Craig DiLouie joins me to chat his latest novel, One of Us (Orbit Books), the writing process, where characters comes from, and gives insight into hybrid publishing.
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Imagine the X-Men weren’t really superheroes, imagine they have power that is imperfect and not every character has a heart of gold. Then sprinkle in a bit of To Kill a Mockingbird and lay it on a wide-scale revolution impending.
One of Us is the tale of creepers born into an everyday world, becoming teens in the year 1984. These creepers are children with any number of mutations from the evolutionary pool showing on their backs, or often enough, hides. They’re tucked away in internment camps, Homes as they’re titled, and used as slave labor and punching bags. They aren’t happy about this, and who would be?
So much of this story bounces echoes off human societies and the problematic and painful truths of prejudice. That, however, I won’t get into here, beyond saying this story takes very real prejudices and lays them on a supernatural palette in a way that they feel natural and demand an emotional response.
Start to finish, One of Us features a storyline that lays groundwork for every impossibility before presenting it, and does so in a way that is wholly readable and enjoyable. This story is honest, sincere, engaging, and extremely entertaining. I know I’m a few months from the end, about thirty books away, but I can’t imagine this not being in the running for my personal read of the year.