’m in a The Office mood today, I guess. Haha!

Thanks to the brilliant, Rebeca-Ira on Fiverr! Need a cover? I HIGHLY recommend her.

Ignore the watermark; I swear I own it. LOL. It’s still being edited for one small typo.

What do you guys think? Leave me a comment below!!!

xoxo

Meet the Cast of CAGED (part 2)

In true Young Adult novel fashion, Eden’s parents left this world years before our story takes place. Their sudden, and quite gruesome death (sorry, not sorry), serves as a motivation for Eden. But their fate also affects another person.

You see, in Eden’s mind, she didn’t just need a best friend/sidekick. Eden also needed a partner-in-crime. That’s where Cyrus comes in.

Older than Eden by a few years, Cyrus was his parent’s golden child. Quite simply put, he wasn’t Eden. First borns are always better, aren’t they? (Amy says as a first born child and definitely not biased at all.) Calm and level-headed, he liked to be in charge and organize things. He gladly took his father’s place on the council of elders upon his death.

Yet, what Eden loved most about her big brother Cyrus wasn’t his bossy personality. It was his sense of humor. Cyrus was a beacon of light in their eternally dark life. From ice skating and snowball fights to picture books and late-night storytelling, Cyrus was sure to make sure his little sister was happy. Truly happy.

To quote Eden:

“I look back up at my brother, taking in the mud of his eyes. I see years of digging through dry dirt and repotting pathetic vegetables. I see the precise slices of his blade through tomatoes and his dirty fingernails as he turns the page of his Holland book. His laughter as he slides across the frozen river, his smile when I return safely from another mission, and his comforting embrace when I begin to panic in the overwhelming small of the Underground flit through my mind like a flip book of images. 

If anyone deserves to live, it’s him. Not me.”

Within the walls of the Anthropological Park, a human-zoo for the machines, Eden meets someone new. A boy born behind the glass of the exhibits with soft hands and a gentle heart. Her angelic exhibit mate, Knox, has never known freedom, never known another human, never felt emotional pain and loss. But when he sings, Eden’s pain melts away and she forgets her demons for a moment to become lost in his world.

Without Knox, Eden has no hope of escaping the Anthros. He knows the machines and the hallways. If only he wanted to help her….

Eden clings to Knox when she needs him the most. But remember what I said about her ability to love blindly? It’s not always a strength.

Random, but true: You gotta watch out for those boys with “K” names. They’re the worst.

Meet the Cast of CAGED (part 1)

Hey, guys!

One of my favorite things about writing is getting to know my characters. To me, the characters in my story are real. They do things of their own will; they write their own story. I craft the person, and they design their fate.

… except those times where I take control and ruin things for them. That’s always fun!

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Caged really started with an individual. She came to me on a particularly hot day while camping with my husband. Sitting in a camp chair, praying that God would just turn down the thermostat just a little, an image popped in my head: a girl who wouldn’t stand for this kind of injustice, who would find whoever was making her this uncomfortable and verbally assault them until it changed. It was a ridiculous picture. Who in the world fights someone about the temperature outside? But Eden, whose name wasn’t revealed to me until much later, grew from this. Eden– who would fight anyone and anything to protect her family. Eden– who knew no mountain too high to be scaled. Eden– who fearlessly faced a world intent on seeing her dead and was obsessed with stories and languages.

But also, Eden– who loved with every ounce of her person and trusted too quickly. Every character has their flaw. For her, it was that protectiveness she felt for her family. You see, Eden fought blindly sometimes for them, sometimes missing the smaller details in front of her.

With Eden’s personality came her looks. Her best friend describes her to me as this: short for her age with somewhat ugly, pale skin (Good grief, she lives in an underground tunnel, what did you expect, LINUX?), but the most gorgeous electric blue eyes under her mess of knotted jet black hair.

Eden needed a sidekick. Every hero does! And so, Linux was created.

A smart boy, he proved to be everything Eden wasn’t, in both good ways and bad. Linux could be cowardly and careful, reserved and still. Where his best friend never stopped, Linux found himself often lost in thought, in coding, in watching, or in waiting.

Eden calls him “gangly” more often than anything. With broken glasses half-hanging off his face and a messy mop of dark hair, it’s obvious the boy lives in darkness.

Linux was the brains and caution; Eden was the strength and risk. They found comfort in each other’s haunted past and leaned on each other to fill in the gaps of their personality. Eden gave Linux the assurance that he’d survive another day. Linux gave Eden someone worth coming home to, someone worth fighting to see again when things in her life got worse.

But the most important part is this… To quote Linux exactly:

“Like a right and left arm, neither one of us can do our job without the other.”