Publisher: Delirious Pixie | 143 Cadycentre #158 Northville, MI 48167
Media Contact: Ally Khristova | email@example.com | 917-376-4267
IN AN EXCITING AND THRILLING DEBUT, A FORMER CIA OFFICER BRINGS LORD OF THE FLIES TO THE MODERN WORLD.
WHAT IF A GOVERNMENT-CREATED VIRUS DESTROYED ALL OF THE WORLD’S ADULTS, LEAVING ONLY PREPUBESCENT CHILDREN TO SURVIVE ON THEIR OWN?
SCHISM is the first book in a new dystopian trilogy by a truly unique author. It tells a tale of survival, of good versus evil, and of constructing a future with only memories of childhood.
A virus, created by the smartest minds in the United States government, which is meant to target male adults in times of war, is accidentally released before testing is complete. Within weeks six billion people are eliminated from the world. The only survivors are prepubescent children.
Five years after this catastrophic event, a young girl named Andy Christensen and her two friends are forced to leave their home in Bermuda and return to the North American continent. There, they discover that America is wild and chaotic, and people have instituted a “survival of the fittest” mentality. Andy and her friends soon band together with fellow survivors in search for a new place to call home.
~ “AN AMAZING THRILL-RIDE OF A STORY”
~ “THIS IS THE SURVIVAL OF THE SMARTEST AND MOST MORAL”
About the Author:
Britt Holewinski is a former CIA officer, where her years working for the Agency opened her eyes to the world we live in and has had rare glimpses of what living in a crumbling, post-apocalyptic world might be like.
Many of her own personal experiences are reflected throughout the story of Schism. As she worked closely with the US military overseas, she had several discussions about how cautious the military must be to ensure that women and children are not harmed during air or ground raids on enemy targets. These discussions gave her the inspiration to define the virus in the book as one developed to be lethal only to adult males, thereby eliminating the need to worry about innocent civilian casualties. Of course, the virus was accidentally and prematurely released at the start of the novel, resulting in billions of deaths.
Britt Holewinski is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, but during her childhood she lived in six different places across the country. Early on, she dreamed of becoming an astronaut; however, shortly after completing her graduate degree at Pennsylvania State University she was offered a job with the CIA.
She has been living in the Washington DC area for the last fourteen years.
Interview with Britt Holewinski:
Q: What inspired you to write Schism?
A: I began writing when I was seventeen, beginning with the story that would eventually become Schism. I had just finished reading Lord of the Flies, and my mind became fascinated with the idea of a world without adults and only children to figure out how to live and survive. Then the characters of Andy and Ben began to form in my mind, and I couldn’t let the idea go. I had to write it down. Before then, I had never attempted to write even a short story. I jumped right into the notion of writing a book.
Q: Which authors influence your writing?
A: There are many facets of a good book, but dialogue, character development, and pacing are the most important to me as a reader. Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series, is a master of dialogue and character development, and I find myself studying her words to improve my own writing. As for pacing, Dan Brown’s novels have always been my standard of a thrilling page-turner.
Q: What kind of reader were you as a child? And what were your favorite books?
A: I was a voracious reader and enjoyed adventure books as a child and teenager. I loved riding my bike to the library and checking the shelves for my favorite authors, which were Roald Dahl and John Bellairs. I adored James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and The Witches by Dahl, while Bellairs’ gothic Johnny Dixon series was addicting. As I got older, I began reading more dystopian and sci-fi books by Ray Bradbury and George Orwell. And I remember devouring Stephen King’s Carrie in one day while home sick from school.
Q: What audience would you say would gravitate to this book?
A: I believe that anyone with a love for adventure stories will like Schism. The main characters are teenagers, so obviously it will attract pre-teens, teens, and younger adults, but the struggles these characters must face are universal to everyone: love, betrayal, pain, and survival. Readers ranging from ages thirteen to nearly eighty have enjoyed this book, both male and female alike.
Q: How did working for the CIA help you come up with the premise of a government-engineered virus outbreak in Schism?
A: I joined the CIA a few months after September 11, 2001. The focus of my work for the majority of my career was helping to counter global terrorism. Almost all terrorists are adult-aged males. The idea that the U.S. government—or any government—would try to create a virus that quickly killed adult males was inspired by my experience working with the U.S. Military in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Q: What is your writing process? Do you use a different writing process when you’re writing from the perspective of Ben? Andy?
A: I consider myself a sporadic writer in the sense that I don’t plan out a book from scene to scene chronologically. I tend to focus on pivotal scenes, make those as strong and suspenseful as possible, and then write the scenes before and after in a logical manner and with good pacing. Listening to music, particularly movie soundtracks, inspires my writing immensely. I envision how the scene plays out like a scene from a film as the music rages on in my ears. Soundtracks composed by Hans Zimmer are some of my favorites. When I write from Andy’s perspective, I put myself into her shoes and wonder exactly what I would do in her situation. For Ben’s point of view, I think of what men whom I respect would do. It’s pretty straightforward.
Q: Would you say that Schism is a love story? How would you categorize this book?
A: Based upon the premise alone, potential readers might classify the book as dystopian/post-apocalyptic, which is accurate. However, I consider the story one of survival and the classic struggle of good versus evil. And yes, to me, it’s a love story. Not just romantic love, but the love between friends, siblings, and cousins. Love inspires people, mostly for good but sometimes for bad.
Q: How do you feel about the advancement of biological weapons and what it can mean for our society and the world?
A: Since World War I, biological weapons have been wreaking havoc on mankind. They are as destructive as any lethal weapon, but I believe that their real danger is size. Bacteria and viruses cannot be seen, making them more difficult to track than nuclear weapons. One person can infect hundreds, even thousands, without realizing it until it’s too late. And then there is the mutation factor. Bacteria and viruses want to survive, multiply, and evolve, just like human beings. Millions of people have perished from nature’s own biological demons such as the Bubonic Plague and Spanish Influenza. Adding human interference into the equation can only mean more sophisticated—and perhaps deadlier—biological weapons to come.
Download the press release here: Press Release_Schism_Holewinski