#IndieFallFest: Heather Letto

Today I am beyond excited to have my girl, Heather Letto, on for Indie Fall Fest.
Don't forget to drop by the kick-off post and enter the HUGE giveaway!

Be sure to stop by Kira Adams' blog today where she's featuring K.B. Nelson.

Describe Impervious in one word.

Okay, Heather. We all know that I’m a HUGE fan of Impervious. Where did you get the idea for it from?
Truth be told, I’m a Christian truly devoted to my walk with Christ. I wanted to write a book which allegorically set up heaven/earth in a way that would appeal to folks like me… not preachy or pushy, just insightful (And dystopia…) so I prayed about it, and low and behold, Impervious was birthed. To be honest, this story wasn’t even outlined… I just wrote and wrote and wrote and… well, you know the rest!

If you could be best friends with any author, who would you pick to be your best friend?
Oh that’s a tough one, because I’ve met so many authors over the past year who I think are awesome-sauce. I think the best scenario would be to gather together a gaggle of my fav’s and a couple of latte’s. We could sob over our failures and frustrations together, and then tell each other to “suck it up, Buttercup.” We’d snort and guffaw and brainstorm our ideas until the afternoon withered into twilight. (Wait, did I just describe a writer’s conference?) A historical author I’d love to sit across from might be C.S. Lewis, but you know, there is that language barrier to overcome. (LOL) And, if I had to pick a super-famous modern author, whom I truly admire, it would be Veronica Roth. No explanation needed…

How similar are Fran’s personality and yours?
I’m a reformed snark, so in many ways, Fran’s character is very much like my (B.C.) personality. (Truth be told, I sometimes relapse into snarkdom even today.) Releasing that repressed snark into her character was quite liberating.

You were so thorough with your world building. What’s your process?
I’d love to give some great, professional insight, but as a rookie author, my technique is still being hewn. The whole city of Impervious was really already built in my mind’s eye. Therefore, I just moved Fran through the city and tried my best to describe what she saw.

Bookmarks or dog-eared pages?
Oh my goodness. Total bookmark! (I am a lady, after all!)

What’s one thing you want your readers to know about Impervious?
There is so much more to come! Impervious is setting the stage for some very big revelations.

What’s up next for you? What projects should we be looking out for?
IMPLANTED (working title of the sequel to IMPERVIOUS) is complete and awaiting publication. So keep an eye out for that. And, I’m in the process (Squeee! Like right now) of outlining an entirely new, (and stand-alone) novel. I’m super giddy with excitement and my fingers can’t seem to move fast enough as I build these new characters and world. Is it speculative fiction? Dystopian? Fantasy? A love story? A heartbreaker? The answer to all of those questions is… yes! (And, of course, it’s also YA)

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.

After losing her mother and then her Rebel mentor, Fran stumbles upon a miraculous discovery that may save the residents of Impervious. That is, if she can outrun The Beast…

Imagine if the world as we know it was rendered unlivable due to a great war and the only way to survive was to lock yourself in a vast underground bunker that was as big as a city. That was what first generation people (those who escaped the war) were forced to do in order have a chance at life. When we meet our main character, Fran, four generations have past. The people of Impervious are still living underground and due to the Beast, a disease that kills at a young age, their days are numbered.
Fran is a rebel, someone who is Unaccountable, and lives in the ventilation system of Impervious. We met her after she loses her mother and her mentor to the Beast and her brother to marriage. Fran sees through the charade of social status and the silly rules of The Council, which is why she chooses to live off the grid. She and her friend Pete, one that she has strong feelings for, live day-to-day stealing food and other items, waiting for the Beast to take them. That is until Fran finds her mentor's, Chan, reader (tablet) and learns that The Council has been hiding something that could bring down their kingdom and it's something that she can't keep to herself.

Fran is a very strong female character. She is independent, strong and sassy, but also has a tender heart. The story begins with her attitude being brash and standoffish, but it was her way of coping with all that she has lost. Her character grows a lot in this book and she realizes that it's OK to show her feelings, especially to Pete. That is if she can get the chance. I really liked how snarky she was. She was witty and very intelligent. I wish I had her memorization skills.

The world of Impervious was fascinating! It was a contained future since they were in this metal bubble under the ground. Some of their technology is impressive. For example, their security system was top-notch; the rebels get zapped if caught! However, it also made me feel claustrophobic. They are underground and there is only so much room for people in such tighter corners. Knowing that there is a great big world out there hard my head reeling with how they were packed in that giant soda can.
There are a few supporting characters, but Fran really carries the story and that's OK. However, I really hope to see more of Pete and her brother in future books.

All in all, this was a great dystopian book. It's clean, well written and with a fast-paced plot. I can't wait to see more of this futuristic world from Heather Letto.

By: Heather Letto
A cacophony of tweets and twitters poured through my window. With a groan I rolled over, refusing to open my eyes. The daily wake-up call from these winged annoyances typically clocked in around six a.m., and I had no intention of getting out of bed any time before eight. The smell of breakfast wafted past my nose, and I smiled as I nuzzled into the depths of my cotton cocoon. I sighed right before my brain registered the thought. Breakfast?
I was fairly certain today wasn’t my birthday or Mother’s Day. I say ‘fairly’ because in this fifth decade of life, I’ve discovered I can be a bit forgetful. Clearly someone was tempting me with the aroma of bacon and eggs. I yawned, rubbed my eyes, and flopped my hand onto the nightstand for my glasses. When I didn’t find them in their usual spot, I lifted my lids just enough to squint through the folds.
Islands of bright yellow blobs floated from the depths of a midnight blue background. I opened my eyes to get a better view, and it all came into focus. I gasped and re-sealed the lids. The scene around me was strangely child-esque and all-too familiar. While hiding under the blanket, I whispered, “Holly Hobbie curtains?” and stole a peek for confirmation. Images of the iconic vintage rag dress and bonnet fluttered in the morning breeze, as Holly smiled down from my curtains. My mouth went dry. My heart hammered.
I sat up and looked around. A fashionable, yellow, shelving unit sat atop an equally fashionable, yellow, shag throw-rug. Dark blue walls trimmed in the brightest of yellow (yet to be found in the color wheel) stared at me, daring me to question my whereabouts.
I stumbled out of bed and ran to the mirror. The fact that I could see clearly without my glasses didn’t even dawn on me as I gawked at the teenage girl who gawked back in return. She sported no wrinkles nor one gray hair. As a matter of fact, the only mar in her perfect complexion lie in the ginormous pimple attempting to nose its way past the flesh of her chin.
“Heathie,” A very familiar voice rang out. “Are you coming down or should I just make you a Carnation Instant Breakfast?”
I swallowed hard and whispered, “Mom?”
My bedroom door flew open and my brother stood with a book tucked under his arm. “I’m not going to wait for you. If you’re not ready in twenty, you’re taking the bus.”
I stared slack jawed.
“Are you high?” He laughed.
“No.” I whispered.
“Sure,” he scoffed, and headed down the stairs.
I rummaged through my closet, aghast at the row of ripped jeans and flannels that made up my wardrobe, before finding a single pair of decent looking pants which fit like a glove and rose all the way up to my belly button. I tossed on a polo, zipped myself up to the waist, and ran to the bathroom to wash up.
As I dragged a cloth across my face, my heart beat like a baby jackrabbit. This couldn’t be possible. I’m married. Well, actually, divorced and re-married. I’ve birthed and raised two sons. I’ve climbed corporate ladders and… oh my gosh! I’m a published author.
But the face that stared back at me wasn’t one of accomplishments and wisdom. Instead I was met with the unnaturally, natural scowl which spoke of rebellion. As I assessed my image, I lifted a brow. It was as if the reflection challenged me to question any further.
I laughed at her.
“What are you fighting?” I asked the reflection.
She remained stoic, but as I looked deeper into her eyes, I began to remember. She was lost. She’d already made some mistakes and thought she’d never bounce back. Nobody understood her. She had secrets. A chill ran up my spine. Somehow the memories I’d squashed over the years were as fresh as my new skin.
But wait a minute! I now had an advantage. I’ve seen the future. I knew she’d make even more mistakes. Some real doosies as a matter of fact. I knew what ticked her off. I knew what made her cry. I knew she felt unsure of herself. I had mental flashes of mountains she still had to climb and crises she would survive. It hadn’t been easy. But I also knew, she’d win the fight.
I silently urged the reflection to smile. Today, I had come back to help her. Maybe this time, we could walk a little better. Stand a little straighter. I laughed as I thought about the implication. It was like winning the Life Lotto. A chance to do it all over again. I felt giddy with the prospect of what lie ahead for her… er…us. No mistakes this time. And… wooaahhh... we could write Harry Potter! J.K. move out of the way! The euphoria lasted for a breath before I was struck with grievous longing… for my kids and husband.
I couldn’t see them. I couldn’t even call them. (Heck, I wouldn’t even have a cell phone for another fifteen years!) I still had six years to walk through before I held my firstborn again. I thought back to how all of the events in my life—the good the bad and the ugly—had actually led me my greatest loves. And, unfortunately for her—me—to get back to them, she’d have to walk the exact path all over again. No deviations. No shortcuts. The same life rebellion, anger, mistakes, and failures.
After all, if she deviated even a tiny bit, I’d lose too much.
I sighed and squeezed the toothpaste onto my toothbrush.
Mom’s voice rang out from the lower level. “Heathie. Let’s get a move on!”
I rolled my eyes, blew out an exasperated breath, and muttered, “Like... I’m so sure.”
Yeah. It was going to be a long road.

Heather has a long history of freelance writing projects beginning in the early 1990’s. Her first published articles appeared when she worked as a Stringer for the Daily Herald, a daily newspaper covering the Chicago-suburban area. Since then, as well as IMPERVIOUS, she’s published articles for The Fit Christian, WHOAwoman Magazine, Devotion Magazine as well as Tween Girls and God. Besides writing, she’s the wife of a brilliant computer programmer, mom of two strapping young men and although originally from the Chicago area, she and hubby now travel full time around the United States in an RV… just doing their thang.

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