Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Stricken by C.K. Kelly Martin. This tour is being hosted by Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours. I will have a guest post and giveaway!
C.K. Kelly Martin
Naomi doesn’t expect anything unusual from her annual family trip to visit her grandparents in Ireland. What she expects is to celebrate her thirteenth birthday, hang out with her friends Ciara and Shehan, and deal with her gran’s Alzheimer’s. What she finds is a country hit by an unexpected virus that rapidly infects the majority of the Irish population over the age of twenty-one.
Amnestic-Delirium Syndrome (ADS) starts off with memory loss, but the virus soon turns its victims aggravated, blank, or violent. Naomi and her friends must survive on their own, without lucid adults, cut off from the rest of the world, until a cure is found.
But there are whispers that ADS is not terrestrial, and soon Naomi and her friends learn the frightening truth: we are not alone.
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Stricken is my first middle grade book. I’ve written several contemporary young adult novels (including I Know It’s Over and Delicate), one ‘new adult’ book and a sci-fi eco-thriller duology. But Stricken is the first novel I’ve written about kids not yet in high school and frankly, as soon as I started into it, I wondered why I’d waited so long.
When I was twelve going on thirteen like Stricken main character Naomi, there was nothing I loved more than books about things that go bump the night. Monsters, ghosts, aliens. You name it, I loved them all back then, and I still do. That form you can’t quite out make out in the shadows but that sends a cold chill up your back. The tightness in your throat when a door is opened and you don’t know who or what you’ll find standing there. The feeling that you’ll never be able to outrun what’s coming for you, but you know you have to try anyway.
Don’t go into the basement alone. Don’t suddenly grow two left feet when you’re sprinting for your life. Don’t scream and let the creepy thing(s) know exactly where you’re hiding. I don’t want to look when any of these dreaded things happen in a creepy story! And then I do look. Because not looking is worse—the imagination runs wild. Besides, if you’re not looking how will you know what happens next?
There’s definitely a creepy factor in Stricken (I don’t want to say too much about it and ruin the fun) that Naomi and her friends have to deal with even beyond the premise that a memory virus plague not-so-gradually infects everyone over the age of twenty-one. As for the virus, it means Naomi and her friends are left to handle daily life alone. Only of course they’re not alone; they have each other, and aside from the bump in the night factor, the thing I like best about this novel is the friendships. Steven King hit a societal nerve with this now famous Stand By Me quote: “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?”
There’s something very special and pure about tween-age friendships. In Stricken the degree to which Naomi and her friends must rely on each other brings them even closer. At an age when none of them are old enough to have a learner’s driver permits, Naomi, Shehan and Ciara are forced to deal with things that even the wisest adults would have trouble with. They even manage to have some fun along the way. My twelve going on thirteen-year-old self would approve.
About the Author:
Long before I was an author I was a fan of books about Winnie the Pooh, Babar, Madeline, Anne Shirley and anything by Judy Blume. Throughout high school my favourite class was English. No surprise, then, that most of my time spent at York University in Toronto was as an English major—not the traditional way to graduate with a B.A. (Hons) in film studies but a fine way to get a general arts education.
After getting my film studies degree I headed for Dublin, Ireland and spent the majority of the nineties there in forgettable jobs meeting unforgettable people and enjoying the buzz. I always believed I’d get around to writing in earnest eventually, and I began writing my first novel in a flat in Dublin and finished it in a Toronto suburb. By then I’d discovered that fiction about young people felt the freshest and most exciting to me. You have most of your life to be an adult but you only grow up once.
Currently residing near Toronto with my Dub husband, I’m an aunt to twenty-one nieces and nephews, and a great-aunt to two great-nephews. I became an Irish citizen in 2001 and continue to visit Dublin as often as I can while working on novels about young people.
My first young adult book, I Know It’s Over, came out with Random House in September 2008, and was followed by One Lonely Degree, The Lighter Side of Life and Death, My Beating Teenage Heart and sci-fi thriller Yesterday. I released Yesterday’s sequel, Tomorrow, in 2013 and put out my first adult novel, Come See About Me, as an ebook in June 2012. My most recent contemporary YA books, The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing and Delicate, were published by Cormorant Books’ Dancing Cat Books imprint in 2014 and 2015.
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signed copy of book (international)
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