Welcome to Meet The Newbies, a co-hosted event from Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books and I, in which we introduce you to all of the new kids in school aka the 2015 debut authors.
Meet the Author:
Carol Riggs lives in the beautiful green state of Oregon, USA. She enjoys reading, drawing and painting, writing conferences, walking with her husband, and enjoying music and dance of all kinds. You will usually find her in her writing cave, surrounded by her dragon collection and the characters in her head.
Meet her debut novel:
Title: The Body Institute
Author: Carol Riggs
Genre: YA Scifi
Releases: September 1st, 2015 from Entangled Teen
Meet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute. Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body—leaving her client slimmer, more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches… For one, Morgan won’t remember what happens in her “Loaner” body. Once she’s done, she won’t recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the super-cute Reducer she’s been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Still, it’s all worth it in the name of science. Until the glitches start… Suddenly, residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan’s mind. She’s feeling less like herself and more like someone else. And when protests from an anti–Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she’ll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul…
Introducing Carol Riggs and her debut YA sci-fi novel, THE BODY INSTITUTE. This novel releases September 1, 2015, from Entangled Teen.
1. Who are you, Carol Riggs?
I’m a writer of young adult novels who loves to read as well as write books with a twist of WEIRD. Books with some strange magic or some unique plot that makes people go, “What?!” I started writing in high school, did more in college, and finally got around to writing seriously years later. I love dragons, and collect them. I adore music of all kinds, from rock to classical to Celtic to folk. Even opera (don’t gag, now).
2. What are some of the early books you wrote?
I wrote 14 novels before I wrote THE BODY INSTITUTE. Magical mazes. A strike of lightning zaps a girl into the 1960’s—into the body of someone she doesn’t like. Twin girls, separated at birth but accidentally dating the same guy one summer. A young girl, kidnapped as a child and forced to be a slave in a palace for a Rajah with 13 daughters. A teen girl who protects a Ferm—a rare creature whose eye color changes with its mood—and journeys to return it to its jungle home. Five classmates are transported at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve into an alternate dimension made up of each character’s dreams and nightmares.
3. What made you decide to write THE BODY INSTITUTE?
I was really fascinated by the thought of being able to swap bodies with someone, and see what it was like to experience her life. Like, if I were in someone else’s body, would I really BE that person?—or just look like her? I was also fascinated by appearance and weight, thinking I would have no problem losing weight for someone when she could not. Upon further thought, I realized maybe it wouldn’t be so easy. Thus, Morgan Dey and THE BODY INSTITUTE was born.
4. What is the book about?
Morgan is fit, athletic, and has no problem with weight. When she accepts a job as a Reducer to help another girl lose weight and she’s downloaded into that girl’s body, she discovers many eye-opening things about herself, as well as about body image and identity. It’s not as easy as she expected to live Jodine Kowalczyk’s life.
5. What is a random quirky fact about this novel?
The title! The original title when it was a mere fledgling idea was FARRADAY’S FAT FARM. (Bad, huh?) This morphed to EMRT in 2010 when I started actually writing the book. That acronym refers to the sci-fi tech in the book that makes brainmap swapping possible, Electro-Magnetic Resonance Transfer. However…EMRT didn’t make such a great title, so by the time I started looking for an agent, I’d changed it to SHAPERS. One editor suggested changing even that, and I wrote up a list of alternatives. THE BODY INSTITUTE was chosen.
6. If you were stranded on an island, what three items would you want with you?
First, a library full of YA books! Second, a way to have music—either a wind-up phonograph with old-fashioned vinyl records (since there’s no electricity) or an iPod with a magic battery that never runs out. Third, a set of pots and pans so I don’t have to eat fish and other seafood that is raw (ewww). I am assuming there’s food and fresh water, and it’s warm enough not to need a sleeping bag. I might sleep in the library so slithery things and bugs wouldn’t get me when I’m snoozing, though.
7. If you could be any character in YA, who would you want to be and why?
I would be Audra in LET THE SKY FALL by Shannon Messenger. She’s an air elemental who can walk and fly on the wind, sing to it and make it do what she wants, and even tell it to be a weapon if she needs it to be. Awesome!
8. What was your favorite thing about the first day of a new school year?
I usually dreaded the first day of school, since we moved around a lot and it was really awkward starting without friends in an unfamiliar place. I was shy! But I did always enjoy wearing brand new school clothes. It was like a fresh beginning, and I felt like I looked nice.
9. If you could give any advice to an aspiring writer what would it be?
Write, write, write. Never give up. Meet with other writers at conferences or online gatherings for support and encouragement. Learn to grow a thick skin and separate yourself from your writing when it comes time to share your work with the world.
10. Why do you love YA?
The teen years are an awesome time of discovery, emotion, and potential. The romance is honest yet complex, because it often deals with first loves or crushes. YA involves taking risks and challenging one’s self. It’s a vulnerable yet thrilling stage of life. Anything can happen.
11. Do you have any new books in the works?
Other #MeetTheNewbs Posts & Giveaways:
Remember to mark down on your calendar that July 24th @ 9pm EST the second Meet The Newbies twitter chat is taking place using the hashtag #MTN2015