Yesterday Blog Tour! Author Interview with... C.K. Kelly Martin

8:00 AM

I'm really excited to be taking part today in the Canadian blog tour for C.K. Kelly Martin's new novel, Yesterday, which was just released in bookstores a few days ago!

I was fortunate to get my hands on an ARC of Yesterday and as soon as I started reading it, I couldn't set it back down! While C.K. Kelly Martin might be more well-known for her contemporary novels like The Lighter Side of Life and Death and One Lonely Degree, I'd describe her latest novel as thriller meets science fiction!

Thanks to Random House Canada, I was able to ask the Canadian author a few questions about Yesterday... 

THEN: The formation of the UNA, the high threat of eco-terrorism, the mammoth rates of unemployment and subsequent escape into a world of virtual reality are things any student can read about in their twenty-first century textbooks and part of the normal, background noise to Freya Kallas' life. Until that world starts to crumble.

NOW: It's 1985. Freya Kallas has just moved across the world and into a new life. On the outside, she fits in at her new high school, but Freya feels nothing but removed. Her mother blames it on the grief of her father's death, but how does that explain the headaches and why do her memories feel so foggy? When Freya lays eyes on Garren Lowe, she can't get him out of her head. She's sure that she knows him, despite his insistence that they've never met. As Freya follows her instincts and pushes towards hidden truths, the two of them unveil a strange and dangerous world where their days may be numbered. Unsure who to trust, Freya and Garren go on the run from powerful forces determined to tear them apart and keep them from discovering the truth about their shared pasts (and futures), her visions, and the time and place they really came from. Yesterday will appeal to fans of James Dashner's The Maze Runner, Veronica Roth's Divergent, Amy Ryan's Glow, Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Ally Condie's Matched.

1) I really liked the strength and perseverance Freya showed in trying to find answers about her past. Who was your favourite character to write in Yesterday?

Freya was my favourite too because even when she’s inwardly freaking out she still has so much courage. Like you said, she’s tenacious as hell. I really loved Garren and Latham too and was quite drawn to Christine because she does her own thing and doesn’t seem to care what other people think of her. Outwardly she seems very different to Freya but is still willing to give her a chance and offer her friendship – a lot of people wouldn’t do that.
2) With the exception of perhaps My Beating Teenage Heart, your previous novels would definitely fall under the contemporary genre without a doubt. What inspired you to take a different direction this time around with Yesterday and write a novel with more of a science fiction touch?
One of my all-time favourite books is John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids and I’m a big fan of sci-fi TV shows like Fringe, Doctor Who, Torchwood, the original U.K. Life on Mars (time travel – I guess that makes it sci-fi?), Star Trek Next Generation and Stargate Atlantis so I’ve been itching to write something with a sci-fi bent for a while. Because I’d written a bunch of contemporary YAs in a row (more than have made it to shelves so far because they seem to be a harder sell at the moment than novels with fantastical elements) I really wanted to do something I hadn’t before. I’ve also written a “new adult” book and have been working on a middle grade too. Contemporary YA is my favourite thing to write but it’s important to me to keep things feeling fresh and for that I have to stretch myself, otherwise I get restless.  
3) As a Canadian from Ontario, I really loved how you set most of the events in and Toronto! Why did you decide to write about Freya's story in TO and was there a particular reason why the events occur in the year 1985?
Thanks! I’m so glad you liked the Toronto setting. I’ve actually set all my YA books in Southern Ontario because it and Ireland are where I’ve spent most of my time.  Plus, we’re so overshadowed culturally by the United States – most of the books we read and movies we see seem to be set in the U.S. – and personally, I love to see Canadian settings represented. I even get excited when I see Toronto standing in for U.S. cities in movies (like in the Cillian Murphy movie, Red Lights, which I saw the other day) but especially enjoy when the city gets to star as itself (eg. in Canadian TV shows The Listener and Being Erica).
As for the time, I have a special fondness for 1985 because I was sixteen then myself and the music was flat out amazing. I wouldn’t trade growing up then for anything. Pre-Internet it was a more innocent time to grow up.
4) Music from the 1980s played a role in Yesterday, and you've dedicated a good portion of your Acknowledgements to different artists and bands from the time period. What songs helped to inspire different scenes and would be featured on a playlist for the novel?
I have a Yesterday playlist on my website so you can kind of line up some scenes with the music for them.
For instance, there’s a scene where Freya goes to a party and Everything Must Change (Paul Young) and 1999 (Prince) are playing. To this day I don’t think there’s a better song about alienation than The Smiths’ How Soon is Now which made it the perfect tune for Freya, who is feeling very disengaged from everything around her, to form an attachment too. Don’t You Forget About Me was my graduating song in 1985 and I still love it bits. Way more 80s songs than would ever reasonably fit on a playlist were inspirational too, though, and one of the songs I associate most strongly with the book is Every Generation Got Its Own Disease by Fury in the Slaughterhouse.
5) Can you share with us what you're working on next for readers to enjoy?
I’m not sure what’s going to come out yet next but I currently have two YA contemporary books being shopped around to publishers and I’m working on a third and contemplating a fourth. I would also love the chance to write a Yesterday sequel if the sales for the first book would pave the way for that because I have definite ideas about it!
Thanks for the chat, Liz! 


Thanks so much to C.K. Kelly Martin for answering my questions about Yesterday! I'm definitely hoping there will be a sequel to the novel! If you'd like to learn more about Yesterday, you can visit C.K. Kelly Martin's author website, follow her on Twitter, or friend her on Facebook.

The blog tour for Yesterday will be taking place all week long, and you can find the rest of the participating Canadian blogs below:

Sunday, September 23 - Guest Post at Diary of a Bookworm
Monday, September 24 - Q&A at Just a Lil’ Lost
Tuesday, September 25 - Q&A at Mermaid Visions
Wednesday, September 26 - Guest Post at Evie Bookish
Thursday, September 27 - Q&A at Midnight Bloom Reads
Friday, September 28 - Q&A at Book Nerd

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  1. I remember I saw this book up in NetGalley and I wondered about it!
    Because it didn't look like anything she had written before. :) I'm going to put it in my wishlist ;)

    Thanks for this interview, it was awesome :D

  2. Thanks, Alex! Glad you enjoyed the interview :)