Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The FEARLESS blog tour rolls into town!

Today is a first for me, because I am taking part in a blog tour for fellow YA author Emma Pass!
I was recently lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Emma's latest book, The Fearless, which I absolutely loved, so although I'm an author who blogs rather than a book blogger, I was very keen to take part in the tour. And why not, eh? I love to tell readers of my blog all about the things I like, whether it is ancient churches, horror movies or interesting books.

It's also fun to link up with another author. That means that today, instead of getting me all alone with my typewriter at the top of my ivory tower (cough cough), you are getting two of us!
You can imagine us sitting on a battered leather Chesterfield in Castle Grant if you like, sipping whisky under the watchful glass eyes of the stuffed stags' heads on the walls*, and talking about books.

If you haven't seen a copy of The Fearless yet, this is what it is all about:

"The Fearless. An army, powered by an incredible new serum that makes each soldier stronger, sharper, faster than their enemies. Intended as a force for good, the serum has a terrible side effect – anyone who takes it is stripped of all humanity, empathy, love. And as the Fearless sweep through the country, forcing the serum on anyone in their path, society becomes a living nightmare.
Cass remembers the night they passed through her village. Her father was Altered. Her mother died soon after. All Cass has left is her little brother – and when Jori is snatched by the Fearless, Cass must risk everything to get him back."

As The Fearless is all about an end-of-civilisation-as-we-know-it scenario (squee! I love those), Emma (below) kindly agreed to share with me her favourite disaster movies. I've seen four out of the five and now I want to see the fifth one, Tomorrow... Here they are:

My Top 5 Disaster Movies, by Emma Pass

I love me a good disaster movie – I always have, and the scarier the better. Here are my top 5.

Tomorrow When the War Began
Based on John Marsden's hard-hitting and much-celebrated YA series, which was first published in the 1990s, Tomorrow… is about a a small group of teenagers waging a guerilla war on enemy soldiers after hostile foreign forces invade Australia. I loved the books, and the film didn't disappoint either, with tons of dramatic action and a great female heroine, Ellie (played by Caitlin Stasey).

I discovered Threads on YouTube. It was written by Barry Hines of Kes fame, and is one the most frightening films I have ever seen, with its unflinchingly realistic depiction of life after a nuclear attack. My early childhood was lived under the shadow of the Cold War (it ended when I was 11); I remember being told about the Four Minute Warning at school, and being genuinely afraid of the threat of nuclear war. If you want to see something else terrifying, here is a leaflet the UK government issued to all households in the late 1970s telling people what to do if there was a nuclear attack.

Some light relief after Threads! Wall•E, an animated film from Disney, isn't about a disaster, but rather the aftermath of a disaster – humans have polluted Earth to the point where they're unable to live on it any more, and one lonely robot, Wall•E, has been left behind to sort out the mess. But then he falls in love with another robot, Eve, and embarks on an adventure which will determine the fate of human- and robot-kind. I'm not the biggest Disney fan in the world, but even my Myazaki-biased heart couldn't fail to be charmed by Wall•E.

Independence Day
Aliens! Annihilation! Will Smith! Pretty much the perfect combination for a disaster movie.

But my very favourite disaster movie has to be…

28 Days Later
A virus has been unleashed; a virus which turns people into rage-filled maniacs, leading to the UK being quarantined from the rest of the world to prevent it spreading. 28 days later, Jim, a bicycle courier who has been in a coma in a London hospital, awakens to find the world is a very different place to the one he knew before…

If you've never seen 28 Days Later, go and watch it. Go and watch it now. Seriously. Directed by Danny Boyle and written by Alex Garland, it is quite simply the most chilling and believable zombiesque disaster movie around. The scenes showing the empty streets of London, or the abandoned M1, remain seared into your memory long after the end credits have rolled. Also, Cillian Murphy. What more do I need to say?!

Above: Cass out of The Fearless: I want her boots. 

* Well, okay, sipping tea out of chipped mugs and warming our hands on the single candle set up on an upturned crate...

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