Cleo Porter and the Body Electric

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In a future forever changed by a pandemic, a girl survives in total isolation.

A woman is dying. Cleo Porter has her medicine. And no way to deliver it.

Like everyone else, twelve-year-old Cleo and her parents are sealed in an apartment without windows or doors. They never leave. They never get visitors. Their food is dropped off by drones. So they’re safe. Safe from the disease that nearly wiped humans from the earth. Safe from everything. The trade-off?

They’re alone. Thus, when they receive a package clearly meant for someone else–a package containing a substance critical for a stranger’s survival–Cleo is stuck. As a surgeon-in-training, she knows the clock is ticking. But people don’t leave their units.

Not ever. Until now.

From the Publisher


Author Q&A

What’s your writing process like?

I am absolutely what’s known as a plotter; that is, before I ever sit down to write the first words of a manuscript, I’ve got to know where my story is headed. I create an outline, write up a biography for each character, and draw maps of all the settings (the designs for Cleo’s building took up twelve pages of a sketchbook and required weeks’ worth of research into architecture, math, and colorimetry). I find the process really useful for a few reasons: it helps me avoid writer’s block, it allows me to troubleshoot tricky narrative spots in advance, and, most importantly, gives me time to decide whether or not I’m in love with a story enough to see it all the way through.

Which character do you relate to the most and why?

I relate the most to Cleo, for sure. She’s as smart as I wish I was, as creative as I sometimes am, and as brave and compassionate as I strive to be. She also shares my penchant for giving inanimate objects names. A few of my characters over the years have done that…

What inspired you to be a writer?

My inspiration for becoming a writer was a combination of the influence of amazing teachers, the creative genius of my favorite authors, and sheer boredom. I took a year off from teaching to be a stay-at-home dad, and somewhere in the middle of changing diapers and pushing a stroller, I got the idea for a story. The understanding of how to write the darn thing? That I had to learn as I went.

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