Her Crushing Addiction

Drew Kientz
Drew Kientz Author Interview

Chrysalis follows a drug dealer/addict as she discovers she has special abilities and discovers a secret society where people with abilities jockey for power. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

It’s a story that was brewing in my mind for years. I myself used to be a drug addict (I’ve been clean now for two years), and by being one, I knew plenty of others as well. Nearly all of them were “normal” people who could be described as “high-functioning” addicts. They’d hold down jobs, pay taxes, try their best with their family life, had hobbies and other interests, and so on. I felt that all mediums of entertainment damn near always showed an addict as some cretin in a filthy back alley. An instant villain. For me, this would completely shatter my immersion, because that’s simply not how most of “us” operated. Most addicts are trying to escape pain. Pain from life’s traumas, as well as literal physical pain. To immediately consider someone less than human because they have an addiction is the complete opposite of how we should be approaching the matter.

I wanted to write a story where the concept of addiction is portrayed accurately. I thought it would be a cool idea to take a “troubled” individual and then grant them supernatural power. As you can see in Chrysalis, Juniper’s powers are practically an afterthought for her when contrasted with her crushing addiction to heroin and other opiates. It was important to me to show that she is a fully realized human being. Meaning, human beings are creatures full of nuance and drives, and it’s important to keep a sense of humor, even when going through hard times and life’s challenges.

-Juniper is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

That’s a great question. I felt it was important to relay the idea that these “Enlightened” are normal people who just happen to be capable of exceptional things. Just because you can conjure a fireball from thin air doesn’t mean that gives you a license to be an asshole. As far as Juniper’s ideals go, I’d summarize her like this: At her core, Juniper is a good human being. She has a quicksilver mind and sharp wit. She’s damaged, quick to laugh & smile, HATES authority, bucks at traditional establishments, and has zero patience for bigotry, racism, and xenophobia. Although she tries her best to stay as a lone wolf, whenever she is in a situation that calls for leadership; somehow, someway, people insist on throwing her into that role.

Leadership to her is something she balks at, because she recognizes the enormous responsibility of being in that role. She feels that if she’s the one other people are looking to for guidance, then everyone must be in a terrible position (Hah!). But she’s good at it. She radiates a natural charisma that people around her are drawn to. She IS leadership material, but the role of leader is one that makes her quite uncomfortable.

-What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Embrace the role of the outsider. Don’t be afraid to be the one to speak up differently from the rest of the crowd. Sometimes, that is an extremely difficult thing to do, but in doing so, you’ll attract others that think like yourself, and before you know it, you’ll have a special group of your own. Your own crowd. The loyalty that comes from alienated people who finally find their “tribe” is on a whole other level.

Here, I’ll finish this part up with this. Technically, I wrote this dialogue thinking it was going to go in book one, but it’s slated for two. So, a tiny sneak-peek, if you will.

“It’s not how deep you were buried, Juniper. It’s how far you have risen that truly matters. It’s not the goals that you set, but the challenges you faced. It’s not the hardship you endured, it’s the pain you overcame. You are more important now than ever. You have the ability to change the world. You, and you alone get to decide how to live. You are a woman, not just a being. Not just a Primeval. Don’t ever forget that.” – Dr. Tuppence Buckingham

-What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m currently hard at work on Book Two of “A Perfect Order.” It’s called “Almagest.” It’ll be out this summer!

Author Links: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Juniper Appleblossom is a drug addict, self-appointed rock star, and unknowingly one of the most powerful Enlightened ever to walk the Earth. After meeting Dr. Tuppence Buckingham at gunpoint, she is dragged into a world of secret societies where people with special abilities jockey for power while holding back threats who prey on mankind.

In a matter of days, Juniper discovers that demons, spirits, and witches are all very real, and a 187-year-old French man tells her she is supposed to be mankind’s latest budding savior. Even though her powers develop faster than anyone else who has come before, Juniper is more concerned with getting her next fix.

She’ll have to bring together clashing lifestyles if she has any hope at tackling her first supernatural threat. A local Arkansan Cherokee tribe has a wendigo problem, and she’s the only one who can stop it.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on May 26, 2021, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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