Sunday, April 27, 2014

{Tour Stop} EXPIRATION DAY by William Campbell Powell—Author Interview + Giveaway

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Expiration Day
by William Campbell Powell

What happens when you turn eighteen and there are no more tomorrows? It is the year 2049, and humanity is on the brink of extinction….

Tania Deeley has always been told that she’s a rarity: a human child in a world where most children are sophisticated androids manufactured by Oxted Corporation. When a decline in global fertility ensued, it was the creation of these near-perfect human copies called teknoids that helped to prevent the utter collapse of society.

Though she has always been aware of the existence of teknoids, it is not until her first day at The Lady Maud High School for Girls that Tania realizes that her best friend, Siân, may be one. Returning home from the summer holiday, she is shocked by how much Siân has changed. Is it possible that these changes were engineered by Oxted? And if Siân could be a teknoid, how many others in Tania’s life are not real?

Driven by the need to understand what sets teknoids apart from their human counterparts, Tania begins to seek answers. But time is running out. For everyone knows that on their eighteenth “birthdays,” teknoids must be returned to Oxted—never to be heard from again.

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Age Group/Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
 Publisher: Tor Teen/Macmillan
Purchase: Amazon • B&NKobo • iBooks • Book Depo

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with William Campbell Powell


LM: What was your inspiration for writing Expiration Day?

William: The idea came to me in 2006, a couple of days before my birthday, and I pictured a little girl on her 11th birthday, starting a diary, in the last days of mankind (because there are no more children being born). Yet my picture was a quiet domestic scene, in a vicarage, in a Buckinghamshire village, not unlike my own. Why so peaceful? – surely there should be riots. So I decided that robots (androids) were being used as substitutes, to sublimate the urge for family. *** Spoiler Alert *** From there, I made the step to the protagonist being a robot, but not realising it. I realised she would have to discover the truth, about herself, about the impending end of society.

LM: Why did you decide to go futuristic with the plot/theme?

William: There’s a creepiness you get if everything looks familiar, but is subtly, scarily different. Forty-five years on, and yet there’s almost no improvement in the tech – Tania’s phone has a holographic keyboard, for example – but mostly her society is frozen, looking backwards to happier times. In 2049 innovation is channelled solely into improving robot technology and solving the fertility problem. Bright inventors just aren’t allowed to discover anti-gravity – their brains are needed to save humanity.

LM: Describe your main character, Tania, in just three words!

William: Bassist, actress, poet.

LM: Do you listen to music while you write? Any particular song/artist that inspired you while writing Expiration Day?

William: I can listen to music, or I can write, but not both – I need silence to write. But music does inspire the writing process beforehand, and I drew heavily on my own likes for Tania. For anyone who hasn’t guessed, I’ve played bass since I was eighteen, so her idols are very much my idols – John Entwistle of The Who, Kenny Gradney of Little Feat.

But then I listened to Tania, what she liked; she moved beyond what I knew, and led me to listen to some fabulous female bass players, such as Sara Lee and her favourite, Tal Wilkenfeld, a phenomenally talented jazz player from Australia. Without Tania to guide me, I’d have never heard their playing.

LM: Is there a message or moral you'd like readers to take away from Expiration Day?

William: I don’t think Expiration Day is particularly a “message” book. It has a theme – to explore the idea of humanity, and at one level the answer it proposes is that humans create, humans feel, humans look for choices.

At another level, it’s a robot story, and most robot stories hold up a mirror to ourselves – the question about who is human and who is not is an old one, going back to the days of the slave trade, through the civil rights movements and is still a live issue today. It’s why I picked the Merchant of Venice as the play for Tania, because in a modern world it shows us the ugliness of discrimination.

Shylock’s great claim of humanity, of equality contains the unforgettable phrase “If you prick us, do we not bleed?”

One way or another, humans bleed, even metal ones.

LM: Tell us what you enjoy doing when you aren't writing!

William: Every writer also needs to be a reader, of course. And I love music in most of its forms, with the possible exception of the accordion and the organ fugue. So I sing tenor in a choir, play a bit of guitar. I play squash (like racketball) to keep fit, and, when the English weather permits, I ride a motorbike.

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William Campbell Powell was born in 1958 in Sheffield, but grew up in and around Birmingham. He was educated at King Edward’s School, Birmingham, and gained a scholarship to Clare College, Cambridge to study Natural Sciences. Leaving Clare College in 1980 with a BA in Computer Science, he entered the computer industry, which is where he has been ever since.

William has been writing since 2002, experimenting with various genres, but he is most at home with Science Fiction, Historical Fiction and fiction for Young Adults.

WEBSITE • GOODREADS • FACEBOOK

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Huge thanks to William Campbell Powell for being a guest here today!

Readers, please continue on for the giveaway! ~


*Must be 13+ years old to enter
*Open internationally

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Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Reading!

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