YA (Young Adult) novels are popular not only with teens, but with adults too, and this includes me. I write YA novels myself and it’s one genre I fully enjoy reading. Jeremiah Franklin, the author of three dystopian YA novels, the “Dark Tomorrow” thriller trilogy, granted me the honor of an author interview, which I’m going to share here. His amazing trilogy is about teens surviving a deadly virus that decimates the planet. There’s something extra special about reading the same book as your child … you can discuss it, reminisce, and be entertained together.
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I want to thank Jeremiah Franklin for his time in participating in this interview, for sharing his insight about his books and being an author, and for writing such an awesome trilogy!
Do you prefer to call yourself a writer or an author and why?
Jeremiah: I would consider myself a writer first and foremost, simply because I have always loved to write. Still, with three traditionally published books on the market, I feel comfortable identifying as an author, as well. I’m not sure that I agree, but I’ve heard it said that anyone can be a writer, but not everyone will become an author.
What genre do you most like to read?
Jeremiah: I’m one of those readers who has a really wide range of interests and I tend to read whatever book I can get my hands on. However, not unlike my own novels, I often find myself drawn to books about survival and the resilience of the human spirit. Currently, one of the books I am reading tells of Theodore Roosevelt’s incredible journey down a previously undiscovered river in South America. Titled, The River of Doubt, it is a fascinating account, and I am mind-boggled by the risks and sacrifices Roosevelt’s expedition was willing to endure in the name of discovery.
What are some of your non-writing hobbies?
Jeremiah: When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family and our dogs. I’m fortunate to live in an area with an abundance of outdoor activities and I’m able to spend my free time enjoying the local mountains, rivers, and lakes that surround central Oregon.
Which authors do you admire?
Jeremiah: The list is long and varied, but Cormack McCarthy is definitely one of my favorite authors, and his post-apocalyptic novel, The Road, was a major influence on my own writing. I have also always been a huge fan of Jack London, as well. His tales of survival, hardship, and comradery definitely influenced me as a young reader and writer.
Can you tell us about your dystopian ya novels?
Jeremiah: To put it simply, The Dark Tomorrow trilogy is a thrilling, post-apocalyptic series which focuses on two teens as they struggle to survive in a dangerous and chaotic world decimated by a deadly virus. Besides being highly topical, it has been described as intense, fresh, and frighteningly realistic.
Dystopian YA Novels by Jeremiah Franklin: The Dark Tomorrow TrilogyDark Tomorrow: Rise of the Crow Dark Tomorrow: Cult of the Crow Dark Tomorrow 3: Fall of the Crow
Does your book’s title have special meaning?
Jeremiah: When one writes a dystopian thriller about a virus that nearly wipes out all of humanity, I think it’s safe to say that the title, Dark Tomorrow, speaks for itself.
Where did you get the initial idea for this book?
Jeremiah: As I mentioned before, Cormac McCarthy has been a major influence on my own writing, and it was his novel, The Road, that sparked the initial idea for my books. I wanted to write a dystopian tale of survival that was accessible to a wide range of readers, from young adults on up. Interestingly, although my books feature young adult characters, a significant number of my readers have been adults, with middle-aged women among my most vocal supporters.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book?
Jeremiah: Like many authors, the most challenging aspect of writing my books was simply finding the time to sit down and write. Being able to balance the many demands and responsibilities of life while still finding time to write is an ongoing game. Sometimes I feel like I’m winning, sometimes I don’t.
What was your favorite scene to write?
Jeremiah: My favorite scenes to write are always the ones that get the readers blood pumping and adrenaline flowing. Anytime a reader tells me that they can’t read a certain scene just before going to bed because it is too intense, I know I’ve hit my mark!
Who is your favorite character in this book?
Jeremiah: This is always a hard question for me to answer. I would say that I identify most with the main character, Sawyer, but I think that his female counterpart, Sara, is the most interesting and possibly the most complex character in the series. Still, my favorite is probably a character named Kai who is introduced in the second book of the series. He brings a unique worldview and a sense of balance to the cast of characters that many readers find appealing.
How long have you been writing?
Jeremiah: I have been writing creatively from a young age, but I did not begin writing the first book in the Dark Tomorrow trilogy until about 10 years ago. Before that, I had attempted to write a few full-length novels while in my 20’s, but in all honesty, at that time I did not have the life experience and discipline necessary to develop a quality story.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Jeremiah: Yes and no. I think I’ve always been realistic that making a living as a writer is no easy accomplishment, but the dream has always been there. To be honest, simply being able to share my stories with the world has been an amazing journey, and I am humbled and grateful for the experience.
Describe a typical writing day for you.
Jeremiah: Fortunately, I’m one of those writers who can sit down, tune out the rest of the world, and write pretty much anywhere as long as I have access to a laptop—so every day is different. I really don’t have a set routine, but if I can steal an hour or two of writing each day after the kids are in bed, I know I am headed in the right direction.
What do you develop first, the plot, or the characters?
Jeremiah: For me, the development of the plot and the characters often go hand-in-hand. And while there is no substitute for a well-designed plot, I do my best to build my novels from the ground up, and sometimes it’s the personality of the characters that truly drives the story.
What is your definition of success as a writer?
Jeremiah: To be successful as a writer, I feel strongly that one only needs to write, in whatever form they so choose. However, to be successful as an author…well, that’s a whole other ball game. I’ll let everyone know when I get it figured out!
What are you working on now?
Jeremiah: With the third and final book in the Dark Tomorrow trilogy just released in August of this year, I plan to take a short break before I jump back in to my next project. I’d prefer not to share too many details quite yet, but I am in the final editing process for the first book in a new YA series, and I’m excited about where it might lead.
Please add any ad-lib information you could like readers to know.
Jeremiah: It is an interesting time to be the author of a book about a doomsday virus that nearly wipes out humankind. Obviously, I did not write the books as a cautionary tale, but when you look at what is happening around the globe today, it is frightening to think that the world of Dark Tomorrow is not as far-fetched as some may think. Perhaps, if everyone were to read my books, they would understand what the worst-case scenario looks like, and they would be more willing to make the sacrifices required to halt this pandemic before we reach the point of no return.
Jeremiah Franklin is a former private investigator, arm-chair survivalist, and author of the Dark Tomorrow trilogy. When he is not creating thrilling post-apocalyptic worlds, or discussing himself in the third person, the author enjoys reading, staying active, and spending time outdoors with family and friends. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Education, and several other certifications that no one really cares about. He lives, writes, and plays in beautiful central Oregon, USA.
Visit Jeremiah’s website at: https://jeremiahfranklin.com/
Where to find Jeremiah online: Jeremiah on Facebook
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