The Colony by Kathleen Groger
(A Rasper Novel, #1)
Publication date: April 5th 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Young AdultTrust no one.
Never go out in the dark.
Always have a weapon.
Sixteen-year-old Val lives by these three rules etched on her arm. Her rules and her gun are the only things standing between her and assimilation by hordes of human-looking aliens she calls Raspers.
By day, Val gathers supplies. By night, she hides and wishes she could go back in time…before her family died…before the annihilation…before the Raspers began stalking her and demanding she join their collective.
But when the Raspers attack in broad daylight, the truth becomes startlingly clear.
A fellow survivor crashes into Val’s life. Adam’s full of charm and promises—like rumors of a safe haven—but there’s something wrong. He’s survived with no supplies, no weapons…no plans. Time is running out. With the formula for survival shifting around her, Val must decide how many rules she’s willing to break to escape the Colony.
Hi, Kathleen! Welcome to We Do Write. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Thank you so much for having me. I live in Ohio with my husband, two sons, and two dogs. I have an irrational fear of driving in the snow (not good when I live where I do) and have been enjoying a long-term love affair with dark chocolate. And I have absolutely no sense of direction. I served a fifteen year sentence in retail management before I started writing full-time. The Colony is my debut novel and the first two books in my Seam Stalkers series will release in September. I hope to have the second book in the Rasper series out in early 2017.
Tell our readers a bit about THE COLONY. What's the story about?
It’s a sci-fi book about Val, a sixteen year old girl, left alone after an alien apocalypse. She doesn’t know what caused every person in her town to die or turn into creatures she calls Raspers. They look human except for their shallow breathing and yellow-tinged skin. She knows they’re not zombies. They’re something more terrifying because they have a high intelligence and hunt for her at night. She creates three rules to keep herself alive, writing them on her arm to remember. Trust no one. Never go out in the dark. Always have a weapon.
She’s survived on her own for four months by following her rules, then one night, another person sneaks into her hideout. Adam’s her age, full of charm, and ideas of safe communities, but he has no answers or weapons or plans. The Raspers start to evolve and change their attack, leaving Val with no option but to join Adam on his quest to find safety. With the world destroyed, no electricity, or visible human life, Val will have to choose how many of her rules she’s willing to break to escape the Colony.
How did the idea of the story come to you?
My older brother was into aliens when I was a kid. He always talked about them and how it would be cool if he got to go to their planet with them. The thought of aliens scared me and I spent a number of years worried that aliens would abduct me and turn me into one of them. I came up with the idea for The Colony by flipping my fear of abduction into how a teen could survive if the aliens took over Earth.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a bit of both - a planser. Before I start a story, I know my main characters, the setting, the conflict, and the ending. Everything else comes as I work through the story, which in some cases leads to lots of editing.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Not giving into my inner editor who wants to make every word perfect as I write the first draft.
What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
I have to have a mug of scalding-hot, black tea and music.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
I would want to be invisible. Then I could go anywhere, see and hear anything. I love to think about all the story ideas I could come up with if I was invisible!
What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
Top secret underground facilities. It’s amazing how many there are. I love reading articles and books, and watching shows on conspiracy theories. I recently read a theory that there is a high-speed mag-type train that runs across the United States. I’m working on a way to add that into the next book in the Rasper series, but who knows if I will. :)
Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
reading, cooking, spending time with my family and my dogs, or photographing abandoned buildings.
Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
So many people have supported and helped me on my journey to publication. I couldn’t have done it without my family, my local critique partners, the ladies of Readerlicious (We are eleven women rocking the writing world. One word at a time, one day at a time, sometimes....one letter at a time. www.readerlicious.com), my beta readers, and the teachings of Margie Lawson has elevated my writing. Thank you all for everything!
Thanks for stopping by the blog!
Thank you for having me and letting me chat!
She lives by the mantra that a day is not complete without tea. Lots of tea. Kathleen lives in Ohio with her husband, two boys, and two attention-demanding dogs. When not writing or editing or revising, you can find her reading, cooking, spending time with her family, or photographing abandoned buildings.
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