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July 30, 2015

An Author-Character Interview --- Conversation with Erica O'Rourke and Del Sullivan


Do you ever wish that you could watch your favorite authors sit down with their characters and have a casual chat? This is exactly what author Erica O'Rourke did, interviewing her character Del Sullivan of the Dissonance series. Read below as author and character talk about all things Walkers --- people who can enter parallel universes. And, of course, don't miss DISSONANCE and its sequel, RESONANCE, which hit stores July 21st!

Erica O’Rourke: So, Del. Tell me about yourself.
Del Sullivan: I’m a Walker. Technically, I’m other stuff too --- high school junior, first violin in the school orchestra, frequent visitor to the dean’s office. But mostly, I’m a Walker. A very good Walker.
EO: Nice to see you’re not lacking confidence. Can you explain a little more about Walkers, and what they do?
DS: Walkers are people who can move between alternate realities. Scientists call it the “Many Worlds” theory. Basically, it means that every time a person makes a decision, the universe splits into two -- the main branch, which Walkers call the Key World, is the world where the choice you made plays out. But there’s also a secondary branch, called an Echo, that forms based on the choice you DIDN’T make.  And it happens constantly --- every person, every decision, every time. 
Let’s say you’re deciding what to have for dinner, and you go with pizza instead of sushi. In the Key World, you order in a large sausage and mushroom. But in the Echo, you go out for sushi. Because of that choice, the world looks different. Maybe Echo you gets food poisoning, goes to the hospital, and meets the love of your life, while your Key World self stays in and watches “One Tree Hill." One choice, two worlds, and you’d never even realize it. 
Walkers can move between the Key World and Echo worlds. Each world resonates at a different frequency, and Walkers can hear it, thanks to a genetic glitch. We use the sound to move between worlds. And it’s AMAZING.
EO: It seems like that would create a ton of worlds. Almost an infinite number.
DS: Not almost. It IS infinite, because the multiverse keeps growing. Infinite possibilities.
EO: What do you do, when you’re out Walking between worlds?
DS: Anything I want. [smiles] 
Technically, Walkers are supposed to protect the Key World from any Echoes that have an unstable pitch.  If we don’t, the bad Echo can destabilize the Key World. So we cleave them --- cut the threads tying them to the Key World, and unravel the Echo. Problem solved.  But there are so many worlds, we never get ahead. 
EO: What do you like best about Walking? The freedom?
DS: Yeah, partly. I love all the possibilities. You take a few steps and everything changes. I can walk to a world where we lost the Revolutionary War. I can walk to a world where cars were never invented, or where we’ve had women presidents for the last 30 years. I can walk places where the Chicago Cubs win the World Series every few years. I can find any kind of world I want, if I walk far enough. Who wouldn’t like that?
EO: It sounds like part of the appeal for you is the chance to escape.
DS: Isn’t everyone trying to escape something? What would your perfect world be like?
EO: Mine? I’d like to live in a world where my husband lets me have a dog. I really, really want a dog.
DS: Figures. Simon Lane has a crazy dog. Iggy. Be careful what you wish for.
EO: Ah, yes. Simon Lane. What’s he like?
DS: Which version? The Original’s a jock who doesn’t know I exist, even though we’ve been in school together for years. He’s too busy hooking up with half the girls in school. But he’s got Echoes. Lots of them. Funny thing about that, actually: I’m not supposed to interact with Echoes, but I keep running into his. Literally.
EO: Is that a bad thing?
DS: Depends. He’s easy on the eyes, no matter which worlds he shows up in. It’s definitely not normal for me to see him so often. 
EO: Maybe it’s the multiverse’s way of saying you should be together.
DS: [scoffs] Or maybe there’s something wrong with the multiverse.
EO: Maybe it’s both.

Erica O'Rourke has worked in a variety of jobs --- library cataloger, barista, Girl Friday, English teacher, and stay-at-home mom --- but she's always been a writer, which explains (partially) why her math grades were so abysmal.
Her debut novel, TORN, won the Romance Writers of America's 2010 Golden Heart Award for Best Young Adult Manuscript, and was the launch title for Kensington Books' KTeen imprint. The Torn Trilogy also includes TANGLED and BOUND (available now). Her latest series, Dissonance, is about a girl with the ability to walk between alternate realities, who falls for different versions of the same boy in every world she visits. A companion e-novella, HARMONIC, is also available. The sequel, RESONANCE, will be published July 22, 2015 by Simon and Schuster. 
When Erica is not writing, she's reading. And when she's not reading, she's probably watching Doctor Who, cooking, or spending time with her husband and three daughters just outside of Chicago.