Autonomy by Jude Houghton – Interview + Giveaway

Autonomy cover


Jude Houghton
Published by: Grimbold Books
Publication date: July 29th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult, Science Fiction

Balmoral Murraine works in a Battery, assembling devices she doesn’t understand for starvation pay. Pasco Eborgersen is the pampered son of an Elite, trying to navigate the temptations of the Pleasure Houses, the self-sacrifice of the Faith, and the high-octane excitement of Steel Ball. They are two strangers, who never should have met, and now they will rip apart the world.

What happens when ninety percent of the world lives on skaatch – a jellyfish and insect composite?

What happens when mankind spends more time in alternative life sims instead of in the “real” world?

What happens when economic interest is the sole determinant of global decision making?

What happens when a single secret is discovered that calls into question everything we have ever believed?

Welcome to the Autonomy. Welcome to your future.

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1) Describe your writing area.

I write in my attic. I have an ancient CD player and I play music loudly whenever I’m finding it difficult to concentrate. I have a really comfy chair to sit in. The back is firm, the seat is spongy, but recently it broke and made me very sad. Now the back flies off most days. This is the view from the window.


2) Do you have a set writing schedule, or do you write whenever inspiration hits?


Because of work, life, family, pets – I can’t keep to any fixed schedule.

And I think if I waited for inspiration, I’d be waiting a long time.

Instead I grab moments whenever I can. If everyone else has gone to bed early, I’ll sneak up to the attic with a steaming coffee at ten or eleven at night and bang out a couple of hours. Alternatively, if I wake early in the morning, and everyone else is asleep, I’ll write watching the sun come up.

I think that probably makes it sound like I’m one of those people who don’t really need much sleep. That isn’t true. I am a late night person AND an early morning person. It’s the rest of the day I can’t handle. I keep going by giving myself small, electric shocks during the day, and shots of espresso throughout the afternoon.

3) What is the influence behind Autonomy?

I wanted to write a book that anticipates where the world is headed in the next twenty years, and in doing so, had many sources of inspiration ranging from large macro issues such as global warming, over population, terrorism, the ubiquity of corporate interests in every aspect of government, to more idiosyncratic but equally pervasive trends; smart screens and technologies designed to both limit and enhance our minds, the willingness to abdicate real life experiences for instant gratification and the insidious manipulation of various media.

4) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love spending time with my family doing things like playing soccer, going on family walks with the dog in the nearby woods, watching Supergirl and roller skating at a funky 70’s décor roller rink. I love curling up on the couch with my wife to watch a movie, usually with a bottle of wine.

5) If you could write from anywhere in the world, where would you like to write from and why?

Over the years, I have written in many diverse places ranging from a sky scraper in Hong Kong, to a secluded house on the southern tip of New Zealand, to the top of a garage in Boston, to the rolling hills of Umbria Italy. I have to say, I am happiest writing where I write now, in my attic, looking out over the countryside.

6) Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

Too many to list here!

I think one quirk, which is a common one, is playing music and then gravitating to the same album again and again when writing a particular novel. For my first published novel, Songs of Seraphina, the album happened to be a free CD I received with a PC Game, called Guild Wars. The CD was the soundtrack to the game. I never actually played the game, but just out of curiosity listened to the CD, and then couldn’t stop listening. To me the book and that soundtrack are almost inseparably.

Another quirk I have is that as I come towards the end of a novel, I just have to keep going. A few times that has meant me going to bed at 5am, and then getting up at 7am to go to work the next day. It makes the day very long, but there is just something so exciting about being awake in the dead hours of 3am and 4am when nobody else is stirring, apart from maybe the dog, if she realizes I’m up.

7) What are you working on now?

I am working on three projects with different levels of intensity. The first is a departure from sci-fi and fantasy, and is a book about redemption. The second is the follow up to the trilogy Songs of Seraphina and the third is another science fiction novel about settling a new world. Yes, I tend to have multiple books on the go at the same time. It’s just the way I work. The books have different moods, and sometimes I just gravitate towards one rather than the other. It is also good sometimes to step away for a bit and do something completely different rather than battle on through a particularly difficult part of the novel when you are not feeling it. In the same way, I am always reading multiple books, right now I’m reading: Bleak House (again!), a book by Dick Francis, a book by Tim Winton and a book called The English and their History by Robert Tombs.

Author Bio:

Jude developed a love of fantasy from a relatively early age after realising an innate talent for making stuff up could result in something other than detention. Working across the globe in fields as diverse as journalism, data entry, sales, management consultancy and babysitting, Jude has partially succeeded in putting an English and History degree from Oxford University to good use. A somnambulist, insomniac, lover of letters, Jude writes late into the night, most nights, tumbling down the rabbit hole to dream of other lives. Jude currently lives in Pennsylvania with an over-enthusiastic family and absurdly entitled dog.

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