Every society has a dark underbelly. Some are darker than others. And some are so utterly dark, they rot the very cultural and political fabric from the inside out.
It's not too much of a spoiler to say that the world imagined in my debut YA novel SOME FINE DAY is a pretty rough place. Massive, permanent superstorms stalk the planet's surface, and the last remnants of civilization had no choice but to relocate deep underground. This idea was partly inspired by H.G. Wells' Time Machine, in which he imagines a distant future inhabited by two species: the crude, violent troglodytes called Morlocks, and the innocent, indolent Eloi. So many story ideas start with a musing "what if," and here was mine: What if it were the other way around? What if the technologically advanced race lived deep in the Earth, while the primitives were left to fend for themselves on the surface?
Anyway, back to dark sides, and there's plenty to go around. One is that a lot of people were abandoned to die by this downward exodus. So many that it boggles the mind; much easier not to think or talk about it at all, to pretend that most of those people never even existed.
My protagonist, Jansin Nordqvist, grew up in the warren of underground tunnels known as Raven Rock. She's steeped in her government's revisionist history and never really questioned it. Why would she? In fact, she's spent the last eight years of her life training at the elite Academy, which is basically propaganda central.
And then…she meets someone who upends everything she knows about good and evil, right and wrong, what humanity has been reduced to and what it could be.
Is it perhaps a boy, gorgeous, smart and decent, but with some pretty major deep, dark secrets of his own?
I really can't say, because that would be a spoiler.
What I can say is that Jansin wears her own dark side like a badge. She calculates what needs to be done. Then she does it. And, sixteen-year-old, five-foot-two lethal weapon that she is, Jan generally does it well. In her world, there's no room for self-doubt or moral qualms. It's you or them. But here's the thing about Jansin. Her heart's not entirely in it. Her deepest, darkest secret, one she hasn't even admitted to herself, is that she yearns for another life, for love and laughter and freedom, for the warmth of the sun on her face.
Now she and this theoretical boy are pretty different. He's a healer, she's a fighter. They start off like cats in a sack, and it just gets worse from there. But underneath, they're a lot more alike than either would care to admit. They're also both damaged. And proud. And obstinate.
And running for their lives.
Well, there's a whole boatload more of darkly delicious plot twists and shocking revelations, but I'm out of space. And besides, it would be WRONG to give any of them away. Let's just say you'll have to take my hand and tumble into the rabbit hole if you want to know what happens next…
To find out more about Kat Ross and her debut novel SOME FINE DAY, visit her at katrossbooks.com.