We are incredibly excited to share an interview with you from the author of THE ONES! But first, a bit about the book!The Ones by Daniel Sweren-Becker
(Twitter, Goodreads)Published by Macmillan on September 6th 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, General, Science Fiction, Thrillers & Suspense, Young Adult
Cody has always been proud of being a One. She and her boyfriend James were two of the lucky babies from the 1% of the U.S. population that were randomly selected to benefit from genetic engineering. Now, she and the rest of The Ones are excelling. They are healthy, beautiful, and talented. They aren't otherworldly, just perfect. And to some, that's not fair. The Equality Movement, capitalizing on the growing fear and jealousy, gains political traction and actually outlaws their existence. Society shows its darker side as The Ones are marginalized. The line between right and wrong blurs in the face of injustice and Cody becomes closer to a group of radical Ones intent on fighting back. James begins to fear just how far she is willing to go for the cause.
Describe The Ones in 5 words.
Genetic Engineering, fair or foul?
How did the idea for The Ones come about…was it an idea, a character that invaded your brain, or something else entirely?
I read an article about genetic engineering that mentioned how every country has different rules. That’s crazy, right? Immediately I wanted to tell a story about the dilemma that this technology is going create in our lifetime. It is clearly going to have amazing benefits, but will that be worth the inequality that comes with it?
Were there any scenes that had to be cut in the editing process that you wish would have made it into the final print?
I honestly can’t remember. The weird thing about writing a book, for me at least, is how important you think everything is in each draft. When your editor wants you to change something, you think it will ruin the book. And then the next draft gets done and you can hardly remember the “essential” thing that got removed. If only I could remember that…
Did any of your characters surprise you by doing something you didn’t expect?
For sure. I think that James has the most surprising arc. The decisions he makes at the end of the book, not just with his actions, but with his emotional choices in regard to his family, really surprised me. I never imagined he would end up being that brave.
No spoilers but if you had to pick only one, what would you say was your favorite scene to write in The Ones?
The last one, of course! It meant I was unshackled from my desk and free to see the sky again! But my second favorite was the moment that Cody finds out the crucial secret about her identity. When I was writing that scene I could feel all the energy for the rest of story and the other characters come together and ignite – it really shot me forward in a thrilling way.
Do you have any writing habits or are there any odd things that you need in order to sit down and write?
I have a kind of beneficial procrastinating habit in that I’d rather clean my entire house before I start writing. Other weird habits: I need to use an external mouse for my laptop; need to have a bouncy ball to throw against the wall; need to know what I am eating for lunch.
What books have you recently read or are you currently reading?
A recent YA book that I really enjoyed was Denton Little’s Deathdate, by Lance Rubin. It is a great dark comedy with some cool conspiracy elements too. Right now I’m in the middle of Barbarian Days, by William Finnegan. Pretty fun to live vicariously through his crazy surfing stories.
What are you working on now?
I am about to finish the sequel to The Ones, which will be out next fall. I’ve been walking around dying to tell everyone what happens to these characters, but I guess I should probably let them read for themselves. And as soon as I’m done, I’ve got another YA series ready to be written – I can’t wait to get started because the protagonist in this story is in a position that I feel like is truly impossible to handle. It should make for some fun writing.
Favorite Song (right now) — Fool for Love, by Lord Huron
Favorite Book (right now) — Lonesome Dove (now and always)
Favorite TV Show/Movie — Veep
Favorite Word — Gallivant
Favorite Color — Blue
Favorite Curse Word – Asshat
This or That
Coffee or Tea – Tea, as in iced, as in Snapple
E-books or Real Books – Real, forever.
Cake or Pie – Pie, blueberry, a la mode
Dogs or Cats – Dogs, big ones
Tattoos or No Tattoos – None, so far
Beer or Wine – Beer, cold.