Fac­ing one’s self in the fu­ture

Dystopian sci- fi novel pits teenage girl against her dou­ble

Vancouver Sun - - WEEKEND REVIEW - TRACY SHER­LOCK Sun books edi­tor tsher­[email protected]­cou­ver­sun.com

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

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