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Challenges That They Must Face

Y.C. Leung Author Interview

Spark follows a group of young adults that must make a journey inland in order to survive amidst an apocalyptic world that throws obstacles at each turn. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I was reading several books in a series and thought I could try to write a series as well. However, it soon became apparent that just writing one book is tough (laugh!). I decided to write my book as a standalone at that point. There are things that I care about, such as global warming and mental health, and I wanted to incorporate these things into the book. As Spark is my first novel, I want to make it straight forward for me to write, so I decided that my characters shall go from point A to point B with challenges that they must face along the way.

With so much drama and disasters striking the characters, how did you balance the action scenes with the story elements and still keep a fast pace in the story?

There were as many external obstacles and misfortunes as internal struggles that the main character, Becky experienced. Simply put, as the characters need to go from point A to point B as soon as possible, the story is always moving along. I tried to have characters that are relatable to keep the story grounded. Becky, the mean character, is by no means perfect. Some of her decisions are even questionable, but I think readers can understand her. Tommy, her brother, is a drug addict. He uses sarcasm to cope with his depression and pain. The siblings don’t get along but they are close and care about each other. Their friend, Connor, who tags along with the siblings, is levelheaded and rational. He provides stability amid all the crises.

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

Some of the themes that are important for me to explore in this book include effects of climate change, survival after disasters, personal growth, dysfunctional families, self-harm, and drug addiction.

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

Although I mentioned Spark is a standalone book, there is potential for a sequel (laugh!). It’s not the book I’m currently working on though. I’m currently working on another young adult / new adult book that involves the main character being convinced she’s haunted by a ghost. It will explore the themes of science vs. superstition, expectations from others vs. self-fulfillment, and the courage of letting go so change can happen.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Eighteen-year-old Becky and her best friend, Meghan, can’t wait to join the army and start their basic training in September. Becky especially yearns to leave her rundown neighbourhood in Langley, British Columbia, as it will soon become flooded by rising sea levels. But when they head to Reunion Square to meet their friends, Connor and Robert, disaster strikes and their lives are changed forever.

A massive earthquake ignites widespread panic, and people start to run in fear of a tsunami. Becky and Connor are separated from Meghan and Robert. Forced to leave the area, Becky and Connor find her brother, Tommy, and they make their way back to the siblings’ home in hopes that Meghan and Robert are going there too. But as they wait for their friends, Langley goes up in flames and the trio must flee by car.

With nowhere else to go, they decide to head to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where Becky’s parents are staying. En route, they learn that a deadly new virus, with horrific symptoms, is tearing through British Columbia. They will have to make it to Manitoba before the borders close. Meanwhile, Tommy suffers severe drug withdrawal and shares a devastating confession with Becky. Tension rises as fear grips the country and more disasters impede their way. How will they possibly survive?


People are gathered in Reunion Square, enjoying things before the area would be flooded by the rising sea waters. Four friends set off for a night of fun, little did they know that their life was to be turned upside down.

Spark is a dystopian science fiction novel set in the future. It is set in a world of rising sea levels where neighborhoods being submerged and lost forever has become a commonplace occurrence. When a massive earthquake hits panic and chaos break out. With the threat of a tsunami, and a fire engulfing the town, this group of friends tries to escape to safety.

Readers follow along on the journey of a group of young adults as they navigate the obstacles that befall them. The story introduces our protagonist, Becky, and her friend Meghan, who is going to Reunion Square to welcome their long-time friends Robert and Connor. And that is when the first catastrophe hits. One after the other, author Y.C. Leung moves the story along a detailed and well-crafted plotline, full of twists and turns such that there are no dull moments.

The author does a fantastic job of keeping the readers engaged right from the beginning. Throughout the book, the characters go through many life-changing events, catastrophes, and inner turmoil, thereby making the story very engaging and realistic. The story covers multiple coming-of-age themes, like self-doubt, inner turmoil, embracing one’s identity, making life-altering decisions, drug abuse, and relationships.

The writing style is relatively straight and simple, making it easy for middle-grade teens to follow and stay engaged. The author doesn’t spend a lot of time setting up the scene and rather goes straight to the action, giving readers just what they need to know to be in the moment. The conversations, the scene-setting, and the action are straightforward, making this fast-paced novel move quickly, adding to the feel and drama of the storyline.

Spark is the coming of age story of a group of teens that were about to set off on the next stage of their lives before apocalyptic events turn their life into a race for survival with action at every turn. I recommend this book for young adults who are interested in dystopian science fiction.

Pages: 228 | ASIN : B09Q93XWK6

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