Character Interview – Rain Hawkins
Rain, what was the worst part of being enslaved before meeting The Freedom Front?
I was really struggling to keep it together. After we were relocated, my mom gradually slipped away into depression and anxiety. I was doing my best to be upbeat and positive for my brother, and also for Zi, but some days it was really tough to smile. Once we met The Freedom Front, I felt this surge of hope that we could do something to change our circumstances, and suddenly it wasn’t as difficult to give those pep talks Daktari and Zi expect from me.
Rain, when did you first realise your special ability – perhaps without knowing it was something special?
On my nightly jogs, I started searching for signs of nature. Being surrounded by concrete and dilapidated buildings will do that to you. And honestly, I missed Grandma Julia so much. We went hiking in the woods with her so much before New Segregation. She taught us to identify birds, plants, flowers, you name it. I wanted to see a bird so badly it was all I could think about. Eventually, I saw a blue jay, and another night, I spotted a sparrow. And one afternoon when I was outside of the apartment with Daktari, I was thinking about what I’d do to see a hawk, and a few minutes later, I saw one. I took off after it. I’d never run so fast before. I didn’t realize at the time that I was calling them to come closer to me. But looking back, I can see how it all unfolded.
Rain, which feeling did your first weird dream stir?
The first one I really recall was the dream I had about having a picnic in the woods with my family, Zi, and a group of people I didn’t recognize at the time. In the dream, Jabari, who I had only seen once on the street, walked over to me and took my hand in his. He looked like he wanted to tell me something important, and finally he said, “You’re real”. At the time, I didn’t even know his name or why he would say that to me. I woke up feeling so desperate to get back to the dream. I just wanted to be close to him, but I didn’t really understand why. I felt so confused after that dream. Nothing really made sense until I met Jabari officially.
Rain, when did you reach the conclusion that someone has detected The Freedom Front?
Well, I hate to give anything away, for anyone who doesn’t know my story. But I will say, I became very suspicious that someone had detected The Freedom Front the night I was jogging to Takara’s when I heard a hover landing behind me.
Rain, when did you start doubting Jabari?
I don’t think I actually doubted him. I mean, I know it came across like that for a while. When I first saw him talking to Aleela when he didn’t know I was watching, I panicked. I think I actually started to doubt myself. I think I got so jealous seeing him talk to her, I sort of lost it. In my defense, that was my first time really caring about a guy…and dealing with jealously for that matter. In the end, there had been a reason he’d made me feel that way. I forgave him. How could I not? I was just so relieved to have him back and acting normal. It hurt my heart when there was friction between us.
Rain, what about Calista – what is she willing to do to reach her goal?
My cousin is willing to do anything to help us. That’s what worries me. She would put her own life in jeopardy just to help us.
Rain, what was the hardest part to solve your mother’s torment?
The not knowing…I mean, once we discovered the bruises on her back, we had physical evidence that someone was hurting her, and she still wouldn’t tell us what was going on. I know why she remained silent, but it was so frustrating. We just wanted to help her. And all she wanted to do was to protect us.
Rain, are president Nicks and Calista in cahoots?
Absolutely not. Calista, like I said before, would die before she collaborated with Nicks. She might pretend to be on her side, but it would be an act.
Rain, what would have kept you from fighting?
I don’t know. I would have considered walking away from the fight if it meant protecting those closest to me. Yet, even if we’d run and gone into hiding, I never would’ve gotten Nicks out of my mind. She haunted my dreams. Even when I was asleep, I couldn’t really escape her. I think she and I would’ve faced off eventually, no matter how it had played out.
About the Books:
Rare glimpses of birds are the only reminder of the freedoms Rain Hawkins once had. Now segregated into a mixed-race zone within the United Zones of the Authority, under tyrannical rule of President Nicks, Rain is forced to endure the bleak conditions set upon her. The possibility of a way out arises when Rain discovers an organized resistance called The Freedom Front, and learns that she, along with many other multi-racial people, has special abilities. Determined to overcome her situation, Rain sets out on a mission with the resistance that will fill her life with wonder, romance, and the undying hope for a better world.
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Still enslaved in a mixed-race zone within the United Zones of the Authority, Rain Hawkins is part of a secret resistance preparing to take on the tyrannical President Nicks before plans to kill the mixed zones across UZTA are executed. When unsettling dreams and a mysterious voice begin to haunt the dark nights, Rain fears someone more powerful than she has discovered the resistance and their secret abilities. With a known Authority spy on her heels, and her boyfriend, Jabari, suddenly acting strange, Rain doesn’t know who to trust and if the voices calling to her are friend or foe. As conditions across all of the zones get worse and the stakes rise, Rain embarks on a quest for answers that will put the people she cares about most in more danger or take them one step closer to the truth and their eventual freedom.
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In the wake of an interrogation led by the UZTA’s dictator, President Nicks, Rain Hawkins and her friends must deal with the consequences of their defiance as the countdown continues towards the execution of the mixed-zone citizens across the United Zones of The Authority. The Freedom Front faces new challenges as Rain’s cousin, Calista, prepares for her impending relocation to the pure zone, and Rain sets out to solve the mystery surrounding her mother’s torment while being followed by an officer of the Elizabeth Guard. As she uses her abilities to dodge The Authority and follows the strange clues from her dreams, Rain is determined to persevere, to secure the future she and Jabari have been fighting for, and to earn The Freedom Front’s ultimate goal of liberation.
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After two members of The Freedom Front are arrested and interrogated by the UZTA’s tyrannical President Nicks, Rain Hawkins and her friends face the alarming reality that their plans to liberate the mixed zones across the United Zones of The Authority might not come to fruition. While the resistance movement is growing outside the walls of the zones, the president’s forces are strengthening and putting citizens everywhere in more peril than ever. When Rain receives warnings that her cousin, Calista, has agreed to support plans to kill the mixed zones, and that her life could be on the line at the upcoming pure zone initiation ceremony, she must decide where her loyalties lie and if all of her allies can be trusted. As The Freedom Front use their abilities to unravel the mystery of the ceremony, The Authority captures some of their friends, forcing TFF to either go into hiding, or plan a rescue mission that could jeopardize everything they’ve been fighting for.
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The books in the series will be on Kindle sale for the duration of the tour. Each book from the series will be available at $1.99 for the duration.
About the Author:
Sarah Elle Emm is the author of the HARMONY RUN SERIES, a young-adult fantasy and dystopian series, released in May 2012 by Winter Goose Publishing. (PRISMATIC, May 2012, OPALESCENT, February 2013, CHATOYANT, September 2014, NACREOUS, August 2015) Her debut fiction novel, MARRYING MISSY, was published by Bird Brain Publishing in October 2011. Sarah is a graduate of The University of Evansville, she has lived and worked in Mexico, Germany, England, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has traveled extensively beyond. Sarah lives in Naples, Florida with her family. When she’s not walking the plank of her daughters’ imaginary pirate ship or snapping photos of Southwest Florida scenery, she is writing.
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