YAPC would like to welcome Hubert Wiest to the blog today. He is here to share some info, answer some of our questions, and share an excerpt of his book The Shadowsurfers. If this looks like something you would like to read, please go get a copy!
YAPC: If someone else wrote a blurb about your book what would it say?
Hubert: In a world with no more privacy – fourteen year old Sansibar agrees to support society with her every thought. She only wants to keep the few memories of her vanished mother, but secrets are against the rules.
A teenage novel set in a future world, which may not be too far away from our present.
YAPC: When did you begin writing?
Hubert: I started writing detective stories, when I was about ten years old. Some years later I wrote screenplays for science fiction movies, which were never produced.
YAPC: Aside from writing, what do you enjoy doing on your spare time?
Hubert: I love spending time with my family and our rescue dogs, Pepsi and Cola. During my personal spare time I go sea kayaking. I enjoy the challenge of wind, salt water, sun and rain.
YAPC: Do you read reviews written about your book?
Hubert: Yes, I am very much interested in the readers’ opinions.
YAPC: Do you listen to music while writing?
Hubert: No, I can’t. Music distracts me from writing.
YAPC: Do you write at a laptop/desktop or do you write freehand?
Hubert: I can only write on my computer. I need to constantly change and edit my text. Meanwhile my handwriting is so weak that I probably can’t even write a postcard.
YAPC: What’s the hardest part of writing a book?
Hubert: Editing the first draft. You think you have finished the story, but there is still a long way to go.
YAPC: What’s your favorite part of writing a book?
Hubert: Writing the manuscript along the story line. This is the time when you can be creative and watch your characters develop, which is sometimes different than you had initially planned.
YAPC: Did you do any research before start or during of the writing of the books?
Hubert: I am too lazy to do lots of research. I prefer creating my own worlds. It would be a hardship for me to write an 800 page historical novel.
YAPC: Where do you get your inspiration?
Hubert: I get my inspiration when I sit down and write. The empty page on the computer monitor is my driving force.
YAPC: How many books do you read/month?
Hubert: Just one or two, because I only find time to read during evening hours.
YAPC: How can readers stay in touch?
Hubert: I enjoy being in touch with my readers and try to answer every e-mail. You can contact me under [email protected] or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RadioLomoco
YAPC: Morning person or night owl?
Hubert: It changed over the last ten years. I was a night owl back then, but now I am a dedicated morning person.
YAPC: What projects are you currently working on right now? Would you mind sharing them with us?
Hubert: My next project is a YA dystopian novel set in a polluted mega city. People live under a protective dome, but there is not enough space for all. 17 year old Kalana Zookie is one of those forced to move out to the polluted industrial zones, while her best friend is allowed to stay inside the dome.
A forbidden city of shadows
A murky memory might be the key to everything
After years of a dysfunctional society, technology and humanity have united to create society’s collective consciousness. All thoughts, memories and secrets are recorded by Computerized Human Accomplishment for the betterment of society. This is the Golden Crystal Era.
Young Sanzibar cannot wait to take her Crystal Exam on her fifteenth birthday. Once she receives her clear crystal at the Crystal Celebration, she’ll truly be a contributing part of society. She is almost ready to have her thoughts downloaded into CHA, except for a lingering memory she doesn’t want to share.
Fourteen-year-old Luan is a gifted programmer whose dream is to meet and work for world-renowned programmer, Marc Bodin. When he is forced to leave society, he unexpected receives the opportunity to do just that… but in secret. Living in The Shadowcity Luan discovers there might be more to the picture-perfect society from which he was just banished.
Together they find they’re not the only ones with secrets.
Buy the Shadowsurfers:
Sansibar snapped the clasps of her shoes shut and threw her bag over her shoulder. In front of the mirror she tugged at a few strands of purple hair that stood out among her smooth, hazelnut-brown hair. Fastidiously she made sure that her hair covered her left earlobe. Sansibar didn’t like it, when people saw her earlobe, because it had that strange little notch. When she was little, she had had an accident. She couldn’t remember it now, but Dad had told her about it. As she was playing, her earring had got caught on a screw of a jungle gym. She hadn’t noticed it and had jumped down into the sand. Her earring been torn out of her ear. It would have hurt a lot, and maybe that was the reason why she could no longer remember it. She still wore the other golden earring in her right ear.
Sansibar stroked over the screen that curled around her wrist like a wide bracelet. A twaddleBand. Not exactly the newest model, but more than sufficient to be used as a communicator.
“Dad, Marella and I are going to the Lunapark. She’s taking me with her on her new scooter,” Sansibar typed; she knew her father wouldn’t mind. Her father never forbade her anything. He could trust her not to get up to any mischief. She was far too sensible for that.
A man with grey-streaked locks appeared on the screen. He had forced his stubborn hair into an orderly style with gel. A dark red crystal shimmered on his black headband. Corrado Arbani smiled at Sansibar through his horn-rimmed glasses: “Have fun, sweetheart. Please remember to be home by 10pm, even though it is a Friday night. And send me a couple of pictures of the Lunapark. You know I met your mother there.”
“Sure, I will,” Sansibar said. She thought of her mother. She only had one memory of her: Mum in an orange T-shirt. A large purple flower printed on it. That was ten years ago, at night.
“It’s going to be a late night for me. I still have a mountain of files on my desk,” Mr. Arbani said.” The application for the insurance of the administration agreement needs to be taken care of today. Actually, it’s a really interesting case: an agreement on a regional level that is made without any insurance…”
Sansibar swallowed. Once Dad got started with telling a story there was no way of stopping him. He was the dearest dad in the world, but he was quite a chatterbox.
A picture of a blond boy started to blink on Sansibar’s twaddleBand and tried to push Sansibar’s father away to the side. In doing so it changed its shape like a rubber ball hitting the floor.
“Got to go, dad, Mika’s calling.”
Sansibar swiped over the screen. Her father’s picture faded away.
“Can you get some caramel sticks for me at the Lunapark please?”
“Yeah, sure, Mika.”
“Some for me too, please. Love, Hannah,” a line of text appeared on Mika’s picture. The video of a girl wearing a helmet pushed its way into the foreground: “Are you coming down, Sansibar? I’ve been waiting in front of your house for ages.”
“Hi Marella, I’ll be right down.”
Sansibar opened the apartment’s door and walked out into the snow-white hallway. It smelled as though it had been freshly cleaned, like chewing gum. Sansibar thought of the past. Mum had used the same detergent. I love chewing gum-scent, she typed on her screen. A few friends sent a thumbs-up.
Sansibar rode the glass lift capsule to the ground floor. The doors hissed open and Marella stood right in front of her with her new scooter. It was hovering a hand’s breadth above the ground. As if swimming in water, it gently swayed in the air. The body shone in a light coffee-brown. Bright blue flower designs snaked around it. They were glowing. Marella held the upward-swung handlebars casually, as though she had been driving a scooter for years already. Brightly glittering blue tassels hung from the grips.
Marella grinned happily. Her parents had given her the scooter for her Crystal Celebration.
But far more important was the brand-new lacquered headband with a clear crystal. It was perched on her forehead, smack in the middle. Everyone got a crystal like that for their Crystal Celebration. Marella had successfully passed the test. She was now a part of society. Part of CHA. The crystal was still colorless for now, as clear as a window pane. Sansibar knew that the crystal would change its color when Marella helped society. But it would still be months before it would take on the first yellowish shimmer. And by the end of school most people had only achieved a strong lemon-yellow. Barely anyone achieved egg-yolk-yellow or even orange. Orange was the next level. Some adults never achieved anything above lemon-yellow in their whole lives. Dried up lemons, they were called, had done barely anything for society. A piece of granite would have served them just as well. The Protrector sat at the back of the headband, the technical heart. It sent thoughts to CHA.
About the Author: Hubert Wiest is an author of ten German children’s books and YA novels. THE SHADOWSURFERS is his first US release. In addition to giving classroom readings, Hubert also produces audiobooks and the podcast Radio Lomoco together with Nina von Stebut.
Hubert was born in Germany in 1964. He studied at the Bavarian Academy of Advertising and also took courses in business administration. In the 1990s he founded the internet company FREIRAUM Multimedia, leading it through the stormy new economy of the millennium. He has also worked as head of marketing and sales in international companies. Hubert lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife, their three children and their dogs Pepsi and Cola.
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