by C.K. Kelly Martin
Tour Schedule: http://bit.ly/2NeH6mO
Naomi doesn't expect anything unusual from her annual family trip to visit her grandparents in Ireland. What she expects is to celebrate her thirteenth birthday, hang out with her friends Ciara and Shehan, and deal with her gran's Alzheimer's. What she finds is a country hit by an unexpected virus that rapidly infects the majority of the Irish population over the age of twenty-one.
Amnestic-Delirium Syndrome (ADS) starts off with memory loss, but the virus soon turns its victims aggravated, blank, or violent. Naomi and her friends must survive on their own, without lucid adults, cut off from the rest of the world, until a cure is found.
But there are whispers that ADS is not terrestrial, and soon Naomi and her friends learn the frightening truth: we are not alone.
Road to Publication
Back in grade two, when I was seven years old, I wrote and illustrated three picture books. One involved time travel, another was set in outer space and I wish I could remember what the third was about, but it’s disappeared into the sinking sands of time. In a way those adventure books were my first self-publishing ventures. My teacher and my school principal were so impressed by my efforts that they were added to my classroom library so my classmates could read them. I was also asked to read the books aloud to kindergarten classes.
Such heady early accolades! But I didn’t have a children’s book traditionally published for another thirty-two years. At first because I was occupying myself with getting a degree in film studies, then because I was having the time of my life in Dublin in the nineties and finally, because getting published is a gargantuan task. It took me seven years of writing young adults books to land an agent back in 2006. By then I’d penned a trilogy and three stand-alone books. All of those novels were contemporary young adult stories and the first book I received a publication deal for was actually the fourth book I’d written, I Know It’s Over.
More young adult books followed I Know It’s Over, some with Random House and some with Canadian publisher Comorant’s YA imprint Dancing Cat Books. I’ve self-published a few too, including a novel I spent eighteen years on and off writing. The road to publication is a twisty-turny one that sometimes doubles back on itself, or at points appears to go on nearly forever without any sign of a gas station or rest stop. It’s a road without a clear destination because once you’ve been published for the first time, the road doesn’t end, it keeps right on going.
Here I am with my first middle grade book, Stricken—a sci-fi story set in Dublin—happily still on that long and winding road, excited for the characters and tales that come next.
Long before I was an author I was a fan of books about Winnie the Pooh, Babar, Madeline, Anne Shirley and anything by Judy Blume. Throughout high school my favourite class was English. No surprise, then, that most of my time spent at York University in Toronto was as an English major—not the traditional way to graduate with a B.A. (Hons) in film studies but a fine way to get a general arts education.
After getting my film studies degree I headed for Dublin, Ireland and spent the majority of the nineties there in forgettable jobs meeting unforgettable people and enjoying the buzz. I always believed I'd get around to writing in earnest eventually, and I began writing my first novel in a flat in Dublin and finished it in a Toronto suburb. By then I'd discovered that fiction about young people felt the freshest and most exciting to me. You have most of your life to be an adult but you only grow up once.
Currently residing near Toronto with my Dub husband, I'm an aunt to twenty-one nieces and nephews, and a great-aunt to two great-nephews. I became an Irish citizen in 2001 and continue to visit Dublin as often as I can while working on novels about young people.
My first young adult book, I Know It's Over, came out with Random House in September 2008, and was followed by One Lonely Degree, The Lighter Side of Life and Death, My Beating Teenage Heart and sci-fi thriller Yesterday. I released Yesterday's sequel, Tomorrow, in 2013 and put out my first adult novel, Come See About Me, as an ebook in June 2012. My most recent contemporary YA books, The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing and Delicate, were published by Cormorant Books' Dancing Cat Books imprint in 2014 and 2015.