How would you describe your writing style?
No one's ever asked me this before! It's kind of hard to answer. I guess I see similarities between my writing and Suzanne Collins, Marie Lu, and Veronica Rossi.
If you could write a novel from another genre, what would it be?
Historical. Well, I did once but it's shelved. :) I'd love to write a story that takes place in the Jazz era of Manhattan.
My favorite question: What or who inspired Control?
A very unusual medical illness called Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome, also sometimes referred to as Ondine's Curse. I imagined how difficult it would be to live with a disease that could make you could die in your sleep from not being able to breathe enough, or make you think about every single breath. My main character has this problem.
Tell us about the story world of Control.
It takes place in 2150, and what's different now is all the States have banded together according to ideology. So there are combo states, like Nebraska and Iowa = Neia (I often used the state abbreviations to make the new State names). Some are extremely conservative, others not. But more importantly, the federal government has decided that human DNA cannot be manipulated within humans. Only pure DNA is allowed. You can guess the rest!
Since it's a century and a half into the future, can you tell us of the latest technology and developments?
Things like driving cars are a thing of the past, only done by a few rare hobbyists. Food is loaded up into machines called "efferents" that do all the cooking and prep for you. Punch in some buttered toast, coq au vin and creme brûlée and it's done. Wish I had one of these...
How do you balance the romantic and scientific elements in Control?
No balance needed. They were separate things, really, that interwove when needed. I was serious about the science, but not so heavy handed that it reads like a lecture. The romance is delicate and fractured and new. It was so fun to write.
If you could bring Zel to the present, what would you give her?
OMG, I would give her a hug! And tell her how awesome she is. And then I'd lend her my clothes, because she dresses like a recluse. And then I'd give her my favorite book of poetry.
When it comes to character development, do you have a strategy?
Make them change, but don't make them perfect.
What is next for Lydia Kang?
The sequel! It's going to be out Winter 2015. It's title is tentatively called Catalyst, but will likely change. After that, who knows? I've got a handful of ideas waiting in the wings. :)
Lydia Kang is an author of young adut fiction, poetry, and narrative non-fiction. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine and completed her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is a practicing physician who has gained a reputation for helping fellow writers achieve medical accuracy in fiction. Her poetry and fiction have been published in JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, Canadian Medical Association Journal, and Hektoen International. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three children and a terrarium full of stick bugs. She believes in science and knocking on wood, and is an unapologetic salt addict.
Follow Lydia: Website | Blog | Twitter
Hardcover, 400 pages
December 26th 2013, Dial Books for Young Readers
An un-putdownable thriller for fans of Uglies
When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn't even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.
A spiraling, intense, romantic story set in 2150—in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms—this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.
“Control blew me away.”—James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner trilogy
What's up for grabs?
You should be at least 13 years old.