What do you feel sets this book apart from others in the same genre?
Chiku Flynn, Talk Talk. There’s no teenage heroine like her. Bold, brassy, self-hating and heroic. Most books seek only to entertain. With Chiku in DEVOLUTION, I hope to keep you turning pages while learning how to save the world.
You know the scenario – you’re stuck on an island. What book would you bring with you and why?
Let’s just say it probably has a lot of pictures and wouldn’t win the Nobel Prize.
If you could go back and change one day, what would it be?
I’d switch Mondays and Fridays.
Are you a different person now than you were 5 years ago? In what way/s?
I keep snipping out the white hairs, but the darn things just keep growing back.
Excerpt from Devolution
Back down the hill they went then, Chiku, Tim and Forsberg with Scallion keeping just ahead. Pan strode beside her, cooing and hooing and talking to himself, every once in a while gazing at her and signing, “Welcome home, welcome home, Talk Talk.”
Chiku didn’t hear him. She hadn’t taken her Adderall in days. Being happy and full of ideas, she started to talk, and all the way down Chimp Hill she kept her four men, two human, two chimp, entertained.
“We have to get control of things. We have to organize. Like my PMs in Boston. Everybody needs a mom and dad to take care of them. My dad wasn’t always on top of things, especially after Mom died. I had to take over a bit, and the chimps got so used to me teaching them and role-modeling for them, I bet when I went back to the States things probably sort of kinda fell apart a bit.”
“Pharmaceutically Medicated. My generation lives on drugs. We’re the most over-evaluated, over-analyzed, over-medicated generation ever. That’s a fact. Who knows who’s really sick and who isn’t? If you fart too much, you’re lactose intolerant. If you laugh too much, you’re bipolar. If you whisper in class, you’re ADHD. Me, I admit I’m crazy, but that’s normal for me, so I don’t think I need to be medicated. I just need to find the right outlet, you know what I’m saying?”
“We’re trying to follow,” Forsberg said.
“It’s the same with the chimpanzees. Everyone thinks all chimps are alike, but they’re not. Once you come to know them, you can tell them apart by their voices. I can tell one chimp from another by their cry from a good mile away. At least, I could. I’m probably going to have to do a refresher course myself. Can you imagine some shrink putting Scallion on Clonipin because he runs around, or Pan on Risperdal ‘cause he’s anxious? We have to take care of these chimpanzees. We have to keep on the lookout for these poachers and hunters, right, Tim?”
“Chiku, slow down.”
“Am I going too fast?”
“I don’t mean your feet,” Forsberg said. “I mean your tongue. Do you ever exhaust yourself?”
“Probably,” she said. “I just don’t hear myself the same way other people do, so I don’t realize I’m talking fast. Sorry. Am I bothering you?”
“No,” both men said.
“It’s kind of endearing,” Forsberg said. “In a psychotic way.”
“I’m used to it,” Tim signed.
Scallion hooted, “Talk Talk. Talk Talk.”
Pan took her hand.
“I guess it’s unanimous.” Chiku lifted her shoulders, and looked around at her four companions. “I am loony tunes. But that’s okay. You love me.” My new PMs. My Prime Mates. Chiku was very happy.
Genre - Young Adult
Rating – PG