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In The Spotlight Today: Alanah Andrews!

How old are you and where are you from?

Alanah: I just turned thirty and I’m originally from Rotorua, New Zealand. I grew up with a mud pool and a boiling lake in my backyard! I moved to Australia when I was eighteen and now live a couple of hours east of Melbourne with my husband and two children.

How old were you when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

Alanah: I have always written stories and poetry but was led to believe that writing wasn’t a serious career objective. It’s still just a side-project for me (I am also an English teacher and an online editor) but I’ve started to realize that earning a living from writing isn’t as far-fetched as I originally thought…

Tell us more about your book! What inspired you to write it?

Alanah: Eve of Eridu is a young adult dystopian novel about a future world where emotions are forbidden. It is set after WWIII, and the founders of this new society have decided that the only way to avoid a similar catastrophe is to ban all strong emotions.

In addition, all teenagers are ranked according to their test scores and emotional control, and they must remain highly ranked or they risk being culled at the next harvest ceremony. This book begins with Eve’s brother being culled, despite the fact that he was always at the top of the leaderboard. The big question in this book is: In a world where emotions are forbidden, what happens when you start to feel?

Many aspects of my life inspired this book. The ranking system was inspired by my job, where I work as an English teacher and watch my students obsess over their test scores.

If you could relate to any character in your book, who would it be and why?

Alanah: I am quite an emotional person, and I have often been told to ‘hold it together’ and that ‘crying won’t solve anything.’ Sure, it might not, but I’m not sure what’s so bad about letting our emotions out? In that way, I suppose I relate to Sam who believes that emotions are a necessary aspect of being human. Eve, of course, completely disagrees with him and follows the Book of Eridu which clearly states that emotions are dangerous.

What type of books do you enjoy? What are two of your favorites?

Alanah: I wrote a YA dystopian novel because this is my favorite genre to read. The Hunger Games has a special place in my heart, as does Fahrenheit 451.

Besides reading and writing, what else do you enjoy doing during your free time? Do you have any other businesses?

Alanah: I love exploring the Australian bush, discovering ghost towns and old mining relics. I bought a bus last year, and have a dream of travelling Australia and writing books. I don’t have any other businesses, although I do a lot of editing and proofreading work on the side.

If you could pick any song to describe your main character, what would it be?

Alanah: I have never really thought about it. I am a very boring person and either listen to storm sounds or static while I’m writing. If I were to pick one song to describe Eve, then I suppose it would be Evanescence’s ‘End of the Dream.’ As much as it hurts / Ain’t it wonderful to feel? / So, go on and break your wings / Follow your heart 'til it bleeds / As we run towards the end of the dream (

Do you have any upcoming books in the works?

Alanah: I write a lot of short fiction, and there are a few anthologies coming out this year which feature my stories. Scout Media’s ‘A Flash of Words’ will include my story ‘Earth II’ and Audio Arcadia’s ‘Zonal Horizons.’ I am also writing a dystopian story ‘Vessels’ which will be featured in an anthology titled ‘On the Brink: A Dystopian Anthology.’

In terms of full length books, I am currently writing a sequel to Eve of Eridu, tentatively titled ‘Beyond Eridu.’ I am also writing a science fiction novel ‘Smog’ which is set in a post-apocalyptic Melbourne.

Do you have any book specials/giveaways or events coming up?

Alanah: Follow my website to stay up to date with specials and giveaways.

Where can readers keep up with you on social media? Post your usernames!

Anything else you would like to share?

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