GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ A Character Interview with Neve Hall (North to Nara by Amanda Marin) + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Sunday, June 2, 2019

A Character Interview with Neve Hall (North to Nara by Amanda Marin) + giveaway


Love Is Always Enough: A Character Interview with Neve Hall

Meet Neve Hall, the narrator of North to Nara. She’s 17, enjoys nature and animals, has a promising future working at the local museum… and is in love with the one person forbidden to her: Micah Ward, her Nation-assigned Sufferer. When following her heart is an act of treason, she’s forced to make one tough choice after another.

Q: What was it about Micah Ward that made you fall for him?

A: Micah is pretty much the exact opposite of my last boyfriend. Kael—my ex—wasn’t a good listener and could be selfish. I wasn’t a priority to him at all, and he really hurt me. I think that’s part of what drew me to Micah. He sees through to the real me, and he makes me feel safe. He loves me with his whole heart. If only all girls could date an empath!


Q: What was the scariest part of your adventure in this story?
A: Without giving anything away (of course!), there were so many moments where my heart was beating so fast I still can’t believe it didn’t burst. The obvious answer is toward the end, when Micah and I tried to escape the Nation. Yes, being chased through the mountains was definitely terrifying on the surface—but Micah and I were together, so it wasn’t the worst thing we went through. Instead, the most frightening time for me was when he was attacked during his sentencing. I thought he’d been killed. The idea of a world without him in it was horrifying.

Q: On a happier note, what was your favorite date with Micah?

A: We had to be pretty unconventional with our dates, since… you know… we were forbidden by law to see each other. There was a lot of sneaking around. A lot of close calls. That made everything more exciting, too. My favorite date with him, though, was just slow dancing together in his apartment on a rainy night. He played this old song from before the Nation was formed—“The Very Thought of You” by Billie Holiday. I didn’t expect him—this strong, distinguished guy—to do something sweet and vulnerable like that.

Q: What’s next for you and Micah?

A: We have a long road ahead of us before we can really have our happily-ever-after. For one thing, we’re on our own now, and we have to figure out how to survive in a completely different place, with no one to fall back on for help and a completely different language to learn. It’s intimidating, and everywhere we turn, the challenges keep racking up. We have each other, though, and I hope that’ll be enough. Love is always enough, I think.

The romance and adventure of North to Nara continues with its sequel, Sky to Sea, coming January 2020.

by Amanda Marin
March 20, 2019
201 pages
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Genre: YA Dystopian
Neve Hall has always admired the good works of the civil servants who brought prosperity back to the Nation. She especially respects the Sufferers—empaths who, with the help of technology, anonymously bear others’ troubles for them. But when her assigned empath is abruptly retired, she uncovers certain secrets. Like the identity of her new Sufferer, Micah Ward... and the fact that behind his kind smile is a life filled with loneliness and pain. The closer Neve grows to Micah, the more desperate she becomes to protect him from a cruel and gruesome fate. But in a world where only a few are allowed the luxury of love, saving Micah comes with a price: Neve must choose between her loyalty to the Nation or her heart—a decision that will take them both on a race for their freedom, and their lives.

“It’s you,” he murmurs, studying my face. “I thought it was you—on the trolley, when you looked at me.”

A wave of panic begins to drown me. He must think I’m stalking him—that I’m strange, maybe even dangerous. I bite my lip and struggle for words. Then, I decide to claim innocence. It’s my only defense at this point.

“I don’t understand,” I say. “What do you mean?”

“You’re Neve.”

He says my name, and I can only gape in disbelief. It’s not just me knowing his identity after all—somehow, Micah Ward also knows mine. He grasps my arm, gently but firmly, and he pulls me aside, out of the view of passersby and into a quiet corner behind a founder’s statue. I follow him willingly, without question—I’d follow him just about anywhere, I find myself thinking.

“You know who I am, don’t you?” he asks. “And I recognize you from your pain. I saw you—just in an abstract—but I saw you when you transferred your sadness about what happened to Levi at the Center.”

I squirm uncomfortably. He knows everything. He knows how I feel about him—that I admire him and am attracted to him. I’ve heard before that abstract images sometimes transfer, along with the feelings, while Suffering. They’re said to be like reflections of our self-image, buried in our thoughts. But I never expected the scenes to be clear enough that my Sufferer might recognize me.

“Yes, it’s me—I’m one of your Sieves,” I admit. “You don’t have to worry about the anonymity laws, though—I’m on my way to tell Isla that I broke the rules and need to be reassigned again.”

But Micah’s eyes flash with sudden urgency and desperation. “No, please don’t tell Isla—not yet, at least.”

My eyebrows wrinkle. This isn’t the reaction I expected, one of the Nation’s most highly regarded servants asking me to break the law for him. “Why?”

“The director of the Center is already considering disciplinary action against me for how I helped the traitor at the Commons— and how I said he deserves a second chance. This will make it worse.”

I step back, startled. “Disciplinary action? For treating a man with decency when no one else would?” It’s surprising, maybe even illogical—Micah was only being true to his role as an empath.

Frowning, he nods. “It wouldn’t have been a problem if that man hadn’t been a traitor. He tried to kill people. Years ago, he was part of a plot to bomb the Governor’s Hall. They didn’t succeed, which is why he wasn’t formally expelled, I guess…I didn’t know that when I helped him and said the things I did.”

“Would it have changed anything, if you’d known?” I ask softly.

He hesitates. “No, probably not…” he admits. He avoids eye contact like he’s afraid the truth will disgust me, just as it did his director.

Except it’s not disgust that I feel, hearing this. It’s awe.



 
About the Author:
When Amanda was a child, her father traveled frequently for business, always bringing her back a book as a present. Whether she was getting lost in the pages of a tale about far-away knights, girls with supernatural powers, or kindly giants, she was quickly hooked on stories. Over the years, Amanda has followed her own yellow brick road of reading and writing, and although her adventures haven't involved sword fights or saving the planet from certain annihilation, they have involved jobs in scholarly publishing and marketing, a modest amount of travel, and a lifelong love of novels. Amanda holds degrees in English from Salve Regina University and Boston College. Her favorite things include Starbucks lattes, lazy summer afternoons at the beach, and books with characters that make you go "awww." She lives in New Hampshire with her family and furbaby, Snickers the Poodle.


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