I’m so excited to have Pauline on my blog today! She is the author of the MG/YA sci-fi dystopian book Mechanical, which is celebrating its first anniversary of publication. In honor of its anniversary, Pauline is hosting a giveaway on Goodreads, so don’t forget to stop over there after you read her interview and try to win a copy of your own! Also find her on her blog and Twitter.
Here’s a bit about Mechanical.
Drew is an android. From the very beginning of her existence, she has been programmed by her creators to understand her superiority and overwhelming responsibilities. She was created for a mission, a mission more important than anything she could ever have imagined. Drew is sent to a high school to observe the humans and report back to her creators. But when she begins to form friendships with these humans and starts feeling strange human emotions, she doubts the creators’ ways of dealing with her and wonders whether her mission is as wonderful as it once seemed. As Drew falls deeper and deeper into the mystery surrounding her mission and her creation, she’s suddenly left with a choice. Does she follow through with what she’s known all her life or does she act on what she now knows is right?
And here’s the interview with the lovely author herself!
What are the three things in your life that are most important to you?
My faith, my family, and then just the things that make me happy – writing included. 😉
Mechanical has a premise that sounds just thrilling! Can you tell us about how you were inspired to write this story?
Well, a lot of the time I come up with the title first and am inspired by the title to write the story. So one day I was thinking up fun titles for books and “Mechanical” popped into my head. I loved the sound of it and wondered what a book called “Mechanical” would be about. I decided it would have to be robots, and moved on from there.
If you had to choose a favorite character from Mechanical, who would it be, and why?
Definitely Yvonne. She’s a supporting character but she plays a pretty large role. If you ever read the book, you’ll see she’s kind of a nasty character, though. But what I like about her is that a) she was SO fun to write about with her snarky attitude and unpredictable behavior, and b) she’s very confident and fearless which are character traits I really admire.
What part of the writing process is the most difficult for you? What part is the most enjoyable?
Hmmm…this is a tough one. It might sound odd, but just sitting down and forcing myself to write when I’m not feeling inspired is the hardest part for me. I love coming up with the ideas and thinking up the plot and the characters and for me, that’s the easiest part. It’s sitting down and just writing every day to get the book done that’s the hardest.
When did you decide you’d like to become a writer, and what inspired you to take that step?
It’s funny because I can’t really remember an exact time in my life where I thought, “I’m going to be a writer.” It just sort of happened. I’ve been writing stories since I was a little kid and when I was about twelve I wrote my first book-length story. My dad actually suggested I try to publish it and from then on I dedicated my free time to researching the industry and just never gave up.
If you had to pick a book or an author who has changed or inspired you more than any other, what/who would it be?
I would probably have to say the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson. I remember reading those when I was about twelve or thirteen and they really sparked my passion for writing – science fiction specifically. I can remember thinking to myself, “Wow, I want to be able to write something this good someday.” And that really inspired me in some of my early projects.
So what, if any, are the project(s) you are currently working on? Any new books your fans should be looking for?
I’m currently really into fairytale retellings, especially with a fun twist on things. Lately I’ve been into taking traditionally male centered fairytales (Pinocchio, Peter Pan, etc.) and making the main characters girls. And retellings are just about the most fun things to write in the world. So hopefully a few of those will be coming out soon.
Could you share a paragraph or two from Mechanical?
The prologue for Mechanical is pretty short, so here it is:
I looked down at the body that was now mine. I wiggled my fingers and toes and realized, with some surprise, that I could feel them. I nearly jumped as a piece of hair fell in my face, brushing softly against my skin. I had forgotten what it was like to have hair or any other part of the body for that matter. Or was it that I had never really known at all? I couldn’t be sure.
I had long slender arms, and when I stood up, I saw that I towered over most of the people in the room. As I tried to take a step, I faltered and saw numerous people come towards me to catch my fall.
Seeing—this was also a new sensation for me. So much to take in all at once. The intricacy of how every little nerve had to be working just right for your eyes to adjust to the smallest speck of light.
For so long, I hadn’t been anything at all. I didn’t remember much of the last few years, only nothingness, the sense of weightlessness and no feeling whatsoever. I wondered if that was what death was like; if I had experienced some form of it. For, when the weeks turned into years I had started to think I really was dead; that no one was coming back for me as promised.
But all had ended up well for here I was, alive again, or so it seemed.
The scientists crowded around me, talking all at once.
“…imperative that you…”
“…never do this…”
“…if you don’t…”
I listened for a while, taking in what they needed me to know, but soon the talk of the mission subsided and new talk began. Or should I say old? I tuned them out when the subject came up, for I had already heard it too many times. I didn’t need to hear it again.
I knew what I was. There was no need to remind me or sugarcoat it to make me feel better. They acted as though what I was would be a terrible disappointment to me, as though it would tear me apart if they didn’t approach me in just the right manner.
I didn’t understand that. Was my existence something horrible? I didn’t think so; I had never known anything else. All I had ever known were these people and they were the strange ones, not I.
I saw right through their fancy and elaborate ways to explain my existence. I understood what I was and accepted it.
I wasn’t human, they’d told me. I was made up of parts; millions of parts put together to resemble human form. I wasn’t a real person. I wasn’t really alive. I was a robot, synthetic. I was a thing to be used when needed.
I was mechanical.
Pauline C. Harris is an eighteen-year old author of science fiction books for kids and teenagers. She started writing stories when she was eight and after she self-published her first book at the age of fourteen, moved on to write the Mechanical Trilogy. Other than writing, she spends most of her time reading sci-fi books, watching black and white movies, drinking tea, and trying to survive her college classes.
Mechanical is her first professionally published novel.
Mechanical sounds amazing, doesn’t it?! Don’t forget to leave a comment or question for Pauline below, and head on over to Goodreads for her awesome giveaway!