Title: The Breeding Tree
Author: J. Andersen
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Is the opportunity to create the next generation of life a dream come true or a deadly nightmare? When seventeen year old Katherine Dennard is selected to become a "Creation Specialist" in Sector 4, the opportunity sounds like a dream come true. But Kate soon discovers the darker side of her profession - the disposal of fetal organs and destruction of human life. It makes sense, really. In a society where disease and malformations don t exist, human perfection demands that no genetic "mutants" be allowed to live. For Sector 4, "survival of the fittest" is not just a theory - it's The Institute's main mission. When Kate discovers that The Institute is using her DNA to create new life, her work gets personal. In order to save her unviable son, she'll have to trust Micah and his band of underground Natural Born Rebels. The problem is, if The Institute discovers her betrayal, the next body being disposed of could be hers.
Extra Info: Purchase The Breeding Tree at Amazon. Learn more about the book on Goodreads.
Author Bio: There’s not much to do growing up in a small town in Western, NY, so J. Andersen wrote stories and won high school writing contests. But in college her writing was limited to term papers. While teaching middle school she began to read young adult books and got serious about writing. She now writes full time, volunteers at the town library, helps to run a School of the Arts at her church, and sings in the church band. She enjoys good coffee—read: home roasted by her husband—crafts, baking, and chasing after her children. You’ll rarely see J. without a book in her hands, and that’s the way she’d like to keep it.
Author Links: Author Website; Twitter; Facebook and Instagram.
Author Interview - The Story:
1. Some people would say you left THE BREEDING TREE on a cliff hanger. Why did you do that?
Well, I have to disagree a little. I like to find ways to wrap up the conflict but still allow the reader to make assumptions and fill in the blanks. So some may say, “You left me hanging.” But I’d respond that the resolution did in fact resolve the conflict. It might not be resolved in the way some readers want or anticipate, but that’s okay. I want the reader to fill in and predict what happens behind the scenes. It allows for you, the reader, to be creative. I’ve given you all the creativity I have for the moment. Now it’s your turn. =) I remember when Allegiant, the third in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth came out. People went nuts over her ending. They gave the book poor reviews. Personally, I loved it. It resolved the conflict and did justice to the characters and their goals. That’s what makes a good story in my opinion.
2. How do you develop the personality of the characters?
This is a tough question. It’s like asking how we influence the personalities of our children. In some ways we can shape who they are. We help them make choices. We teach them right from wrong. But in others, they are who they are. When it comes to my kids, I have a very introverted son who is crazy about electronics and taking things apart and putting them back together. My middle daughter is my organizer. She’s a little mother who loves to plan activities. My youngest is a ball of energy. She never stops. Did I make them that way? No. They just are. When I create characters, it’s similar. In some ways they just are who they are. A writer really discovers who his or her characters are by putting them in difficult situations. And, let me tell you: sometimes we’re surprised at their reactions. We can make them behave a certain way, but occasionally, they do something unexpected. In THE BREEDING TREE, I loved how Jaxon turned out. As I would write him, dialogue that fit him would surface in my head. Most of the time I didn’t know how to fit that dialogue in, so I’d jot it on a sticky note and wait for the perfect time to use it. In the second and third books, Saul surprised me. He’s a fairly minor character in the first book, but he kept calling to me. He wanted his story told. By the end, he became my favorite character.
3. Which characters are your favorite? Well, I guess I gave that one away in the previous question. Jaxon is definitely my favorite. He made me laugh every time I’d write him. My brother, Matt gave me lots of fodder for Jaxon. There are several one-liners that are straight out of my brother’s mouth. Saul was not my favorite in THE BREEDING TREE, but became so in the later books. Obviously, I can’t go into detail about that until those books come out! =)
4. Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
I have no idea! Well, that’s not entirely true. I’m pretty sure my mind is a little twisted, so strange stories just come to me, but the full answer to that question is God. I finish one story and pray until God gives me another to write. With my first novel, I didn’t want to write it. I even told God that he could pick someone else because I was unqualified. But in the end, he chose me and gave me what I needed to finish. I believe the same is true of any story I write. There’s an element of who I am engrained in every story I write. It’s something we can’t get away from. Yes, authors try not to intrude on the story or the characters, but in some way, we’re in there. You just have to find us.
Huge thank you to J. Andersen for personally asking me to participate in this book tour! The Breeding Tree has been officially added to my to-read list. =)