Welcome to my stop on the Outpost blog tour! Today, I’m lucky enough to be interviewing the author of this amazing post-apocalyptic series, Ann Aguirre! She’s stopped by to answer a few questions about the world and characters she’s continued with in the second book in her series: Outpost.

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About Outpost: Deuce’s whole world has changed. Down below, she was considered an adult. Now, topside in a town called Salvation, she’s a brat in need of training in the eyes of the townsfolk. She doesn’t fit in with the other girls: Deuce only knows how to fight.

To make matters worse, her Hunter partner, Fade, keeps Deuce at a distance. Her feelings for Fade haven’t changed, but he seems not to want her around anymore. Confused and lonely, she starts looking for a way out.

Deuce signs up to serve in the summer patrols—those who make sure the planters can work the fields without danger. It should be routine, but things have been changing on the surface, just as they did below ground. The Freaks have grown smarter. They’re watching. Waiting. Planning. The monsters don’t intend to let Salvation survive, and it may take a girl like Deuce to turn back the tide.

Outpost is available now from Feiwel & Friends.

Add it on Goodreads.

Buy it from: Amazon| Book Depository | Indiebound | Books & Books

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Jen: Welcome to Almost Grown-up, Ann! When reading Outpost, I was struck by how different it was from the enclave, College. Still, both governments are obviously flawed and have the same ultimate goal: to live in safety and survive the Freaks. What do you think the one BIGGEST flaw each of the two societies are?

Ann: Oh, what a great question! With College, it was definitely how hidebound they were. Tradition had become more important than innovation, and when a society stagnates, historically speaking, it doesn’t end well. As for Salvation, I think their biggest flaw is strict adherence to gender roles. That system works only until someone questions it.

Jen: Speaking of the Freaks, they scare the BEJEESUS out of me, especially as they’ve started to get smarter. Will we see them advance even more as the series progresses?

Ann: Definitely. You get some answers with regard to the Freaks in Outpost, but all questions will be addressed in Horde, which is the last volume in the series.

Jen: In Outpost, we see Deuce safely ensconced in the outpost of Salvation. The culture in Salvation seems to be based in a religion that has roots in Christianity. Can you talk a bit about how the religion would have grown into what we see in Salvation?

Ann: In my author’s note, I mention that the religion I developed for Salvation had been extrapolated from tenets taken from certain fundamentalist groups, like the Amish or the Pennsylvania Dutch, who equate technology with wickedness. However, the religion practiced in Salvation is not meant to represent any actual denomination of Christianity–past or present. So I can’t really discuss how a real religion would become a fictional entity,  but I created that sect in order to contrast it with the rest of the world, which expands exponentially in Horde.

Jen: What do you imagine Deuce would be like if she had been raised today?

Ann: I think she would be a normal girl, but probably an independent one. However, I do think her upbringing shaped her character quite a lot, so much of her identity would depend on her parents.

Jen: Does Deuce have a place that she feels anything resembling “safe?”

Ann: When she’s with Fade. :)

Jen: Did you have a “theme song” for Outpost that helped you get in the mood for writing it?

Ann: I actually have a whole play list, and here it is! http://www.mixpod.com/playlist/73760603
Thanks for having me.

Jen: Thanks for stopping by, Ann! Readers, I hope you’re as excited as I am for Outpost! You can check out my review of Enclave here and Outpost here. And if you’re hungry for more from the Razorland world, check out the short story Endurance set between Enclave and Outpost!

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Macmillan has also generously offered a paperback back copy of the first book in Ann’s series, Enclave as well as a hardcover of Outpost to one lucky winner in the U.S. or Canada. Simply enter using Rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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You can find all of the blog tour stops for Outpost here on the Macmillan Teens blog! Be sure to follow along! You can also find Ann on her website and on Twitter.