Welcome to #TheQuickSixInterview with Adele Jones!
We’re thrilled (in more ways than one!) to invite our next guest to the blog! Young adult writer, Adele Jones, shares her latest enthralling science-fiction thriller, Immortal Mistake; a gripping, confronting and high impact novel set to ignite a visceral intensity that readers can’t bear to ignore. Hold on while we plunge into Rennie’s world with Adele Jones! 🙂
About the Author
Queensland author Adele Jones writes young adult fringe and
near-science fiction exploring the underbelly of bioethics and
confronting teen issues that include disability, self-worth, loss,
domestic conflict, and more. She also writes historical fiction,
poetry, inspirational non-fiction and short fictional works, with
themes of social justice, humanity, faith, natural beauty and meaning
in life’s journey. Adele’s first YA novel “Integrate” (book one of the
Blaine Colton Trilogy) was awarded the 2013 CALEB Prize for
unpublished manuscript. As a speaker she seeks to present a practical
and encouraging message by drawing on themes from her writing.
Immortal Mistake can be purchased via Rhiza Edge, online and in all good bookstores.
WHO wrote and published this book?
Immortal Mistake is written by Adele Jones (me) and published by Rhiza Edge Press.
WHAT is it about?
Rennie Parker is a fourteen-year-old stuck in a cycle of neglect and domestic upheaval, who dreams of living with a family like the one his half-brother was adopted into. One night while escaping his abusive, alcoholic father, he witnesses a bionic stranger unearth a high-tech vault buried in his backyard. This pulls him into a world of forced experimentation that erases 24 hours of memories. Along with his half-brother, Blaine Colton, Rennie becomes embroiled in a complex cloning and child trafficking nightmare, one where feelings and memories can be extracted like digital files and sentience, consciousness and knowledge can be implanted. Propelled on a high octane rollercoaster ride of his life, Rennie has plenty of spills along the way as he searches for identity, belonging, love and his place in a confusing world that couldn’t be more complicated. A gritty science-fiction thriller set in Brisbane, Australia, that is ultimately hopeful.
What is your favourite part of this book?
Rennie’s story is complicated and took me to difficult places. He is often misunderstood, and even cast aside by much of society and his peers. Yet, no matter what comes at him, he remains resourceful and determined as he searches for a place of belonging, safety and the love of a family in his complicated world. My favourite part of the story is when Rennie comes to understand he’s not an unwanted mistake, and that other people’s choices towards unhappiness are not his fault, no matter how many times he’s been told this.
WHEN did you begin writing this book?
I began jotting ideas for Immortal Mistake in 2017, with the first manuscript draft coming together in 2018. As you can imagine, much has changed in our world since that time, with intriguing parallels arising since the story’s early drafts.
When is its release / launch date?
Immortal Mistake was released on the 1st of August, 2023.
WHERE did the inspiration for this book come from?
I have a mind that goes on frequent misadventures with ideas based on, “What if science could …?” When I completed the Blaine Colton trilogy in 2016, I began toying with the idea of giving Rennie (Blaine’s little brother) an adventure of his own. My aim was a lighter story that targeted a younger audience. (Hmmm, that didn’t go according to plan …) Rennie’s journey kept pushing me in a different direction. The science-fiction aspects were drawn out of a variety of theorised technologies based on human cloning, concepts of virtual reality and other AI proposals. In my usual approach, I’ve modified these ideas and pushed them out to broader applications. By introducing fictional technology capable of harvesting all aspects contributing to sapience, including selectively altering or even erasing memories, I created the nightmarish world Rennie finds himself embroiled in. Ironically, the timing of this release coincides with similar ideologies publicised at global gatherings over the past few years, including the rather nefarious claim of humans being nothing more than “hackable animals”, able to be monitored and controlled by linking into a central monitoring server through “under the skin surveillance” with capacity to modify desires and memories, including loss of free will. So … hmmm … make of that what you will …
WHY is this book meaningful to you?
Rennie’s story is often painful and emotionally challenging. His attempts to navigate his difficult existence see him frequently misunderstood. By getting inside his world, I feel this may open the door for readers to the complex factors enfolding victims of domestic abuse and young people who get entangled in youth crime. I also feel the issue of child trafficking is highly relevant to today’s society. Although this wasn’t in the original plan when drafting this story, it links closely to Rennie’s own journey of realising he is not a mistake and deserves more than the mistreatment he’s received.
Why would its message resonate with readers?
The release of Immortal Mistake couldn’t have been timelier for the current social climate, coinciding with the release of child trafficking feature movie (based on real events) Sound of Freedom, and mounting community concerns in response to a spike of youth crime offences across local Queensland communities. Both of these issues are huge and deserve the exposure they are currently receiving, however, it was challenging to broach these topics in an age-appropriate manner. After some back-and-forth in the publishing/editing process, I think (hope!) we’ve found the right balance, without making the story too dark. In relation to youth crime, Immortal Mistake is not a justification of the actions of young offenders, but I hope it may open conversations and provide a bridge of understanding towards some of the reasons our youth get drawn into criminal activities, including the sense of belonging that can be found in “safer” groups when home is a battlefield.
HOW do you feel about the illustrations / cover design? How do they convey the feeling or mood you envisioned?
The cover for Immortal Mistake took some doing, but it works well for the story and genre. Though different to what I’d originally envisaged, one point of importance for me was having a model that projected a person around Rennie’s age, not someone older or more together, and I wanted elements that reflected the mystique of the science-fiction aspects of the novel—hence the glow. Those aspects are clear in the final product.
How have you promoted this book and how can we find it?
Well, socials and my author website, of course. 🙂 Immortal Mistake was also “mini-launched” in Brisbane in August at a showcase event by Omega Writers, and a full launch is planned in the following weeks. Copies have been (and will continue to be) sold at pop culture events around Queensland, and I will also do in-store signings at participating book stockers willing to host me. Immortal Mistake can be found at popular brick and mortar bookstores (QBD, Dymocks, Koorong) along with online stores (Amazon, Booktopia, Kobo, and many others) where digital and hardcopies can be sourced. Copies can also be purchased directly from Rhiza Edge Press at https://wombatrhiza.com.au/immortal-mistake/
OTHER information or experiences you’d like to share?
Teaching notes are available from Rhiza Edge Press. Educators can place an enquiry via their website to receive a copy of this resource.
WOW! What an incredibly powerful, evocative and gripping read! Thank you, Adele! 🙂
#thequicksixinterview #immortalmistake #sciencefiction #youthcrime #youngadult #loveozya