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Tuesday 6 September 2016

ℚ♫ The Retreat: The After Trilogy [1] - Kelly St. Clare

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Retreat (, Kelly St. Clare, 282 pages), a Young Adult Science Fiction novel, book one of The After Trilogy series.

"superbly written" - Readers' Favorite ​

​"You know that feeling when you think you've already seen an author at the best and then you're WRONG?!? I do now." - YA Books Central ​

​"raw and excitingly new" - Taking it One Book at a Time ​

​ "part fantasy, part sci-fi, and all cosmic-chemistry" - Amy's Bookshelf Reviews

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Kelly St. Clare; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

To begin, Kelly has shared with us her music playlist for The Retreat - enjoy!

What was the inspiration for The Retreat?
"I find this so hard to answer because ideas just pop into my head at random. I was sitting on a bus halfway to Dublin in December 2014 when this story came to me.

In saying that, there were multitudes of quotes that helped the story develop in a certain direction; particularly quotes from David Attenborough and Stephen Hawking about global warming and human preservation. There were also other quotes about corruption, greed, and truth which helped shape this novel."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"So much! I am also a physiotherapist and this inevitably comes through when I injure characters and fix them again—even in the way the character’s body moves during an action scene. Personality wise, a great deal as well. I love to laugh, and have quite a dark sense of humor. I hate injustice and lies, find betrayal shocking, and think a life without friendship and love is no life at all. The Retreat is filled with all of the above."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for The Retreat - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I love this cover! It is full of foreboding which perfectly reflects the story. Tracey and her cat, Licorice, at Soxsational Cover Art put together the cover for me—and did an amazing job. I always have a strong picture of what the cover will involve and I describe this to the designer. With this particular book, I picked the cover art, too. I lack the ability to make things pretty, however. I’ll leave that to the professionals."
Why should we read The Retreat and The After Trilogy; what sets it apart from the rest?
"I love to write fantasy and science fiction for those readers who are put off the genre by overcomplicated worlds and information dumps which drag the story to a grinding half. The sci-fi genre can be inaccessible to the everyday reader, and I wanted to close that gap. I’m really happy with the result. For me, an unpredictable and emotionally-packed plot is essential, and I need to be tied to the fate of my characters. I want to run beside them. My writing is vivid and fast-paced. And if you would like to see a group of genetically enhanced space soldiers going through puberty at age 24 then this book is for you."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Retreat, its story and characters?
"Names always mean something in my novels. I choose them as though I were naming my firstborn. That’s all I can say on the matter because one name in particular holds a clue to the plot. Oh! And two of the minor characters in the novel, Officer Lawry and Officer Meaker, are named after my Australian friends."
Who would you recommend The Retreat to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would recommend it for 14 years and over, and for anyone with a young heart. For some reason people think the young adult genre is just for teens, and that isn’t true at all! AndILoveCliffhangers << You are forewarned."
If you could / wished to turn The Retreat and the The After Trilogy series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Uh-muh-gah, I love this question. Directed by Francis Lawrence. Atlas, my male lead would be played by Henry Cavill, or Alex Pettyfer (but they would need black hair and grey eyes), and after googling, Samara Weaving is a close resemblance to Romy, my female lead. As for location, it would be a mixture of space and Earth. As to where on Earth, I’ll leave you to find out."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I really jump around with fantasy sub-genres. This novel is “mostly” dystopian and science fiction, but there’s fantasy, action and adventure, and romance. I like novels that ‘have it all’. The love story, the character journey, and something unique to intrigue and test the reader. I tend to read mostly fantasy, but I side-step into contemporary on occasion. I’m a staff reviewer for YA Books Central, so I get all kinds of amazing books coming my way."
What is your writing process?
"I’m a first draft kind of gal. I’m like a rabid dog during it. And I tend to wing writing, much more than I plot. When I put pen to paper I am discovering the story for the first time.
v I usually write a few drafts before the manuscript is sent off to beta readers. Then do another draft with their notes in mind. Then send it to my content editor. Another draft after that. Then—four or five months from when I first started—the manuscript is sent to my copy editor, then another couple of proof readers. I like to be regimented in hours I work. But without a doubt, a dream will wake me up at 3am every so often. Keeps it interesting!"
What is in store next?
"The last novel in my bestselling series, The Tainted Accords, comes out October 10th. And then I have four novellas relating to that series coming out next year. There will be two sequels to The Retreat. The first sequel, The Return, will come out mid-2017 at this stage. The audiobooks for my first series are also under production. There’s always something happening, and that’s the way I like it."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"N’aaaw, sure. Alfie the Writer’s Rabbit is always up for a pic. He’s a bit of attention seeker, actually. Don’t tell him I said that, or he’ll eat through an important cable in revenge."
Hello Alfie! I believe you are our first guest Rabbit! Lovely to have you here - sending you lots of head scratches!!!
Thank you for sharing Alfie with us, Kelly, and we hope you are having a great tour!

The Retreat
Available NOW!

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