Introducing LEVEL TWO by Lenore Appelhans

Lenore Appelhans is one of my favorite book bloggers, and recently she made a HUGE announcement: she got a book deal! So, while the book won't be released for quite some time, I can't wait to get my grabby hands on it!

Meanwhile, Lenore graciously offered to answer a few questions for me about LEVEL TWO, coming from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, in a joint acquisition with CBS Films. (YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT.)

What can you tell us about LEVEL TWO?

I can tell you that it’s exactly the kind of novel that I love to read! But if you want a bit more than the GoodReads description, here you go:

Level Two is a speculative young adult novel about a place that exists after our world (Level One). Seventeen-year-old Felicia Ward spends her days in her pod reliving her favorite memories - until she gets broken out by Julian, a boy she knew when she was still alive. There’s about to be an uprising in Level Two, and Julian wants to recruit her to the cause. But unsure whether she can trust Julian, and still in love with her boyfriend Neil on Earth, she finds herself torn between two loves—and two worlds.

Where did you get the idea for LEVEL TWO?

This is going to sound bizarre, but the spark of the idea developed out of an argument I had with my grandmother about whether money was better spent on Precious Moments figurines (her point of view) or travel (mine). The story started as a way for me to justify my own choices and priorities in life. I thought about how to best implement it for years, until I had a breakthrough last May while walking around the ruins of Pompeii, Italy with my critique partner. Once I had that “a ha” moment, the rest just flowed out of me.

You started out as a book blogger; how did that help you in writing?

My Precious Moments-loving grandmother had my astrological chart done by a professional when I was 10 and he said that I was destined to be a writer (apparently I have a grand trine in air signs). I’ve always enjoyed writing – even term papers in college. So when I heard that book blogs existed, I knew I wanted to start one. It was about the same time that I fell in love with young adult fiction. The book blog and the book blogging community got me reading more widely and WAY more. I am a big believer in the old adage if you want to be a writer, you need to read. It worked for me!



Which novels have influenced you or your writing?

I think every book I’ve read has influenced me in some way, even if I’m not consciously aware of it. Through what I’ve read, I’ve learned about pacing, structure, character development and other craft issues. That said, I gravitate towards novels that are high-concept and innovative - but still literary - since those are the kinds of books that really excite me and that I want to write. Books like CLOUD ATLAS by David Mitchell, FEED by MT Anderson, BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver and DUST OF 100 DOGS by AS King, to name a few.

What book are YOU waiting on eagerly?

So many! I have a huge appetite for anything dystopian, so I am eagerly awaiting everything on this list  as well as the sequels to all the dystopian series I’ve already started (i.e. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, DELIRIUM, MATCHED, THE PASSAGE, WITHER, etc.). And though they aren’t dystopian, I would drop everything to read WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman or a new novel by Jandy Nelson (THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE).

Thank you so much for telling us about LEVEL TWO, Lenore! And I know everyone else will be as eager as me to read it--why not go ahead and add it to your GoodReads?

16 comments:

NotNessie @ Today's Adventure said...

I guess book ideas really DO come from anywhere and everywhere. Make sure you say thank you to your grandmother =o)

I'm so happy to hear a little more about LEVEL TWO and I can't wait to read it!

Katie McGarry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie McGarry said...

I love the inspiration for this book! Thanks for sharing!

Anita Saxena said...

Congratulations on the book deal. Love the concept!

Jeanne said...

So there won't be any Precious-Moments inspired illustrations?! Waiting to read this one!

Jamie said...

I am so ridiculously excited for this one!!! I <3 Lenore!

emy shin said...

I'm so excited for LEVEL TWO!

I can't agree more that reading is one of the best way to learn how to write.

I gravitate towards novels that are high-concept and innovative - but still literary - since those are the kinds of books that really excite me and that I want to write.

Yes! I love high-concept novels, but adore the literary style of writing as well.

Heather Anastasiu said...

So exciting, and I LOVE the description and concept! I can't wait to read it!!!! Also cool to hear about the random crossings of inspirations that all work together in our brains and make thier way out into our writing. Very cool to trace these out.

izzylovesbia said...

Hmmm, I guess it is good Grandmother did not have my astrological charts read,eh? Or maybe it would have prepared everyone for my battle-ax of an existence... A vicious cycle of passive acceptance; passive acceptance of a vicious cycle. Anywho, proud of you sis.

Jessica Subject said...

This sounds like a great book! I'll definitely be watching for its release.

Jenn Johansson said...

Ooh, sounds interesting! :) I'm excited to check it out!

bermudaonion said...

This was wonderful! I'm so excited for Lenore!

Linda said...

Lenore, I knew your Grandma Dugan collected Precious Memories, but I didn't know this story. Love you, and am SO proud of you! Aunt Linda

Heather Zundel said...

LOVE this early interview and I <3 Lenore! So happy for her, and I loved how you said every book has influenced you. :)

Anna said...

I'm very much looking forward to reading Lenore's book. :)

Michelle said...

Love the Precious Moments tie in! I'm so excited to read Level Two, it sounds like a fantastic story.