Adrianne, what was your inspiration for writing YOUR ONE & ONLY?
In an article I read about the ethical implications of cloning a Neanderthal, it suggests that it would be morally irresponsible to do so, because the extinct Homo sapiens would have no connection to our modern world—no community, no family, no culture, not even the foods he would have been accustomed to. That started me thinking. I loved the idea of a story about a character so radically out of place, so mismatched, the only one of his kind. Instead of writing a Neanderthal main character, I imagined a future where humanity had evolved into nine different models of genetically altered clones. Those clones create the first new human in centuries. For the clone society, he is a sort of Neanderthal, primitive and distinct even opposed, to the world that created him. So that article inspired me to explore the assumptions we all have about individuality, family, and community.
What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?
Lois Lowry’s THE GIVER was a huge influence on me, and I love Lauren Oliver’s DELIRIUM series. Claudia Gray’s DEFY THE STARS shares common themes with YOUR ONE & ONLY, and for great sci fi I always recommend S. J. Kincaid’s THE DIABOLIC.
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
I love writing in the lively environment of a coffee shop and listening to music on my headphones. I tend to get stuck on one to three songs and play them over and over. My local coffee shop knows me now because I’m there so much, and they usually have my tea order ready before I get to the counter. Also I find it helpful to get out of the house, where there are too many distractions, like laundry, television, and kids.
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
The most important advice I would give is to write for yourself. Do it because you have a story you need to tell, a story you wish you could read that doesn’t exist yet, or simply because you enjoy writing. Having a goal, like publishing or sharing your work in some way, is great, but that can’t be the reason you write or even the main goal. Goal posts move with each accomplishment, but what it always comes back to is writing because you love the process of telling stories.
ABOUT THE BOOKYour One & Only
by Adrianne Finlay
HMH Books for Young Readers
Jack is a walking fossil. The only human among a sea of clones. It’s been hundreds of years since humanity died off in the slow plague, leaving the clones behind to carry on human existence. Over time they’ve perfected their genes, moving further away from the imperfections of humanity. But if they really are perfect, why did they create Jack?
While Jack longs for acceptance, Althea-310 struggles with the feeling that she’s different from her sisters. Her fascination with Jack doesn’t help. As Althea and Jack’s connection grows stronger, so does the threat to their lives. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Have you had a chance to read YOUR ONE & ONLY yet? Have you had a story inspired by an article you read? Do you write for yourself? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!
Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Anisaa, Charlotte, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, Emily, and Lori Ann