Sometimes you need a chilling, futuristic book in your life…and The Key To Fear is here for you.
I devoured this one in only a few sittings! It’s the kind of dystopian that introduces us to a world that is thriving, but also recovering from terrible plagues of the past. In the present, touching is forbidden and everyone is controlled (down to what the wear, where they work, who they marry) by The Key. Books are banned. Free will is robbed bit by bit until you don’t realise you’ve lost it. Our two main characters are Aiden and Elodie, and I loved them both! Elodie is a secret book nerd, quite soft and anxious, and very empathetic 🥺Aiden is quite chill, quite unmotivated, looking for something more than the meagre life The Key has allotted him. There’s also government conspiracies, villain POVs, rule breaking, and lies uncovered. Definitely pick it up if you’re a fan of warped and toxic dystopians, compelling characters, and a twisty plot.
I have an interview with the author and a giveaway below as part of my stop with MTMC Tours! 😍
THANK YOU TO MTMC TOURS FOR HAVING ME!
No touching today for a healthy tomorrow.
For fifty years, the Key Corporation has defended humanity against a deadly virus that spreads through touch. Lovers don’t kiss, or even hold hands. Personal boundaries are valued above all. Break the laws, and you’ll face execution.
Elodie, a talented young nurse, believes in the mission of the Key and has never questioned the laws that control her life. But Elodie is forced to break the rules when she sets out in search of a terminal patient who goes missing while under her care.
From the outside, it seems like Aiden was given everything he could want from the Key—a purpose, an education, and a future. But Aiden knows more than he’s letting on, and the dark secrets he’s keeping could tear the Key’s strict society apart.
When Elodie and Aiden’s lives collide, the fallout will be devastating. What do you do when the brutal system that once kept you safe hunts you down?
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Kristin Cast is a #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today bestselling author who was born on an Air Force base in Japan and grew up in Oklahoma where she explored everything from tattoo modeling to broadcast journalism. After battling addiction, Kristin made her way to the Pacific Northwest and landed in Portland. She rediscovered her passion for storytelling in the stacks at dusty bookstores and in rickety chairs in old coffeehouses. For as long as she can remember, Kristin’s been telling stories. Thankfully, she’s been writing them down since 2005.
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Hi Kristin! Thanks so much for stopping by PaperFury to talk about your newly released book The Key To Fear! Can you tell us three inspirations behind the novel?
These are the three questions I asked myself when I first had the idea for this novel.
- What would happen if all of our social meet ups were in virtual reality?
- What if we weren’t allowed to touch each other?
- What would have to happen to create a world in which no one touched?
Fascinating (and chilling) concepts to explore too! Do you snack on anything or drink tea/coffee while you write?
As I’m checking emails and prepping myself to start writing, I’ll have a cup of English Breakfast tea with agave and oat milk. When I start writing, I get in these modes in which I’m extremely focused. I won’t eat or drink anything for hours at a time. It’s probably not very healthy, but it’s when I’m most productive.
I hear you with the focus 😩 It can be so hard to disengage when you’re working deep into a manuscript. So tell us how you came up with the title! Did it go through any changes?
The title came to me at the same time as the basic story idea. At first, I wanted the series to be called The Key and each book to have its own title. So, this first book would have been called To Fear. My publisher and I talked about it, and we decided that the idea might be confusing when they put the book information into online sales sites. I’m thankful that I was able to benefit from their expertise and bring the pieces together. The Key to Fear is so perfect as one title.
It is a perfect title! Which character was easier to write, Aiden or Elodie?
Aiden was easier to write because he’s more connected to who I am now. He represents who I was when I moved, seven years ago, to Portland, Oregon from Oklahoma. For the first time, I felt like I could be whoever I wanted and that I would be enough. I definitely felt a renewed sense of life.
I loved that about Aiden! He felt so open to options and possibilities. Now you’ve written so, so many amazing novels! Can you tell us your favourite genre to write? And is there a genre you’d still like to try?
I really enjoy writing young adult novels. If I had to pick a subgenre, it would definitely be YA thriller. And I would love to be able to write an adult horror novel. One day!
We are hanging out for that one day horror… 👀👌🏻 How long does it take you to write a first draft?
This is kind of a difficult question. If forced to, I can write a book in about four months, but it’s not actually my first draft. I like to be edited in pieces.My outline usually starts with three acts that I breakdown into a chapter by chapter format. As soon as I’m finished writing most of or all of each act, I like to turn it into my editor. Say I just finished writing act one of book two. I would turn that into my editor who would then take a few days to read it and write up notes before giving it back to me. Once I have the edited first act, I’ll go through it with the edit notes in mind before I complete act two, Then, when I’m finished with act two, the editorial process repeats itself. By the time I’m done writing the book, it’s already been edited once, and I no longer consider it to be a draft.
Really love that peak into your process! And last question, what’s your favourite part of being an author?
My answer to this is always changing and definitely depends on how I feel and where I’m at in the writing process. Today, the best part about being an author is having the freedom to set my own schedule. Having that kind of control really helps my anxiety because I’m able to rearrange projects and break them down into a schedule that works for my family and me.
Absolutely loved your answers, Kristin! Such a pleasure to be able to chat with you, and congrats on your book!
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what was the last dystopian you read?
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