Monday, June 2, 2014

HUNGRY Blog Tour: H.A. Swain Interview (+ Giveaway!)

Welcome to my stop on the Hungry Blog Tour! Here you will find my interview of the amazing author, H.A. Swain, which includes her Hungry Love List and some foodish discussion! And be sure not to miss the giveaway at the end!



Title: Hungry
Author: H.A. Swain
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends


In the future, food is no longer necessary—until Thalia begins to feel something unfamiliar and uncomfortable. She’s hungry.

In Thalia’s world, there is no need for food—everyone takes medication (or “inocs”) to ward off hunger. It should mean there is no more famine, no more obesity, no more food-related illnesses, and no more war. At least that's what her parents, who work for the company that developed the inocs, say. But when Thalia meets a boy who is part of an underground movement to bring food back, she realizes that most people live a life much different from hers. Worse, Thalia is starting to feel hunger, and so is he—the inocs aren’t working. Together they set out to find the only thing that will quell their hunger: real food.

H. A. Swain delivers an adventure that is both epic and fast-paced. Get ready to be Hungry.


H. A. Swain is an award-winning author of novels for adults and young adults, craft books, and numerous short stories, personal essays, and non-fiction articles. She lives in a crooked house in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, two children, a barkless dog, and two rescue cats.

Site      Twitter      Goodreads


Hi, Ms. Swain! Thank you for the interview!

Thank you for having me!

First, let’s talk about the book!

Summarize Hungry in one sentence:

One sentence! Dude, I’m a novelist. I can’t even say hello to a friend in one sentence! I’m horrible at Twitter because I’m verbose. See, it’s happening now. I can’t shut up. Okay, how about I do it in haiku form?

No food, no hunger
The world is not what it seems.
Thalia must make change.

Was that cheating?

What was the initial spark that created Hungry? 

I’d like to claim that the inspiration for Hungry was solely my deep personal commitment to preserving family farms and protecting the environment for my future great-grandchildren…but that wouldn’t be true. Although I do believe family farms are vital to our collective well-being and that if we, as a society, don’t get our act together soon, we’re going to push the environment into deep, irrevocable trouble, that’s not what originally led me to write about a world with no food. The truth is I had this thought: If I didn’t have to feed my family, I’d have a lot more time to write! I started messing around with the idea of a world where no one had to eat but also no one was starving. That brought up some very interesting questions such as how would humans stay alive, what if government had been supplanted by one mega-corporation that controlled the nutrition supply, and ultimately what would be the down-fall of this society.

Who was your favorite character to write in Hungry, and why? 

While the obvious answer would be Thalia for her willingness to question everything she’s ever known and give up privileges for the greater good, or Basil for his indomitable spirit and engineering genius, if I’m really honest, I totally dug writing Thalia’s best friend Yaz. Often it’s the side characters that you end up having a crush on as a writer. Maybe because you don’t have to dig too deep into their psyches.

Yaz was super fun to write. She has one of the best character arcs in the book because she changes so much from the beginning to the end. Plus, she’s hilarious. I love her spunk, her wardrobe, and how she quickly figures out to use the system against itself. I still think about Yaz regularly and what she’s doing back in the Inner Loops right now. If I ever do a spin-off, I’d give Yaz her own book.

Who was your least favorite character to write and why?

Gaia was definitely a challenge to write. I didn’t want to make a stock “bad guy” character out her. I wanted her to have nuance but really she’s just reprehensible. In a way, that’s very fun to write. But there were times when I’d get very frustrated with her as a person.

What were some of the subjects you researched for Hungry? 

Oh my goodness, soooo much—which was the best part of writing this book because I love to nerd out on research! It’s incredibly fun to create a whole world! You get to re-imagine everything but I wanted all of those details to be backed up by current scientific thinking. Every time I’d come across an article that had anything to do with food, housing, transportation, and communication in the future, I’d keep it as a potential part of the world I was creating. Even little things like, what are cars like? Answer: automated and fully integrated into the web. How do people dress? Answer: synthetic fabrics grown from yeast and bacteria in the lab. What’s medicine like? Answer: Mostly done remotely with pill cams and body scans.

To create a place that was functioning after such environmental degradation was even more interesting. I had to think about things like where would they get fresh drinking water? Answer: from Whisson windmills that pull moisture from the air. What kind of nutritional system would keep masses of people alive if there are no longer plants and animals on earth? Answer: Precisely calibrated nutritional beverages coupled with appetite suppressing inoculations that target the FTO gene on chromosome 16.

Also, the two underground groups that Thalia and Basil belong to, the Dynasaurs and the Analogs, are based on real-life movements. To create the Dynasaurs, I read a lot about the controversial hacktivist entity called Anonymous which is famous for their DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks that temporarily shut down government, religious, and corporate websites. To create Ana Gignot, the mystical leader of the Analogs, I watched videos and read testimonials about a man called Braco the Gazer who earns a lot of money silently gazing at large groups of people who feel transformed by his presence. When the Dynasaurs and Analogs begin to organize and rise up against One World, I was thinking about all of the brave, young adults who led the Arab Spring and Occupy movements that had sprung up around the world in 2010.

H.A. Swain's Hungry Love List 

I love…
  • the cover art—how amazing is that fork—and design of the book, it’s just gorgeous! Thank you Feiwel & Friends art department
  • the format of the book—there are 4 parts but no traditional chapter breaks
  • the quotes about apples at the beginning of each section
  • that Thalia wears her grandmother’s old clothes because she likes the feel of natural fabrics such as cotton and denim
  • Thalia’s grandfather Papa Peter because he’s so incredibly kind
  • the gadgets that Basil invents (like the aroma device so he can smell food when he’s hungry)
  • the Pesky Petey 3-D interactive game Thalia and Yaz play at the EntertainArena
  • the strangeness of Ana Gignot gazing at her followers
  • Thalia and Basil’s escape in the shopping-cart bike
  • Hedgy’s World!
  • the car ride Thalia, Basil, and Yaz take from the Inner Loops to the Outer Loops
  • Fiyo who genetically alters the appearance of Thalia and Basil
  • the sad, broken-down sculptures left behind by Basil’s father
  • the creepiness of the Geophag encampment
  • the first time Thalia eats raspberries
  • Ella and Mr. Clemens—two unlikely heroes
  • when Thalia first sees a butterfly
  • how utterly insane Gaia and Dr. Demeter must be
  • Thalia’s willingness to give up her privileged life for the greater good of society

Awesome! Now, let’s talk food!

What’s your favorite food smell?

Baking bread!

What’s your favorite thing to cook, and why?

I love to cook. It’s one of the ways I unwind and recenter myself. I’m happy cooking just about anything if it’s for the people I love, but if I had to choose one thing I find deeply satisfying that would be pie. Pie is just so awesome! There’s crust, there’s filling! What’s not to love about pie?

If everything tasted like one thing, what would you want it to taste like?

Warm, ripe black raspberries straight from the bush…never gets old.

If the future of Hungry came to pass and you had to give up eating, what item of food would you miss the most?

Easy, chocolate. How can one live without good chocolate?

And that's it! My thanks to Ms. Swain for the awesome interview! :)


Macmillian has graciously provided a copy of this epic dystopian! 
Enter below to win - good luck! :)

US Only | Must be 13+ years to enter
(Cheaters do not prosper - be warned I check every entry!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And be sure to check out the rest of the tour!

6/4: Bookish


  1. I think I would miss ice cream

  2. I have to agree with the author: chocolate.

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  3. I would probably miss pizza the most.

  4. Such an interesting interview!!