Interview – Simone Pond, author of The Mainframe
Today we welcome Simone Pond, author of the recently released novel The Mainframe to Booklover Book Reviews.
The Mainframe is the third book in the New Agenda series.
Book three picks up in the year 2345, seventeen years after the disappearance of former city center leader, Chief Morray. There has been peace among the West Coast regions for years, but in Ojai Village there is very little peace between Ava and her sixteen-year old daughter Grace. Both have different ideas about what it takes to maintain independence. Ava spends hours inside the mainframe searching for Morray, while Grace focuses on the art of combat. Grace’s dream is to get accepted into the Silicon Valley Academy and become a soldier like her father General Joseph Strader. During tryouts for the academy Grace comes across some digital footprints inside the mainframe, convincing Ava that Morray has returned to seek revenge and reclaim control. When Ava goes missing, Grace assembles a motley crew of cadets to go on a search and rescue mission up north in Seattle to save her mother and take down Morray. Grace soon learns that independence comes at a price.
What inspired you to write The Mainframe?
What inspired the entire book series was a conversation with my husband. I asked him, “What if in the future people lived inside giant city centers that they thought were safe havens, but they were actually prisons?” And he said, “Now that’s a good idea for a story. Have you seen Logan’s Run?” The seed was planted for my first book. When I was writing The City Center (Book 1), another idea came to me for The New Agenda (Book 2). And the same thing happened in the middle of that draft and I started working on The Mainframe. I figure this is the genre for me.
Would you say this novel is plot or character driven?
I aim to write character driven stories that move the plot. The Mainframe is seen from the perspectives of both Ava and her daughter, Grace. We get to see why they make the decisions they make and it’s those decisions that push the story forward.
Tell us a little bit about your main character.
For my current book I have two main characters. The first one is Ava and she’s been around for the entire series. She started out naïve but highly intuitive, but by the third book she’s a powerhouse. The other main character is her rebellious daughter, Grace, who wants to do things her own way to prove her independence. She’s fearless and courageous, but her desire to be independent pushes others away, including her mother.
What type of reader do you think would most enjoy the New Agenda series?
Readers who like futuristic dystopian novels with a love story, similar to The Hunger Games, Divergent or The Uglies really enjoy my series. And there’s also the speculative fiction crowd––those who like an undertone of social commentary.
How does this title compare to others you have written?
As in the previous books, we see Ava as she fights to maintain independence from her nemesis, Chief Morray. Yet, we get to see how all of the timelines and characters (covering the span of three hundred years) are tied together.
Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?
I schedule an appointment in my calendar to write every day. I start with getting to know my main character, using a book I recommend to all writers called “Wired for Story.” Then I do my plot outline based on The Hero’s Journey. Most of the time I write in my living room with my dog by my feet. At least once a week, I’ll go to a coffee shop. I just write and write, knowing I’ll go back and edit the draft at least five times before anyone sees it. I’ll get ideas in middle of the night, or while I’m driving and sometimes in church. I make sure I have a pad of paper with me at all times so I can take notes.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing . . . But to help pay my bills I freelance in advertising as a project manager. Other things I do? I start each day with a workout because it helps clear my head. I love getting tea with close friends, taking walks with my dog, and hanging out with my husband. I love going to church, helping out friends and encouraging other writers.
Do you have any other titles in the pipeline?
I’m currently working on a book of short stories based on the Repatterning, which is the man-made apocalypse that sets the current book series into motion. I might continue with another book in the series. I’m waiting to hear back from my main characters.
Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring writers?
Write every single day – no matter what.
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The City Center recently won a gold medal in dystopian fiction for the Readers’ Favorite awards. Find out lots more about Simone and her books at her website.