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DJ: Hi Susanna! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Susanna Rogers: I write young adult books that kick butt, or least I hope they do! I’m a kickboxer with a second-degree black belt so it seems inevitable that some of my heroines end up being martial artists and having to use these skills – always for the purposes of good, of course. I’ve written in other genres but there’s something incredibly liberating about writing YA because I put myself in that teenage mindset and nothing seems out of reach. When I’m writing, it feels to me as if my characters can save the world. And sometimes they have to.
DJ: What is Parallax Error about?
Susanna: It’s about Sasha Pierce, a teenage girl who’s bullied and feels alone. This part isn’t necessarily fiction. Lots of teenagers go through a hard time in varying degrees. A global glitch throws Sasha into an alternate universe into the body of another girl, only she’s not the school nerd any more. She’s one of the elite, a bodyguard-in-training at The Primary. And if the authorities find out she’s not who she says she is, they’ll get rid of her. When I wrote the story, I had no idea that Beyonce’s alter ego was known as Sasha Fierce. I chose a name that sounded good and I guess Beyonce did too.
DJ: What was your inspiration for Parallax Error?
Susanna: You may have heard of Canadian teenager, Amanda Todd, who was bullied relentlessly and told her own story using a series of flash cards in a Youtube video. I can’t watch the video because it makes me cry every time. It’s too sad to be true, yet this was someone’s life. As a parent finding out about her story, I kept thinking that if only she could have got through the next couple of years, she’d have come out the other end. Such a tragic story. I couldn’t give Amanda a happy ending but I could craft one for Sasha in Parallax Error. Because I felt that after everything she went through, that was the least she deserved.
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters?
Susanna: Sasha Pierce is the school nerd. She’s up against it at home and at school until eventually she can’t see a way out. I remember how it felt not to fit in so I drew on those old feelings of isolation and general nerdiness. When Sasha is thrown into an alternate universe, she’s a fish out of water because she doesn’t fit in there either, but she does have a very particular skill set where she’s a highly trained fighter. It’s not enough to fight, though. She has to be smart to survive.
DJ: What is the world and setting of Parallax Error like?
Susanna: Life at The Primary is hard. This is a military installation where they train hard and only the toughest survive. Those who succeed become the elite of society whereas those who fail lead lives of poverty. There’s no religion. There is only obedience. The weather is terrible – constantly overcast or raining – which is both a reflection of society at The Primary and a comment on where we’re headed with climate change.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Susanna: I hope they’ll be talking about a lot of things because the book raises lots of issues such as bullying, internet stalking, self harm and attempted suicide. Sometimes adults avoid talking about serious issues because “it’ll only give young people ideas” or because they believe teenagers can’t handle it. Teenagers are smarter than we think and can handle more than we think. They have to in their day-to-day lives and it’s disrespectful to talk down to them.
DJ: Did you have a particular goal when you began writing Parallax Error?
Susanna: My goal with any book is to move my readers. I also want to take them into another world or on a roller coaster ride and give them a story they can’t put down. With this book in particular, I want to empower teenagers who read the book to believe in themselves, to follow their dreams and to live long and happy lives. I realise that’s up there with wanting world peace. I guess I was aiming high.
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from Parallax Error that you can share with us?
Susanna: I won’t be giving away too much if I quote the last line from Parallax Error – “Besides, every girl needs to kick a little ass from time to time.” I truly believe this. We should be nice to each other – kindness and compassion are wonderful traits – but there comes a time when we all need to assert ourselves. And maybe we need to kick a little butt.
DJ: Now that Parallax Error is released, what is next for you?
Susanna: I’m writing a series of rock star romances, for adults this time. In a way, I’m going back to my roots because the first novels I wrote were romances. My husband is a guitar player so that’s certainly influenced me. I’ve been going to see bands for years and I always have music playing when I’m writing. Even now. It’s The Black Keys.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Susanna-Rogers/e/B00BGZV91M/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
DJ: Anything else you’d like to share with us?
You see me in action in my training video:
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
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*** Parallax Error is published by Bucher & Reid and is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
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One girl. Two lives. No way back…
Sasha Pierce is the school nerd – bullied, abused and alone. Alienation takes on a whole new dimension when a global glitch catapults her into an alternate universe. And into the body of an elite military bodyguard.
Suddenly she’s a ripped, ultra-honed, teenage fighting machine. Except that inside she is still the same Sasha, flung into a body and a world she can barely comprehend. All she wants is to go home and she is ready to risk life and limb to return. There will be no second chances. This will be the biggest fight of her life.
About the Author:
As a child, I could never get my hands on enough books. It took me a while to discover the library where I found Donna Parker and Nancy Drew. At high school they didn’t have Nancy Drew but they did have Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange. My world changed.
I am now the author of kick butt books for young adults. I also write romance and at one point moved to a life of crime – you might be seeing more of that. I love writing young adult, partly because I’m an overgrown teenager and partly because I can write the kick butt heroines I adore.
Years ago, a fixation with Buffy inspired me to take up kickboxing and I now have a second-degree black belt. I teach as well as train. I have a dream too – of empowering girls and guys around the globe to believe in themselves, to take care and follow their dreams.
Take a look at the video below to see me in action. Unfortunately YouTube removed the audio so you’ll have to imagine Foo Fighters’ White Limo playing in the background.