The Apocalypse Gene Blog Tour

It's my privilege and an honor to be a stop on The Apocalypse Gene Blog Tour.

One lucky commenter will win a print copy of the novel. The winner will be chosen at random with the aid of Please remember to leave your email address along with your comment. Good luck!


Welcome Suki Michelle and Carlyle Clark.

Tell us a little about The Apocalypse Gene. What inspired you to write it?

The Apocalypse Gene takes place in the near future during a time of global pandemic. Our protagonists (Olivya and Mikah) are a pair of highly gifted psychics, Olivya with aura-sight and Mikah an elite Empath from a clan of demon hybrids called The Kindred. Mikah learns that the Kindred are linked to the pandemic, but without initiation, he is barred from learning their truths. When Olivya’s mother falls ill, Olivya and Mikah embark on a quest to uncover Kindred secrets. In the shadow of the Kindred leader, a monstrous brooding immortal, and with the arrival of a long prophesied winged being, the two kids discover that the pandemic is far more than a mere disease.

Suki: As for the inspiration – I type medical reports all day. With my wild imagination and low tolerance for boredom, I entertain myself with the what-if game.  One day I asked myself, what if the cure for a disease was outside the realm of science and squarely in the hands of kids and mystics – and what if it went pandemic? 

What inspired you to write a book together?

Suki: Carlyle and I have weirdly compatible skill sets. He’s a mad man when he writes, intrepid, happy to lay it out fast and free, knowing he will go back and fix things.  It’s what he calls the “spray and pray” technique. I spend hours tweaking a single sentence, a perfectionist. Carlyle has a great feel for story elements, how to unwind a plot, where to plant reveals.
Carlyle: Suki is happiest following characters through real-time thought and action, establishing voice, and creating settings. With my insane energy and Suki’s obsessive perfectionism, The Apocalypse Gene couldn’t have been written by either of us alone.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in writing with a partner?

Suki:  We both came up with truly bizarre ideas and scared each other badly. We discussed them (argued), made the case for keeping or rejecting (I pouted, he bristled) and eventually reached consensus.

Carlyle: Sometimes when Suki wrote a scene featuring Mikah, I’d have to “man him up”.
Suki: Yeah, but when Carlyle wrote a scene with Olivya, I had to remind him she’s not a pugnacious dude. 

Carlyle: I never bristle! 

Suki: Uh huh.

Carlyle: Nuh uh!

Both: See how it went? But we still love each other.

Where do you get your ideas?

Suki: I get my ideas daydreaming while I work and in the early insomniac mornings when I think about the odd people I’ve met, the outcasts, the unusual, the often-judged – they inspire me. I put them in all kinds of conflicts and adventures.  

Carlyle: Anytime I'm talking to someone, watching something or reading, things spring into my head, and I just run with it. I've always lived more in my imagination than the real world.

Did you work with an outline, or just write?

No rigid outline but an idea of major plot points and a solid premise around which we built the story.  We knew what had to happen but not always how to get there.  Sometimes Carlyle would hash out a scene, the basic what-happens-next, and I would walk the characters through second by second.  We’d end up with a ton of extraneous stuff, which would eventually be deleted.  Other times, I’d write a scene first and show Carlyle, and we’d go back and forth until it was distilled its essentials.  That’s why it took three years to write.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your book published?

Suki: The relentless flow of rejections from agencies and publishers was tough to take, though Carlyle handled it with equanimity. He’s the calm one of the two.  While many commented that the book was well written and compelling, some found it too dark for the YA market (have they not read the Hunger Games?) or they questioned if they could find a wide enough audience, since it’s an unusual story. 

Carlyle:  Then we found Parker Publishing who felt our story was perfect for their Moxie imprint.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

Suki: Carlyle and I will be famous, of course, living in a fully-equipped luxury Winnebago on a perpetual coast-to-coast restaurant-to-restaurant tour with state-of-the-art laptops for writing and a big screen TV in the back with all the movie channels, oh . . . and a freezer filled with ice cream.  How’s that for a dream?

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?

Carlyle: Largely online - Facebook, Goodreads, and fine book blogs like this one.  We will also get out in the community, make presentations at local high schools on creative writing and publishing, and humbly requesting everyone who reads our book to leave a review at Amazon and Goodreads.  

What project are you working on now?

Suki: Carlyle is finishing up his novel, The Black Song Inside, which was a semi-finalist in the Faulkner Wisdom Competition.  I have two novels in the works, one literary fiction, and one YA speculative fiction.  We’re also busy drafting the sequel to The Apocalypse Gene.

Where can readers find you? (Primary Website) (Blog) (Olivya’s fan page) (Co-author’s profile page)
www.Storymavens/ (Author blog)

The launch party for The Apocalypse Gene starts October 1st

We want to thank you for giving us the chance to share. We truly appreciate it. We wish you love, success and fabulous adventures.

Best of luck to the both of you. Again, it was my pleasure to host you. You're welcome back anytime. The next stop on the blog tour is:


  1. I love how cute Suki and Carlyle are together! :D <3 This interview made me laugh! Great post guys! And thank you Jeanne for being a spot on this tour!

  2. Hi, Suki and Carlyle! Great to read about the background to The Apocalypse Gene, a book that deserves to succeed.
    Thanks, Jeanne, for an interesting interview with two of my favourite authors. Well, make that three, because the interviewer is an awesome writer herself.

  3. Thank you so much for having us, Jeanne! Naj, I lol'ed when I re-read this too.

    Ironically, there are no words to express how grateful we are to you and all our readers, now and in the future.

  4. Hi Sheila! Such fabulous company here - great authors, kind people, yourself included!!

  5. I think you hit the market perfectly. Dark Earth fiction with a YA edge is taking off and getting popular.

    I enjoyed Hunger Games so much and it wasn't exactly rainbows and kisses.

    It's doing for violence what romance did for sex.

    Anyway...both of these authors are wonderful people and writers.

    You can't go wrong reading their book if you like dark edged YA.

  6. Oh the gifted Tirzah of the artful covers. Thank you!

    S and C.

  7. @Naj, it's my pleasure to host Suki and Carlyle. They're wonderfully kind and talented people :)

    @Sheila, thanks so much for stopping by, my friend and for your very kind words. Add yourself to that list!

    @Suki and Carlyle, it's a thrill to host you guys. I can't wait to dive into your book. I know beyond a doubt that it'll be a fantastic read. Wishing you all the success in the world :D

    @Tirzah, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, my friend. You're such an intelligent and insightful woman :)

  8. It was a thrill to be hosted. Thank you, sweet-one! Later, my friends. You're all SWELL!

  9. Kudos to both of you for not driving each other completely insane during the process AND for creating an excellent story. Wishing you tons of sales!

  10. I love the what you hope to be doing in 5 years answer. HILARIOUS! Great interview guys.

  11. HI Joy - we always drive each other insane, but we laugh at ourselves at the same time. BreeBREE! You will join us on the Winnebago, okay? SOMETIMES. Love to you all.

    Suki and Carlyle

  12. This was a great interview. haha! You two are a riot. :) I'm so excited to see your novel in print and wish you much success and a new Winnebago. (And you MUST spend some time in KCMO when you get it!)


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