Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Interview: Jessica Khoury + Kalahari


Today I'm pleased to welcome author Jessica Khoury to the blog to answer a few questions about Kalahari, the latest release in her Corpus Files series. Books like this where the characters are forced into a survival situation always fascinate me, particularly because I'm a solid 93% sure I wouldn't be alive for long under the same circumstances, so I like to live vicariously through those who fare better than I would. I hope you all enjoy the interview!

I’m not sure I’d be great in any type of survival situation (understatement), but I think a desert environment would be particularly brutal. What type of environment do you think would present the most challenges for you personally? 

I'd probably struggle most in the Arctic. I love snow, but I am such a baby about the cold! Plus, being from the South, I'd have no idea how to deal with it. I'd pretty much be useless. And dead. Very dead.

*Jenny nods along knowingly* Ditto.

If you were part of Sarah’s group stranded in the Kalahari, aside from a virus-carrying silver lion, what type of predator would you most fear having to face? 

Gotta go with Indiana Jones on this one and say–snakes! Even though most of the snakes were hibernating while I was in Botswana doing research for the book, I was still on the lookout for them 24/7. Some of the world's deadliest snakes live in the Kalahari! And you don't even see them until it's too late! Yikes!

What’s one thing about survival training writing Kalahari taught you that you didn’t know before it? 

There is so much! But maybe the most important thing is Don't panic. When you panic, you make stupid decisions, and stupid decisions get you killed. Taking a few moments to breathe and settle your thoughts and emotions before moving forward can be the difference between life and death.

If Sarah could reach out and pluck one character from any piece of YA fiction to be a part of her group, who might she think would best increase their chances of survival? 

What a great question! Probably Bennet from Tamara Ireland Stone's Time Between Us, because he could just teleport everyone to safety! Teleportation would be immensely handy–maybe Corpus should work on that more, instead of manufacturing deadly viruses that could wipe out humanity. Silly Corpus.

If instead of a full synopsis you could only print three words on the back of the book to entice readers to pick it up, what three words would you choose? 

"Safari from hell." Haha!

Thanks so much for stopping by Jessica!

• • • • • • • • • • • 

KALAHARI


Deep in the Kalahari Desert, a Corpus lab protects a dangerous secret…

But what happens when that secret takes on a life of its own?


When an educational safari goes wrong, five teens find themselves stranded in the Kalahari Desert without a guide. It’s up to Sarah, the daughter of zoologists, to keep them alive and lead them to safety, calling on survival know-how from years of growing up in remote and exotic locales. Battling dehydration, starvation and the pangs of first love, she does her best to hold it together, even as their circumstances grow increasingly desperate.

But soon a terrifying encounter makes Sarah question everything she’s ever known about the natural world. A silver lion, as though made of mercury, makes a vicious, unprovoked attack on the group. After a narrow escape, they uncover the chilling truth behind the lion’s silver sheen: a highly contagious and deadly virus that threatens to ravage the entire area—and eliminate life as they know it.

In this breathtaking new novel by the acclaimed author of Origin and Vitro, Sarah and the others must not only outrun the virus, but its creators, who will stop at nothing to wipe every trace of it.



• • • • • • • • • • • 

JESSICA KHOURY


Jessica Khoury wrote her first book at age 4, a fan fic sequel to Syd Hoff's Danny and the Dinosaur, which she scribbled on notebook paper, stapled together, and placed on the bookshelf of her preschool classroom. Since that day, she's dreamed of being an author.

When not writing, Jess enjoys spending time with family, playing video games, and traveling the world in search of stories and inspiration.

Jess currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina. She is the author of Origin, Vitro, and forthcoming Kalahari.

27 comments:

  1. Oh this books sounds different and intriguing with the different place and environment. Thanks for the interview! I didn't know about this one.

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    1. You're welcome! Glad you enjoyed it Melliane:)

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  2. Wow! This sounds like a really unique story. I will have to check this one out. And I agree about snakes…no way!! I would last probably a few hours. ha. Thanks for putting this one on my radar, Jenny, and for the great interview.

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    1. A couple hours might even be a bit generous for me. I'd probably be instantly bitten by a snake or stabbed by something poisonous. *sigh*

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  3. I've been excited about this book for a while now, Jenny!
    Love this interview. I have to agree with you on both the cold and the snakes questions. Especially the snakes answer. Eww is all and I can't even stand looking at pictures of them.
    Thanks for sharing, Jenny!

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    1. I remember your WoW with this one Nick! I'm excited to see what you think:)

      I'm surprisingly okay with snakes. Of course I say that from the comfort of my snake-free environment. If I ever stumbled across one I'd likely panic:)

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  4. Ah yes snakes (and spiders!) terrify me! They are so silent and sneaky!
    Wonderful interview Jenny!!

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    1. Spiders! *shudders* So much worse than snakes for me. They're so horrifying with all their legs and their eyes Ali! *dies*

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  5. It is so cool she actually went to do research and saw it all first hand! It will definitely come out in the book!!

    Lovely interview :)

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    1. So true! Glad you enjoyed it Christina:)

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  6. I've been backpacking lots of times, but I'm still not sure I'd be able to survive in the desert. Of course my husband loves Survivor Man, (the TV series) which I've watched snippets of while cooking dinner, so if he were along I'm sure we'd totally make it! Lol! Probably not. I think the Arctic would be worse for me too. I'm a complete baby when it comes to the cold. Great interview, ladies! The book sounds wonderful. :)

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    1. I might, MIGHT, make it if I had Bear Grylls along or this Survivor Man fellow you speak of. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to eat nasty things or drink my own pee to survive though ;-)

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  7. Snakes! *Shiver* I would not fare well in that situation either.

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    1. *high five* At least we'd all go down together:)

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  8. What a fantastic interview Jenny and Jessica!
    And I agree, I'd suck at surviving anywhere in extreme conditions, but I'm not sure what would be worse, desert or the frozen cold?? Dead anyways!

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    1. I'm not sure what would be worse either Pili. I think I'd die pretty fast regardless, either from hypothermia or dehydration. ;-)

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  9. The Safari from hell.... I am interested for sure. I totally agree about the snakes. Snakes give me the heebie jeebies! I wouldn't want to be anywhere the big ones slither.

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    1. I'm okay with snakes from a distance. Unless they're anaconda size, in which case I would make like those fainting goats and pass out from fear.

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  10. (Jenny, you live in the Midwest. That's cold central this year! "Nods knowingly" indeed.) Safari from hell sounds like fun to read but not experience IRL.

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    1. I KNOW, MARY!!! I'm currently surviving in a cold and barren land, but I do have a house and heat and food. So there's that ;-)

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  11. I'm not a fan of the cold either, but I think I'd fair better in it than the desert because I have 0 experience with the latter while as I have to deal with the former at least 4 months of the year.

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    1. You make a good argument Carmel. I would have no idea how to find water in the desert.

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  12. First I was like I would not want a cold environment..then ya'll mentioned snakes and darn it..I want an American summer environment..lol

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    1. Exactly. I'd even settle for spring or fall at this point:)

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  13. wow lovely interview, I really love reading interview :)

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  14. Safari from hell - I love it! I'm really enjoying all of Khoury's books. They are so freaky. I'm also totally hopeless in cold weather. I have been spoiled by California weather and now I'm a huge wimp when it comes to seasons. :-) Lovely interview!

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  15. I'm excited to for Khoury's next book, the Aladdin retelling.

    And I'd be terrified of snakes too. I've heard the supposedly useful rhyme about "red on yellow" and "red on black," but I can never remember which is which, so I'd surely end up incapacitated.

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