Mayfly by Jeff Sweat (Interview & #Giveaway)

I'm welcoming author Jeff Sweat to my blog today to answer some questions about
MAYFLY. You can check that out, refer to the cool map, and enter the giveaway below...

(Mayfly #1)
By Jeff Sweat
YA Dystopian, SciFi
Hardcover & ebook, 320 Pages
May 8th 2018 by Feiwel and Friends


Jemma has spent her life scavenging tools and supplies for her tribe in their small enclave outside what used to be a big city. Now she’s a teen, and old enough to become a Mama. Making babies is how her people survive—in Jemma’s world, life ends at age seventeen.

Survival has eclipsed love ever since the Parents died of a mysterious plague. But Jemma’s connection to a boy named Apple is stronger than her duty as a Mama. Forced to leave, Jemma and Apple are joined in exile by a mysterious boy who claims to know what is causing them to die. The world is crumbling around them, and their time is running out. Is this truly the End?

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It's always fun to get to know authors and see a little of their personality in a Q&A. Here are my questions and Jeff's answers:

What inspired MAYFLY?

I’ve always been obsessed with the end of the world. I grew up in the 80s in the Cold War, and it wasn’t a question if the world would end, but when. As a reader and an author, I started looking for fascinating whys—why the world would end.

Then I read a study that said that humanity had two major population booms: when we developed agriculture, and when we became old enough to have grandparents, at about age 30. Having “old” people around meant a memory to find food and water and avoid danger. It meant calmer heads to avoid war. So I asked myself: what would happen to the world if no one ever got old? We might survive, but civilization as we know it would cease to exist. And I knew that was the story I had to write.

Would you tell us a little bit more about the main characters?


Jemma is a Gatherer in the Holy Wood. Gatherers go out into the Parents’ houses to pick them over and bring home whatever the kids in the Holy Wood want.

Gathering brings riches with it. Gatherers are the ones who find tools and supplies, and sometimes they keep stuff for themselves. Sometimes extra food from the fields can fall into their packs when Farmers need something they have. That’s why all of the Gatherers are girls—because girls get the good jobs first. It’s getting hard to Gather, though. The Parents’ homes near the Holy Wood have been picked over long ago. They have to push deeper and deeper into the Flat Lands, the deserted city blocks at the base of the Holy Wood to find what they need.

Her tribe’s one rule is to never leave the Holy Wood empty. At 15, she’s feeling pressure to step up and fulfil her role as a Mama before it’s her time to End. She knows her End will come soon— though not as soon as it will for Apple, the Muscle boy she’s liked since she can remember. If she had to be a Mama, she would want him to be the Dad.

She’s been getting headaches. When they happen, she sees a blue haze that she’s started to believe is showing her things. True things.


When a pair of Exiles from the Malibus arrive in the Holy Wood, the Angelenos face a decision: take them or leave them to die in the woods?

Pico was too young for a Dad, too weak for a Muscle. The Angelenos have stayed strong by only taking the strong, so no one spoke for him. But Lady and Jemma saw there was no fear in the boy. His eyes were filled with an almost lazy curiosity. They wondered what it was about him that makes him so fearless, if he could be strong in a different kind of way, so Jemma spoke to claim him.

Pico thinks some of the Parents knew what caused The End. And if they did, they might have put the answers somewhere kids could find them.

If he, Jemma, Lady and Apple can learn their symbols and decipher their clues, they might understand The End, saving their own lives along with everyone else’s.


Apple is the best Muscle in the Holy Wood, not because he’s the strongest but because he sees everything. He thinks more than other Muscle, too. He makes his own decisions. He’s getting taller and his voice is deepening, which means he’s getting stronger, better able to protect Jemma. But each change means that The End will be coming sooner. Apple has seen photos of the Parents when following Jemma as she gathers. Some of them were in pairs together, lived in houses and got old with each other. Apple feels like that for Jemma, a connection that needs time to grow—if only they had time to grow up.


Lady, Jemma’s best friend, is named for one of the ancient priestesses who lived in the Teevee, the Parents’ most important god. Unlike a priestess, Lady lives squarely in this world, fierce and open. Her short temper can make her stronger than any Muscle, because she cares more. A natural leader, all she’s ever wanted in life is to be a Mama. Family is important to her. Her tribe and her friends are all the family she has.

What is your favorite part of the story?

I loved any scene that let me look at my favorite place, Los Angeles, from the lens of a far-off future. But my favorite scene, my most wrenching scene, was the scene with Apple and the Betterment. There was so much love and joy and loss in one place that it almost physically hurt to write.

What has been your favorite part of becoming published?

It’s a bit too soon to tell, but the best (new) part is interactions with fans. I signed one of my first books for a shy teenager. I had no idea what to write as an inscription, so I said, “I hope you love reading this as much as I loved writing it.” She read the inscription, hugged the book and said, “Oh, I will!”

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Write every day—not just because of creating good habits, but because when you write every day, the story never leaves you. Then new characters and plots emerge when you walk the dog, when you take a shower, when you’re thinking of nothing. Creativity tends to live along the margins, and you have to give it an opportunity to emerge.

What are you working on next?

There’s a whole world left in Mayfly, so I’ll be going there first. After that, I have a contemporary YA book based on my experience moving to New York for college, a couple of screenplays, and a sci-fi series that asks, “What if Europeans never came to America?”

About the Author

Jeff Sweat has made a living from words his entire career, starting out as an award-winning tech journalist for InformationWeek magazine and moving into marketing.

He led the content marketing team for Yahoo and pioneered its use of social media. He directed PR for two of the top advertising agencies in the country, Deutsch LA and 72andSunny. He now runs his own Los Angeles–based PR and marketing agency, Mister Sweat.

He grew up in Idaho as the middle of eight children—seven boys and one girl—and attended Columbia University in New York. Jeff lives in a big blue house in Los Angeles with his wife Sunny and their three kids, two cats, and a racing greyhound.

He loves to travel and writes everywhere he goes, even when there's not a desk. He likes karaoke, motorcycles and carpentry. He was once shot in the head with a nail gun, which was not a big of a deal as it sounds. But it still hurt like crazy.

Tour Schedule

Week One:
5/1/2018- What A Nerd Girl SaysReview
5/2/2018- RhythmicBooktrovert               - Review
5/3/2018- The Cover ContessaInterview
5/4/2018- To Be ReadReview

Week Two:
5/7/2018- Twirling Book PrincessExcerpt
5/8/2018- Bri's Book NookReview
5/9/2018- K.L. Knovitzke – AuthorExcerpt
5/10/2018- A Dream Within A DreamReview
5/11/2018- Confessions of a YA ReaderExcerpt

Week Three:
5/14/2018- Daily Waffle - Excerpt
5/15/2018- F A N N AReview
5/17/2018-Two Points of InterestReview
5/18/2018- The UndergroundInterview

Week Four:
5/21/2018- Buried Under BooksReview
5/22/2018- YA Books Central- Interview
5/23/2018- Sincerely Karen JoReview
5/24/2018- Wishful Endings- Interview
5/25/2018- Jena Brown WritesReview

Week Five:
5/28/2018- Eli to the nthReview
5/29/2018- Sweet Southern HomeGuest Post
5/30/2018- Simply Daniel RadcliffeReview
5/31/2018- Books A-Brewin'Excerpt

Tour-Wide Giveaway

1 winner will receive MAYFLY prize pack which includes buttons, custom art and maps, and a t-shirt, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What did you think of the interview? Have you or will you be reading MAYFLY?

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