I don’t read a lot of dystopian, but I found this one different and intriguing. Of course, I had to go get details. Bridget Ladd is not only an exciting author, but she herself is pretty badass. I mean look at the picture to the left here.
I had a great time interviewing her and hope to do so again in the future. The fact that she shares my appreciation for the smell of Band-Aids is even more reason for me to like her. Not that I needed more reason.
Check out the WomenOfBadassery review of The Lotus Effect here: http://www.womenofbadassery.com/review-lotus-effect-bridget-ladd/
Zen: First, I’m going to address the elephant in the room. Your book has gotten a lot of comparisons to The Hunger Games. What do you think about that?
Bridget Ladd: Hi there! Great question. I’ve always been enthralled with survival stories, even as a young child. Having to fight for your life and what you believe in is so very primal to me and fascinating! I never, not once, planned to ride the wave of Suzanne Collin’s success. I’m not a fan of copycat writing. (Or using book covers that look like popular books.) I simply have a love of throwing my characters into situations that readers will find scary and thrilling.
One of my favorite movies as a child was Mortal Kombat. (I know, not something to be super proud of, but I am.) and I had myself convinced I wanted to grow up to be Sonya Blade. Also, Tomb Raider. Then there was Gladiator. Oh man. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I boohooed because of that movie. EVERY SINGLE TIME. The history of Ancient Rome really struck a chord with me. It was both horrible and endearing. A time of courage and sacrifice, of bad people doing bad things, and good people doing great things.
It’s also safe to say my favorite Harry Potter novel was the fourth one . . . with the Triwizard Tournament, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (I was totally rooting for Fleur Delacour.) If you can see the trend here, I’ve always loved fighting, strong women, tournaments, and survival. (And romance too.) I always knew I wanted a blend of all these aspects in a story of my own one day . . . it just so happened Suzanne Collins beat me to the starting line.
I admit, I do cringe a little when I’m asked to describe The Lotus Effect to anyone. Of course, with using the terms ‘Tournament’ or ‘Fighting’ they immediately assume The Hunger Games. It’s unfortunate. The Barrage in The Lotus Effect is only a small stepping stone in the plot of the series itself, so I try to not let that aspect be the main descriptor. If you think about it . . . how many vampire or werewolf novels are out there? You don’t usually hear many people say, ‘Meh, that’s such a rip off of Anne Rice or Bram Stoker’s Dracula.’ Or what about books based on fairy tale adaptations? Isn’t that somewhat the same thing too? In essence, these stories and writers use the structural backbone of an older story to create their own version. No one holds a grudge against them. Myself included. The Lotus Effect is a dystopian world with a gladiator style tournament—which unfortunately for some, is enough to induce a stink eye. I knew Lily and Xander’s world would probably seem similar to readers, but I also knew it would be very different.
I actually had the literary agent who represents Suzanne Collins read The Lotus Effect when it was in its early stages. She told me she thought I’d gone where no other Steampunk writer had gone before. To me, that’s immense! She saw no problem with it being too similar to The Hunger Games . . . and that’s from someone who helped create it!
Write what you love, right? Here’s a fun fact. I have only read The Hunger Games, not Catching Fire or Mockingjay. It’s true, I did enjoy The Hunger Games and I recommended it on numerous occasions when I worked at Barnes and Noble during college. But knowing there could be possible issues of readers thinking there may be too many similarities, I opted out of reading the second and third in the series. I haven’t even seen the movies! Oh, the sacrifices we must make . . . 😛
Readers will see that even though there may be similarities in The Lotus Effect it’s still uniquely its own story. Then, once they get to Ardent Ascension those doubts will be completely absolved.
Zen: How many books are you planning in this series?
Bridget Ladd: Three. I have several ideas for novellas and a possible spin off series too.
Zen: Your cover art is gorgeous. Who’s the artist?
Bridget Ladd: Thanks so much! I actually designed the covers myself. I received my Bachelor of Fine Art in Computer Animation at East Carolina University and decided writing was a better fit for me. But luckily, I can design my own covers!
Zen: I see some resemblance between the cover art and the author. Was that intentional or coincidental?
Bridget Ladd: Oh thanks! Definitely coincidental. Hmm. Or maybe it was intentional. The main character, Lily, is blond and being blond myself, I decided there aren’t enough fair-haired heroines in books. If there are, they’re usually portrayed as either dimwitted or mean girls. We’re not all like that, I swear!
Zen: What was the last thing you read and loved?
Bridget Ladd: I’m currently reading The Emperor’s Edge series by Lindsay Buroker. I’m on the final chapter of the first book and so far it’s been a fun and intriguing fantasy read. I believe the last series that I read which really stuck with me, and I think it even made me tear up some, was Eona by Alison Goodman. The ending was beautiful! The Tiger’s Curse novels by Colleen Houck are fun too!
Thanks for taking a look at this interview and my work. If you do ever feel inclined to read The Lotus Effect, please let me know what you think. If anything, I hope you fall headlong into Lily and Xander’s world and I hope it brings you all kinds of joy.
The Lotus Effect (book 1): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E1SVFJC
Ardent Ascension (book 2): http://www.amazon.com/Ardent-Ascension-Rise-The-Book-ebook/dp/B00LYEY9L2/
Dash and Cinder (short-story): http://www.amazon.com/Dash-Cinder-Bridget-Ladd-ebook/dp/B00MS3MMJE/
Audible: (The audiobook is currently $1.99 if you own the Amazon ebook. Deal ends January.)
Audiobook clip sample: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sjw9y2ahg7A