Author: Heather Letto
Series: Ascension #1
Genre: Dystopia, Young Adult
Release Date: April 29, 2014Summary:
The residents of Impervious are the remnant, the survivors of the war of Annihilation. And though the city is chockfull of pleasures to tantalize and entertain, a beast lurks in the corners, haunting the residents with its presence. The Beast, a mysterious and terminal illness killed off most of Generations One, Two, and Three. And as Gen-Four prepares to take the stage, a provocative, yet questionable, new method to avoid an untimely death incites a cultural rage. But Fran lives counter-culture, off the grid in true rebel fashion. With a life far from opulent, she scurries through dark tunnels, searching for hot meals with Pete while ditching the holographic security team. To her, it's a healthy trade-off. Unaccountability means The Council can't steal her sliver of hope, a belief that she'll see The Epoch arrive before The Beast can pull her into its Fetid embrace.
Fran spied Gillius, third in line, in front of a girl with a sleek chestnut mane. Like the others, Gillius’ left fist rested on his chest, pinky pointed upward as he gave honor to the great city of Impervious. His glassy stare screamed of the venom already snaking through his veins, soon to bring an end to his life.
A shudder shook Fran as she wondered about corporeal termination. Rumors spoke of an excruciating end where the forfeitures dropped into agonizing spasms of death during the final pageant. Fran shivered again and reminded herself that sensationalism stemmed from useless gossip which, in turn, always led to melodrama. Then again, the entire event was absurd, so why not?
She questioned whether she and Pete should even be there, gawking like a typical resident as the parade worked their way down the stairs from center stage to the outside rim of the circle. They began an official promenade moving as one unit, soundlessly, like a snake slithers through tall grasses. Right behind Gillius, the girl—what’s her name?—moved with the grace of a dancer, while glowing hair cascaded about her shoulders like the velvety train of her robe.
Chestnut Peak―that was it.
As the procession moved closer, Fran could make out their facial features with better clarity. Chestnut’s obvious youth surprised her. As far as she knew, no one under twenty-five had ever forfeited, yet this girl still had the look of a mid-lifer, like Fran.
The line swayed with rhythmic motion, and soon snaked only fifteen feet or so away from the venting where Fran and Pete hid. The eerie silence which enshrouding the promenade morphed into the sound of rushing air. A dozen pairs of slippers moved in a whisper just a few inches from Fran’s eyes. When the fourth set of feet swished into her line of vision, Fran noticed a hesitation.
“Ladies and gentlemen, would you please bow your heads as Sasha Lee Dees surrenders, and we give honor to her name.”
Sasha? Fran sucked in her breath.
The entire march halted. A deafening silence reverberated through the courts followed by horrific gurgling sounds. Then, Sasha dropped to the floor. Not more than a few feet from where Fran sat tucked into the venting, her chestnut head rolled from side to side and her eyes shone like polished black orbs.
Back when Fran still lived in the Old East Wing, Sasha had visited their pod once or twice to work with Ted on his macros. Fran remembered spying on them from her doorway, hoping to catch her brother making a move or something. She could almost hear Sasha’s easy laughter and witty remarks.
Now, however, her eyes locked onto Fran’s as if screaming for help. Her face contorted, and her body trembled. Fran felt a vibration move through her own body as her nerves quivered in sympathetic pain. Sasha’s arms and legs splayed and spasmed as her back arched and head thrashed about. A sickening, acrid odor, like a mix of poison and death, wafted from the velvety robe, and bile rose in Fran’s throat. Finally, Sasha’s eyes rolled back into her head, and her movement terminated.
A cheer erupted from the crowd who loitered on overhead balconies and platforms, and Fran clasped her hands over her mouth stifle the scream that roared through her body. All Accountable residents of legal viewing age watched the event. It was a big deal. Although some probably scrutinized from a small screen in the comfort of their living pods, too many just couldn’t resist the sick urge to watch it live.
The cheers finally died down, and when reverence returned, the swishing slippers resumed. The seven forfeitures in line behind Sasha tiptoed over the fallen body and continued the march, leaving Sasha where she dropped.
A Word from the Crowd
Today, we’ve rounded up the characters of Impervious and asked them all one question:
In just one word, how would you sum up our main character, Fran?
Pete: Arcs a brow while his mouth twitches to a smile. “Hot.”
Ted: While shaking his head. “Wickworm.”
Nissa: “Who, Wickerbug?” Waves a hand, “I don’t know… I think she’s mad at me.”
Folsom: Squints into the light. “Who?”
Derrick: “Smooth. No, wait, I mean, cool. And brave.”
Random Council member: Scoffs, “Rebel.”
Tanya: Scratches her head. “Interesting.”
Retter: Shrugs, “Friend?”
Ruth: “My joy.” Tears glisten.
Ian: Chuckles. “Sarah-Fran? Oh, definitely Princess.”
Ema: While patting Ben’s shoulder. “Oh, yes, she’s fortunate, dear. But I’d add delightful as well.”
Marcus: Sneers, “Mine.”
There you have it… the many marks Fran has left on her world. Read her story to find out which character you agree with!
You said re-release? Tell us about the Impervious journey.
Impervious first launched last year (almost to the day… wow!), by Bookfish Books. (Waving to friends at Bookfish!) They were a great team, and I’m so grateful for the springboard they lent me last year. However, we did part company in the fall of 2014 when we realized we were heading in different directions with The Ascension Series. So, after kicking around the idea for a bit, I decided… “What the heck..let’s go indie!”
Indie, huh? What do you think of independent publishing.
Although Indie publishing wasn’t originally on my bucket list, I can now say I’m happy to have gone down this path. The experience wasn’t as technically challenging as I feared it might be, and to be honest, learning to manage the ‘guts’ of the biz has given me extra nugget of satisfaction in my book. One thing, I must admit, however… Sailing the immense Literature Ocean in a tiny self-made boat is a bit daunting (and lonely?) Therefore my advice to anyone seeking this path would be surround yourself with professionals and pick their brains… a lot!
Be honest… is there any Heather Letto in your main character?
Sighhhhh. Yes. Fran is snark. And being that I’m all grown up, I probably should have surpassed this particular quirk. However, I must admit, snarkdom is in my bones. I want to be nice, really I do…
But in all seriousness, Fran’s journey of discovery from Impervious to the Open Air was very similar to my own Christian journey. Whether you call Impervious an allegory (Like Narnia) or perhaps my testimony, both Fran and I have walked (or crawled?) a similar path.
Well, God-willing, the sequel to Impervious (Implanted—Book 2 in The Ascension Series) will be on the shelves June 1st! (Just in time for that poolside read). I’m hoping to have the final book in the series available for a spring 2016 release.
Last but not least, we need some dirt on you… Give us something weird!
Okay, weird or not, I’ll let you decide, but here’s a secret: My husband and I have run away from home! Seriously. Last year, we packed up our house (well, more like gave away half our belongings and stored the other half), and became full time RV’ers! Therefore, we live in a constant state of flux (and we love it!!) We call ourselves Gypsy Nerds. (He programs software, I write books… total nerds!). (If you care to follow along in our travels, feel free at www.lettotravels.wordpress.com)
So there you have it!
Character Interview with Fran and Ted Monde
“Hey there, Fran. We have an audience just dying to meet you. Say howdy!”
“Word around town is that you’re a Rebel… what’s up with that?”
“Yeah, I’m a Rebel. But, whatever. You might be too, if you had to live down here.”
“Well… I suppose if you like the Council nosing around in your business, and if you like the idea of dying without hope and the shenanigans that go along with living like a moron, you’d be fine. But, if you knew in your gut that there was something else and couldn’t stomach the idea of giving up the search for whatever that something was… then, yeah, you’d be a Rebel, too.”
“Wow. That’s a mouthful. Apparently, you have some strong feelings about that. So tell us, Fran, who did you bring along with you today?”
*Looks out the corner of her eye.*
“This is my brother, Ted. He’s one of those morons I was telling you about.”
“Woah!” *Ted joins in with laughter.* “Settle down Wickworm!”
“Yeah. A little harsh, there, Fran. Why ‘moron’?”
“Well, let’s just say, we used to see eye-to-eye. But, now?” *Shrugs.* “Now he looks at life through the lens of a “Westie.”
“And Westies are bad?”
“No, not bad…” *Fran Smirks.* “Just moronic.”
*Ted shakes his head in silent laughter.*
So what’s your story, Ted?
“Nothing spectacular. Unless you think rags to riches is cool.”
“Rags to riches?”
“Yes. My wife and I have done very well for ourselves.”
*Winks at me before taking a sip from a water bottle.*
*Fran rolls her eyes and huffs.*
“Hmm. Looks like there are some family issues to work out here. How about I leave you two alone to work through those.”
*Fran holds up a peace sign.*
*Ted grabs his sister in a side-hug before flashing a blinding-white smile.*
“Thanks for having us,” They say in unsion.
I’m a book-writing, selfie-taking, latte-drinking, social media gal. I’m living a good life on the road as a full-fledged Bedouin (Well, except, my tent is actually a fully-equipped RV.) Me and my partner-in-crime (Benj) tend to hunker down wherever the skies are clear and the temps stay in the 70’s. We call ourselves Gypsy Nerds because we aimlessly wander the U.S. with glasses perched upon our noses and faces jammed into computer screens (for the first half the day... The second half of the day is typically devoted to playing because we’re also somewhat immature.)
Like most authors, the characters I create are my extended family. And like most readers, when the story ends, I get a little sad. In real life, I have two handsome, hardworking, grown-up boys who know how to make their Mama proud! *Waves to Joey and Mike!*
The Ascension Series is my debut into the world of YA fiction.
I’m living what I love and loving what I live!