WOW#5: Immoral Code by Lillian Clark with Interview!

Expected publication: February 19th 2019 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

For Nari, aka Narioka Diane, aka hacker digital alter ego “d0l0s,” it’s college and then a career at “one of the big ones,” like Google or Apple. Keagan, her sweet, sensitive boyfriend, is happy to follow her wherever she may lead. Reese is an ace/aro visual artist with plans to travel the world. Santiago is off to Stanford on a diving scholarship, with very real Olympic hopes. And Bellamy? Physics genius Bellamy is admitted to MIT—but the student loan she’d been counting on is denied when it turns out her estranged father—one Robert Foster—is loaded.

Nari isn’t about to let her friend’s dreams be squashed by a deadbeat billionaire, so she hatches a plan to steal just enough from Foster to allow Bellamy to achieve her goals.

Why I’m waiting…

  • Hello? Friendship goals!
  • a great heist
  • teen hackers
  • diverse

Interview with Author, Lillian Clark

Thank you Lillian so much for being here today. I cannot wait for your book to be published later this month and there are so many others looking forward to it as well!

Immoral Code, I have to know how you came up with the title and I am secretly hoping it is one awesome story! Do tell….

Oh gosh, titles are the bane of my existence, haha. I can write an 80,000 word novel, but a title? Stumps me every time! The original title was “Gray Hats” as in gray hat hackers, but that was a little too vague if you didn’t already know the story, and Immoral Code came from some good old group brainstorming with my agent and editor. I’m especially proud of the tagline “Payback’s a Glitch” which popped into the head in the middle of the night!

I can understand how titles can be tricky to decide upon. Next question, This book seems to focus so much on the character’s friendship. Did you have a group of friends in mind that you based the characters off of or are they all completely fictional?

I did not! Rather than basing the group on a real-life counterpart, I mostly based it on a feeling. I knew I wanted to write an ensemble caste, then I decided to write a group that was already close. After that, and probably most importantly, I wanted to write a group of friends who were utterly loyal and supportive. These friends are there for each other, no matter what (felonies included, ha) and I so hope readers come away from my book feeling that sense of love, support, and inclusion.

Honestly, that is the part that I am most looking forward to in your book…the friendship. Everyone should have a few very loyal friends they can count on! From what I understand, there are chapters told from each character’s POV. Do you think it made it simpler to write this way or more difficult? What were some of the challenges you faced?

Yes! All of the friends get their own POV chapters, which meant telling the story through five voices, which definitely had its challenges. First was getting into the head of each character and doing all I could to differentiate their voices. A lot of that is personality, but also syntax and word choice. Each voice has it’s own set of “rules,” so to speak. But plenty of their humor overlaps since they’re so close! Next came outlining. Lots of outlining, ha. Flipping between voices meant deciding which was the best POV to tell each part of the story, and being very careful about congruity!

Some of my favorite books are told from multiple POV. I love seeing the story from each character! Just a few fun questions…

Favorite genre to read?

Honestly, anything. I have much loved books in almost every genre. I’d say my favorite, though, is when an author blends genres well. I love books that are mostly one thing but with a touch of another. Say, a contemporary novel with a fantasy twist. I’m drawn to anything that straddles lines like that.

Favorite Quote?

I’m going to cheat a bit and share two.


“So it goes.” Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five.

For all his flaws, I am a huge Vonnegut fan. There’s an absurdity and irreverence to his writing, yet with an overarching poignancy so strong it hurts. His work manages to capture the overwhelming futility we feel sometimes as this odd human animal, but there’s beauty and hope and love in it too.


“Books are humanity in print.” Barbara Tuchman.

Because, well, bury me in books! I have quite literally devoted my life to books for this very reason. Books, stories, are mirrors and windows and parcels and secrets and distillations of who we were, who we are, and what we’ll be.

If you could be a character from any book, whom would you be and why?

Oh, I love this question! And I have a few. As a kid, I adored Lyra from Pullman’s His Dark Materials (and I am so excited to see who she’s become as an adult in the next book). She’s headstrong and a little feral, and goes on this absolutely epic adventure. I wanted her verve and confidence! I also love Karou from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, Emika from Warcross, Vassa from Vassa in the Night, and Vasilisa from The Bear and the Nightingale. I’m not sure if I want to live in their worlds, haha, but I’m drawn to girls and women who are confident and capable, conflicted and with a few sharp edges, because I love the space they take up. They’re forces.

Thank you so much again for being here today Lillian. I will be sure to check out your book on February 19th!

About Lillian Clark and where to find her

Lillian Clark, a graduate of the University of Wyoming, grew up riding horses, climbing trees, hiking, and going on grand imaginary adventures in the small-town West. She’s worked as a lifeguard, a camp counselor, and a Zamboni driver, but found her eternal love working as a bookseller at an independent bookstore in historic downtown Laramie, WY. Now living with her husband, son, and two giant dogs in the Teton Valley of Idaho, she spends her snowy winters and sunny summers reading almost anything and writing books for teens.


Twitter: @lillianjclark

Instagram: @lillianclarkauthor

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