Today I have the pleasure of welcoming author Mikaela Everett to the blog to answer a few questions about her debut novel, The Unquiet. I've always been fascinated by the idea of parallel universes or duplicate worlds, so I got a little excited to bombard Mikaela with questions and poke around in her mind, and she was a good enough sport to let me:) I hope you guys enjoy the interview!
In The Unquiet, every person has a duplicate in another version of Earth. If you ever came face to face with a duplicate version of yourself, what’s the first thing you’d want to know about the life she’s lived?
Great question! I’d probably ask something deep and philosophical like “Are you happy?” I would also ask about the different turning points in my life - to see if she chose differently and how things worked out for her. And then smaller things like, did she keep playing the piano after fifth grade, and is she an expert pianist because of it? Did she also huddle in the corners of libraries reading books that were probably too advanced for her, and is she a book lover because of it? Is she a writer because of it? I’d want to know if we could recognize each other beyond our similar outward appearances - whether inside we’d be the same or different people.
The idea that someone could come in and steal your life without those closest to you even noticing is absolutely terrifying. What would Lirael say are the top three qualities that make the perfect sleeper soldier?
The ability to kill, the ability to hide your emotions, and the desire to stay alive at all costs.
If a friend came to you tomorrow talking about the existence of a duplicate Earth, how long would it take you to believe them?
Not long at all! I think all authors secretly believe that the worlds they create just might be real, somewhere well beyond their imaginations. And it’s not that hard with The Unquiet, given how little we know about space and what is out there.
What’s one small quirk or habit you have that would hopefully tip your family and friends off that your duplicate has taken over when she doesn’t exhibit it?
If my duplicate likes bananas, or is a cat person, those are dead giveaways!
If instead of a duplicate Earth there was realm after realm wherein the worlds of any and every piece of fiction existed, which realm would you most want to visit?
I don’t know that I’d last five minutes in either, but the worlds of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings seem like pretty good places to be. Like almost everybody else, I grew up in those worlds. And I wouldn’t just want to be a spectator in either. Wherever there’s a battle, count me in—wand or sword in hand! (Hence the “wouldn’t last five minutes” part).
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions Mikaela!
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For most of her life, Lirael has been training to kill—and replace—a duplicate version of herself on a parallel Earth. She is the perfect sleeper-soldier. But she’s beginning to suspect she is not a good person.
The two Earths are identical in almost every way. Two copies of every city, every building, even every person. But the people from the second Earth know something their duplicates do not—two versions of the same thing cannot exist. They—and their whole planet—are slowly disappearing. Lira has been trained mercilessly since childhood to learn everything she can about her duplicate, to be a ruthless sleeper-assassin who kills that other Lirael and steps seamlessly into her life.
An intricate, literary stand-alone from an astonishing new voice, The Unquiet takes us deep inside the psyche of a strong teenage heroine struggling with what she has been raised to be and who she really is. Fans of eerily futuristic and beautifully crafted stories such as Never Let Me Go, Orphan Black, and Fringe will find themselves haunted by this unsettling debut.
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Hi. I’m Mikaela. I write books for adults and young adults. My debut, a speculative novel called THE UNQUIET, will be released from Greenwillow/HarperCollins on September 22, 2015.