A.M. Rose is the author of Road to Eugenica, and writer of young adult novels of all genres as long as they have a hint of romance, the drinker of too much coffee (with way too much coconut creamer), and lover of all carbohydrates. Currently, she lives in Houston, TX with her three boys (yes, her husband is in that count) and three cats. When she isn’t writing about swoony boys or ways for her MC to get into trouble, she is an avid reader, critiquer, (is that even a word?) and trampoline enthusiast. A.M. Rose is a graduate from San Diego State University with a BA in Communication and a minor in underwater basket weaving. (Okay, maybe not the basket weaving part.)
Thank you so much for sharing your book with me and agreeing to do a Q&A for my readers.
Thanks so much for having me. And I’m so glad you enjoyed the book.
Give us a quick summary of your new novel.
Road to Eugenica is an action packed story about a girl who’s created in another dimension on Earth—Eugencia. She’s desperately trying to uncover the origin of her super-human abilities while being hunted for those very traits. Luckily, her best friend (and secret crush) Dylan is there to help. Or at least that’s the super-basic gist.
What was your process as your wrote Road To Eugenica and worked to get it published?
Actually, Road to Eugenica was the first novel I ever wrote. It started as something I was doing for my niece. (Who was so upset after finishing one of her favorite YA series.) I had told her I’d write her a book, and while doing it I learned how much I enjoyed it, writing that is.
When I finished, I did what a lot of newbie writers do and started querying. It wasn’t ready. And of course nothing happened. So I ended up putting it in a drawer and writing a completely different project. But Road to Eugenica kept calling to me.
A few months later, I pulled it back out and rewrote the entire manuscript from start to finish on a blank page. And this time I had an amazing critique group to help me. After quite a few rounds of edits, I submitted it to the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book contest and ended up taking first place. At that conference I met an Entangled editor who asked for a full and the rest is history.
How long did it take you to get this book published, from its initial conception to the release date?
I wrote this book a few years ago, abandoned it and came back. So all in all it’s been about a four year processes to get it published.
What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in completing your book?
Nothing about getting a book published is easy, but I think the biggest hurdle has to be my own self-doubt. Growing up I had a person in my life who would always tell me I wasn’t smart enough, I wasn’t good enough, and for the longest time I believed them. I stopped trying, because I thought, what’s the point? They’re right.
Luckily, as time has gone on I’ve been able to quiet that voice. Maybe it’s because I no longer live near this person, or maybe it’s because I no longer take as much stock in their opinion. Whatever the reason, I was able to write a book and put myself out there. But I still struggle with those insecure feelings. Putting your art out for the world to judge is one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. But I’ve done it. And for that I’m proud, even if I’m not always so confident about it.
What other books and authors inspire you?
This is a really tough question. There are so many incredible books, and amazing authors out there. Like the book, The Awesome by Eva Darrows, that made me laugh my butt off. Or The Fault in Our Stars by John Green that had me balling my eyes out with a box of tissue in my lap. Books like those made me want to be able to do that. To make someone laugh or cry. To make them feel something from the words I put on the page.
Then there are authors like E. Lockhart, Jennifer Mathieu, and Courtney Summers who are masters of voice. Each one of their books (as they’ve all written multiple) have very unique voices. It feels like the characters are telling their stories, not a skilled author.
Cassandra Clare is an incredible world builder. When I read The Mortal Instruments series I could picture every moment, every scene.
In Road To Eugenica, Drea find out she has a plethora of skills she never knew about, including surfing, speaking a foreign language and playing Lacrosse. If you could pick up anything and be perfect at it, what would it be?
This is easy. If I could I’d be able to speak at least one language (other than English) fluently. For years I’ve tried to learn how to speak Spanish, and I can understand a little, and know a few phrases, but I don’t truly understand it. When I was in college there was a time I wanted to get my master’s degree in international communication and go study abroad in Spain for a while. Alas the universe had different ideas in mind for me. But I always think that would’ve been such an amazing experience.
Your three main characters are really different, which do you relate to most?
There’s a picture that hangs in my living room of when I was (a lot) younger, and I’m holding this beautiful little ginger haired baby girl. Now I wasn’t ready to have kids of my own, but ever since that picture was taken I’ve been there to watch that baby grow into a beautiful, intelligent young woman. And it’s this girl, who became the inspiration for my character Drea. So maybe this question is a little unfair, because I know my niece inside and out, kind of like how I know Drea.
What inspired you to write a multi-dimensional Science-Fiction novel? Have you always been interested in this genre?
I always knew who the main character of this novel was going to be, but I had to ask myself, “What is her story? How is she different from other characters with super human abilities?” And that’s where I came up with this idea of her being from another dimension. I wanted her to be from a similar world, yet vastly different. Eugenica was founded on the belief that intelligence and the protection of the environment are the most important things. Which I think is a very important narrative to have. Humans have slowly been destroying our planet, and if we don’t stop and do something about it soon there’ll be dangerous consequences. While Road to Eugenica doesn’t preach on this topic it’s an underlying theme and one I’ve been invested in for a long time.
Where did the inspiration for the world of Eugenica come from?
I touched upon this in the last question, but when you really drill down to it, the true inspiration came from an ad I saw for an Electric Company. It was supposed to be “The Home of the Future,” so I thought, why not make “the future” now? Why not have a world that far exceeds where we are in technology? And what would that look like? From that Eugenica was born.
What is the first book that made you cry?
Yikes. The first book? I’m not sure I can remember that far back. But most recently I read the book We Are Okay by Nina LaCour and holy hell did that book make me ugly cry in the best way possible.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
This is easy. Researching things online is my total Kryptonite. I’ll start with a simple question, like “How many players are on the field at one time in a Lacrosse game?” And from there it just spirals and soon I’m looking at French onion soup recipes and it’s three hours later.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers looking to publish their first novel?
My advice is, find your people. Meaning get yourself a few critique partners, people who write in your genre and age group, that are better skilled in your weakest areas, people you trust and who want to help you become a better writer. Having your mom who’s an English professor is great and all, but getting a third party unbiased upon is what’s going to make your work stronger. You might not find the right fit right away, but that doesn’t mean you give up. I started my own online YA critique group and those are my people. They make me better. And I love every one of them.
What is your favorite book to recommend to others?
Today my answer is going to be, Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer. It came out a few years ago, but it’s this incredible story that will keep you guessing until the very end. By far one of my all-time favorite books.
I have a lot of favorite books so it’s really hard for me to pick just one.
Thanks again to A.M. Rose and Entangled Publishing for sharing Road To Eugenica. The book is available for purchase TODAY so head over to Amazon or Barnes and Noble to order a copy. You can see my full review of the book here.
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