Blind the Eyes: A Dystopian-Gothic YA Urban Fantasy by K.A. Wiggins - Guest Post: Designing the Future by K.A. Wiggins
Book Title: Blind the Eyes: A Dystopian-Gothic YA Urban Fantasy by K.A. Wiggins
Category: YA Fiction (Ages 13-17), 300 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy, crossover to dystopian, paranormal, contemporary fantasy, gothic and post-apocalyptic.
Publisher: K.A. Wiggins (Imprint: Snowmelt & Stumps)
Release Date: June, 2018
Tour dates: November 26 to December 17
Content Rating: PG-13 + M. No on-page sex, low romance, minimal bad language, underage drinking, significant fantasy violence, scenes containing emotional manipulation, depression, and (light/brief) physical abuse.
A haunted teen outcast and her snarky ghostly best-frenemy outwit enforcers, monsters, and the scars of the past in a race to take expose a deadly conspiracy and escape a bloody end. A lush, award-winning debut to a captivatingly eerie YA Urban Fantasy trilogy. Discover a labyrinthine, post-climate-collapse dystopian Vancouver overrun by monsters and magic in this intricate and startlingly original journey of discovery, restoration, and revenge.
It's hard not to be a little obsessed with survival when your only "friend" is an unruly ghost and the wrong thought could get your soul devoured by eldritch horrors. Haunted 17-year-old outcast Cole wants nothing more than to hide her forbidden fascination with the monster-taken and blend in with the (dreary) scenery. Her plans for a peaceful life take a turn for the deadly when a mesmerizing stranger and his dangerously tempting offer drive her into the middle of a grisly conspiracy.
But Cole hasn't yet uncovered the biggest secret of all, and it might just have something to do with the mysterious threads tugging her into horrifying visions—not to mention the shimmering boy at their dark heart. Uncovering the truth will cost her dearly as she fends off scheming enforcers, dreamjacking ghosts & soul-sucking nightmares in a desperate quest for survival and retribution. Can she escape the scars of her past and expose the lies before she's the next to die?
Blind the Eyes is the first book in a lush and labyrinthine trilogy of paranormal-meets-gothic-dystopian YA Urban Fantasy filled with glittering underworlds, delicious-and-deceptive strangers, and facing down the voices in your head. This slow-burn fantasy with an edge leads readers on a captivatingly unexpected journey of self-discovery, reclaimed identity, and conflicted sisterhood for those who like a little sparkle with their monsters (it glistens so nicely on all the blood.) Fans of post-climate-collapse dystopias, monsters-and-magic, and genre-bending dark fantasy will love this award-winning series starter in a complete and 100% binge-ready trilogy.
by K.A. Wiggins
I have a terrible habit of mashing genres together. In my recently completed Threads of Dreams series, I crafted an urban fantasy of monsters and magic, but set in a future version of Vancouver and, over the course of the series, British Columbia, after the climate disaster really lands.
Sea level rise, in this tale, comes with some added drawbacks. Not only are the city’s downtown skyscrapers turned into islands, the water at their feet is infested with seamonsters. And the domed barrier they raise to protect themselves ends up trapping more than they bargained for: toxic, corrosive smog and dream-eating shapeshifters.
In my former career, I worked for engineering companies and ended up absorbing a certain amount of sustainability and development knowledge. Sea rise is coming for us, and we’re not prepared. The monsters, hopefully not.
While Blind the Eyes is set exclusively inside the city, where I imagined the towers slowly crumbling as a rigid and literally-vertical society evolved, with wild clubs emerging as an underground subculture in reclaimed tunnels beneath their feet, it’s the sequels where I really got to have fun with worldbuilding.
Book 2 in the series, Black the Tides, features a utopian city in far northern British Columbia, and for that, I had to dig deeper. What would a sustainable (and fantastical) city even look like in that climate?
I started by researching the historic building forms of the Pacific Northwest, incorporating earthen neo-pit-houses and wooden longhouses. Then I reimagined skyscrapers as a distributed tree-borne village, alongside inverted towers with a less organic scavenged/reclaimed materials core structure covered with sky gardens. The whole community combines under and above-ground, multi-height forms in neighbourhoods integrated with productive gardens, green energy, and a circular economy.
To get an idea of what this might look like: https://www.pinterest.ca/kaiespace/nine-peaks-threads-of-dreams-series/. The cool thing about designing the future is that so much of the technology, vision, and historical understanding already exists to make way better (and more awesome!) places for people to live.
Join me at kawiggins.com (and subscribe to the newsletter for free short reads!) or @kaiespace on social to explore dystopian and utopian futures in tales of monsters and magic for teens, adults, and—coming soon—middle grade readers!
Meet the Author:
K.A. Wiggins (Kaie) writes award-winning speculative fiction for young people and adults that explores the tangled webs of society, environment, and identity through intricate, dreamlike tales of monsters and magic.
Her debut novel was a Page Turner Awards 2020 Book Spotlight Prize winner and a Barnes & Noble Press "20 Favorite Indie Books of 2018," kicking off a celebrated and recently completed YA Urban Fantasy trilogy set in a gothic-dystopian post-climate-collapse Vancouver. Her short fiction has appeared in small press anthologies, genre magazines, and in translation for international audiences.
She's also the President of the Children's Writers and Illustrators of British Columbia society, co-founder of marketing and business services consultancy The Creative Collective, and a creative writing coach with the Creative Writing for Children society, and was recognized in the 2021 Arty Awards, taking first place in Literary Arts category.
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