Today we have Rami Ungar, author of Video Rage, with us. Let’s pick his brain! (Not literally, that would be too messy, and no one would ever agree to it anyway. Besides, I left my brain pick at home.)
Jo: Welcome Rami! Please tell us a little something about your newest release.
Rami: Video Rage is the sequel to my first novel, Reborn City, and the second book in the Reborn City series. The series follows Zahara Bakur, a young Muslim teenager who moves to the futuristic city-state of Reborn City and finds herself forcefully initiated into the Hydras, a rising street gang in the city’s western projects. As time goes on, Zahara finds out that the leaders of the Hydras have mysterious powers. And when she finds out where the leaders got their powers, she gets caught in a conspiracy that jeopardizes not only her life but the lives of all whom she holds dear.
J: That sounds really good! (So good in fact that it’s the next book on my TBR list assuming my new kindle cable ever arrives!) What inspired you to write it?
R: The movie Freedom Writers. I’d just seen the movie, and it really resonated me, especially its theme that you could overcome your past and your environment and become something great. And then one day, I was walking home from the library, listening to some rap music, and thinking about how the music could’ve fit in the movie. And then I thought, “I should write a gangster story.” I spent the next hour over ice cream and rap music planning details, what sort of story it was going to be. Seven or eight years later, here we are, with Book 2 coming out!
J: I haven’t seen that, but maybe I should. Do you have a favorite character in Reborn City? Why are they your favorite?
R: I think Zahara is definitely my favorite character. She starts out as not much of a heroine: timid, shy, very adverse to violence. However as time goes on, she grows braver and much more confident, and I love that about her. I really enjoy heroines who grow into their roles. They are so fun to watch as they grow and evolve. I also love antagonist Jason Price, whom I modeled after Samuel L. Jackson. He’s diabolical, motivated by his desire to keep power and by his old prejudices. He’s a great villain, and I love myself a good villain.
J: I love a good villain too! Can you tell us what you have planned next?
R: After Video Rage is out and I’ve done all the necessary marketing, I’m going to edit another novel that I haven’t touched since I graduated college last year, and then I’m going to write the final book in the Reborn City series for National Novel Writing Month. I’m thinking of calling it Full Circle. That’s a catchy title, don’t you think?
J: Yes! I like that title – but then you’re good at titles! Where can people find more of you and/or your work?
J: And it’s an awesome blog, might I add. One final question before you escape.. erm, I mean, have to go…Leave us with something interesting about you or your book.
R: I’m about to start a new job and move into my own apartment. That’ll make writing soooo much easier!
J: Yes it will – and congrats on the new place ans the new job! Thanks so much for stopping in today to chat with us.
You can find Rami Ungar’s books at: