Eric Nylund is the author of The Resisters, a fantastic science fiction series for young readers. The heroes of the series have discovered the awful truth behind what makes adults so strange: they’re being controlled by a powerful alien race known as the Ch’zar. The discovery may cost them their lives, but for now, these young resisters are Earth’s last hope against total domination.
The first two books, The Resisters #1: The Resisters, and The Resisters: Sterling Squadron are available now at your favorite book retailer, but before you and your favorite young reader dive right in, you might want to know a little bit more. I caught up with Nylund for a quick Q&A about this popular series.
The idea that something else is going on underneath the surface of everyday life is awfully attractive. How did you settle on the idea of a secret alien invasion? Were there any concepts that were left on the cutting room floor?
Its one of the great science fiction mechanisms: Aliens have already invaded us– and they’re right here, right now! This gets amplified in The Resisters because it coupled with the realization that once you hit those early teen years, your parents see, to be “aliens.” At least, they’re controlled by aliens, which for some kids is the only way to explain their behavior.
Many people really hate bugs, so I can understand using them as alien villains, but boys – at least I did as a boy – really like them. How did you address making the villains both frightening and ”cool” to your readers?
When I was a kid, I wanted to either be a paleontologist or entomologist. Bugs are just cool. But you do a little digging into them, and you soon realize that ounce for ounce they’re some of the most highly evolved and vicious killing machines on earth!
I can remember thinking that adults were crazy when I was a kid, and in The Resisters series they’re actually under alien mind control. Is there any additional urgency in the kids’ mission to defeat the aliens before they themselves become adults?
Yes indeed. The aliens (Ch’zar) have some seriously ugly plans soon for the kid resisters, and the rest of the Earth. Stay tuned for book #3!
A child’s imagination is incredibly powerful. I clearly remember getting completely swept away in fantasies when I played ”army” and built forts, and that sort of thing. What was your childhood like? Did you have a fantasy life like the Resisters?
I make video games for a living. I do this stuff (still) everyday.
What’s the best thing about writing for young readers? Have you gotten any fan mail?
I get to be 13 again. It’s the best.
And yes, lots of mail, and lots of kid at my son’s school asking me when the next book is coming out.