Alone 2: Survivor
After the stunning twist at the end of book 1: Chasers, Jesse finds that he is truly alone. The military personnel he meets are guarded - but it seems likely that safety lies just outside the battered city. When Jesse meets three very different fellow teens, he is offered a badly-needed sense of community. But will Felicity, Jesse and Rachel help him escape and return home, or will he be trapped indefinitely - and always within reach of the merciless, contaminated Chasers?
James Phelan studied and worked in architecture before turning to English literature and graduating with an MA in writing. He divides his time between writing projects and post-graduate study. James has published five adult novels with Hachette.
Alone 2: Survivor
Author: James Phelan
Interview with James Phelan
Question:What made you decide you wanted to be a writer and not an architect?
James Phelan: I was at University and I got two years into my five year architecture degree and I decided I had to re-assess things. Writing was my dream and I always thought I would just be an architect, retire one day and then write a book. But then I realised "Why should I wait 30 years when I could write a book right now and be happier?" And I am much happier now that writing is my profession and drawing and designing is more of a passion and a hobby. And now, I have been writing full time for six years and it's so cool. I don't have a boss, I can get up whenever I want, and it's a dream!
Question: Do you see Jesse as an alter ego of yourself? If yes, how?
James Phelan: Yes and No. When I sat down to write a book with a teenage character in it, I was trying to think about how I was at that age. A lot of his thought, and ideas and mannerisms are somehow coming from me. I have a brother named Jesse, and when I first started the series, he was 16. For me it's really about the characters in the book, and I relate them back to people I have known and I might take a name, or a characteristic of their appearance or something like that to give them a personal touch and then I just make up the rest and have a bit of fun with it.
Question: What inspires you to create stories like the Alone series?
James Phelan: For me 'Alone' is just a combination of a million things. I really wanted to write something for that kind of audience, so say 13 and up. I like writing for that kind of audience and these days, there are a lot of books out there for that age group. But I think a lot of it isn't very good and I thought I could do something that actually meant something. It wasn't just about explosions and pirate ninjas and a hundred year old vampires who sparkle! I just thought that this would be something that was worthy and something that I would not only enjoy writing, but something the readers would enjoy reading and could make a connection with. I find that when I write, I don't plan the stories, it's just a story I feel I have to tell; the whole essence of the Alone trilogy, is that no matter how alone you feel, are you ever really alone? And the other part of it, particularly with the first book, is that who's to say that after someone dies every little bit of them has to go?
Interview by Morgan Sutherland.