Today at The Reading Corner for All we're a part of which features an interview with author T.H. Hernandez and blog tour giveaway.
Sixteen-year-old Annarenee Stevens is the sole
member of her family without a super
power. The only time she feels powerful is in the pool. With her sights set on swimming for U.C. Berkeley, she’s ready to win it all at the State championship and secure her future.
When the government unexpectedly ends the secret Genetically Enhanced Asset (GEA) program, Annarenee is uprooted from Dayton, the only home she’s ever known, and relocated to San Diego with all of the other GEA families. Queen of her public school, Annarenee is just another zero at Superhero High, a school without any sports teams.
With the end of the program, her hero older brother now needs a college education, too, meaning the only way Annarenee is getting into Berkeley is on a scholarship. Her dream is slipping through her fingers, no matter how tightly she clings to it. To make matters worse, super hot superhero, Ren Gonzalez, is paying too much attention to her. The kind of attention that has Ren’s ex-girlfriend intent on making Annarenee’s life even more miserable.
But when heroes begin disappearing, zeros and heroes will be forced to team up in order to solve the mystery. If they don’t kill each other first.
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T.H. Hernandez is the author of young adult books. The Union, a futuristic dystopian adventure, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category. She loves pumpkin spice lattes, Game of Thrones, Comic-Con, Star Wars, Doctor Who marathons, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three young adults who share her home. When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband and three children, a couple of cats, and a dog who thinks he’s a cat, affectionately referred to as “the puppycat.” You can find her online at:
Interview with T.H. Hernandez
The Reading Corner for All (RCA)
Q1) How would you describe your writing experience?
T.H. Hernandez: To sum it up in one word, I’d have to say rewarding. I’ve always been a creative person. Early on, I drew, painted, sculpted, and even spent a semester in high school taking a screenprinting class. As an adult, I took up photography and digital art. I never thought I’d be a writer, but as often happens in life, events lead you where you’re supposed to go. My job is in proposal development, which includes many graphic elements. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words surrounding the art were equally important. and I found myself drawn more to writing than illustrating.
Fast forward nearly a dozen years and I became unemployed as a result of the financial meltdown of 2008. After one particularly long and unfruitful day of looking for a job, my husband asked me what I would do if I could do anything I wanted. I said, “Write and illustrate children’s books.” He nodded and then asked the question that would once again change the course of my future. “What’s stopping you?”
What was stopping me indeed. Not a thing. I sat down to do just that and ended up with a book about a young blind prince who could only see when it rained. But for the life of me, I couldn’t come up with any ideas for a second book. Instead, the story that filled my mind, kept me awake at night, demanded to be told was about the potential devastations of climate change and what that aftermath might look like. The story poured from me with ease, and that book led to another and another before I took a break to try something different with SUPERHERO HIGH.
I also took some time after the fourth book in THE UNION series to co-write a lighthearted young adult contemporary with Jennifer DiGiovanni, which we recently sold to Entangled Publishing. Now I’m back at work on the fifth book in THE UNION series and plotting the sequel to SUPERHERO HIGH. I have more ideas than time these days.
Q2) What was your first reaction when you finished SUPERHERO HIGH?
T.H. Hernandez: Relief and satisfaction. I originally submitted a much longer version to my publisher, and they convinced me that it was indeed rather long for the genre, so I broke it up into two separate books, although it’s more like the first two-thirds was book one and I’ll take the last third and add more to it to develop it into a full-length novel.
3) What was your own high school experience like?
T.H. Hernandez: I went to three different high schools. Like Annarenee, we moved from Ohio to San Diego during my high school years. I was in the middle of my sophomore year, had friends, an active social life. But on the other side of the country, I struggled at first to fit in. Going from a small parochial high school to a public school with more than 4,000 kids was a culture shock to say the least But after a few months, I was making friends and beginning to come into my own. However, a tragic event, one of the earlier school shootings carried out at a nearby elementary school by one of my high school classmates, shook my parents to the core and they pulled me out of that school only to put me into yet a third high school. By then, I decided not to even bother. I kept to myself the end of my sophomore year and most of my junior year, although I got a job and made a ton of friends at work.
Still, high school wasn’t what I hoped it would be. My parents took pity on me and sent me back to my old high school in Ohio where I lived with my grandmother for a year. I graduated with the same friends I’d had growing up and it was not only fun, but a chance for a real goodbye before we all departed for parts unknown to live our lives. To this day, I remain very good friends with so many kids from my graduating class, and I’m eternally grateful to my parents for giving me the an amazing senior year.
4) I actually used to live in San Diego. It’s such a beautiful place! Were there some locations that inspired your book?
T.H. Hernandez: Nearly all of them! I chose Liberty Station down by the waterfront as home base for my characters. Aside from the fictional Liberty High, most of the locations in my book are real, including the Gaslamp Quarter where a day outside Comic-Con plays a pivotal role. I drew on my own shock and awe when I first set foot in San Diego as a teen to sculpt Annarenee’s observations. If you are familiar at all with the Point Loma and Loma Portal areas of San Diego, you’ll recognize many of the locations.
5) Anything you’d like to add about yourself or SUPERHERO HIGH?
T.H. Hernandez: SUPERHERO HIGH was a joint plotting effort with my family on a road trip up to San Francisco a few years ago. I wanted to take a break from THE UNION series and threw out several ideas I had. My kids pushed me to write SUPHERO HIGH next. On that long drive, they helped me name the characters and decide what their powers would be. Three of the characters are named after my children—Mattea, Noah, and Grayson—and they helped me define their physical and character traits as well any supernatural abilities.
Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
A $25 gift card for the giveaway plus a superhero high t-shirt!
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