New York Times bestselling author Julianna Baggott, a St. Mark's High School grad, will journey back to Delaware for a signing of her new book "Fuse (The Pure Trilogy)" at the Historic Lamborn Library Building on March 20.
"Fuse" was released in February and is the sequel to the acclaimed "Pure," which was selected as one of the New York Times' 100 Notable Books of 2012. "Pure," the firstborn in Baggott's post-apocalyptic trilogy, reintroduces the notion of the haves and have-nots in fresh fashion. The book follows Pressia, a 16-year-old girl with a baby doll's head for a hand. Like Pressia, most of the other Wretches (or have-nots) who survived the Detonations (a series of epic explosions) are reminded by scars and objects fused to their bodies.
Those exposed to the Detonations who survived are now fused to whatever objects they were holding at the time of the blasts. But the Pures (or the haves) were unharmed as they were shielded from the Detonations inside the Dome.
In "Fuse," Pressia has an opportunity to decode a set of cryptic clues from the past that can set the Wretches free. And her companion Partridge (a Pure who escaped from the Dome) is still searching for his mother who didn't make it back to the Dome before the Detonations. He believes she's still alive. Outraged that Partridge escaped, his father, Willux (leader of the Pures), unleashes a violent attack on the Wretches. The sequel to this brutally beautiful world that Baggott has crafted reveals new treacherous creatures as the Pures and Wretches battle to save their futures.
This could really happen?
While it might seem unbelievable that a bomb could cause people to fuse to objects, Baggott pointed out that her extensive research on survivors from the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings revealed evidence that make the Wretches not seem completely farfetched. For instance, Baggott recalled seeing an image of "people leaving [permanent] shadow stains on walls," which she says was created by the intense flare from an atomic blast. Even as a young girl, Baggott remembers a picture of a woman wearing a checkered dress who survived an atomic bomb and the print of her "dress was scarred onto her back," she added.
Page 2 of 3 - But, of course, Baggott likes to manipulate the truth when penning. A recent example is with one of her favorite new characters in "Fuse" called Dust. The Dust are vile Wretches who dwell in the dirt and "they pull themselves out of the dark and surround an amusement park called Crazy John-Johns," smiled Baggott, a native of Newark, who now splits her time living in Massachusetts and Florida. "The landscape absorbed these human beings; they were absorbed into the earth."
'I know — it's really weird'
When scribing "Fuse," YouTube played a role in helping Baggott convey to readers that they're neck-deep in an epic adventure.
"I like watching trailers on YouTube that are of a bunch of films all mushed up [into one] and put to music," she said. "I like that reminder to [write] really, really big and go for big moments." Aware that her method probably sounds foreign to some, Baggott quickly, yet painfully, remarked: "I know — it's really weird."
Baggott's process for writing stories involves her taking several breaks throughout the day. She confessed a portion of those breaks are caused by her habit to "self-interrupt." Nonetheless, Baggott — a wife and mother of four (her eldest is 17) — typically writes seven days a week and likes to do so starting around 9 a.m. until her kids return home from school around 3 p.m. Then she'll spend time with them, have dinner in the evening, and go back to scribing until 1 a.m. or 2 a.m., she said.
Though she loves her career, Baggott admitted her devotion to the page often secludes her from everyone, which means there are occasions when she feels "incredibly lonely." In her 12-year career, she's written 19 books, including the acclaimed "Girl Talk."
Film rights have been picked up for "Pure" by Fox 2000. The producer is Karen Rosenfelt (of "Twilight" fame) and the screenwriter and director is James Ponsoldt (whose new film "The Spectacular Now" received rave reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival), Baggott said. Baggott added she doesn't know when "Pure" is slated for the big screen, or if it'll ever make it that far. But she's hopeful it will since "it would make me happy," she said.
Page 3 of 3 - In addition, Baggott didn't reveal the name of the third book in "The Pure Trilogy," but she did say it'll be released this time next year. And she recently finished scribing the book, she said. For the final chapter in the saga, she said she was tasked with answering a tough question: "does the Dome survive?" She also mentioned that no character is safe in the finale.
"I'm not trustworthy," Baggott said. "I will kill characters."
IF YOU GO
WHAT "Fuse (The Pure Trilogy)" book signing with Julianna Baggott, presented by the Hockessin Bookshelf
WHEN 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 20
WHERE Historic Lamborn Library Building, 1041 Valley Road, Hockessin
COST $10 ticket (includes refreshments by Chefs' Haven) and it can only be purchased with cash or check at the event; RSVP is highly recommended; "Fuse (The Pure Trilogy)," "Pure" and other Julianna Baggott books will be for sale for 20 percent off, and most books regularly retail under $20 each
INFO Hockessin Book Shelf or 235-7665