Interview with Jessica Redmerski, Author of everything under the sun: Can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?
Everything Under the Sun
Genre: Dystopian YA/NA Crossover
Date of Publication: August 28, 2017
Number of pages: 657
Word Count: 203K
Cover Image by Perrywinkle Photography
Cover Design by Okay Creations
Can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?
Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about.
Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?
An Interview with Jessica Redmerski
What inspired you to write EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN?
Daryl and Beth on the television show The Walking Dead - If Beth had been just a little older, a relationship between them, forced by survival and the post-apocalyptic world they lived in, would have been sweet. But because that could never happen, I made it my duty to tell the love story inspired by them, that grew in my heart.
It took you a long time to write this book; were there any aspects of the story that changed as you wrote?
Yes, definitely. I started this novel long before the 2016 election, so, let’s just say that I had the perfect opportunity to address many things that have deeply affected me since then. This type of book is perfect to show what could—and likely would—happen if society ever broke down and a dystopian world emerged as a result. Aside from all that though, EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN, more than anything, is a story about love.
Do you personally relate to either of the main characters in the book?
I think so, yes. Thais and I want the same things in this world, so through her I’m expressing them the only way I know how.
It seems EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN isn’t a standalone; tell us about WINDS OF THE IRON FEATHER. Is this going to be a series?
It was going to be a standalone when I started, but there is way too much to tell in only one book – but it will definitely not be a series. EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN by itself is like two books in one. There was no possible way to split it up into two books, and there definitely wasn’t a way to wrap everything up by the end. So, halfway through I realized it was going to be at least two enormous books long. It will end up either as a duology or a trilogy, but there certainly shouldn’t be more than three. I’m hoping I can end it in the second book, WINDS OF THE IRON FEATHER. In that book, Thais will become a great figure, and a leader, who through everything she has learned and everything she stands for will begin to change the world. This story as a whole is ambitious, I admit, but it’s in my heart and I desperately need to tell it.
Tell us a little about why you write in so many different genres. Does it work for you?
I can’t stick to one genre. I love writing all types of stories. Does it work for me? Yes and no. Yes, because I’d start to feel claustrophobic if I had to write in the same genre all the time. No, because I think it confuses my readers that I write everything under the same author name. I regret that decision to this day. My advice to authors considering it: Don’t make this mistake! I’m in the process now of correcting that error.
How do you plot your novels? Do you outline?
I never outline because I like to let the story and the characters take me where they want to go. Some authors can outline very well and it works for them, but I can’t do it. It has always felt more natural to me to just go along for the ride and see where it takes me, kind of like in real life, I guess. Some scenes in my books were figured out ahead of time, but not ‘planned out’ ahead of time, and there’s a big difference. The only exception to this method is that I do always know my ending before I begin. (Except with my book DIRTY EDEN)
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I’m impatient. Very impatient. It’s challenging for me to get through the first 2‐3 chapters of every book because I have a bad habit of looking at how much I have left to go. I just want to be done with it already so that my readers can enjoy!
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
The last sentence. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love getting into the story, living out my character’s lives, but there’s nothing like a finished manuscript. It’s a huge accomplishment and I doubt I’ll ever tire of it.
What would you like for readers to take away from your novels?
I just want my readers to be able to connect on some level with the characters I create and take with them an experience rather than just a story. I want them to think about the characters long after they’ve finished the book. I want tears! And genuine laughter! And, I admit, I also want them so mad at me they *almost* want to physically hurt me, LOL! If I can accomplish any of those things, then I’ve done my job.
Keep scrolling for an excerpt of Everything Under the Sun.
“Thais,” I said, “I do think you’re beautiful. I just—.” I couldn’t force myself to say the things I really wanted: I want you to want this kiss, not because I’m the only man here to give it to you. But her heartfelt speech about todays and yesterdays and tomorrows and the very real possibility that there might not be another one, didn’t alleviate that thought—it only reinforced it.
In the end, after fighting with myself, all that mattered to me was what Thais wanted, what Thais needed. And if it was simply a kiss she asked of me, then I would do it. For her. Not for myself, though as much as I, too, wanted it, as much as I knew it would only make my own needs and wants more unbearable, I would endure the impending ache if it would ease hers.
I leaned toward her slowly; my eyes swept the curvature of her lips, the tiny hollow beneath her nose, and I touched the left corner of her mouth with my own.
The right corner.
The impending ache…
About the Author
Jessica Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, international bestseller, and award winner, who juggles several different genres. She began self-publishing in 2012, and later with the success of THE EDGE OF NEVER, signed on with Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages.
Jessica is a hybrid author who, in addition to working with a traditional publisher, also continues to self-publish. Her popular crime and suspense series, In the Company of Killers, has been optioned for television in the United States by actor and model William Levy, and a film exclusive to the Dominican Republic.
She also writes as J.A. Redmerski.