For today’s guest post I have with me bestselling author Rysa Walker. The Delphi Effect book tour is being organized by Xpresso Book Tours. Don’t forget you can also participate in the giveaway below to win a $25 Amazon gift card.
by Rysa Walker
I am so not a morning person. Neither are my kids. Whoever is in charge of our school district, however, believes that teens need to be in class at the crack of dawn. So, every weekday morning, we’d haul our sleepy behinds into the van and turn on the carefully curated playlists of songs that all three of us liked, or could at least tolerate. Mornings are horrible enough without having to listen to music you hate.
The Delphi Effect popped into my head on one of these morning treks. I’d dropped off the kids and as I drove back home, two songs came on, one after the other. The first was “Oh, Lately It’s So Quiet,” by OK-Go. The second was “42,” from the Viva La Vida album by Coldplay, which was my youngest son’s favorite at the time. Both songs are about the feeling of being haunted, but one line from the Coldplay song–“Those who are dead are not dead, they’re just living in my head”–stayed with me.
There was a story there, but I knew the story wasn’t about your typical ghost. It was about the person with the dead people stuck in her head.
I was currently writing something else–Time’s Echo, the first CHRONOS Files novella–and I also had a stack of term papers to grade, because I was working as a college professor back then. But everything else was pushed aside until I got that first chapter with Anna, Molly, and Porter written.
From the beginning, I knew that Molly needed Anna’s help to find the people behind not only her murder, but that of many other girls as well. Music kicked in again, at that point. My Pandora alt-rock stationed offered up Tegan & Sara’s “Walking with Ghost,” which is pretty close to Anna’s theme song, since she’d love to get her “hitchers” out of her mind, and Molly was one insistent hitcher.
But what gave Anna the ability to “pick up” these mental echoes of the dead? I write very much as if I’m reading the story, so I had no clue about that going in. As I was writing, however, I remembered stories about the government testing drugs to enhance psychic abilities in the MK-Ultra program back in the 1950s. And then later, there was Stargate–not the fictional program from TV and movies that sent people to faraway planets, but the very real program that was created by the military to study and develop psychic abilities.
The CIA investigated the Stargate program in 1995 and found it to be a waste of money, so they abandoned it. Or at least that’s what they said. But if a military program was showing results that the CIA didn’t want to be under public scrutiny, revealing powers that they wanted to keep secret, what would they be most likely to do? I think they’d say the program was a failure, shut it down, and then reopen it where they could keep everything under closer surveillance.
And what about the next generation? What might happen when some of those test subjects who’d been given mind-altering, psychic enhancing drugs had children? Maybe the effects would be gene-altering, affecting their offspring. Once I knew how Anna got this ability–that she was the child of test subjects–the first five chapters of The Delphi Effect basically wrote themselves.
My original plan had been to write two series–The CHRONOS Files and the Delphi Trilogy–in tandem. A few weeks later, however, I got some very good news that changed those plans. My first novel, Timebound, won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in June 2013. It allowed me to quit my day job, so grading was no longer on my agenda, but my new publisher, Skyscape, wanted the next two books in The CHRONOS Files ASAP.
But any time I got stuck while writing Time’s Edge and Time’s Divide— or when time travel headaches were simply making me crazy — I’d open The Delphi Effect manuscript and go play around with Anna, Deo, Aaron and the others for a bit to clear my head. And when Time’s Divide was published last year and my editor asked what I’d like to write next, there was no question that I wanted to finish telling Anna’s story.
I’m so happy that The Delphi Effect is finally out into the world this week. I hope you’ll check it out and drop me a message on Facebook or Twitter (@rysawalker) to let me know what you think!
About the author
Rysa Walker is the author of the bestselling CHRONOS Files series. Timebound, the first book in the series, was the Young Adult and Grand Prize winner of the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Rysa grew up on a cattle ranch in the South, where she was a voracious reader. On the rare occasions when she gained control of the television, she watched Star Trek and imagined living in the future, on distant planets, or at least in a town big enough to have a stoplight. She currently lives in North Carolina, where she is working on the next instalment in The Delphi Trilogy. If you see her on Social Media, please tell her to get back to her Writing Cave.
The Delphi Effect
(The Delphi Trilogy #1)
by Rysa Walker
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: October 11th 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
In this thrilling new series from Rysa Walker, the award-winning and best-selling author of Timebound, a teen psychic is the key to stopping a government conspiracy.
It’s never wise to talk to strangers . . . and that goes double when they’re dead. Unfortunately, seventeen-year-old Anna Morgan has no choice. Resting on a park bench, touching the turnstile at the Metro station—she never knows where she’ll encounter a ghost. These mental hitchhikers are the reason Anna has been tossed from one foster home and psychiatric institution to the next for most of her life.
When a chance touch leads her to pick up the insistent spirit of a girl who was brutally murdered, Anna is pulled headlong into a deadly conspiracy that extends to the highest levels of government. Facing the forces behind her new hitcher’s death will challenge the barriers, both good and bad, that Anna has erected over the years and shed light on her power’s origins. And when the covert organization seeking to recruit her crosses the line by kidnapping her friend, it will discover just how far Anna is willing to go to bring it down.
- $25 Amazon gift card