Numbered by Leviticus James is his debut novella that released this week. Congratulations to the author! Numbered is the first episode of the Sister Planets series. Today we will talk about the YA dystopian/sci-fi thriller and interview the author himself. Yay!
Mav needs to kill her boss.
But that will be tricky. He’s a senator. Not only that, he’s one election away from becoming the Vice President of USEM—the United States of Earth and Mars. And the kill switches he had implanted in Mav’s skull keep her quiet and obedient.
But when Mav unexpectedly inherits a political insider’s fortune, it doesn’t take long for her fame to attract the attention of a shadowy organization that wants the same thing she does—a dead senator.
Numbered is the first episode in the collection of novellas that make up the Sister Planets series.
Can I just say how much fun this book is?! Before Numbered hit the shelves I had the honor of devouring it. Perks of a beta reader. I have to say, I believe readers will thoroughly enjoy this series. It has everything a reader will appreciate. Thrilling plot. Good worldbuilding. Action. Sci-fi . Mystery. And a touch of humor.
Seventeen-year-old Mav Martinique has enough spunk to light a barrel of firecrackers. She won’t hold back and isn’t afraid to tell you like it is. She doesn’t take crap from anyone. I love her for it. But she must be careful when it comes to her boss. She can’t afford to mess up and get herself killed. I couldn’t really blame her for wanting to end the senator’s life. Who wants to be a musical monkey on a tight leash at the hands of someone who could end your life with a push of a button? Things take an interesting twist when a suspicious organization reveals their intent to also want the senator dead. Say what?!
Right away I felt connected to Mav. She’s strong and completely delivers. The author did a fantastic job of channeling her voice. I feel like Mav is the kind of heroine readers will stick around for through the whole series. Excited for the rest of the episodes of the Sister Planets series.
If you want to see the story unfold for yourself, click one of the carts below and go download the book.
Paperback and ebook available!
Victoria: What trait do you admire most about Mav?
Leviticus James: First off, isn’t Mav just a cool person? She’s rowdy, capable, unpredictable, talented. The thing I love most about her, though, is her confidence. It permeates everything she does. Her life hasn’t been easy, but that’s not stopping her. She’s a girl who knows who she is, what she wants, and isn’t afraid to do what it takes to get there.
Victoria: Couldn’t agree more, Mav is awesome. What was one of the most surprising things you learned when writing Numbered?
Leviticus James: Lots of writers describe themselves as “plotsers” or “pantsers.” Plotsers outline their story carefully and have a very clear vision of where the story is going. Pantsers, like their name implies, fly by the seats of their pants and let the story unfold as they write.
Usually, I’m very much Team Plotser. But with Numbered, I challenged myself by letting Mav’s strong character guide my writing. I more or less wrote the whole book by asking myself, “If Mav were confronted with this situation, what would she do?” She never failed to make an entertaining choice! When I got to the end of each chapter, I’d be amazed at where the story had taken itself. It was a really cool experience, but it was really hard for this Type A personality to do. As much as I like Numbered, I don’t think I can commit to being on Team Pantser for any future books I write.
Victoria: Which character from Numbered would you not mind grabbing a drink with? What would you talk about?
Leviticus James: Ms. Niemeyer. That old bird would have a few stories to tell, and I’d want to hear them ALL.
Victoria: What do you think makes a good story?
Leviticus James: Good characters. Don’t get me wrong, a plot with giant holes in it ruins the experience. But I don’t need a story to be complicated for me to fall in love with it. The books I cherish are the ones that make me feel deeply about the characters within them.
Victoria: A hundred percent agree. What is your writing Kryptonite?
Leviticus James: Proofreading. I love writing stories, and I’ve even grown to love editing my own work. But when it comes to looking for those stray typos, I lose my mind.
Victoria: What do you hope readers will experience from your books?
Leviticus James: I hear so many people talk about how they want to read more, but they can’t because life gets in the way. It’s why we’re seeing an audiobook boom right now. People can listen to stories in their cars or during a workout. It makes reading convenient.
I tried to keep that in mind when I wrote the Sister Planets series. They’re short books written in short bursts of action. I want readers to get to the end of each book and say, “Wait, it’s over? I need to read the next one!”
Victoria: Excellent point about audiobooks! And Numbered has good enough pacing that it is that type of story you can listen to and run/jog at the same time. If you found yourself in Mav’s world, what would you be doing?
Leviticus James: Oh, I’d for sure be living on Earth. There’s no way my genes would get me a ticket to Mars. I’d like to think I’d still be writing, working a steady day job at a wind farm or something. I’ll tell you one thing, though … if some shady organization approached me and tried to convince me to join them in an assassination attempt, there’s no way I’d say yes. I’d probably just pass out from fear.
Victoria: Haha, same. What can you tell us about Numbered’s next installment, Cornered? What to expect and the possible release date?
Leviticus James: I obviously can’t say too much. (Where’s the fun in spoilers?) There’s no exact release date yet, but I can say Cornered will be available by the end of February 2020. The book picks up right where Numbered left off, and readers learn a lot more about the details of Mav’s mission. Readers also will get to know Mika better. He’s one of my favorite characters in the entire series, so I’m excited for readers to get better acquainted with him.
Victoria: Perfect. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time for the interview. For author updates be sure to follow his social links. Thanks for reading!
Bio: Author, husband, father, klutz. Master of forgetting keys and remembering every stupid thing he’s ever done. Writing is how he joins the song that story sings. Tortured ISFJ. Writes scifi and other stuff. The Sister Planets novellas are his first published works.
Leviticus James’ social links