Title of book and/or series: Wake/City of Light Series, Book 1.
Brief summary of the story: Monet is a teen surviving on anxiety pills and memories of her beloved mother. Her city keeps her safe and cared for, but under tight control. She and her best friend, Luke, find an old book that shows the history of mankind—a past that’s been hidden from them and all the citizens of Titus. As their curiosity takes them down a dangerous path, supernatural events begin to occur, showing a different story from what they’ve been told. Monet and Luke find themselves at a crossroads: live within the safe, logical confines of Titus, or embrace the wild truth and risk death.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Earth, one hundred years in the future. Titus is a self-sustaining city, perhaps the only city as far as its citizens are aware of. Religion and expressive art have been banned so the world won’t destroy itself again…at least that’s what everyone has been told.
If we were to visit Titus as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
I would recommend visiting The Seed, the city farm. Boasting numerous orchards and enough food to support the entire city, the building supplies the basic needs for every citizen. It’s also the place to socialize for this humanistic society—the meeting place for community celebrations and breathtaking blue and gold lights adorn this jewel of Titus.
What dangers should we avoid in Titus?
Titus sustains itself in every area. Doubting this idea by exploring religion, traveling beyond the boundaries, or expressing any emotional need through art will get you taken. Some are rehabilitated and returned home—some are never seen again.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Titus?
All citizens are vegetarian—there will be a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables for you to enjoy.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Titus?
Violence of any kind is illegal. The only citizens permitted to learn about weaponry or self-defense are the watchdogs—the guards. Their main job is to make sure all are loyal to Titus and the leaders’ cultural ideals.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Titus?
Only service vehicles are permitted, in order to prevent unnecessary accidents and erosion within the city. A shuttle transports students to school, and employees to their jobs.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Titus that we don’t see on Earth?
You may eventually encounter paranormal beings, although some would argue that we live among them today. I can’t go into detail for fear of giving too much away, but it will give readers something to think about. =)
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Titus? If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Oh, magic, that controversial word! Despite the logical structure of Titus, magic does infiltrate the city, and it’s unlike anything the citizens expect. Is it magic of the deceptive kind, or magic of the most extraordinary kind? Monet will have to find out.
Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Titus? If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
Healthcare is somewhat advanced, as well as technology geared toward safety such as the highly revered whisper glass (designed so that none will ever get trapped in a burning building). The Seed is the most advanced in how they’ve figured out how to amass all of their required food sources inside a single farm.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Titus.
Most spare time is spent in serving others. The only community-wide entertainment would be the festivals held in honor of their most valued volunteers. There is music and dancing, but because expressive art is banned, it’s very formulated and mundane.
Is there a particular religion practiced in Titus? Please describe what it involves.
The citizens of Titus have been taught that religion is dangerous, and are banned from any kind of spiritual practice or even the search for it. But they rely so heavily on the works of their hands, you could say they almost deify themselves…until things beyond their control start to happen.
What is the political or government structure in Titus? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
Titus is led by three people: Paul Orca, Barry Newt and Martha Tinman. They are called The Triad. Each of The Triad leads a sector of Titus, and the citizens share the last name of their sector leader.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
The direction of our current culture inspired my book. In Luke 19:40, Jesus responded to the Pharisees in a fascinating way when they told Him to silence His disciples: “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” I thought, “What would it look like if religion and our ability to search for the unseen were banned? Humans are limited, but God is not. What would He do?
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
I tend to gravitate toward hot-buttons, heh. Like I mentioned earlier, I use the word magic. It’s a word. Words should neither be feared nor sacrificed to evil realms. In fact, I think that leads to superstition.
Also, science and faith are intermixed in Wake, which, for some people, is a hot-button. God made the world, He made science. There’s no threat there.
I wrote children’s books before digging into genres for older audiences. The Relevant Christian Magazine and Wordsmith Journal Magazine have published my recent short stories. I’ve been a guest writer on numerous websites, including Christian eBooks Today. Recently, I became the author of the YA bestseller Faith Seekers. I am bold when I feel there has been too much silence, and quiet when there’s too much noise. I live in Northern Arizona with my husband and children.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)? Please include links.
Right now, Wake is available in ebook format on Amazon
(release date of Feb. 1, 16). The paperback is soon to come.
Where can readers connect with you online? Come visit me atsherryrossman.com