Title: We Are the Ants
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: January 19, 2016
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Henry Denton doesn’t know why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.
But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.
Since the suicide of his boyfriend, Jesse, Henry has been adrift. He’s become estranged from his best friend, started hooking up with his sworn enemy, and his family is oblivious to everything that’s going on around them. As far as Henry is concerned, a world without Jesse is a world he isn’t sure is worth saving. Until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.
Guest Post from Shaun David Hutchinson
Shaun is here today to tell you all a little bit about what inspired We Are the Ants. I really loved learning what went into this book, and I hope you will too.
Content Warning: Shaun shares some personal experiences below. Please be advised that the topic of suicide is mentioned below.
I can't say there's any one thing that inspired WE ARE THE ANTS. So much of it was inspired by multiple things. But the exploration of Jesse's suicide and how it affected Henry's life, and the lives of others, was definitely inspired by my own suicide attempt at nineteen. For years after my suicide attempt, I was focused on my pain, my feelings, how it had affected me, but I hadn't really thought about what it had done to the people in my life. Not until much later, anyway. And it was thinking about how my suicide attempt had affected my parents and my friends that inspired me to write about Jesse's suicide and the ripples it had created in the lives of Henry and Audrey and Mrs. Franklin.
As for other parts of the story, well...I sort of wear my inspirations on my sleeve. I was obviously inspired by Kurt Vonnegut and Andrew Smith, both of whom I reference in ANTS. I was inspired by my mother's love of Motown, by some of my own experiences in high school and college, by a fantastic teacher I had in college (who taught literature, not science), by my grandmother, and by my best friend.
I'm not sure stories ever come from just one place. I think they come from everywhere. They're jigsaw puzzles of inspiration, and we're just sifting through our experiences for the pieces that fit.
Shaun is a major geek and all about nerdy shenanigans. He is the author of The Deathday Letter, fml, and the forthcoming The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley. He can be reached at email@example.com. He currently lives in South Florida with his partner and dog and watches way too much Doctor Who.
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