Today’s featured series comes from Christine Hart, a Canadian YA & NA author with a new trilogy coming out this year. The Variant Conspiracy is a series that follows a group of mutants as they unravel a plot to remake the world. Book 2, The Compendium, was released July 13, 2016. Keep reading for some Q&A with the author.
Book 1: In Irina’s Cards
Irina Proffer leaves mundane small-town life behind when she experiences visions inspired by a strange deck of tarot cards. To get answers, she travels from her northern British Columbia home to the province’s coastal capital. She quickly discovers a world of fringe genetic science and supernatural mystery.
Working for Innoviro Industries, Irina is drawn in by a powerful first love and compelling, yet dangerous questions about the nature of the company’s business. Meeting other ‘variants’ brings Irina closer and closer to the dark truth about her origins. She finds herself at the heart of two overlapping love triangles as she scrambles to escape her employer’s grip. Before she leaves the city, Irina realizes she has merely scratched the surface of a frightening conspiracy on a global scale
In Irina’s Cards is available at
Book 2: The Compendium
Irina and her renegade variant friends are scrambling to pick up the trail of their former employer, Ivan, and his globally catastrophic scheme. After strategically sharing their story with the media, the group heads south from Vancouver to Seattle hoping to recruit more experienced – and lethal – variants to their cause.
Their attention develops a laser focus on an engineered disaster mere days ahead of them. Ivan is using what staff and resources remain of Innoviro Industries to set off a violent earthquake in San Francisco. While they fight to stop the earthquake, Irina pushes the love of her life Jonah as far away as she can, trying to keep his unstable genetic degradation in check.
Irina’s friends think they’ve seen the worst that Innoviro could bring forth by the time they reach a secret facility in the Mojave Desert. As they near the property, the group uncovers a horror none of them had ever imagined.
The Compendium is available at
Excerpt from The Compendium
We arrived back at the parking lot and a wave of relief washed over me as I saw Faith and Jonah right where we left them sitting comfortably in the back of Josh’s Jeep. Twilight took hold as we crossed the parking lot. I squinted to see the outlines of Faith and Jonah’s heads through the glass. I smiled, remembering a time when I would have felt gut-wrenching anxiety at seeing Faith and Jonah tucked in a back seat together. With disaster on the horizon, both their feelings were the least of my worries.
“I’ll move the Jeep farther down the road before I head out again,” said Josh as we arrived at our respective doors.
“How long do you think you’ll be gone? When should we start to worry?”
“Worry about what?” said Jonah.
“We found Ivan, Tatiana and Waynesburg. Josh is going back to steal the remote for the drill,” I said.
“That’s great, right?” said Faith, leaning towards me.
“It could get complicated. We can’t afford to underestimate Ivan. He’s not liable to be guarding something he values so much with nothing more than an alarm and his wits,” said Josh.
Hairs on the back of my neck prickled and I felt as though someone watched us.
“We’ll go with you then.” Jonah’s eyebrows arched with eagerness.
“Yeah, now that you’ve scoped the place, you can use us for something,” said Faith.
“California doesn’t exactly need more forest fires,” I said looking down the bridge of my nose at Faith’s casual attitude.
“I work best alone anyway. Brute force isn’t the way to go here. I’ll disarm the trip wire, sneak into the trailer, find the remote, and slip back out. If I’m gone longer than an hour, leave and go back to the cave for the others. If I can’t get this remote, then we can’t stop that earthquake and we need to get the hell out of town,” said Josh.
“We won’t leave you with Ivan,” said Faith.
“Don’t worry about me. The worst thing he’ll be able to do is detain me. He can’t shoot, stab, freeze or burn me. If he wants to take me out, it’s going to take time and planning on his part,” said Josh.
“So if you’re caught, run. If he shoots, so what?” said Jonah.
“He doesn’t want to lead them back to us,” I said.
Josh smirked and started his Jeep. “It’s going to be fine. I know what I’m doing.”
What was the inspiration for your latest book?
“Ideas for The Variant Conspiracy trilogy came from several sources, most notably, my personal sense of unease about the future of our planet from an environmental point of view. I was also inspired by many of my settings and some of my favourite novels, for example, John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids and John Shirley’s War Lord. I’m an optimist and I have faith in humanity, so I wanted to weave a love story into a vision of how we all overcome the challenge of balancing our growth as a species with preservation of our environment. To me, there’s nothing worse than reading a story about how the world ends – or how miserable things are for survivors. The Variant Conspiracy shines hope into dark places.”
What do you like to write about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
“I like to read and write speculative stories. But that covers a lot of territory. I enjoy near-future science fiction. I like the supernatural world, but in a relatable magic-realism sense. I like to picture surreal and amazing things just out of reach in the world around us. I like cliff-hangers, moments of dread, rewarding outcomes, moving sacrifices, and best of all, a satisfying kick-the-bad-guy-where-it-counts denouement.”
What is your writing process?
“Once I have an idea for a story, I flush out my characters and get to know them. This may take a few months or a few years, depending on the complexity of the story and number of titles planned. I’m an avid outliner. I’ve written everything from a picture book and a graphic novel to the trilogy I’m promoting now. Whether it’s 1,500 words or 240,000, I need my beginning, middle, and end in sight before I start creating a manuscript.”
What is in store next?
“The world of e-books is an amazing place. All three installments of The Variant Conspiracy will be released this year. In Irina’s Cards came out May 4th, The Compendium was just released July 13th and Terra Nova is coming September 14th. Afterwards, I should have a middle grade title coming out next year about a girl being haunted by a past life. I won’t get into too many spoilers there. I’m also hoping to find a home the above-mentioned graphic novel. And I’m in the world-building stage on a series of five children’s fantasy novels which may be my weirdest yet.”
About The Author
Located on BC’s beautiful West Coast, Christine writes from her suburban home, staring at North Vancouver’s iconic Coast Mountains. She loves writing about places and spaces with rich history and visually fascinating elements as a backdrop for the surreal and spectacular. She is a current member of the Federation of BC Writers and SF Canada. She shares her eclectic home and lifestyle with her husband, baby daughter and preschool son.
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