When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.
Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.
Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.
Welcome back to YA FRESH, Jessica! Please share with our readers what your YA novel is about.
Jessica: UNREMEMBERED is a lot of things. It’s sci-fi, it’s romance, it’s suspense, but ultimately it’s a mystery. The whole book revolves around one essential question: Who is Seraphina?
As the story progresses, we learn more about her. She survived a plane crash without a scratch. She wasn’t on the passenger manifest. Her fingerprints and DNA aren’t in any databases. She has no memories of her former life. She’s fluent in several languages. She can run really fast. And there’s a boy who seems to appear out of nowhere. Who claims they were in love and that he helped her escape from some pretty bad people.
It was a really fun book to write. I wrote it from Seraphina’s perspective so the reader is always squarely in her shoes. Never a step ahead or a step behind.
If you could have any of Seraphina’s unique “abilities” which would you have?
Jessica: When creating Seraphina, the main character of this book, I included a lot of “aspirational” qualities about her that I wish were true about me. That was one of the most fun aspects of writing this series. For example, she can speak multiple languages, can compute numbers and mathematics as fast as a computer, and she’s superman strong!
But I think the one “ability” she has that I would want over any other is her ability to read really fast. She can read a 300-page book in less than 3 minutes. That just seems like such a handy skill to have when you’re an author. My to-read pile is scarier than a Jenga tower. If I were able to read as fast as Seraphina, I could get through that thing in less than a day.
What would you say was your favorite character to write about in Unremembered?
Jessica: I have to say Cody, Seraphina’s 13-year-old foster brother.
This genre was brand new for me. My first time venturing into the world of sci-fi. And as all my contemporaries were comedies, it was oftentimes a challenge for me to write something darker and more serious (see evidence above.) Cody, however, is the comic relief of the novel. So writing him was like a little link back to my comfort zone. I always felt like I was “home” when I wrote him. And it gave me the opportunity to make fun of myself a little. While Sera’s storyline is rather dark and mysterious and all these harrowing things are happening around her, Cody can always be counted on to lighten the mood with a comedic crack on her situation.
You have stepped out of your normal contemporary novels to create a sci-fi paranormal ya-thriller, how was your experience of transitioning from realistic to fantasy ?
Jessica: I must admit, it was VERY difficult. I basically had to create a new world with new rules and new technology. What’s nice about contemporary is the rules are already set up for you. I know how THIS world works, so you can just tell a story about a character’s emotional journey. But having to also incorporate world building elements was a challenge. As was the fact that I was setting up an entire series. Fortunately I knew where I wanted books 2 and 3 to go so I could plant things in book 1 that would pay off in further books, but having to juggle ALL of that in my mind sometimes made me feel like I was going crazy!
Thanks for sharing with us, Jessica! What are you working on now?
Jessica: I just finished writing book 2 of the Unremembered Trilogy, which is called UNFORGOTTEN. And I’m gearing up to start working on book 3, which is called UNTITLED. Haha! But seriously, I’m thinking of keeping that title. What do you think?
LOL! Fits perfectly! Good luck!
JESSICA BRODY knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started self “publishing” her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples and electrical tape. She is the author of 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, My Life Undecided, The Karma Club, and now, Unremembered. Her books have been translated and published in over 15 countries. She currently splits her time between California and Colorado. www.jessicabrody.com.