Thursday, January 6, 2011

Talking XVI with author Julia Karr

Today we are talking to Julia Karr who is the author of XVI. I am ashamed to say I approached Julia at the beginning of December hoping she have time for an interview. Let's face it with the holidays and releasing a new book I was pretty sure Julia wouldn't have time but she is really sweet and took time to answer a few questions!

Julia is also part of the Class of 2K11 authors and of course I had to ask if they are close yet.  She did say they stay close by email.  I can only imagine what goes on in those emails.  To keep with the 2K11 theme I really wanted to discuss high school, XVI, and dreamy guys.

Julia in High School

What was high school like for you?

My freshman year was great! I was living in my hometown and going to school
with my lifelong friends. Aside from boyfriend issues (and who doesn’t have those?)
things were awesome. Then I moved to Chicago. I loved the city! But... school. No. In the 1960’s in Chicago (and all across America) things were changing. The first school I landed in was a racial hotbed. After three race riots, (one in which I recall huddling under a cafeteria table hoping I would get out unscathed) my mother moved us to a different school district. This one had police in the hallways and a staff of teachers who were just trying to make it from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. without too many problems. My experiences in that school were so bad that I ended up dropping out after my sophomore year and getting a secretarial job. Side note: I did get a GED a few years later, and attended college.

What are some of high school memories you that you think about often and those you want to forget?

I think about my freshman English Literature class. Totally loved it. My teacher was odd, but so cool. I also was in the drama club, had a small part in My Fair Lady, and that was fun. And, dating. I loved riding around with my boyfriend in his incredibly cool car (a 1966 Chevelle SS, if I remember correctly.) And, kissing. Yeah, I loved kissing.

I was in an Honors lit class in Chicago and my teacher there was so good, too. She was the only good thing about that school. Dating and kissing in Chicago = totally different world. Not nearly as innocent or sweet as my hometown.

Would love to forget the race incidents in my first Chicago high school. They scared the beejeezus outta me! Would also love to forget the hot boy I had a major crush on and how he totally dissed me at a party. Times weren’t always easy.

How did you choose Dystopia?
I think Dystopia chose me! This story sort of poured out of me - I didn’t have a lot of say in the genre!

Is it more difficult to create a whole new world and how did you paint a picture so we could understand what 2150 is like?
Difficult - yes. I tried to show 2150 in the details. I hope readers will feel that it works.

You book is set in 2150 can you tell me what life is like for teens in that time?
School, friends, fitting in - about the same as now. Except for this whole sex-teen thing for girls. At sixteen, girls are considered adults and sexually available.

Does Nina fit in with all the other girls?
Not really. She’s scared of the sex-teen image and what that will mean personally.

Can you tell me more about Nina?
Nina’s incredibly loyal to her friends and family. She has her doubts about the government, but mostly keeps that to herself. She’s creative, loves drawing and art. The Art Institute in Chicago is one of her favorite destinations - and she loves her little sister.

What is the style or fashion like in 2150?
From a young age, girls are encouraged by the media to wear clothes that will make them attractive to boys. The height of fashion is Ultra-Chic - expensive clothes that only the top tiers can afford. Knock-offs come from giant (Walmart-like) chains like Mega-World and Sale-O-Rama.

What are girls goals and dreams in 2150?
The lowest tier girls hope to be chosen for the Federal Liaison Specialist program (aka FeLS) or to catch the eye of a higher tier boy, in order to get out of their poverty. Some girls are Creatives, a designation that puts them in The Arts and gives them the opportunity to make their own way. Higher tier girls are mostly concerned with looking good, spending credits and having a suitable boyfriend. Some girls go on to university and get jobs. Then - there’s the whole underlying sex-teen issue. Some girls are completely fine with having sex, with whomever...

I'm glad to see that in 2150 there is still a dreamy hot guy. What can we expect from him? Will there be a relationship? Will there be lots of kissing? (always important)
I think we can expect some ups and downs and questionable motivations from said dreamy-hot-guy. Relationships = complicated. And, kissing is my favorite sport!

You currently have two other projects in the works can you tell us a little about Sisterhood and Cinderella Girl?
The Sisterhood is a sequel. There are some unresolved issues in XVI (as in real life!) and The Sisterhood continues on... actually picking up from the very end of XVI.
Cinderella Girl currently exists only in my brain and several pages of notes and partial scenes, so I can’t say much about it.

Will you be touring?
I’m currently setting up some book signings. I’ll have dates/locations posted on my website as they are confirmed.

You can visit Julia on  ~ Web  ~ 2K11 ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

XVI is in stores today so run out and get a copy! 

 Once again I would like to thank Julia for visiting my blog and look for my review soon!


  1. Great interview! Thanks for sharing your high school memories, Julia -- can't wait to read XVI!!


  2. Excellent interview! Your high school experience in Chicago is fascinating, and I can see that influence in XVI.

    Happy launch day!


  3. Awesome interview! I can't wait to read XVI and I love that she said kissing was her favorite sport, lol. Also 1966 Chevelle is my dream car and she got to ride in one, so awesome! =D

  4. Makes me SO excited to read the book. Now I can't wait.

  5. Oh these were some great questions! Much differant than ones we usually see to authors and I'm glad you asked them! It was fun to read the questions and answers and look forward to more interviews and more of XVI this new year!

  6. A very impressive debut novel. I can't wait for the sequel.

  7. Great interview!! I've ordered this book for my library, and can't wait to read it!

  8. I cant wait to read this one, great interview! Loved the questions.

  9. Many thanks to Julia once again for taking time to answer my questions.

    Thanks to the 2k11 Crew for stopping by!

    Everyone run out and buy a copy! I started reading mine tonight and it's great!

  10. Cari- thanks so much for having me on my book baby's birthday!

  11. Great interview! I really want to read this one.

  12. I loved XVI so much!
    I really miss the characters :[
    I want to re-read it just so I can't be with Nina, David, Mike, and Sal, and Wei again =D