Inequality is a science. Giant machines maintain order. All people are not created equal. Daniela Machado is offered a chance to escape the deprivation of Bronx City through a coveted slot at the elite Tuck School. There, among the highborn of Manhattan, she discovers an unimaginable world of splendor and greed. But her opportunity is part of a darker plan, and Daniela soon learns that those at society’s apex will stop at nothing to keep power for themselves. She may have a chance to change the world, if it doesn’t change her first. Age of Order is a novel that explores the meaning of merit and inequality. Fans of the Hunger Games, Red Rising, and Divergent will enjoy this world of deception and intrigue, where the downtrodden must fight for a better future.
Julian North, has joined me today to chat about the fight for the better future that ensues in his novel of ‘Age of Order’. Julian, thank you for setting a little bit of your time aside today delve into the depths of a dystopian New York City. What were the original wisps of ideas that formed the basis of ‘Age of Order’ and how did they unfurl in your mind?
Age of Order was inspired by my experiences trying to get my young children into school in our adopted home of New York City. As my frustrations grew, I would write my emotions down each night. That eventually grew in dialogue, then characters, then the novel itself.
So, the novel was largely based on your own first experiences?
Yes, I live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where much of the book takes place. While it is set in a dystopian future, many of the places were inspired by actual locations. Living my life was much of the research.
Combining research and living is so handy. Because your book is so tied up with your own experiences, did you find that it was easy to communicate any particular poignant plot point?
I tried to keep my own voice out of it. The reader will see a world that could easily be our own. They may be disturbed by it, perhaps not. It’s one vision of the path we are on. I tried not to make judgments or give easy answers.
As you didn’t give away easy answers, do you feel that you had raised all of the points you wanted to in this novel, or were there unaddressed points that you felt needed to the raised in a sequel? That’s really just a sneaky way of asking, what are you working on next?
I’m about half way through the next book in the Age of Order series, although its final fate will be up the readers. This is my first novel, and I’m anxious to hear from people beyond my beta and ARC readers. I’m also itching to write a fantasy novel…
As this was your first book how did you approach writing as a book-writing novice? Did you know where you were going when you started?
I generally know how the book will end, and I have an idea of what I’m going to write 2-3 chapters ahead. About half way through the book, I’ve spent so much time thinking about it, something *clicks* and I see the path to get me to the end I envisioned. Everything is easier after that. I call it “writing downhill”.
Just add some skis and you’ve got hours of fun! After you finished the downhill slalom you would have tackled the mountain of self-publishing? What have you learnt about the self-publishing process so far?
I’m going to go hopeful, rather than cynical here. So here it is: be patient. If you are expecting overnight success, you’ll likely end up disappointed. And that’s is a good thing. Take Pierce Brown. I believe he said he wrote seven (7!) books before Red Rising. Writing improves your writing. As I tell my kids: success doesn’t really teach you anything.
Thank you for emphasising patience! The most successful authors I’ve chatted to all have that patience and stamina to hold on and that is really what makes all of the difference. I’m sure you will go far as you’ve already recognised its importance. Now we’ve crossed the threshold to our quick fire round, where impatience and stamina combine to see our author of the day parry back answers from my volley of questions. Let’s start with a simple one: What is your best tip for authors?
Listen to yourself, not me or anyone else
Are you a valuable asset on a quiz team?
Only if it’s about pop sci-fi.
Awesome! I shall add you to the list for my next pop sci-fi quiz adventure. What is your favourite quote of all time?
“I was forged in the bowels of this hard world. Sharpened by hate. Strengthened by love.” Pierce Brown, Red Rising
If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you love to see in the world?
Horse-dog. It’s perfect–transport and a pet. I’ve been pitching this for years.
If it is super cute, cuddly and will get me from place to place sign me up for one too! And for our final question today, what is your favourite word?
*Laughs* Ahhh, the wisdom of the ever underestimated Homer Simpson. Julian, I appreciate your time today and I wish you the best of luck for your new adventure in the world of self-publishing. May it work out to be everything you ever wished for.
Want to find out more about Julian North? Connect here!