While Geneva and her friends embark on a dangerous mission to fulfill her destiny, the dark forces that seek her powers are closing in, putting everyone she cares about at risk.
Can you live a life of lies?
That’s exactly what Geneva finds herself doing to protect everyone she loves. While Geneva and her friends embark on a dangerous mission to fulfill her destiny, the dark forces that seek her powers are closing in, putting everyone she cares about at risk. Geneva must lie about who she is, what she knows and her true feelings. Are all these lies worth it or will she go too far and lose everything she’s been fighting for?
1. Interesting choice for the order of the titles: Truth, Secrets, Lies – usually they are in reverse order. How did you build the series and there will be a next volume?
Lol, very true. But it’s so fitting of me because I feel like I do everything a bit backwards. It works well with the series as well because they become the themes that my main character is dealing with and basically the driving force of her existence. In the first book, she really was seeking her true identity (since she was orphaned by a disaster). Then in the second book, when she finds out the truth, it reveals secrets that she never expected. I love that idea because in life sometimes we are driven to find out the meaning of things or the root of a problem and we don’t look past that. Sometimes the truth can rock your world and that’s exactly what happens to my main character. Then in the third book, Lies, she’s trying to decide how to deal with the fall out of all this knowledge. Who can she trust with it, who must she lie to in order to protect them from who she really is. And yes! I’m working on book four now, which will be the final in the series. It will deal with big decisions as the main character tries to fulfil her destiny .
2. Geneva – being for Europe, the name has special connotations for me. What is the significance of heroine’s name and what were the other options?
There were no other options for me. The first words I typed were “My name is Geneva Sommers.” I said, “Well, that’s settled, I guess the voice in my head has a name!” ha-ha. I do like to think that all names have a deeper meaning though. I research them a lot before assigning them to my characters and want them to be well rounded, (ie their personality and features and magic powers all link to their names.) Names are an important theme in my series. Most of the characters don’t even have names in the first book. They’re numbers, so I play with what it’s like to be a nameless being in society and how that can create loss of identity. Geneva is the chosen one, and that is referred to as the Eva in my books, so it’s taken from part of her name.
Oh wow good question. Magic is really fun to write, because in most instances it can explain away anything and get you out of any corner you may write your characters into. But the problems arise because magic isn’t standard. Every series approaches it differently, so you need to set up hard rules for your magic and stick to them. Remembering them all through a long series can be tricky.
4. Can we live a life of lies? What Geneva could teach us – without spoiler, please?
Sure. It’s really about what can you sacrifice for the ones you love? Even though my books are fantasy, the characters deal with real life problems. We all tell little white lies to protect people we care about. Geneva just happens to have some major secrets that she needs to keep hidden from the dark forces closing in on her. The best way she can find to do so it so lie to everyone. But telling a lie is one thing. Living it is a whole different story.
5. What do you think today’s YA literature lacks and what are the reasons?
Sometimes I think authors forget to tap into that nostalgic time of adolescence. That’s what readers relate to and what makes them identify and love certain characters. That was a vivid time in my life and I have fun reliving those memories with my characters.
6. Tell us about Pass It On organization. What it is, why did you associate with them and what they do? What can we do?
Yes! I actually co-founded Pass It On with my husband. Giving back has always been really important to us. We love reading and want to share it with as many people as possible. The idea started simply as “pass on the book after you’ve read it.” Why let it sit on a shelf to collect dust? We also thought the idea of a book traveling from reader to reader was pretty fantastic. That creates it’s own life or story! For 2015 I took Pass It On to another level by creating a One-for-One campaign to attach to it. It’s like Tom’s shoes, but for books. With the One-for-One, I match the sale of every paperback I sell through my website or at an event. The goal is to donate 1000 books to schools, libraries and literacy programs in need. So far I have over 300 books to donate. I’ve also set up a few book drive donation sites where people can donate new or gently used children’s and YA books. They’ll all be donated at the end of the year along with the 1000 books I’ve matched to the list I’ve been compiling through the year. You can help by purchasing a book from my site or if you know of a program, school or library in need of these types of books email me so I can add them to my list.
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About the author:
Christina Benjamin is the Award-Winning Author of the Young Adult series The Geneva Project.
Her debut novel, Truth, has won multiple awards, including the 2014 FAPA Gold Medal for YA fiction.
Benjamin’s writing hooks fans of mega-hit YA fiction like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, and offers them a new series to obsess over. She paints a vivid world, where magic and imagination run wild in her epic tale of adventure, courage and friendship.
Benjamin studied English at the University of Central Florida. She’s dedicated to giving back to the community and speaking at schools to inspire creativity in young writers.
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I'm so honored to be on your blog and I loved all your questions. Thanks so much for sharing The Geneva Project. - xo Christina
This is a great interview. It helps me understand how the author came up with some of her ideas for this book - and the series.
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