Guest Post: Dystopian by Accident by P.J. Hoover

Today’s guest post is part of the Teen Book Scene tour for SOLSTICE by PJ Hoover, which is not only one of my favorite books so far this year, but one of my favorite mythology-influenced novels. Period. I can’t wait to FINALLY share my review with you. The tour started on July 18th and will run until August 12th. Check out this site to follow the tour and read more about this amazing novel. You can also find out more about PJ Hoover on her website.


P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book MYTHOLOGY by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. P. J. is also a member of THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS & SCOUNDRELS. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing Kung Fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching STAR TREK. Her first novel for teens, SOLSTICE, takes place in a Global Warming future and explores the parallel world of mythology beside our own. Her middle grade fantasy novels, THE EMERALD TABLET, THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD, and THE NECROPOLIS, chronicle the adventures of a boy who discovers he’s part of two feuding worlds hidden beneath the sea.



Thanks so much for inviting me to guest blog over here! For those who don’t know, my debut young adult novel, SOLSTICE, was just released last month. SOLSTICE is what happens when MATCHED meets THE LIGHTNING THIEF and is set in a future where global warming is destroying the earth. Dystopian world? You tell me.

I never intended to write a dystopian story. I intended to write a story steeped in mythology with romance that sizzled off the page. This was my goal. I wanted my story to not be a retelling of a myth but more of a “what happened after the myth.” The dystopian element was purely by accident.

For SOLSTICE, when I began brainstorming my “what happened next” plot, I decided to set the story in the future. Global warming was basically killing everything on Earth, and the gods walked among the humans, going to their school, meddling in their lives. It all seemed viable and straightforward. And yes, the romance was hot. But as I started getting feedback from my agent, I realized that I never tapped the full potential of the actual world. I had worked so much on the characters and the mythology, but what about the global warming?

The line that sparked the change was this. It came from an early version of the manuscript (and please keep in mind this line no longer exists in SOLSTICE).

“The only funny thing about the endless summer we’re stuck in is how much time people spend talking about it. They call it catastrophic and claim the earth is melting. They have forty national news channels dedicated to nothing but the endless misery caused by rising temperatures. They’ve even started building bases on the moon and Mars in case the earth needs to be evacuated.
I just call it hotter than hell, and try to avoid thinking about it, which means a lot of ignoring the TV and zoning out during lectures.”

Who calls it catastrophic? What do the news channels say? What miseries are caused by these rising temperatures? How would society react? And most of all, how would this impact the mythology storyline?

After this eureka moment, I revised and revised some more, and the dystopian element really began to shine through. It was always there; it was just never given the right amount of attention. But once I started exposing it, I fell in love with the story all over again.

I get asked if I used read science in coming up with my dystopian world. Well, I did watch AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH by Al Gore. And I did do web research to see what effects global warming was having. But heat bubbles descending on the world, chemical cooling gel sprayed on the masses, protective domes with glass that grows closed…those ideas are all mine. I hope we never reach a point where these things come to pass, and since I’m no global warming expert, I’ll refrain from commenting on the possibilities. Still, wear your sunscreen and drink lots of water :) And for five SOLSTICE-inspired tips for surviving global warming, check out this vlog involving Kung Fu, zombies, and things from my kids’ play kitchen.

YouTube Link

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, and thank you, everyone, for reading!


  1. Thank you so much for featuring me! I'm thrilled to be here!

  2. You're welcome, PJ! I was thrilled to have you and can't wait to have you here again! :)


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