Friday, September 7, 2012

Author Interview & Giveaway: Jade Kerrion

I am pleased to welcome Jade Kerrion, author of Perfection Unleashed, the first book in a new series, Double Helix, which has also been the recipient of several awards.  Jade is here today to answer a few questions about her new novel as well as to share some interesting facts about her writing and what she has in store for us next.  Take a look:

Two men, one face. One man seeks to embrace destiny, the other to escape it.

Danyael Sabre spent sixteen years clawing out of the ruins of his childhood and finally has everything he wanted--a career, a home, and a trusted friend. To hold on to them, he keeps his head down and plays by the rules. An alpha empath, he is powerful in a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution, yet his experience has taught him to avoid attention.

When the perfect human being, Galahad, escapes from Pioneer Laboratories, the illusory peace between humans and their derivatives--the in vitros, clones, and mutants--collapses into social upheaval. The abominations, deformed and distorted mirrors of humanity, created unintentionally in Pioneer Lab's search for perfection, descend upon Washington D.C. The first era of the Genetic Revolution was peaceful. The second is headed for open war.

Although the genetic future of the human race pivots on Galahad, Danyael does not feel compelled to get involved and risk his cover of anonymity, until he finds out that the perfect human being looks just like him.

Interview with Jade Kerrion

1) To start off, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?  How did you become interested in writing science-fiction novels?
I’m Jade Kerrion, and I am, among many other things, an author of speculative fiction. I have an undergraduate degree in biology and philosophy, and a MBA (which allows me to hold down a day job in order to pay for my expensive writing hobby.) I had been writing since the age of thirteen and was finally convinced by my supportive husband to publish my work. After my debut novel, Perfection Unleashed, won three awards, I figured, “This might actually work…” and decided to release my novel for the enjoyment of my readers.

2) Can you tell us a little about your novel, Perfection Unleashed? What is it like to create your own world?
Perfection Unleashed is set in a world that isn’t too different from the world we know. The U.S. is still a super power, the cities are located where they usually are, and the technology is not that much different. This world, however, has been transformed by the genetic revolution, and human derivatives (mutants, in vitros, clones) live beside unaltered humans who are genetically inferior. Humans, however, retain political power, so life goes on—teetering on the brink of social collapse, but not quite falling apart—until the perfect human being, Galahad, escapes from his laboratory prison. Galahad is the catalyst for change, especially in the life of Danyael Sabre, the alpha empath who was, unknowingly, used as the physical template for the perfect human being.

3) What inspired you to write Perfection Unleashed?  How much research was involved in the writing? Do you have a background in science?
My background is in biology and philosophy, and you might say that Perfection Unleashed perfectly marries my interests. My inspiration for writing Perfection Unleashed was to unpack the social issues arising from advances in science, including genetic manipulation. These issues are a lot closer than many of us would believe. For example, the “live blood transfusion” (referenced in chapter three) is based on a real experience involving mice. The brain functions of old mice and young mice reached equilibrium when they shared a closed circulatory system. What are its implications on human aging? How would normal humans deal with humans who were genetically optimized to be more athletic, more beautiful, more intelligent? When does science infringe upon society, and at what point does it escalate into class warfare?

4) What was your greatest challenge while writing this novel?  And what is it exactly that you're exploring, what is the message?
My greatest challenge was how to incorporate the deeper philosophical questions without slowing down the novel with preachy paragraphs. In the end, I decided to let the characters speak for themselves and to allow the readers to draw what insights they will. I used “Ender’s Game” as a model. It was a story about a boy’s video game; only at the end did you realize that the game world they destroyed was real. A reviewer says of Perfection Unleashed, “The novel dances close to philosophical and social questions, such as on the privilege of birth and fairness in society, without getting high-brow or slowing down story development. The philosophy and the keenly observed human dynamics fit seamlessly into the fast-moving plot.” I think in the end, I succeeded at what I was trying to do.

5) Which character was the most fun to write about?  Which character presented the biggest challenge?
I enjoyed writing Zara Itani. She’s a Lebanese-Venezuelan mercenary, a human in a world of super-powered mutants. Unlike other heroines who fall in love with pointy-toothed vampires and eventually become one of them, Zara will never be more than she is—human. Her genes, however, do not prevent her from keeping up with, and frequently showing up, her genetically-superior companions. She’s temperamental, confident, and capable—an alpha female for the 21st century.

Danyael Sabre, the protagonist of the Double Helix series, was the biggest challenge. He is an alpha empath by birth and a doctor by training. His deadly empathic powers are fueled by emotional and physical pain, and walking the fine line (at least for him) between victim and hero was frequently challenging. He is private and reclusive, and a completely unsuitable partner for the brash and daring Zara. That’s why they’ll have to get together some day. Just because.

6) What advice would you give to an aspiring science-fiction writer?
The advice, from a relative novice such as myself, would be to keep it simple. Often, authors are tempted to create fantastical worlds and pack in every conceivable level of detail. It’s perfectly okay to create the world in all its detail; whether you share it, and how much of it you share with the readers is a matter of style. There’s a balance authors need to strike between detail and pacing, and unfortunately, they don’t always work hand in hand. (Hands up if you’ve ever glossed over the pages and pages of Tolkien’s work where hobbits are singing their songs—I adore Tolkien, and I’ve never read beyond the first line of a hobbit’s song…) My personal guideline: If it matters to the story, share it. If it doesn’t, ask yourself if it can be taken out without affecting the flow and immersion of the storyline.

7) Can you share with us any projects that you are currently working on or plans for the future? What can fans expect next from you?  Are there other genres in which you are interested but haven't yet explored?
If you enjoyed Perfection Unleashed, look out for books 2 and 3 in the series, Perfect Betrayal and Perfect Weapon, which will be released in December 2012. In 2013, I will release the 4th book in the series (as yet untitled); that novel will wrap up Danyael’s story arc. Galahad’s story will likely continue though, in a related series. In 2013, I’ll also release a YA spin-off, involving a pair of twins, Dee and Dum, that you will meet in Perfect Weapon. In addition to that, I’m thinking of several short stories that will further illuminate aspects of the world of the Double Helix. In short, I’ve lots to keep me busy!

8) Favourite authors? Role models?
Neil Gaiman is pure genius in his storytelling ability.

9) Do you have a pivotal point in your life, a point when you knew you would be a writer?  How did it develop?
At thirteen, I wrote a school essay about a sunset and a marriage proposal. It was so saccharine, you’d be tempted to break out the insulin, but my teacher liked it and had it read to the class. Being an impressionable teenager, I thought that if the teacher liked it, I obviously had to be a good writer. *rolls eyes* It’s only taken twenty-five years and tens of thousands of hours of work since then to publish material I’d be proud to stand behind and say, “Yes, I wrote that.” Dreaming is easy. Making dreams come true takes work.

10) What do you like to do when you are not writing? What is your ultimate luxury?
The ultimate luxury would be to do nothing! However, I’ve realized that I don’t have the right personality type to do nothing. For example, sunbathing on a lounge chair in front of a swimming pool is agony for me (and for the people watching me.) I twitch, I sit up, switch positions, twitch some more. That said, I would love to spend several hours at a spa, getting pampered from head to toe. Maybe, sometime during those few hours, I’d learn to relax for a few minutes.

11) Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?
I love connecting with and hearing from my readers. Please feel free to reach out to me via Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, or my website. Thank you for hosting me on your wonderful blog!

Author Biography:
Jade Kerrion unites cutting-edge science and bioethics with fast-paced action in her novel, Perfection Unleashed. Drawing rave reviews for its originality and vision, and lauded as “a breakout piece of science fiction,” Perfection Unleashed is a Royal Palm Literary Award 2011 winner, a Next Generation Indie Book Award 2012 finalist and a Hollywood Book Festival Award finalist. Get your copy at


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  1. Stephanie,
    Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, and a big thank you to all your readers and fans for reading along. If you have questions or comments, just post here. I'd love to chat.
    Love, Jade

    1. You're welcome Jade! It was a pleasure to read your responses.

  2. What a Nice interview Jade! I can never sit still as well :)

    1. I knew there were more people like me out there! :-)

  3. Excellent interview, Jade!

    Another Gaiman fan, hmmm?