Dystopian December - Steven dos Santos!

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Interview with Steven dos Santos!

Why did you decide to write dystopian fiction/post-apocalyptic fiction?

What intrigues me about dystopian/post-apocalyptic fiction is the opportunity to look at the world we live in now, and imagine what could happen if human beings are faced with catastrophic events that will forever change their way of life.

I think because of the relative lives of comfort most of us live, some of the darker aspects of human nature are kept in check.  Writing Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic fiction gives me the opportunity to explore what would happen if the current societal morés that restrain us were suddenly removed or changed, giving way to behaviours and feelings that civilization keeps suppressed.

What, or who, has been the biggest influence in your writing?

I would have to say one of the biggest influences in my writing is my love of film. I’m a movie-holic, with a huge collection of DVDs and Blu-Rays (I won’t mention anything about VHS tapes or laser discs and risk dating myself). I enjoy most genres, but have a passion for science-fiction, fantasy, horror and suspense, and I find that this has really helped with my own writing in terms of rhythm, pacing, visualization, and plotting (at least I hope it has).

Tell us a little bit about The Culling and the Dystopian world you have created.

16 year-old Lucian Spark is the sole caretaker of his young brother, Cole, in a bleak and dangerous world that has arisen from the ashes of a devastating global apocalypse known as the Great Ash Wars, and is now controlled by the ruthless government entity called The Establishment.

The Establishment believes the best way to control its citizens and create a stronger society is by driving a wedge between the people, isolate them from each other, and keep them from forming close bonds and turning against the government. To this end, it has devised a military recruitment where specially selected sixteen year-old draftees are forced to compete in a series of deadly trials designed to purge them of their humanity and transform them into amoral, cold-blooded killers known as Imposers.

Each recruit is forced to choose which one of their friends and/or loved ones will die in The Culling, should they fail. As a result, people keep to themselves and are fearful and suspicious of personal attachments. No one is safe, not your friends, parents, siblings… or the person you’re in love with.

When Lucian, a sensitive, romantic, dreamer who, up until now, has had to suppress those feelings in order to ensure his brother’s welfare, is plunged into the brutal horrors of The Culling, he finds himself growing closer to fellow recruit, Digory Tycho, a mysterious and rebellious young man who challenges him in ways he couldn’t have dreamed of, and awakens in him the courageous fires of rebellion.

But in a world where loving someone is used as the ultimate weapon, how can anyone stand a chance?

What do you think our future is going to be like? Can you see any similarities in the world that you’ve created and our world today?

I try to remain optimistic and believe that human beings are innately good. But for every beautiful creation and act of compassion there always seems to be a horrific act of destruction that leaves you wondering how anyone could perpetrate such an act.

In the world of The Culling, people live in fear of expressing their love for each other as it can lead to death. That might sound extreme at first. But when you think about it, that type of cruelty exists in society today.  Even though It’s already the 21st Century, think of all the people who are bullied, brutalized, murdered, and pushed to suicide just because of who they love. Despite such tragedy, I truly remain hopeful that someday things will change for the better and that people will be able to be who they are and love whomever they fall for without living in fear.  Otherwise, I shudder to think how much more harm oppressive forces will continue to inflict if they remain unchecked.

What will you be doing come December 21st? And if you survive? (Assuming, of course, it’s the end of the world!)

On December 21, 2012 I’ll probably be glued to my computer, stressing about revisions for The Culling sequel which is due to my Editor, Brian Farrey at Flux Books, in January. LOL.  No Apocalypse or Mayan Prophecy is going to deter me from meeting that deadline! ;-) And if the world does end? I guess this entire interview will be pointless since most people will never get a chance to read the book…sigh…

What would be your favourite dystopian/post-apocalyptic novel?

Questions about “favorites” are always very difficult for me! I enjoy so many novels it’s difficult to pinpoint just one. But I’d have to say that The Giver by Lois Lowry is definitely up there, as is Patrick Ness’s  Chaos Walking trilogy. These novels haunted me long after the last pages were turned (or after I toggled to %100 on my Kindle ;-)

Author Links:

Website - Blog - Twitter - Facebook - Goodreads -

The Culling - 
Steven dos Santos
Released: March 8, 2013
Publisher: Flux Books

Synopsis: Who would you choose?

Lucian “Lucky” Spark has been recruited for training by the totalitarian government known as The Establishment. According to Establishment rules, if a recruit fails any level of the violent training competitions, a family member is brutally killed . . . and the recruit has to choose which one.

As the five recruits form uneasy alliances in the hellish wasteland that is the training ground, an undeniable attraction develops between Lucky and the rebellious Digory Tycho. But the rules of the training ensure that only one will survive—the strongest recruits receive accolades, wealth, and power while the weakest receive death. 

With Cole—Lucky’s four-year-old brother—being held as “incentive,” Lucky must marshal all his skills and use his wits to keep himself alive, no matter what the cost.

Win a ARC review copy of The Culling (Won't be available until the start of February) - International!

Claire Blennerhassett

Reader, Blogger

Twenty-something | book-blogger | tea-drinker | procrastinator | wannabe-writer | student

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for featuring my book on your blog! Hope you enjoy it :-)


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