In your opinion, what are the top three reasons why teens (or even adults) should consider picking up Drought the next time they see it in stores or online?
1. It's a different story than what they've read before.
2. They'll love the characters.... or love to hate some of them.
3. It'll suck you in and make you think.
Drought tells the story of Ruby so would you mind telling us a little about her? Also, if you could offer her any type of advice, what would you say?
Ruby has been alive for two hundred years, maturing very slowly into a near-woman today. She has a very special, and secret, gift: her blood, mixed with water, can sustain life. But she longs for the day when she can leave the woods where she's been trapped for two hundred years... longs to be a "normal" girl with modern clothes and maybe even a special boy.
As for advice for Ruby, I'd tell her to listen to her heart, and her heart alone. She's surrounded by some very big, pushy personalities who think they know what's best for her. But she's reached the point when she needs to make that decision for herself.
In Drought, Ruby's blood makes the water special, which makes her valuable to not only the Congregation but the Overseers as well. This leaves me to wonder the following: why did you make her have such a special talent?
Ruby has simply always had this gift, as has her father Otto. That's where the story started: I drove by a broken-down old barn in upstate NY and had a vision of blood dropping into a glass of water, inside that barn. Then I shared my lovely vision with the people who were in the car with me. You never know what you're getting into, going on a car trip with me!
I am horrified, on a daily basis, by the cruelty that human beings inflict on each other. I wanted my story to show the very personal impact of cruelty. It's so easy to brush it off when we read a news article or hear about pain far away. But the truth is that people are being beaten, starved, tortured every day somewhere on our planet.... and in some cases, much closer than any of us want to think. I've read devastating accounts of migrant farm workers and how they are treated in some farms in the US--how they are virtually slaves. I think their plight definitely worked their way into my story.
Over the course of Drought, Ruby begins to form a relationship with Ford, a handsome overseer who promises her he can get her out of the life she's living, which leaves me to wonder the following: what was one of the your favorite parts about writing about their relationship, as well as one of the most challenging?
Let me tell you, Ruby and Ford tied me in knots. Yet writing their scenes together was also the most rewarding--once I got it right. I loved writing about their official "date", especially (I won't say more about that, since I don't want to give much away!). Figuring out how fast Ruby would move with this guy--given that he's the enemy, really, and that she's never had a relationship before--was definitely challenging. I couldn't have her think or act like a "modern" girl.
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I like trying new things every time I write, so that was part of it. But truly, it was Ruby who stepped up and told me that she wanted her story told.
What's up next for you book wise?
I am working on another YA story about a secret, altered world. I'm quite fascinated by those!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for having me here! And remember... dark secrets lurk just outside our vision. Keep your eyes peeled!
Thanks so much Pam!
To find out more about Pam and her books, be sure to head on over to her website. You can also view my reviews of Drought and Candor here and here.