The Innocence Treatment is coming out next week! In the meantime, be sure to check out my Q&A with author Ari Goelman and enter the giveaway below!
About the Book
Title: THE INNCOENCE TREATMENT
Author: Ari Goelman
Pub. Date: October 17, 2017
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
You may believe the government protects you, but only one girl knows how they use you.
Lauren has a disorder that makes her believe everything her friends tell her–and she believes everyone is her friend. Her innocence puts her at constant risk, so when she gets the opportunity to have an operation to correct her condition, she seizes it. But after the surgery, Lauren is changed. Is she a paranoid lunatic with violent tendencies? Or a clear-eyed observer of the world who does what needs to be done?
Told in journal entries and therapy session transcripts, The Innocence Treatment is a collection of Lauren’s papers, annotated by her sister long after the events of the novel. A compelling YA debut thriller that is part speculative fiction and part shocking tell-all of genetic engineering and government secrets, Lauren’s story is ultimately an electrifying, propulsive, and spine-tingling read.
1- The epistolary nature of the storytelling structure in this novel is fascinating! Was it challenging to write a story in that type of format?
Thank you so much — I’m glad you liked it. It was a bit challenging, but also fun. I found I had to keep pretty detailed time lines of all parts of the narrative in order to keep things coherent while I was writing.
The alternating nature of the narrative was especially tricky — the way it goes back and forth between the journal entries and the psychiatric transcripts (a few months in the future). I had to go back and forth between: 1) reading each line of narrative straight through to make sure it was internally consistent, and 2) reading it in the back-and-forth narrative structure that I intended it to take in the actual finished novel.
I also made mistakes. It’s much easier to experiment with complicated structures when you’re willing to make mistakes, in the expectation that you’ll (mostly) catch your mistakes later on.
2- I love the concept of how Lauren begins as a character who trusts everyone around her and then the juxtaposition of her character after the treatment. Would you say you yourself are a more trusting or cynical person?
Ha. Good question. For me (as, I think, for most of us) it depends on context. One of the things which makes Lauren so different (at the novel’s start) is that she takes everything that everyone says at complete face value ALL the time.
I think I’m pretty good at differentiating. Politically I would say I’m pretty cynical; personally I’m pretty trusting. I ask a lot of questions, so I end up having friends who are pretty open and honest. At least as far as I know. Shoot, maybe I’m totally naive…
3- If you could choose any fictional character from any other book to appear in THE INNOCENCE TREATMENT, which character would you choose?
That’s a hard question. There are a lot of fictional characters out there! Off the top of my head, Commander Vimes from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. He’s so honest and committed to justice, I feel like he’d be a natural ally of Lauren’s. Plus he always wins in the Discworld books, and I feel like Lauren could use some of that luck.
4- What are some of your favorite thrillers that you’ve read?
I haven’t read too many thrillers in the last few years. Back in the day, though, I enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I was on a family vacation with my younger sister who was reading it, and I’m pretty sure I stole it from her and hid somewhere while I finished it. These days I’m mostly reading young adult and middle grade fantasy. I know Harry Potter isn’t shelved with thrillers, but I think J.K. Rowling does an amazing job with the pacing of those books, which is (along with putting her characters in jeopardy) perhaps the most thrilling part of thrillers.
5- Plotting a thriller seems like it would be challenging. Did you start plotting this story at the beginning or the end?
Great question. I started with Lauren’s character and her cognitive disability — so in that way I very much started with the beginning of the plot. That said, I definitely wrote the end before the middle of the book. For some reason, I almost always write the end first, maybe to reassure myself that I know how the story ends..
Overall, I would say the plot was not the hard part — the hard part was the structure. The plot seemed to flow really organically from Lauren’s character and her struggle to deal — first with her disability, and then with its treatment. Not to mention her struggle with the Department and its scientists.
About the Author
I’m Ari Goelman. I write fantasy novels. Stories, too.
My latest novel, due out in October, 2017, is The Innocent Treatment. Lauren Fielding is a sixteen-year-old high school student with a cognitive disability – she believes everything her friends tell her, and she believes that everyone is her friend. A cutting edge medical treatment helps Lauren, but after the treatment her mental condition soon veers into paranoia. Or does it? The Innocent Treatment comes out in October, 2017, but in the meantime you can read (a little) more about Lauren here. (You can also pre-order a copy here.)
My first novel, The Path of Names came out a few years ago. It’s a middle grade fantasy / murder mystery / ghost story. You can read lots more about it here. Or you could just read the book. Honestly, that’s probably a better idea.
Enter the Giveaway
3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE INNOCENCE TREATMENT, US Only.
Follow the Blog Tour
Thanks so much to Rockstar Book Tours for hosting this tour! Be sure to check out their website here as well as the other amazing posts on this tour!
10/2/2017- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt
10/3/2017- It Starts at Midnight– Review
10/4/2017- BookHounds YA– Guest Post
10/5/2017- Savings in Seconds– Review
10/6/2017- Books at Dawn– Excerpt
10/9/2017- Howling Libraries– Review
10/10/2017- YA and Wine– Interview
10/11/2017- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review
10/12/2017- Kendra Loves Books– Review
10/13/2017- Lisa Loves Literature– Interview