What if you had to live a life of Lies?
Could you do it if it was to save someone you love?
Can you live a life of LIES?
That’s exactly what Geneva finds herself doing to protect everyone she loves. While Geneva and her friends embark on a dangerous mission to fulfill her destiny, the dark forces that seek her powers are closing in, putting everyone she cares about at risk. Geneva must lie about who she is, what she knows and her true feelings. Are all these lies worth it or will she go too far and lose everything she’s been fighting for?
We continued through the dank tunnel until it suddenly spilled out onto the beach. I was hit with a warm blast of sea breeze and smiled, instantly reminded of the days spent with Nova, sneaking to the courtyard to steal looks at the sea and feel the salty breeze on our skin. My heart panged again, defying me of my reasons for staying away from him.
“What is this place?” Sparrow asked.
“It looks like the Coliseum!” Journey said coming up behind us.
“I have a bad feeling about this,” Remi said.
The dark hulking structure loomed before us. It looked like a giant dome that had mysteriously rose from the sea, and decided to rest on the white sand beaches. It’s colossal form, adorned with ornate carvings, looked so foreign on the soft flowing sand. It had massive columned archways marking the entrances all the way around the gigantic circular structure. The sides nearest the sea were being battered by a barrage of waves as the tide rolled in.
We walked under an archway and into the arena. I instantly felt a chill as the enormous shadow of the structure engulfed us. There was a giant hole in the center of the ceiling, letting the sunlight spill in. I looked up, shading my eyes to take in the immense feat of architecture. There was a second level of seating arranged above us. My mind reeled. This surely was meant for spectators. Despite the thick humidity, a cold damp chill crept up my spine. There was something sinister about this place.
“Nothing good can happen in here,” Sparrow whispered by my side.
1. What three things would you take to a Desert Island? – My best friend, Geneva. She always knows what to do and I just couldn’t imagine my life without her. I’d bring a metal pail so we’d have some way to boil water and a machete for protection and building shelter.
2. What do you consider are your strengths? – My mind and I’m usually leveled headed and stay calm.
3. What do you consider are your weaknesses? – My temper and jealously when it comes to Nova. The guy just irks me. He swoops in and acts like he knows what’s best for Geneva when he only just met her. I’m the one who knows Geneva best and therefor I know, that know one tells her what to do. She has a mind of her own and that’s what I love about her.
4. What is one physical attribute you are proud of? - Can I say my mind again? You don’t have to have big muscles to make a difference you know?
5. What one physical attribute would you change? – I don’t really like where you’re going with these questions. I think people shouldn’t feel like they have to change who they are to get others to like them more.
6. What do you consider your special talent? – Well, my magic power that allows me to be invisible whenever I want is pretty amazing.
7. What do you wish your special talent was? – Mind reading would be really handy around here with all the secrets and lies flying around.
8. What's the worst thing you've ever done? Why? – Acted upon jealousy. It’s never a reason to do anything. Actions should come from your heart.
9. When you walk into a room, what do you notice first? Second? – If Geneva’s there. If she needs my help.
10. When you walk into a room, what do you expect people to notice about you? – They don’t usually notice me. But that’s fine. I learn a lot that way.
11. What makes you love Geneva? – Everything. She’s the most amazing, caring, fun, sweet, beautiful person I know. And she’s so humble about who she is. I know there’s no reason that she’d pick a guy like me, but that doesn’t stop me from wishing for it. I’d do anything for her, I just wish she’d give me the chance.
12. Do you think that Nova is out to hurt Geneva? - If you asked me that question last year I would have said yes, but I know he loves her too and has her best interests at heart. I just don’t think they’re good together. They’re both impulsive and dramatic. I just think I’d be better for her, safer.
13. Do you think that Geneva can really save Hullabee Island? – Yes. I believe in her 100%. She’s so much stronger than she knows. She’s starting to see that now and when she comes into her own, there’s nothing she can’t do. I’m just terrified of what it will cost her.
14. Is Geneva really a strong person or does she just let people believe she is? – A little of both, I guess. She is definitely a strong person. Stronger than even she knows. But sometimes she forgets that she doesn’t have to shoulder everything herself. We’re here to help her. Why else would the Book of Secrets told her that we were meant to come on this quest with her? I believe she’s capable of fulfilling her destiny, but I also want to let her know it’s okay to be human and need help sometimes.
Christina Benjamin is the Award-Winning Author of the Young Adult series The Geneva Project. Her debut novel, The Geneva Project - Truth, has won multiple awards, including the Gold Medal for YA fiction at the 2014 Florida Authors & Publishers Awards.
The second book in her series, The Geneva Project - Secrets has just been released and it picks up right where the cliffhanger of Truth leaves off.
The Geneva Project offers fans of mega-hit YA fiction like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Percy Jackson a new series to obsess over. Christina paints a vivid world, where magic and imagination run wild in her epic tale of adventure, courage, friendship and self-discovery.
Christina now lives in Florida with her husband, and her character inspiring pets, where she spends her free time working on her book series and speaking at schools to inspiring creativity in young writers
Facebook FB Book Series Twitter Instagram Instagram Book Series Tumblr Google+ YouTube LinkedIn Website Book Website SquareUp Amazon Goodreads Trivia Quiz on Goodreads
1.) What made you want to pursue writing as a career?
– I’ve always loved stories. Whether I was telling them, listening to them, writing them or reading them. I just love the possibilities and the imagination that being a creative writer allows. I mean in what other career can you invent anything you can dream of? Words are truly magical to me and I’m so happy that I’ve chosen this career path.
2.) Any books or people that inspired you to live your dream?
– Books/Authors; Shakespeare, Harry Potter & JK Rowling. People; my who family. They’re such a fun creative bunch and they encourage me daily to follow my dreams and I’m so blessed to have them in my life.
3.) Why did you decide to self-publish?
– My husband and I created our own indie publishing label. We really enjoy the hands on creative ownership it allows and all the industry knowledge that comes with it. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s really been rewarding and helped make me a better writer and publisher.
4.) Are you a plotter or pantser?
– Total pantser. I’ve tried plotting to see if it would help make my writing go faster but I felt like it stifled my imagination. I love that the story takes on a life of it’s own without a plot. I enjoy following my characters where they take me. Sometimes I’m just as surprised as my readers.
5.) Are any of your characters YOU or are you writing about qualities you admire?
– None of them are me. They are influenced by things I’ve experience of course. I think it’s almost impossible to not have your life experience influence your writing and that’s what makes each author unique. We each have our own voice. Sometimes the characters have qualities I admire, others they have terrible qualities, that serve more as a moral warning. But they all are pretty true to the types of people and situations teens experience, from my point of view anyway.
6.) Were you always a writer/reader?
– Yes to both. I’ve loved writing since I was young. I used to enter short story contests all the time as a kid. I loved the art of storytelling too. My Dad and I used to make up stories on the way to school all the time. I didn’t really become a reader until high school when I realized that I could read for fun. But I feel in love with Shakespeare’s wild imagination and then started devouring books. I’m admittedly a slow reader though because I find my mind running away with the story in different directions while reading.
7.) Why did you pick Dystopian?
– It’s funny, I hadn’t realized I picked dystopian until a few readers started reviewing it that way. I just let the story unfold the way that seemed natural to me. My main character Geneva’s voice was really strong in my mind and it kept telling me that she was sort of a phoenix that would rise from the ashes to overcome, so dystopian just fit.
8.) What made you write YA vs NA?
– I guess I’m just a huge fan of reading YA so writing it seemed like the next progression. Plus, I swear my characters chose me to tell their stories, dictating their ages, themes and genre.
9.) Since so many authors are veering toward the non-clean audience, will you ever go towards that audience?
– I believe in Never Say Never, but as of now I don’t have any plans to. I love what I’m writing right now and being able to share it with schools and inspire young writers is part of why I love YA so much.
10.) Do any of your experiences come out in the books? (example the friends or the sisters?)
– I get asked this question a lot. The characters aren’t modeled after anyone I know in my real life, but I definitely am influenced by my experiences and can’t help but have that show through in my writing. The witty sarcastic banter is indicative of how my friends and I talk. The humor is definitely close to my own. I have fond memories of teen love so I can easily relate to the angsty teenage will they or won’t they. The most real influences are probably the scenery though. I love to travel and I pour some of my favorite places into the pages of The Geneva Project.
11.) The traits of Eva and Nova, are they anyone you know personally?
– Not one particular person. Nova is probably made up of every boyfriend, crush or celebrity I’ve ever drooled over. (in real life and in fiction.) But Geneva is her own character. I can’t say I really see anyone I know in her. I think her personality and conflicts have something that each of us can relate to. She’s very real, honest and vulnerable. I love that about her.
12.) I knew a few Jemma’s in high school. Was she based off anyone you knew? – Ugh, didn’t we all? She’s not modeled after anyone specifically, just a culmination of how cruel kids, siblings and friends can treat each other at that age because they don’t yet understand the power of their words and actions.
13.) How many books do you plan on writing in The Geneva Project?
– 4 books. I’ve started writing the 4th and final book already, but I have plans for a prequel and a spin off as well and some fun character Novellas, so the series is far from completely over. Plus, Never Say Never… right?
14.) How long does it normally take you to write a book?
– Too long! Ha-ha. It usually is a year from start to publication. The writing is maybe 7 months but editing, revising, formatting and cover design takes a long time.
15.) Who is your go to author for your reading pleasure?
– I don’t know that I have one. I’m not someone who usually reads the same book twice. If I did it would probably be JK Rowling. But I’m sort of dangling the Magnus Bane Chronicles as a carrot for when I finish writing the next book in The Geneva Project.
16.) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
– Oh man! These are tough questions. I don’t know. I sort of love the gypsy lifestyle writing allows. Maybe living on a boat, maybe RVing across the US, maybe still living in the happy little beach town in Florida. As long as I’m healthy, married to my best friend and writing I know I’ll be happy.
17.) Who do you contribute to your success?
– 100% my husband. Without him there would be no books. I would have stopped at writing the first manuscript and thought, “cool, I wrote something.” He’s the one that convinced me it was good and worth sharing and figured out how to start our own publishing company and encouraged me to go to conferences and speak at schools. He’s so supportive in everything I do and I know I would not be half the person I am today without him.
18.) Any recent promotions or future projects you’d like to share?
– Yes! For 2015 I’m really excited for the One-for-One program that I have going on. I’m matching the sale of my paperbacks from my website and my goal is to give 1000 books back to the community. I want to put books in the hands of readers who need them. Reading has brought so much positivitely into my life and I want to share that with others by giving books to schools, libraries and literacy programs in need. You can learn more on my website. To participate you can order books from my square store.
19.) Do you have some advice you’d like to share with aspiring authors?
– Write right now! Don’t wait. Everyone has a unique story and I’ve learned sharing it can bring people together. Your words may change someone’s life. Be brave. I’m so glad I was. And always keep a journal.
20.) Anything else you’d like to share with us today?
– I feel so blessed to be following my dreams and sharing my writing with others. I enjoy speaking to students, aspiring writers, bloggers, etc. If you’re interested in setting up a speaking engagement or have more questions for me, please feel free to contact me.