Tour, Interview, & Giveaway: Flicker and Mist by Mary G. Thompson


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Pub. Date: January 3, 2017

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Romance, intrigue, and plenty of action are woven into a rich and suspenseful narrative in this powerful YA fantasy.

The mixed-race heroine Myra is a Flickerkin and can flicker (become invisible) at will. She hasn’t cultivated or revealed this ability, since Flickerkin are persecuted as potential criminals and spies. When invisible people become tricksters and then murderers, Myra’s Flickerkin heritage becomes a deadly secret, putting her relationship with the leader’s son—and her own life—in jeopardy. Loyalties shift and difficult choices are made before Myra understands who she wants to be. 

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YA: What inspired you to write Flicker and Mist?

Mary: I’ve wanted to write about invisibility for many years, and I finally found the right story. One time a boyfriend asked me, “If you could have a superpower, would you rather have flight or invisibility?” I said invisibility, and we laughed about all the dishonest and immoral things one could do with that power, like stealing money and spying on people. When I was writing Flicker and Mist, I thought about all the ways people without the ability would fear those who had it, and that led to the structure of this world, where the majority use their fear to oppress the minority.

YA: The main character, Myra, is of mixed-race. Incorporating diversity in YA is a challenge that so many authors are doing a fabulous job of, adding such rich characters to the genre. What are some of your favorite diverse books?

Mary: I’m making a New Year’s resolution to read more books in translation. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami is a classic. There’s a scene near the beginning that haunts me literally every time I get on a bus. For fantasy by US authors, I loved Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. It takes place in Nigeria and introduced me to something new. Recently I enjoyed Hoodoo by Ronald L. Smith, which is a classic historical fantasy set in the 1930s.

YA: Tell me about Myra. What makes her a heroine we’ll root for?

Mary: Myra is secretly a Flickerkin, a person who can become invisible. She has to hide her ability because the government fears spies. She wants to be able to fit in with the majority race, the Plats, but since she’s half Leftie, she always feels a little bit out of place. When strange things begin occurring in New Heart City and Flickerkin are blamed, the government starts torturing Lefties to see if they’re Flickerkin. Now Myra has to confront the prejudice that’s always been all around her. She has to embrace her ability in order to survive and to help change the world for the better. Along the way, she has to work out her relationship with Caster, who is the son of the person responsible for torturing Lefties. He’s the opposite of his father, but how will he react to learning the truth? I think we all can relate to a character who feels like she has something to hide. Women and girls are always being told that they have to look and act and be a certain way. Myra’s situation is more extreme, but I think her journey toward accepting herself and demanding that others appreciate her will make sense to a lot of people.

YA: Describe Flicker and Mist in the length of a tweet.

Mary: Myra’s ability to become invisible is illegal. Now it’s time to stop hiding. Can she have her safe life and also become who she’s meant to be?

YA: What are some of the broad concepts in Flicker and Mist? What do you want the reader to get out of the story?

Mary: First there’s the thought experiment of what the world would be like if only some people could become invisible. How would other people react? In this world there’s a racial component to the ability, so there are issues of racial prejudice. The government also uses the people’s fear of Flickerkin to justify taking Leftie resources, so there’s the question of how real the fear is versus how it’s convenient for the ruling group. There’s the issue of war and peace and the importance of human life. In this world, weapons have been banned since a devastating war, but some people are willing to take up arms again. When is it necessary to kill, and when can society’s problems be solved through peaceful means?

On a personal level for Myra, there’s the question of who to trust. She loves Caster, but since he doesn’t know her secret, she’s never sure how far his love goes. The Flickerkin boy who likes her, Nolan, treats her with less respect but understands her on a different level because he knows her secret. She has to learn to trust her instincts about who will be there when things get tough.

There is no specific message that I hope readers will get out of the story. I just hope that people will think about all these issues. If you were in the situation Myra is in at the end of the book, what choice would you make? How can the Lefties best gain their rights and how can the Plats learn to overcome their fear of Flickerkin? How should this society tackle the negative aspects of their religion, which contributes to racial prejudice?

YA: What are some of the challenges Myra faces?

Mary: Myra’s most important challenge is to embrace all the aspects of herself, including her ability. It’s only after she learns how to use it and to accept that it’s a positive and not a negative quality that she can take action. She has to figure out how to save her mother and other Flickerkin who face possible execution, solve the mystery of who committed an attack that killed her friend, and try to prevent another war. Along the way, she has to figure out who to trust and learn to rely on her own judgment.

YA: How would you describe the story, pure fantasy, action, thriller?

Mary: I would describe it as high fantasy, since it takes place in a world not our own. Some have called it dystopian, but I don’t think that label quite fits.

YA: Is there romance?

Mary: Yes! Myra is in love with Caster, but she also has some feelings for Nolan, who is a Flickerkin in hiding.

YA: Do you have a favorite line that you’d like to share?

Mary: The very last line of the book. I won’t quote it, since it would be a spoiler, but it was very satisfying to me.

authormarygthompson_med_hrWebsite | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

Mary G. Thompson was raised in Cottage Grove and Eugene, OR. She was a practicing attorney for more than seven years, including almost five years in the US Navy, and is now a law librarian in Washington, DC. She received her BA from Boston University, her JD from the University of Oregon, and her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School.

giveaway

3 winners will receive a signed finished copy of FLICKER AND MIST, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

12/26/2016- Twinning for Books- Interview

12/27/2016- Seeing Double In Neverland- Review

12/28/2016- Wandering Bark Books- Guest Post

12/29/2016- Fiktshun- Review

12/30/2016- YA Book Madness- Interview

 

Week Two:

1/2/2017- Fiction Fare- Review

1/3/2017- A Gingerly Review- Excerpt

1/4/2017- Curling Up With A Good Book – Excerpt

1/5/2017- Two Chicks on Books- Interview

1/6/2017- Nerdophiles- Review

Fantastic reading, 

Jordan

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