Those "ancient desert vibes," as author Debra Chapoton calls them, are part of the inspiration behind her post-apocalyptic Young Adult novels, Exodia and Out of Exodia. Debra has written just under 20 books, an impressive feat for ANYONE, and I was very interested in her work. Since this is an End of the World Event, we're focusing on her post-ap work, but you can check out more about her books at her website (the link is at the bottom of this interview!).
Read on to see what Debra would take with her into the apocalypse, and how she thinks the end of the world will come about.
Hello Debra! It's the End of the World (at least at Writing Belle), and you can only take three items with you into the wilderness to survive. What are they?
Oh no! Only three? [thinking, thinking] Um, chapstick for sure, a ton of water purifying tablets (chocolate ones), and that fire starting thing-a-ma-gig.
Now let's talk about you as a writer. How did you get into writing post-apocalyptic fiction?
I’ve always been overly anxious when the power goes out, which used to happen almost weekly where I live. Gradually I’ve honed my skills, like heating my curling iron in the fireplace, so that I think I could survive at least a week after a nuclear blast [eye roll]. Actually, after studying history it seems to me that starting over would be a lot like living in ancient Egypt.
Tell us about Exodia and Out of Exodia. Where and how did you come up with the idea?
I was always fascinated with the story of Moses and intrigued with the fact that one of his first actions was to commit murder. I wanted to do a modern retelling of the story and start with the murder. The ancient desert vibe seemed best recreated in a post-apocalyptic world. That way the primitive way of life could be better presented for my readers’ imaginations. Weaving together ruined modern technology and ancient prophecies worked well, and the reader doesn’t really need to know who the story is based on.
I had a ball working in all the elements of the original story—plagues, prophecies, relationships—and tweaking it with futuristic essentials like machines, government, and radiation fallout.
Here’s the back cover blurb for EXODIA:
Two generations after the Eurasian nuclear war American life is a strange mix of failing technologies, psychic predictions, and radiation induced abilities. By 2093 tattoos on the left elbow, blue or red, are mandatory to differentiate two classes, privileged and slave.
Sixteen year old Dalton Battista fears that his fading tattoo is a deadly omen. He is either the heir of the brutal Blue tyrant of Exodia or he is the Reds’ prophesied liberator. Shy, handsome, smart and in possession of powers he doesn’t yet realize, he escapes an order for his execution by fleeing the city with the help of Lydia who quickly captures his heart. But he cannot escape a destiny that will force him to accept a role in the life of another girl, one who is not tattooed.
Exodia is a dystopian novel of hidden identity, murder, slavery, prophecies, plagues, and a love triangle that pits the truth of ancient promises against duty, honor, and devotion.
And OUT OF EXODIA continues the saga:
In this sequel to EXODIA, Dalton Battista takes on his prophesied identity as Bram O'Shea. When this psychic teen leads a city of 21st century American survivalists out from under an oppressive regime, he puts the escape plan at risk by trusting the mysterious god-like David Ronel. With Ronel's ulterior motives under suspicion, Bram’s loyalties questioned, and a mutiny imminent, this large group of outcasts faces multiple problems. What should have been a two-week journey lasts for months as they engage in battles against new enemies. Bram’s unusual abilities and a special weapon supplied by Ronel help them overcome obstacles but can they reach the "Promised Land" before time runs out?
How many books have you published in total, and what are the different genres?
I have 11 middle grade chapter books for kids and 6 young adult novels. Besides EXODIA and OUT OF EXODIA which are end-of-the-world dystopian, I’ve written the psychological thriller EDGE OF ESCAPE, a coming-of-age adventure THE GUARDIAN’S DIARY, a demonic paranormal story titled SHELTERED, and a paranormal romance, A SOUL’S KISS. (My writing is as eclectic as my reading.) I also have 2 non-fiction works, BUILDING A LOG HOME IN UNDER A YEAR and CROSSING THE SCRIPTURES.
How you think the end of the world might come about? Zombie apocalypse? Lack of wi-fi connection subsequently causing riots across the country? *wink*
I think the world will end the way it’s foretold in the Bible—anti-christ, famine, plagues, earthquakes, disease, horrible tribulation and lots of death. I’ve studied the Bible my whole life and I’ve read the last book in it several times. The end of the world is far worse than any human author has written (though Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye have written a pretty good series that chronicles the apocalypse), but in the end God wins. I’m on His side.
Any new or upcoming projects?
Yes, I’m in final edits for a time travel adventure and also a science fiction series.
Where can people connect with you online, and where can they purchase your books?
My books are on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can also connect with me on these sites:
Thank you so much for your time - best of luck in all of your writing endeavors!
Thank you! It’s been a pleasure to be here.
About the Author
- Debbie has written more than 15 novels for kids and adults. She now concentrates on clean young adult fiction which means that though the topics may include tough subjects there are no four letter words or sex scenes.