Monday, September 9, 2013

GYDO: Amy Christine Parker

Amy Christine Parker, Author of Gated

Before writing GATED I didn’t naturally gravitate towards writing contemporaries. In my head they had strict boundaries. I’d very wrongly pigeon-holed the genre and found it rather limiting compared with other(more preferred) genres of mine. But then along came this idea that wouldn’t let go of me once it grabbed hold and I knew that I had to jump into the contemporary world—even if I did it kicking and screaming. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I didn’t need to leave behind the genres I loved most in order to write within it. The contemporary genre was really only limited by my own imagination and my perception of the world around me.

GATED is first and foremost, a contemporary novel. It takes place in the real world.
 Right here.
Right now.
But you won’t have to read very closely (hopefully) to see that this book has clear nods to the paranormal and dystopian genres in particular within it. It’s not a mash up so much as a pointed observation that our present existence as a society definitely includes elements of the fantastic and communities that border on (and in my opinion, clearly are) dystopian—you just have to look at it under those lenses.  When I was brainstorming how to go about writing GATED, one of the things that became obvious is that cults check all the boxes that dystopian societies do.
--There’s a leader(s) who has absolute power over a group of people.
--The society is built upon 1) The idea that the world/society—as is—isn’t working/is doomed and 2) the  quest to change their people’s direction for the better (at least on the surface).
--The majority of the people inside these societies won’t question those in charge or don’t dare to speak out if they do, for fear of being punished—sometimes for generations.
-- The person who does gather the courage to stand up and speak out, will face fierce, often times life threatening opposition.  
--Maybe most importantly, in the face of disturbing circumstances, the other, non-questioning members of the group will cling to their devotion if only so that they don’t have to face just how misguided it has been.
For me, realizing that what I feared most about the future was happening right under my nose was chilling. My hope was that it would be for readers too. Writing contemporaries began to be more and more addicting and now I am an ardent fan. All it took was questioning what I thought I knew about them and deciding to add my own spin.

Gated Blurb
Do the gates keep the unchosen out or the chosen in?
In Mandrodage Meadows, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban community have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives. Lyla Hamilton and her parents are original members of the flock. They moved here following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking to escape the evil in the world. Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned:
Pioneer is her leader.
Will is her Intended.
The end of the world is near.
Like Noah before him, Pioneer has been told of the imminent destruction of humanity. He says his chosen must arm themselves to fight off the unchosen people, who will surely seek refuge in the compound's underground fortress--the Silo.
Lyla loves her family and friends, but given the choice, she prefers painting to target practice. And lately she'd rather think about a certain boy outside the compound than plan for married life in the Silo with Will. But with the end of days drawing near, she will have to pick up a gun, take a side, and let everyone know where she stands.

Author Bio
AMY CHRISTINE PARKER tried out many different jobs, including collectible doll maker, fondue waitress, and inner-city schoolteacher. It wasn't until she became a mom and began making up bedtime stories for her children that she finally realized what she was meant to do. Now Amy writes full-time from her home near Tampa, Florida, where she lives with her husband, their two daughters, and one ridiculously fat cat.


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