Interview on Caught Away
Jonathan Neville lives on the Oregon coast on a seasonal basis. He loves sports, traveling, and pondering the question of whether he was born on the right planet.
A Q&A with Author Jonathan Neville
Q: This book is an unusual mixing of genres, which is part of its appeal. Why did you set it in Oregon?
Neville: My grandparents left a fantastic house at Hermosa Beach in Southern California that's probably worth millions now because they wanted to get away from the crowds. They found a place near a small town on the Oregon coast and I've been going there my whole life. It's kind of a get-away place that's almost magical and a perfect setting to examine the way a major change in government would affect people on the fringes of society.
Q: The dystopian world in Caught Away isn't that far a stretch, which makes it all the more disturbing. What led you to create such a world?
A: The funny thing is, I don't think I created it. I just extrapolated from the world we're living in now. I don't buy the traditional dystopian concept of environmental catastrophe, because I think we're addressing those problems. Our air and water are cleaner than they were 50 years ago, for example. But what we're not solving are the issues that divide us as a society. We're losing a common purpose, and that's what I envisioned the government trying to address through the Equalization that the characters in Caught Away are dealing with.
Q: Why a YA book?
A: Teens are the ones who will inherit the society we're building now. They're the ones who will have to pay off the national debt. They're the ones who need to think about these issues right now. Plus, they're the ones who enjoy an exciting, fun story and can identify with characters such as Abby, Logan and Badri who seek their freedom and individuality.
Q: Are you optimistic about the future?
A: Absolutely. As long as people keep trying, stay hopeful, and work hard, the future will be even better than the present. I hope that's what readers take away from the book.
Q: The book would make an amazing movie. What's next?
A: We've talked to some people in Hollywood, but right now I'm focused on completing the series. It's ready, but there are hundreds of tweaks and edits still to be done. And my readers are making it even more difficult with all the suggestions they send me!