Wednesday, July 14, 2021

BLOG TOUR: The Freedom Race by Lucinda Roy


Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for Award-winning Novelist Lucinda Roy's The Freedom Race, the first title in the Dreambird Chronicles series! Today, on our tour stop, we have a Q&A with the author to share! On top of that, we also have a tour-wide giveaway to share, too! So... Be sure to check it out and grab your copy now! Follow the tour, HERE.

Science Fiction/Dystopian
The Dreambird Chronicles, #1
Publish Date:
July 13, 2021

The Freedom Race, Lucinda Roy’s explosive first foray into speculative fiction, is a poignant blend of subjugation, resistance, and hope.

In the aftermath of a cataclysmic civil war known as the Sequel, ideological divisions among the states have hardened. In the Homestead Territories, an alliance of plantation-inspired holdings, Black labor is imported from the Cradle, and Biracial “Muleseeds” are bred.

Raised in captivity on Planting 437, kitchen-seed Jellybean “Ji-ji” Lottermule knows there is only one way to escape. She must enter the annual Freedom Race as a runner.

Ji-ji and her friends must exhume a survival story rooted in the collective memory of a kidnapped people and conjure the voices of the dead to light their way home.


*Q&A with Lucinda Roy*

1. Tell us about your new book!


My new book THE FREEDOM RACE is the first book in THE DREAMBIRD CHRONICLES trilogy. It’s set in the near future in the Disunited States. The U.S. has fractured following widespread secession, and plantation-like plantings have been established throughout the South and Midwest. Jellybean “Ji-ji” Lottermule grows up on Planting 437 and dreams of entering an annual race that grants freedom to winners. She’s classified as a botanical Muleseed, and not entitled to the rights and privileges afforded to certified humans. Something extraordinary and completely unexpected happens to Ji-ji in the middle of the book that obliges her to rethink her assumptions about herself and about the world she knows. It also places her and those she loves in great jeopardy. At the heart of the book are the relationships Ji-ji forges with an outcast called Afarra, and Tiro, an athlete who performs in the planting flying cage. It’s a story about the power of dreams and the tenacity of hope in a brutal world. A word of caution: the opening depicts the world as Uncle Dreg, Ji-ji’s mentor, wants her to see—kind, gentle and filled with wonder. Because this survival narrative is told from Ji-ji’s point of view, we see the world through her child’s eyes in the Prologue. Soon, however, this is replaced by the harsh realities of the planting. Ji-ji’s struggle is in trying to find her way back from despair to that place of wonder. Ji-ji dares to see the world both as it is and as it can be—always a very tricky juggling act, especially for women, girls, and people of color. 


2. What motivates/inspires you to write?


The idea that someone needs to hear this story.


3. What are you working on next? 


FLYING THE COOP and THE BIRD TRIBE, the next books in the trilogy. Writing a series is completely different from writing a stand-alone novel. From now on, whenever I encounter writers who’ve written novel series, I plan to get them a drink. (I may also pay for it.)


4. Why should readers read your book?


For readers who enjoy magical realism/fantasy: To see what happens in the middle of the book.


For readers who enjoy realism and satire in futuristic novels: Because there is a chance some of the things that occur in it will actually come to pass, if we’re not careful, particularly the fracturing of the U.S. and increased racism.


5. If you could do a book collaboration with any author (dead or alive), who would it be and why?


I would love to collaborate with Emily Bronte, author of Wuthering Heights, which is, in my opinion, one of the boldest explorations of point of view in literature, and an early example of how to subvert conventional ghost stories and conventional romance into something both glorious and tormented.


6. What advice would you give to aspiring writers/artists?


Don’t be afraid to question your own assumptions about your subject/subject matter. Don’t write to prove a point; write to discover what the point is.


7. What writing/creative process works for you?


As long as I have time set aside, I can almost always write. I have at least a dozen book ideas in my head. I sit in my favorite chair and write by hand so I can gaze at the mountains and forest of Southwest Virginia, or I work in my study and focus solely on the computer screen. I love writing very early in the morning before the sun comes up. But I often don’t get to bed until well after midnight, which can pose a problem.


Praise for The Freedom Race

“Every now and then a work comes along that makes you wonder whether you are reading or dreaming. And you’re not sure it matters which.” ―Nikki Giovanni

“You ever have the feeling that if you don’t read something, you may be missing out on something momentous happening? . . . I got that vibe from the first page of The Freedom Race. It has a prescience about it in the tradition of Octavia Butler. . . . If ‘resilience’ was a book, it would be The Freedom Race.” ―Maurice Broaddus, author of Buffalo Soldier

“Roy (The Hotel Alleluia) turns to speculative fiction for the first time with this lyrical, Afrofuturist hero’s quest set in the not-too-distant future. ...[Ji-Ji's] harrowing but profoundly spiritual quest for sovereignty against all odds impresses. Readers ... will appreciate both the tenacious heroine and Roy’s intricate prose stylings.” ―Publishers Weekly

“The future Lucinda Roy calls up in The Freedom Race is a fierce, unsettling riff on our past and present. Instead of watching democracy evaporate and justice fail, Ms. Roy challenges us all to get over ourselves and join the race for freedom.” ―Andrea Hairston, author of Will Do Magic for Small Change

“American magic-realism meets the outcome of the Second U.S. Civil War in a well-told, but brutally jolting, strangely prescient, and soul-haunting narrative.” ―L. E. Modesitt, Jr., bestselling author of the Saga of Recluce series


**About the Author**
Photo Credit: Larry Jackson
Novelist and poet Lucinda Roy’s latest book deal is with Tor/Macmillan for her futuristic slave narrative series The Freedom Race. Her previous novels are Lady Moses, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, and The Hotel Alleluia. Her poetry books are entitled Wailing the Dead to Sleep, The Humming Birds, and Fabric: Poems. She also authored the memoir No Right to Remain Silent: What We’ve Learned from the Tragedy at Virginia Tech. Among her awards are the Eighth Mountain Prize for Poetry, the 2017 Zenobia Hikes Woman of Color in the Academy Award, and the Baxter Hathaway Prize for her long slave narrative poem “Needlework.” An Alumni Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing at Virginia Tech, she has been a guest on numerous TV and radio shows, including The CBS Evening News, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS’s Sunday Morning, Oprah, and NPR. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, USA Today, the Chronicle of Higher Education, North American Review, American Poetry Review, and many other publications. She delivers keynotes and presentations around the country on creative writing, diversity, campus safety, and higher education. Currently, she is working on her speculative novel series, a book of ekphrastic poems, and a series of oil paintings depicting the Middle Passage.

Stay connected with Lucinda Roy


***The Giveaway***

Giveaway Open Internationally | Must be 13+ to Enter
- ends August 2, 2021
Note: Not Responsible for Lost & Damaged Prizes in Your Mail Box

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