Welcome back readers!  This is the fourth part of the interview with Andrew D. Carlson, author of two Earth-based, sci-fi novels in the Sue series; Sue’s Fingerprint and Sue’s Vision.  Today we’ll learn more about his next novel.

 

Host: Welcome back, Andrew.  It has been a while since we last talked.

Carlson: Thank you, I’m glad to be back.  And yes, it has been a while.  I was on vacation for a couple weeks and I’ve been busy editing my latest manuscript.

Host: You mentioned that manuscript last time.  It’s tentatively titled Senior Experiment, correct?  Is this another Sue book?

Carlson: Yes, it’s titled Senior Experiment.  And no, it’s not another Sue book.  This is a contemporary YA novel that stands by itself.

Host: Please, tell us about it.

Carlson: Like I mentioned last time, it’s the story of Anthony Castellano, who has his A-plus idea for the Senior Experiment project in AP Chemistry class stolen.  It’s stolen by a greasy loser; Gregory Gray, who’s also known as Gregory Gay, Greasy Greg and Phlegm Boy.  Greg passes the idea off as his own, impressing the teacher and pissing Anthony off.  Anthony vows revenge.

Host: So this is a story of revenge?

Carlson: Well, at the same time, Anthony starts a new relationship with Amber Green, a smart, pretty classmate he’s had his eye on since the beginning of the year.  So Senior Experiment is a story of revenge and romance.

Host: So Anthony beats up Gregory and kisses Amber and lives happily ever after, correct?

Carlson: Uh, sort of.  Anthony doesn’t fight with Gregory… initially.  Anthony knows that fighting will only hurt himself—injury or suspension, and unless he puts Greg in the hospital, Greg will still perform the experiment.  Anthony wants to ruin Greg’s grade, not injure him.  So he devises a plan to sabotage Greg’s Senior Experiment.  All the while, Anthony’s relationship with Amber grows.

Host: Do the two story lines ever cross?

Carlson: Of course.  (It would probably be really boring otherwise.)  Anthony’s quest for revenge disrupts his newfound romance.  Anthony allows Gregory to upset him; by the verbal taunting that Gregory serves up, and just by showing up in the same places—Starbucks, the basketball game, etc.  Unfortunately, he’s with Amber when he gets upset, making their dates uncomfortable.  And Anthony has to wait a week until Senior Experiment starts before he can get his revenge by sabotage.  While he waits, his thoughts of Greg and the smack they talk at each other all interfere with his attention toward Amber.

Host: So Amber ditches him, correct?

Carlson: No, she doesn’t.  She wants to be with Anthony, so she probably has more patience than she should.  But when Anthony’s obsession with Greg makes him avoid or forget about her, Amber definitely isn’t happy.

Host: So Anthony’s caught in a vicious circle; the more he wants to get revenge, the more he upsets Amber.

Carlson: Exactly.

Host: You said they don’t fight initially.  What do you mean?  Do Greg and Anthony eventually fight?

Carlson: They do, twice, but I won’t give any details.

Host: Does Anthony get his revenge and get the girl?

Carlson: Yes, justice is served, but not in the way Anthony expected.  And yes, Anthony comes to his senses and does what he has to do to keep Amber.  Will it be happily-ever-after for Amber and him?  Time will tell.

Host: So what’s next for you?

Carlson: Through an online auction–Brenda Novak’s Online Auction for Diabetes Research, I won a manuscript critique and general mentoring from YA author Marley Gibson, author of Radiate.  (Please go read that book, by the way.  It is an incredible, motivating story of survival and determination.)  I’ve been working with Marley to improve the manuscript.  Her help has been invaluable!  And I have an opportunity later this year for more reviews by my target audience—young adults in high school.  Those, too, will help improve and polish the manuscript.  After that, I’ll either query agents for representation or I’ll self-publish.  I haven’t decided yet.

Host: Either way, good luck, Andrew.

Carlson: Thank you.  And thanks for hosting these interviews.  *winks*