Michelle did a wonderful job working with me on these stories. She really allowed me to gauge reader expectations, and she asked lots of pointed questions about the story and characters. She’s an avid reader with a lot to say about this genre, and I was lucky to have her assistance!
How did you become a reader and collaborator on the Doc Harrison books?
Peter said he was writing a new young adult book at a neighborhood book club meeting and happened to mention that he looked at other young adult series like Divergent and Percy Jackson. I immediately had a freak attack when he mentioned those books because I am completely obsessed with them. After my meltdown, Peter asked if I was still interested in those types of books, and if so, would I like to be a beta reader for this new series he was starting. A few months later, I got the whole first draft of Doc Harrison and the Apocalypse.
What draws you to these stories and characters?
The details of the creatures he has created and the personalities of the characters. There are so many different creatures, and they all have their own abilities. It’s so cool to see them all in action and the different ways they respond to threats or help Doc. I’ve really fallen in love with the grren in particular, especially because they have advanced farther than humans in many different aspects. I also like that Doc is a complete geek, although he is reluctant to admit it. As a fellow geek, I get his Star Wars references and understand why he would even use them in the first place. I also like the dynamic between Meeka and Steffanie. They’re best friends who fight like sisters, which I can relate to on a personal level, making the whole thing a lot funnier.
“There really aren’t any young adult books that I’ve read that are similar to this…”
Who are your favorite characters and why?
KEANE! KEANE! KEANE! I can’t explain why yet, and it’s so frustrating, but definitely Keane.
Do you think reading and critiquing other writers’ work helps you become a better writer?
In theory, yes. But to be honest, I haven’t had a class that required writing since I began beta reading, so I’ll get back to this question when I’m able to actually confirm the theory.
Can you compare the Doc Harrison books to any other series?
There really aren’t any young adult books that I’ve read that’re very similar to this (and that is not a bad thing). I would say the closest is the Lorien Legacies series, which also deals with aliens and a wasted home planet, but the two books go about it in completely different ways, and both are amazing and heart wrenching. If you haven’t read the series then first finish the Doc Harrison books and then get to the Lorien Legacies and hope to god that all the books are out when you do, because the last book that came out for me was the Fate of Ten and the year long wait for the next book is slowly killing me inside. Which reminds me: thank Peter because he’s releasing the books a few months apart and not years!
Michelle Pruss is a sophomore at the University of Central Florida studying something which has yet to be determined. When she isn’t in class, she’s at her old high school doing probably the nerdiest thing you can think of: coaching competitive Latin. She spends her time reading, watching anime, and having minor existential crises. Michelle is also an avid traveler, having been all throughout Europe, and she’s planning to study abroad in the next year or so.