Awesome Indies: Cargo by Jen Castleberry

Posted June 24, 2016 by Emily in Awesome Indie / 1 Comment

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Awesome Indies: Cargo by Jen CastleberryCargo by Jen Castleberry
Series: The Reservation Trilogy #1
on January 17th, 2016
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 144
Buy on Amazon

The earth has been reduced to a singular continent, governed by extra-terrestrials, collapsed by nuclear weapons residue and wracked with radiation sickness. Only one viable territory remains, and access there is restricted by a mysterious selection process. Everyone hopes to be chosen for transport. Everyone but Cass.
Seventeen year old Cassidy Hartinger has spent the past eleven years living in a government-maintained bunker. She should be thrilled when a handsome transporter arrives to take her to the Reservation. So why does she feel like he's dragging her, kicking and screaming, straight into the anti-paradise?
Faced with gun-wielding survivalists and elemental catastrophes, will Cass make it more than two steps out of the bunker? Will her journey to peace and safety in the Reservation turn out to be the most perilous thing she's encountered so far?
Fast-paced action and a tumultuous teenage romance will keep readers begging for more installments of The Reservation Trilogy!

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Book one in this series is a first-person installment, and the narrator has a very limited understanding of the world around her.  She’s spent two-thirds of her life living underground.  It made world-building a bit tricky.  I played around with different perspectives and different levels of omniscience, but in the end, I really wanted to see Cass develop into a brave, capable heroine, and the best way to do that was to show her in her most vulnerable state, thrust into a dangerous environment with almost no knowledge of what was in store.  I wanted the reader to come out of that bunker with her, not ahead of her.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

 My favorite scenes are always the action-infused ones.  The chase scene in the city was particularly fun to write.  For me, heightened emotions and a fast-pace make for a page-turning read.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

 Sure!  Right now, I’m working on the second installment of The Reservation Trilogy, Stowaway. It picks up right where we left off with Cass.  In Stowaway, I’m utilizing Nathan’s perspective.  He’s got a much broader understanding of the world and of himself, so it’s a more serious tone.  Romantically, it’s a bit more mature.  It’s been a blast to write.  A lot of the mysteries that were left dangling in book one will be resolved in book two, and quickly, too.  

Tell us about yourself? 

I’ve always loved writing.  It’s been a great escape for me since I was very young.  I used to think I’d be a famous writer, but my practical (and my pessimistic) side steered me away from that dream as I got older.  I pursued an Organizational Communications degree, and then fell in love with a completely off-the-wall career choice: animal welfare.  Right now, I work full time as a Veterinary Assistant at a local animal shelter.  I squeeze writing into my mornings and evenings.  I feel so lucky to have a job I truly love and to be making some headway as an indie author, too.

Do you have any pets? (Pictures would be great)

 I’ve got two dogs and a cat!  Gambit, Anna Marie, and Psylocke.  They’re all named after X-Men characters.
 castleberry pets

Do you have a set writing schedule that you adhere to? / Tell us how you write

 I write best in the morning.  That’s my quiet time.  I’ll put the puppies out back to play and give myself an hour to just drink my coffee, listen to music, and write.

Tell us about your book.

 CARGO is this first installment of The Reservation Trilogy, a post-apocalyptic tale set on the American continent.  Our heroine, Cass, has just been chosen for transport to the last viable territory remaining on the planet.  She’s spent two-thirds of her life living in a bunker underground, with the same routine, the same friends.  She feels a lot of remorse and insecurity, leaving behind everything that’s familiar to her.

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?

 This is a three-part series.  It’s riddled with little mysteries and Easter eggs.  There’s a great romance budding in book one, and a lot of big reveals set for books two and three.  At its core, it’s a story about a group of kids who have found different ways to survive, mentally, and emotionally, in a war-torn world.

Was this book inspired by something in particular?

 It’s got a bit of a sci-fi edge to it.  I’ve really gotten a kick out of these alien abduction shows that have flooded television in recent years.  I kept wondering what would happen to the human race if extra-terrestrials had to step in to save the planet.  Would they save the species that was responsible for destroying it?

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: http://jdcmanuscripts.wix.com/jencastleberry
Blog: http://jdcmanuscripts.wix.com/jencastleberry#!blog/jzg34
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jen-Castleberry-944943338925560/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jen_Castleberry
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14878839.Jen_Castleberry

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One response to “Awesome Indies: Cargo by Jen Castleberry

  1. Barbara

    Loved book 1 and eagerly awaiting book 2 so getting a little insite through this delightful interview was fun!

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