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Jade Kerrion – Perfection Unleashed – interview
Perfection Unleashed is the new dystopian SF novel from author Jade Kerrion. I had the pleasure of reading the book before sitting down to chat with Jade. The book is a breathlessly paced novel…it reminded me of Gattaca+ X-Men, as the search for the “perfect” human in this world has also yielded powerful mutants with powers the average person may not understand and definitely fears. With good reason. If you like characters with mutant powers, visions of what might happen after genetic manipulation becomes standard and/or outlawed, or heroes who can take a beating that would level the rest of us, then be sure to check out Jade’s book!
Now, onto the questions….
Elena Nola: What was the inspiration for the book–the idea or character or situation that made you realize you had something, and you had to write it?
Jade Kerrion: Many years ago, I wrote a rough draft of what eventually became the first chapter of Perfection Unleashed. In November 2010, when my husband finally persuaded me to make writing more than just a hobby, I thought of my old projects, dug that out, and started from there.
Is your end story pretty much what you set out to write, or did the vision morph as you worked on it?
The story changed significantly. It was really supposed to be about Galahad—the perfect human being. But as I wrote the story, Danyael became much more interesting as a character, and the story started to wrap around him. That’s not to say Galahad’s going to get sidelined, but it will take many more books to tell Galahad’s story. (Hint: Look for sequels…)
What was the hardest part of the book for you—a difficult section, or a character who gave you trouble?
Danyael was a struggle, and continues to be challenging even in later books, but it’s precisely that struggle that makes him compelling. Danyael’s physical and emotional pain fuels his power, and it’s a fine line to walk between being a victim and a hero.
The novel rotates through different points of view. Which character was the most fun to write through?
Zara is so much fun, and remains one of my favorites. Her no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners attitude is abrasive enough to create all kinds of friction with just about any other character in my novel.
I think I recall your bio mentioning a science background. Did any of the research methods or topics come from personal experience with genetic research?
The topics certainly came from the subjects I studied in my Biology courses at university, but undergraduate Biology is not particularly interesting. I recall growing bacteria in petri dishes far more than actually doing genetic manipulation (counting bacterial colonies is not the most inspiring activity to kick off a morning, any morning).
Do you have strong personal views on gene manipulation or transhumanism? From the first book alone it’s hard to tell if you’re making a statement on the science itself or just the potential ugliness of dehumanizing artificially created humans….
I haven’t gone out of my way to take sides in my novel, but Danyael reflects my point of view when he tells Galahad, “We’re all human.” No question, there will be lots of issues we’ll have to wrestle with if we ever go down the path of genetically modifying humans. It won’t be an easy path at all, but we’ve had some experience working through racial and ethnic issues. My hope for humanity is that we will learn from those experiences instead of feverishly reinventing the wheel if we ever have to deal with the issue of genetic equality.
Do you have any particular favorite dystopian or mutant stories?
I’m a huge X-Men fan, and I’m sure you can see its influences in my work.
Can I be mean and make you choose: Galahad or Danyael?
Neither. I’d pick Lucien. Danyael, in book one, is imperfect (very much so), and I’m too much like Zara to have much patience for his emotional reticence. On the other hand, Galahad is perfect, and perfection would be annoying to an imperfect person like me. So, I’d pick Lucien. Intelligent, talented, with lots of money to spend (on me…). However, knowing what I do now though about what the sequels promise, by book three, I’d pick Danyael, no question.
If you were an alpha, which kind would you be (or want to be, if the answer’s different)?
No empathy for me, that’s for sure. Too subtle, too complex, and way too hard. I like my facts straight and my ducks lined up in a row. Sign me up for telekinesis (the ability to move things with my mind). My kids are getting heavy but still want to be carried. I have lots of practical uses for telekinesis in my house (no more yard work, yay!).
Perfection Unleashed is obviously just the first part of the story. How many parts do you see it being? When is the next part out?
It is most certainly a series, somewhat open-ended as different characters will take their turns at the forefront. For now it’s Danyael, and Danyael’s story will run for another three or four novels, before the spotlight shifts back to Galahad. The sequels, Perfect Betrayal and Perfect Weapon, will be released in November/December 2012.
Where is your book available, and where can people find you on the web?
Thank you for hosting me on your site! It’s been a pleasure chatting with you and your readers.
Absolutely our pleasure, Jade! We’ll be anxiously awaiting the sequels. And if you haven’t read Perfection Unleashed, it will be a free ebook download on Amazon for the next few days.
Danyael Sabre spent sixteen years clawing out of the ruins of his childhood and finally has everything he wanted–a career, a home, and a trusted friend. To hold on to them, he keeps his head down and plays by the rules. An alpha empath, he is powerful in a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution, yet his experience has taught him to avoid attention.
When the perfect human being, Galahad, escapes from Pioneer Laboratories, the illusory peace between humans and their derivatives–the in vitros, clones, and mutants–collapses into social upheaval. The abominations, deformed and distorted mirrors of humanity, created unintentionally in Pioneer Lab’s search for perfection, descend upon Washington D.C. The first era of the Genetic Revolution was peaceful. The second is headed for open war.
Although the genetic future of the human race pivots on Galahad, Danyael does not feel compelled to get involved and risk his cover of anonymity, until he finds out that the perfect human being looks just like him.
About the author: Jade Kerrion unites cutting-edge science and bioethics with fast-paced action in her novel, Perfection Unleashed. Drawing rave reviews for its originality and vision, and lauded as “a breakout piece of science fiction,” Perfection Unleashed is a Royal Palm Literary Award 2011 winner, a Next Generation Indie Book Award 2012 finalist, and a Hollywood Book Festival Award finalist.