You might have seen on my social media of me sharing about an awesome giveaway going on of Sarah Addison-Fox’s Irrelevant.
I’m thrilled to share that the giveaway for a paperback is still going, but that I am also interviewing Sarah!
She’s an author who tends to publish books that are some of my favorites for the romance, but also for the action too. (And let’s not forget the adventure as well. *winks*)
Come join us in our chat about the inspiration behind her newest series, what she hopes readers will take away, and enter the giveaway!
About the Book
For fans who loved Divergent comes an action-packed love story celebrating Autism and Neurodivergence that you won’t want to put down.
Mallory’s been hiding who she is for 18 years…
But now her terrible secret has been exposed.
Branded Irrelevant, Mallory is cut off from everything she knows.
Irrelevants are criminals, banished to live in the old city. But in the wasteland between the new city and the old, she stumbles on Cristan.
He’s bitter, paranoid, and possibly crazy…
He may also be right about everything.
To survive, Mallory must figure out who to trust, and embrace the behaviour she’s been taught to deny.
The answers may lie in a place even the most rebellious Irrelevants won’t go.
– Hi Sarah! I’m SO excited to be chatting with you! For those who don’t know you, can you share three words to describe yourself?
Impulsive. Obsessive. Passionate.
– Love that! I noticed on your website that you mentioned you want a blind date with your readers to become an “ongoing relationship.” I absolutely love that kind of perspective between a new author and reader! If you could choose a blind date with an author, who or what book would you choose?
Hmmm. Honestly, that’s a really tough question. I get super fangirly around authors I like and respect. So, if I did go on a blind date, I’d probably be a giggly awkward mess…
I’ve made some good friends since publishing in 2017, so if I could, I’d probably invite all of them out so we could have a massive party rather than a one on one date.
– Seriously, I’m with you there! There are SO many authors I would want to hang out with. The struggle is real. Haha! I also noticed in your bio that you have an “astonishing amount of nail polish.” I’m so intrigued to know what your favorite nail polish is. I used to paint my nails with different designs before I had kids and totally miss it. Do you have a favorite brand that you always wear? Do you like designs or solid colors? Do tell all! 😀
My favourite brand is OPI, followed closely by Essie, but Maybelline with a smaller range of colours wins out for durability.
I usually go for a single colour. Usually Dark. I used to get my nails done with little decals, French tips etc. but I don’t have the time or energy that goes into maintaining them.
Plus long nails stick in between the keys so that’s a pain in the backside.
– OPI is one of my favorites too! I really miss painting my nails, but like you I don’t have the time or energy to do it anymore. :/ Hopefully one day soon we both can though! So many congrats on the release of Irrelevant! I absolutely love it and think it’s so cool that you’ve written in a few different genres. Do you have a favorite? What about this trilogy did you love writing?
I loved so many things about writing this trilogy. Cristan and Mallory’s romance was great fun to write, but the action sequences were pretty epic too.
My favourite genre to write in is first person contemporary action and adventure romance.
– I second! I think everything has been really good! 😉 Hehe! Usually I don’t ask this since this question since it seems to be the “common author interview” and like to spice things up. 😉 However, I was strongly touched by Mallory’s character and the story as a whole. Would you be willing to share some of the inspiration behind Irrelevant, specifically Mallory’s story?
The inspiration has a few sources really. The Autism aspect (Mallory’s point of view) came from my own experiences as an anxiety ridden teen with a wild imagination who didn’t fit in with her peers and my son who is on the spectrum.
And strange as it may seem, a great deal of my inspiration came from Facebook’s rating system.
There’s even a voting system you can vote up or down to move the comment to the top of the page.
I started thinking about how much value we place on popularity and conformity rather than accepting and embracing differences.
For instance, regardless of how they act, society considers the beautiful and rich to be of more importance, more interesting and more significant than say, a kind and considerate man with a family to feed or a child with down syndrome.
I started thinking about what would happen if there was reason to label ‘people’ in real life the way Facebook does online.
Who would be Relevant? What criteria would be used to decide? And would those closest to me all be Relevant?
If selection were based on productivity and an individual’s contribution to society as a whole, both myself and my son would be far less ‘Relevant’.
Everything spun from there. The ‘treatments’ for Irrelevance, the shame and humiliation of being a social outcast, the experiments, all came from me asking those questions.
I wish that I could say we live in a society that accepts children and people with differences but the truth is, we don’t.
Until we stop trying to jam people into categories and stop forcing children to ‘act normal’ or mask who they are, we will continue to see Autism as something to be feared and cured.
If the idea of what both Mallory and Cristan went through seems far-fetched or implausible, I hate to say it’s not.
There is a ‘retreat’ in the United States that actively seeks to cure Autistic children with electric shock therapy. None of which can be done without the children’s parents giving permission.
Maybe, if parents were educated to stop looking for solutions and trying to fix what isn’t broken, we’d not have such horrific things happening to innocent victims?
Writing a series where Autism was embraced and valued is my way of counteracting the damaging and inherently wrong ideas floating around on social media.
I’ve learned a lot about how social media works over the last couple of years and Facebook isn’t the only major player who filters out the choices we have.
Targeted ads come up in your Facebooks feed for a reason. The advertiser has selected interests that can include everything from education level, marital status to whether their ideal customer likes pizza!
Don’t like the ad you see? You can tell Facebook it’s Irrelevant and they won’t show or anything similar again.
But like it or comment and you will open the flood gates to more Relevant ads all targeted to you.
With inventions such as the infamous Tinderapp, facial recognition software and AI increasing at an alarming rate, and more value placed on physical appearances, we’re not far from technology learning to filter out our preferences for relationships too.
It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine in the near future, relevance could influence more than just advertising and whether we miss a friend’s post on Facebook.
– Wow. That’s a powerful idea and also heart wrenching because when you share this, it doesn’t seem all that farfetched. I’ve heard on numerous occasions that most authors can’t choose a favorite, BUT I wonder who you would want to hang out with for a day. Who’s the lucky character to hang out with? What would you guys do?
I have absolutely no idea! I have so many characters now, I love them all for different reasons.
But to see Mallory and watch her discover lots of new things in the old city with Cristan would be awesome.
– That would be amazing! I know she has been personally so inspiring! For my last question, what are you most excited for readers to read or discover either in Irrelevant or the entire trilogy?
I’d love if readers appreciated that Mallory isn’t neurotypical and can understand and respect that while she may not react the same way they would, she and all the other Irrelevants are beautiful, whole and entirely Relevant.
– Just from what I’ve read, I would say you have been very successful. 😉 Thank you so much for sharing and chatting with me, Sarah!
Ready to enter to win a paperback of Irrelevant? Count me in! Oh, wait. I mean count YOU in since you’re the one who gets to enter. 😉 If you like to enter the giveaway, click the click here or below. (Giveaway open to US only. Sorry!)
>>> Entry-Form <<<
About the Author
Sarah Addison-Fox is a misfit who lives in New Zealand and writes action-packed YA fantasy with a smattering of punch-ups, mega amounts of romance and a dash of family values. She has an astonishing amount of nail polish, has all her creative writing credentials shoved in a drawer somewhere, and has a husband who, after 28 years, can still make her blush.