Facing one’s self in the future
Dystopian sci- fi novel pits teenage girl against her double
Author Elsie Chapman grew up in Prince George before coming to Vancouver to attend the University of British Columbia. Today, she lives in Vancouver with her husband and two children.
Q Tell us a bit about your book.
A Dualed is a dystopian/ science- fiction young adult novel, about a girl named West who lives in a gated city where everyone has a double, an Alt. Resources in Kersh are scarce, space is highly valued and fought over, and there’s a price to be paid for being able to live within the gate, safe from the constant war that’s happening outside in the area known as the Surround. The Board — Kersh’s governing body — has decided that citizens, as teens, must all hunt down and kill their Alts to prove they are the worthier version. But something happens to West that shakes her confidence, so when it’s her turn to have to face her Alt, she’s not really sure she is the worthier one, after all.
Q Why did you write this book?
A My son once asked me about the possibility of everyone having an unknown twin out there, and the question took on a life of its own. It compelled me to sit down and see if I could write an actual novel.
Q Where did the inspiration for the character of West come from?
A I love flawed, uneven characters, with all their iffy judgment calls and off- putting personality traits. It makes them human and imperfect and much more interesting. I remember having characters like Lisbeth Salander and Jason Bourne on the brain when I was writing Dualed; building West from the inside out, I wanted her like that — unpolished,
awkward, testy, vulnerable, smart.
Q What can we expect from West in the sequel to Dualed and when will that be published?
A In Divided, West’s story still has a very personal feel to it, but her world is a bit larger than it was in Dualed, with that book so tightly focused on her and her Alt. West is now dealing with the consequences of her past actions and what she
ultimately decided to do in order to survive. Book two has her facing a new challenge, one that could be more dangerous than she first thought. Divided will be published by Random House on May 27, 2014. Event: Elsie will be appearing at Word Vancouver on Sunday, Sept. 29 at Library Square.wordvancouver.ca
Vancouver- based author Elsie Chapman’s new book is a dystopian/ science- fiction story for young adults about a girl who lives in a gated city where teens must hunt down and kill their doubles, called Alts.
DUALED By Elsie Chapman Random House