ABOUT THE BOOK
November RainShannon A. Thompson
(Bad Bloods #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: July 18th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Seventeen-year-old Serena isn’t human. She is a bad blood, and in the city of Vendona, bad bloods are executed. In the last moments before she faces imminent death, a prison guard aids her escape and sparks a revolt. Back on the streets determined to destroy her kind, Serena is spared by a fellow bad blood named Daniel. His past tragedies are as equally mysterious as her connection to them.
Unbeknownst to the two, this connection is the key to winning the election for bad bloods’ rights to be seen as human again. But Serena is the only one who can secure Vendona’s vote. Now, Daniel must unite with her before all hope is lost and bad bloods are eradicated, even if it means exposing secrets worse than death itself. United or not, a city will fight, rain will fall, and all will be threatened by star-crossed love and political corruption.
“She used to tell me that a full moon is when mysterious things happen and wishes come true.” I stared at the little paper in my hands. “Do you think she tells my sister those stories?”Daniel didn’t respond. He only listened. I had told him before I had a sister. He had probably assumed I lied, but I hadn’t. It was the truth, and it tumbled out like a story my mom created before bedtime. I tried to picture her telling stories to my sister, but nothing came. I only saw the little girl, with Mom’s hair and Dad’s eyes, standing in the road, saying my name.
“I’ve never met her,” I confessed, staring at the writing bleeding through the folded end. “I think her name is on this, but I can’t read.”
Daniel reached for it. “I can—”
“No.” I held the note against my chest. “I want to learn and read it on my own,” I explained, softer than my previous snap.
Daniel’s head tilted. “Robert never taught you.”
I wasn’t sure if it was a question or a statement, but I responded anyway. “He can’t read.”
Daniel’s eyes swept over me. He took the time to rub his face before looking away.
“He can’t read,” I repeated, studying his reaction. “Right?”
Daniel’s hand lowered to his lap. “I can teach you,” he said, and when he faced me again, he was remarkably closer than I realized. His hand moved to rest on my knee. My heart stabilized. “What else do you want?”
It was a question I had never heard before, and the way Daniel stumbled over the sentence suggested he had never been able to say it before either. Bad bloods weren’t allowed to want anything. Not even life. So, when I was asked, my mind spiraled into obscurity, never actually solidifying an answer even though I searched for one.
“I’ve never been allowed to want anything,” I confessed.
“Me neither,” Daniel agreed, and for a brief second, I was oblivious to the fact that his lips were on mine.
Publishing A Political YA Book During An Election
A Note from Shannon A. Thompson
My upcoming release features an election. Even more startling, there are eerie similarities to what is happening in my sci-fi dystopian novel and what is happening today…despite the fact that the original released almost a decade ago.
There’s talk of building and tearing down a wall that separates cities, there are debates about the economic crisis and the impacts it has on the lower classes, and there are people fighting for rights they’ve been denied for too long.
There is pain and talk and laughter, but most of all, there is hope. And all of these emotions come down to a single moment at the end of November—our election month and the very month the entire Bad Bloods books take place in.
Bad Bloods in 35 words or less: 17-year-old Serena is the only bad blood to escape execution. Now symbolized for an election, she must prove her people are human despite hindering abilities before everyone is killed and a city is destroyed.
Writing a YA novel where a single election affects the lives (or the deaths) of a group of young people has been important to me since the first day I started writing it. As many people know, Bad Bloods was originally published in 2007 when I was only 16, and despite the dark nature of the story, I was only 11 when I began planning it. Why would I start writing political YA when I was so young? Because political decisions affect the young, and the young have little to no say about it. To me, I choose to focus on children, because children are the most affected, least able to change it, and hold the hope for our future. And sadly, a world where children are discriminated against, held back, and/or killed is not only found in science fiction. It’s found in our very real world, all around us.
Despite the similarities in Bad Bloods and in today’s upcoming election, my hope is that readers will still read Bad Bloods as Bad Bloods, and not as a social-political commentary on the current state. Strange, I know, but I didn’t write this book with Trump and Hilary and the current state of the world in mind. I wrote this book to show the pain of genocide, of discrimination against the innocent, and of what can happen to our youth when we don’t keep our future in mind.
Such a topic shouldn’t be limited to one year, one election, or one event.
It should be discussed until it is changed, and it should be changed until we don’t have to debate these issues anymore.
Maybe, one day, that will happen, and 11-year-old girls won’t feel the need to write books about politics in order to understand how a world could be more interested in having debates than by helping the real lives affected by it.
Maybe, one day, 11-year-old girls can write fairy tales and be kids again.
Then again, we should remind ourselves that kids are powerful. Kids can like politics. Kids can read about politics. Kids can debate opinions.
Let them speak,
November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016
November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016
Free Bad Bloods Prequel
About Shannon A. Thompson
Shannon A. Thompson is a twenty-three-year-old author, avid reader, and habitual chatterbox. She was merely sixteen when she was first published, and a lot has happened since then. Thompson's work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies, and her first installment of The Timely Death Trilogy became Goodreads' Book of the Month. As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson spends her free time writing and sharing ideas with her black cat named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Between writing and befriending cats, she graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in English, and she travels whenever the road calls her.
Visit her blog for writers and readers at www.shannonathompson.com.
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