About the Book
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Possessing the uncanny ability to fry a television set from twenty paces can really wreck a girl’s social life. If you’re looking for proof, just ask sixteen-year-old Alexandra Parker. After catching her boyfriend in the arms of the prettiest girl in school, she made the journey from social elite to social pariah in a haze of electricity and exploding electronics. But finding herself at the bottom of Bay View High’s social hierarchy was nothing compared to the shock of discovering who—and what—she really is. After being zapped out of a burning bookstore by the mysterious Declan—a hero nearly as handsome as he is infuriating—Alex finds herself under the protection of the powerful Grayson family. It’s through them that she learns the truth: that the world she’s always known is nothing like it appears to be... and that she has far more in common with them than she might want to believe. Now, on the run from a fire-wielding hit man and a secretive government organization, Alex must navigate a strange and treacherous new world filled with superhuman mutants known as Variants. As she begins to unravel the many secrets of her family’s past, she uncovers the real reason for her parents’ death twelve years earlier—and finds out that the threat to her family, and to everyone she cares about, is still dangerously real.
Chat with Jena LeighTell us a little about what inspired you to write this story?
Much of the inspiration for my characters and their personal struggles came from my own experiences in high school and college... And I’m pretty sure the rest came about as a result of my addiction to bad sci-fi and comic books. I’ve taken bits and pieces from my own life and from the world around me and channeled it all into Revival.
Where do you like to write?
Anywhere and everywhere. I seem to do my best work in unfamiliar places. I’ve written on planes, at the mall, in doctor’s office waiting rooms… If I have my computer or a journal with me, I’ll usually try to get a few words on the page. There’s something about traveling that helps me to tune out distractions and focus, while at the same time inspiring me to write.
Favorite T.V. show right now?
Doctor Who! I’ve got a soft spot for science-fiction and for British television, which basically makes Doctor Who the perfect fusion of my interests. Although, I have to admit, tied in second place right now is every paranormal prime-time show on the CW—The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Arrow, Beauty and the Beast… I love them all!
If you were somehow able to jump into your most loved story, which one and what character would you be? Why?
I always wanted to wake up one day in Harry Potter’s world. Hogwarts, magic, Butterbeer and adventure! Now that’s a world I’d love to live in! If I could be any character, it would probably be Hermione. I admire her quick wit, independence, her fierce loyalty toward friends and her strength. She’s wonderful!
Who was the hardest character to write?
The character in Revival that I had the hardest time writing was probably Nathaniel. He’s a complex guy with an even more complicated backstory. His history (and his prior relationship with Alex) is brought to light in the second book in the series, but during Revival his past is constantly influencing his actions and decisions, especially where Alex is concerned. His feelings toward her are straightforward, but his motivations definitely aren’t. Writing his scenes was always a challenge, but one that I really enjoyed!
If you had the chance to go back in time, where would you go past or present? Why?
If I ever got my hands on a time machine (or better yet, a TARDIS) I’d probably spend the rest of my life going to concerts! Seeing Led Zeppelin rock Madison Square Garden or The Allman Brothers play the Fillmore East would be amazing. I can just imagine slipping back to Mississippi in the late 1930s and watching Robert Johnson wail away on an acoustic guitar playing “Cross Road Blues,” or dropping by Woodstock, New York in 1969 before seeing Beethoven performing in Austria in the 1800s. I would finally be able to witness all of the concerts I missed out on by being born just a decade (or a couple of centuries) too late!
Are there any projects in the works?
Actually, there are two! The project I’m focusing on right now is the sequel to Revival—book two in The Variant Series. With any luck, it will be available in the Spring of 2013! The second project is a bit of a secret for now, but stay tuned!
Invisibility or flight?
Flight, definitely. My favorite dreams are always the ones where I realize that I can fly and find myself soaring off to new places. I’d love to experience that sort of freedom!
The band Nickelback. I know! I know. There I was going on and on about legends like Robert Johnson and Led Zeppelin while I’m secretly listening to one of the most loathed rock bands of the last two decades. Their lyrics are, admittedly, a bit ridiculous—but the music is just so darn catchy. And Chad Kroeger’s growl is kind of attractive. We all have our weaknesses. Apparently mine is Canadian rock bands with dubious reputations.
If there was a question that you wished an interviewer would ask you, what would be the question and the answer?
My author bio mentions that I have an incurable love for bad sci-fi movies. I’ve always wanted someone to ask me which of the movies was my favorite. I’d almost certainly answer them with The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension… It might just be the most fantastically awful (awfully fantastic?) thing I’ve ever seen. It’s a movie about a physicist/neurosurgeon/test-pilot/rock-musician (by the name of Buckaroo) and his loyal band of misfits, the Hong Kong Cavaliers. It stars Peter Weller, John Lithgow and Christopher Lloyd. And as a bonus, Jeff Goldblum spends most of the movie parading around in a red cowboy costume complete with a large hat and oversized furry chaps. What’s not to love?
About the Author
Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, Jena Leigh spent ten years in the mountains of North Carolina before returning home to the lightning capital of North America. A shameless geek, she loves bad sci-fi movies, Skittles, writing cracktastic e-mails to friends and taking shenanigan-filled road trips to faraway concerts. She has a degree in English from Appalachian State University. REVIVAL is her first novel.