Book Nerd Interview
Because she never grew up, she decided she’d put her imaginary friends to work and started writing. She now lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband and their two children and is an active member of the RWA, SFWA, YARWA and SCBWI.
Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I was reading a book by Christopher Pike about a teenaged author and he somehow had gotten involved in his own murder mystery. The book just spoke to me and I just knew I wanted to be an author.
What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
That I was a corpsmen (medic) in the Navy and I played the clarinet in the naval recruit training center marching band.
What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
How to stand up for myself and to be myself no matter what others think of you.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
To not read my reviews because negative ones deflate you and you won’t want to write and positive ones make it hard to write because you don’t want to disappoint your “fans.”
For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Renegade, how would you introduce it?
It’s a Young Adult science fiction that’s a cross between the BioShock video game and the Bourne Identity about a girl destined to be the ruler of her underwater city who realizes that the everything she knows is a lie and the woman she knows as mother is a monster. It features a kick ass heroine, assassins, and swoon-worthy romance.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in Evelyn?
How strong she really was. And not just physically, but mentally. No matter what happened, she kept going toward her goal and didn’t stop until it was finished. No matter what that finish seemed like it was going to be.
For those who are unfamiliar with Gavin, how would you introduce him?
Strong. Quiet. Observant. Not a people person and not very trusting. But once you get to know him, he’s sweet and kind. Loyal. Strong sense of family.
You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Never take things at face value. There’s so much to be seen under the surface (no pun intended) that you might miss something if you look at the obvious. (By the way, this advice could be used for real life as well. :])
If you could introduce Evelyn to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I’d introduce her to old school Snow White, to show her how to take care of herself instead of waiting for Prince Charming to rescue her. :)
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
I honestly don’t know! LOL. I try not to lie. It only gets you into trouble. :)
What’s your most missed memory?
My grandparents. I miss spending time in their country house with them and running all over during the day and listening to the crickets at night. I miss their awesome house and the massively huge bed. I just miss absolutely all of it.
What's the worst summer job you've ever had?
When I worked at Disney. When I applied to work at Disney, I had this huge happy ideal of what it was going to be. I’d dress up like Cinderella or Aurora, or maybe I’d be one of the Southern belles on the riverboat ride. I ended up being a cashier at the gift shop the Muppets ride. It was horribly boring and there was long hours and nothing like I thought it would be. LOL.
Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
My husband. He’s my rock and he’ll generally stop whatever he’s doing and talk to me about whatever’s bothering me. The best part is he’s learned that sometimes I just need to vent and I don’t need him to “solve” anything. But he won’t hesitate to jump in to the fray and “save” me if I ask him to. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without him.
When was the last time you told someone you loved them?
About 5 minutes ago? LOL. I’m always telling my kids or husband I love them.
Do you remember your favorite teacher?
I do! In fact, I’m still friends with her. Her name is Mrs. Hadaway and she was my health teacher in high school. She helped me during a difficult time in my life and stayed my friend even when I was no longer in high school.
When was the last time you cried?
Last night? I’m a cry baby. I cry over anything. LOL. But I was watching an episode of Once Upon A Time and it was a sad scene so I cried. Naturally.
Most horrifying dream you have ever had?
I’m horribly afraid of aliens. I’m not sure why, but almost all of my nightmares are about aliens. This particular one is I’m lying in bed, next to my husband, and I wake up to hear these noises in my room, but I can’t move no matter what I do. Then I feel hands petting my hair and face and I just know it’s an alien. That’s when I wake up. *shudder*
Where can readers stalk you?
My website: jasouders.com
But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie.
Her memories have been altered.
Her mind and body aren’t under her own control.
And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.
Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.
The way Sounders constructed the story was very artistic-like. She begins this amazing book with indications that darker things will eventually emerge. This utopia called Elysium begins to shed layers of paradise as Evie’s lost memories reveal disturbing truths after another. The person known as Mother is unlike what her name suggests and Mother’s intentions for Elysium are all bad. Sounders’ accrual of Evie’s stifled memories is well-written. Readers will be eager to know how Mother is able to manipulate Evie and suppress her memories. As Evie nears the truth, the suspense level is turned way up and continues to remain there for the remainder of the book. The story is complex and sophisticated without going over-the-top. Everything made perfect sense which will be a strong reason for readers’ inability to put the book down. The writing style is absolute amazing and it will have readers mesmerized from beginning to end. Renegade is a stunning debut and I’m sure the next books in this series will carry the same caliber as this one.