Let’s give a warm Friday Author Feature welcome to Jennifer Ibarra. Jennifer Ibarra is the author of The Polaris Uprising.
No citizen shall be left behind.
Life in Neress is simple. For nearly four decades, people have known exactly what’s expected of them. Obey the rules, follow the path that’s been laid out, and everything will be provided for: food, shelter, education, safety. No need goes unmet.
But the cost is steep: you lose all rights to make your own choices in life.
In seven years, eighteen-year-old Ryla Jensen will come of age and take over for her father as president of this idyllic nation. Groomed since childhood to take on a role she’s not even sure she wants, Ryla’s only escape from the pressures of duty is her sister, Alanna. But when her eyes are finally opened to the oppressive regime her father built, she begins to question everything she’s set to inherit—and finds herself at odds with her sister’s blind allegiance to their father.
Torn between loyalty to her family and the fight for freedom, Ryla must decide just how far she’s willing to go to make a stand and risk losing the person she loves most in the world: Alanna.
Visit Jennifer Ibarra’s website
How long have you been writing?
I started making up stories when I was as young as five or six years old. I think I attempted my first novel in junior high (called “The Substitute Teacher Crisis”), but it wasn’t until high school when I started writing more seriously, thanks to the encouragement of my English teacher. I got away from writing during college and the early years of post-college working, but I picked it up again about fourteen years ago, and I’ve been writing steadily ever since!
What inspired you to write this book?
A few things went into inspiring this book.
One was a quote by Benjamin Franklin: “They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” It made me think about the times we live in, and how we’ve often had to make trade-offs for being safe and secure.
The second thing that inspired it was my fascination with sibling relationships. As an only child, I’ve always longed for a sibling and often thought about what that relationship would be like. This works its way often into my writing, and it really came to life in this book, with the core relationship being that between the two sisters.
Which character is your favorite and why?
My all-time favorite fictional character would probably have to be Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter series. I love underdogs and he’s the ultimate underdog who’s constantly overshadowed by first his siblings, and then by Harry. I also love his loyalty, his tenacity, and his humor.
Of my own book, I’ll go with a bit of an obvious answer, which is my protagonists, Ryla and Alanna. They’re both very special to me and very much two sides of the same coin, so it’d be hard for me to choose one over the other :).
What advice do you have for young authors?
Read, read, read! And keep writing. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because it’s how you learn. Find the stories that fill you with passion–the ones that keep you up at night because you can’t stop thinking about that world or its people. Those are the stories you can make your own and tell with your own unique voice.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love to cook and bake, so I’m almost always doing one or the other. I also love to eat what I cook and bake, so I counterbalance that by doing lots of running :).
Thanks to Jennifer Ibarra for stopping by the Friday Author Feature!