The amazing Shaun David Hutchinson, author of We Are the Ants and At the Edge of the Universe, has a new book coming out in 2018 and we’ve been excited about it from the moment we heard the title. It’s called The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, and while the title itself is intriguing and captivating, IT NOW HAS A COVER and it has graduated to a whole new level of amazing! Shaun shared it on his twitter account, and it’s official, we’re obsessed with this book. Take a look at the cover and description below, along with a fun Q&A with the author himself.
WARNING: Heart eyes and a longer TBR pile will ensue…
Sixteen-year-old Elena Mendoza is the product of a virgin birth.
This can be scientifically explained (it’s called parthenogenesis), but what can’t be explained is how Elena is able to heal Freddie, the girl she’s had a crush on for years, from a gunshot wound in a Starbucks parking lot. Or why the boy who shot Freddie, David Combs, disappeared from the same parking lot minutes later after getting sucked up into the clouds. What also can’t be explained are the talking girl on the front of a tampon box, or the reasons that David Combs shot Freddie in the first place.
As more unbelievable things occur, and Elena continues to perform miracles, the only remaining explanation is the least logical of all—that the world is actually coming to an end, and Elena is possibly the only one who can do something about it.
The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza will go on sale February 6, 2018, but you can add it to your Goodreads right now!
Can you give us a little behind the scenes glimpse into what inspired you to write The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza?
It started with me wondering how the world would react to a modern virgin birth, one that’s scientifically proven. Originally the character was a boy, but I wrote two or three pages of that before Elena started waving her arms in the back of my brain telling me that this was her story and don’t we have enough boys saving the world? It evolved from there into a story about choices and the paths our lives take and how we see each other and ourselves.
How is The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza similar to or different from (or both!) other novels you have written in the past?
It’s similar in the way that I take ordinary people and put them into really weird situations. Elena’s dealing with her status as the first scientifically proven virgin birth, inanimate objects talking to her, a newfound ability to heal people that also might be causing the end of the world, and on top of that she’s got a crush on a girl who might not be the person she thinks she is. It’s different from my other books because Elena is a fundamentally optimistic person, I believe. She’s got her issues and doubts, but even if the glass isn’t half full, she wants it to be. And that’s different from my normal pragmatic, pessimistic characters. Also, it has talking ponies, Lego minifigs, and a very angry stuffed baby Cthulhu doll, which is definitely new for me.
Without spoiling too much, can you tell us why you think the cover fits The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza so well?
As weird as this story is—a corporate logo tells Elena she has the ability to heal people—I also think it’s the most accessible thing I’ve ever written. I love this cover because captures the depth of the story and its bizarre surreal quality while keeping it grounded in reality. In a really odd way, I feel like I could hop on that carousel horse and ride off into this absurd world and that it would be this amazing adventure. At the same time, I think the expansive sky and the touches of sunshine on the leaves and horse give me that feeling of hopefulness that Elena embodies. It’s just the perfect cover for Elena and her story.