There’s just eight days until Reintegration is officially published.
In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some of the inspiration behind Reintegration. I love dystopian fiction and how powerful of a genre it can be (as I explained in this post). It can be used as a social commentary or moral warning while still being an exciting, will told story. There are three key factors that affected how I wrote Reintegration:
1) I wanted to write a book with a protagonist I could relate to.
If I’m totally honest, my protagonist (Katherine) is basically what I would be like if I lived in a dystopian society.
Most dystopian heroines (and most YA heroines in general) are rebellious, impulsive, tough, and completely independent. Which means I can’t relate to most YA heroines. I’m the furthest thing from “rebellious” you could imagine. I actually want there to be rules and structure. I like organization. If I’m going to break a rule, I need to 100% understand why it’s a good idea to break that rule. I’ve never understood fictional characters who constantly feel the need to break every single rule in existence just to make a point. Some people are like that–just not me. I wanted my novel to have a main character who dealt with living in an oppressive society in a way that felt genuine to how I would.
Katherine is someone who longs for deep-meaningful relationships. She cries sometimes. She tends to over-think things. She tries too hard to be perfect. She’s loyally devoted to the people she cares about. She wants to be an adult but isn’t sure she’s ready.
She’s a protagonist I hope a lot of teen readers will be able to relate to.
2) I wanted a premise that wasn’t super dark.
A lot of dystopian novels are ridiculously dark with tons of violence and a depressing ending. Serious moments and bittersweet endings are fine. But it’s easy to get bogged down in a lengthy novel where nothing goes right for the characters, it seems like literally everybody’s dying or becoming an anti-hero, and the cruel bad guys just keep doing cruel things.
Reintegration is a fairly serious book. Bad things happen. But I wanted to maintain an element of hope through it all. I think that’s what a lot of secular dystopian novels are missing. Hope. And “rebellions are built on hope.”
(Sorry, I couldn’t resist the Rogue One quote). 🙂
3) I wanted to start a dialogue about something I find disturbing about our culture and present a Biblical response to it.
In our 21st century American society, we’ve taken the idea of tolerance way too far. It’s reached a point where instead of “tolerance” meaning treating others with respect, it means that if you say someone else’s actions are wrong, then you must hate them. Moral absolutes are frowned upon. We live in a “if I think it’s right, who are you to say otherwise?” society.
I started to wonder what a society based sorely on this idea of tolerance would look like. And thus the premise of the Federation was born. In writing Reintegration, I explored what the Bible says about morality, the conscience, respecting human life, and freedom.
I hope that it gets people thinking about the “tolerance” issue and how it’s affecting our country. I hope it encourages people to search for a Biblical response like I did. Our culture is drifting further and further away from the values of Christianity, and that prompted the “what if…?” that would become Reintegration
I hope you’re excited for Reintegration….I certainly am!