Vanquished by Katie Clark

Webs picI have the pleasure of hosting author Katie Clark to talk about the first book in her Enslaved dystopian series. But first, the slam book:

photo (1)Nickname: Just Katie :)

Genre: YA speculative fiction
Personal Philosophy: Most things really aren’t THAT big of a deal. Really.
Fave Scripture (& why): Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.” Why? Because it emphasizes something I like to keep at the forefront of my mind, anyway—Don’t Worry!
Fave Quote: If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
In high school I was a… bookworm. But a fun one ;).
Katie in high school

Katie in high school

Well, hello, “Just Katie.” 🙂 Who did you have in mind when you wrote Vanquished?

Honestly? No one but myself. I loved these characters, and I wanted to tell their story—even if I was the only one who ever heard it.

And now we all have the chance to read it! Yay! What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope they’ll see that they can make a difference. It doesn’t take your friends standing with you, or the approval of others. Be confident in yourself, and make a difference in the world.

Which character is most like you and why?

Oh, tough one! Probably Fischer. No, I’m not a boy (ha ha), but he knows what he’s all about—and I kind of feel that way too, at least most of the time.

If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which one would it be and what would you do together?

I think I would love to meet Hana. She’s not afraid to go after what she believes in, and that’s something I admire very much. We’d stir up some trouble, for sure. 🙂

You can connect with Katie via Facebook, Twitter, or on her website.

Check out an excerpt from Vanquished:

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The old hospital looms in front of me like some ancient castle from the Early Days. This is where they keep people with the mutation. My heart races at the thought of going inside.
I’ve never been in a hospital before. In fact, I’ve never been in a building that big at all. I wish I’d taken Jamie’s offer to come with me or had come with Dad last night. I wish that Mom hadn’t gotten the mutation at all.
I take a deep breath and push through the double doors.
The quiet lobby area is dim, lit by a few small windows and a couple of glowing lamps. I knew the hospital gets extra electricity allowance, but I’ve almost never seen anyone use manufactured lighting during the day. I’m awed by the sight. In front of me is an abandoned office area, and to my right is an old cafeteria. A sign dangles over the counter by one chain. It seems like someone would have taken it down by now.
I make a split decision and yank it down. Chains clatter as they plunge to the floor. It stays on the ground, and I turn back to the main lobby. My heartbeat calms at regaining this tiny bit of control.
Beyond the cafeteria, several signs hang on the wall. One points me to the stairs.
My dad said Mom was on the third floor. Back in the Early Days, they fought the mutation with chemotherapy drugs and something called radiation. We don’t have those things anymore, so we fight it with fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Sometimes it works, but most of the time it doesn’t. I don’t want to think about what this means for Mom.
The door to the stairs is beside the old elevator shafts. I reach out and feel the cool metal doors. They reflect my image back to me, but I don’t pay attention to that. I’ve seen enough of my short blond hair and not-so-tall stature, but I’ve never actually seen elevators before. I wish the doors would open, and I could peek inside. Riding up to the third floor would be even better, but no one has enough electricity allowance to run elevators, not even the hospital I guess.
I make the climb to the third floor without even getting winded, and more manufactured lighting greets me. Long bulbs line the ceiling. These lights are brighter than the lamps downstairs, and they make an odd buzzing noise. I stumbled into a beehive once, and the angry bees buzzed a lot like the lights.
There are so many rooms down the long hallway, I can’t imagine there would ever be enough sick people to fill them all, but then I remember what they tell us about the Early Days. There were a lot more people back then. Now there are so few people I think we could all fit in this hospital together. How would it feel to be around so many people, all the time? Would it feel crowded? I don’t think so. I think it would feel safe.
The hallway is empty, but a faint beeping comes from down the hall. I pass an old desk on my way toward the beeping. A dumpy computer sits on the desk. People still have those?
I pass one door, two doors, and then an irritated voice stops me in my tracks.
‚We could give her chemo at the onset to slow things down a bit, and then start the natural healing. The least we can do is to give her a fighting chance. She’s a Middle, after all.‛ It’s a woman’s voice, coming from the room with the faint beeping. Her tone is hushed and angry.
I look at the piece of paper that’s been tacked to the wall outside the room.
Maya Norfolk.
I suck in a tight breath. They’re talking about Mom? What do they mean by ‘a fighting chance’? My heart picks up speed, and I step closer to the room, careful to stay out of view.
‚It takes time to get approval for chemo drugs, and what if she talks? Everyone who gets the mutation will start demanding them. What’s her occupation?‛ It’s a man’s voice, and he sounds just as angry.
Papers shuffle and the woman says, ‚Professor at the military academy. I say we do it. She knows how to keep secrets if she’s worked in the military. What chance does she have otherwise?‛
The pause in conversation is excruciating as Mom’s life hangs in the balance. Meanwhile my mind spins. Chemo drugs? They’re not even supposed to exist. How can they be talking about this so casually? Have the rest of us been lied to all this time?
“Do you need some help?”
I jerk around, my heart thumping like the rain during a torrential downpour. A boy stands in front of me. He doesn’t look much older than my seventeen years, but definitely old enough to have taken the Test….

Classic dystopian with a faith flair, I think you will enjoy this series. I know I did.

NOW, SPEAKING OF TESTS, WHAT IS THE WORST/HARDEST ONE YOU HAVE EVER TAKEN? AND HOW DID YOU DO?

this post brought to you by Lisa Godfrees

this post brought to you by Lisa Godfrees

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5 thoughts on “Vanquished by Katie Clark

  1. Ha! My drivers test. To this day I still believe the Holy Spirit took over during the parallel parking portion of the test. I nailed it for the first and only time in my life.
    For a more traditional test, I took an education course intended for seniors while I was a sophomore. The professor allowed it but warned me that very few students received an A in his course, certainly not an underclassman. I studied fourteen hours for the final and aced the class.

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  2. Oh, yes, the driver’s test was a fun one. Not!
    The *hardest* one ever was not necessarily due to the subject matter. When I was working on my AA, I took Earth Science the same semester as my sister but we had different professors and compared. She had the professor who also taught Meteorology (I took him for that course, he was awesome) and had been teaching Earth Science for years. They did all kinds of fun, hands-on stuff including a field-trip to look at sink-holes. I ended up with the professor who ordinarily taught Philosophy and Astronomy.

    He told us the very first day that he didn’t feel qualified to teach the class but that he was being forced. He didn’t even come with the right textbook. Well, this was the class that made me realize not everything can be learned just through books. And that’s all he did – was read the textbook to us every day. The only chapter we learned anything was the one that briefly touched on his specialty, the stars. 99% of midterms was hands-on identification of rocks. Only up until that very day, he had never gotten around to even showing us actual rocks, let alone the different tests and such that aid in said identification. And every single student in the entire class failed that test. Literally every single one of us. He had a group of very irate students on his hands.

    He ended up labeling the rocks, letting us examine them labeled, and then removed the labels before testing us again. That redo test was a joke. But at least he didn’t ruin everyone’s GPAs. Meanwhile my sister had a blast and learned a ton. I was highly envious but not in a position to switch classes or redo later.

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  3. Thanks for having me!!! And speaking of the driving test…when I took my driver’s test, I had an instructor who was known to fail people. I happened to pass, but later it was found out that the instructor failed dozens of people and pocketed their fee money. Oops!

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  4. My hardest exams were in college physics. I had a dream that I got a 16 (out of 100) on the exam. I got a 12! The average was a 20. It was a huge weed-out course for freshman engineering. The professor was there when my dad went there, and he was notorious. The semester before I took the course, he was on probation for failing too many students. I took my C and ran!

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