Interview: “Fractured Memories” by Jo Schneider

Sixteen year old Wendy never knew the world before the Starvation. She’s learned to put her trust in her knives and her confidence in her fighting ability. When the Skinnies attack her compound, she’s the lone survivor.

Injured and near death, Wendy is rescued and nursed back to health by mysterious strangers. Her saviors offer her a place among them, but trust has never been one of Wendy’s strengths, and suspicion soon leads to evidence that these people might be the group who killed her family.

The decision to take the settlement down from the inside out is easy, keeping her distance from the first friends she has ever cared about proves to be much more difficult.

Fractured Memories is available for a limited time in The Young Adult Charity MegaBundle.

Whether you’re looking for a pulse-pounding action in space, a witchy urban fantasy mystery, or a sweeter tale of unicorns and magic, this MegaBundle delivers! This bundle includes 28 books, including award-winning books from NYTimes and USA Today bestselling authors. Since money is tight for a lot of people right now, the floor of this bundle at a mere dollar, but if you’re in a position to spend a little more for this great collection, please do.

Half the MegaBundle profits will go to Mighty Writers, a non-profit organization benefiting children’s literacy.


The two girls crossed the twenty feet between the outer buildings and the massive log wall separating the Den from the surrounding forest. The wall stood three times as tall as Wendy and could withstand an assault by a hoard of Skinnies. Wendy knew from personal experience.

A small ledge ringed the wall on the inside so guards could walk around and defenders could have a place to hide. Three men were gathered on the west side of the gate, all looking out.

“Has there been a follow-up signal?” Wendy asked.

One of the men, Grant, turned to look down at Wendy. “Not yet.”

Kenzie glanced over her shoulder. “Where’s Dad?”

Wendy climbed up the nearest ladder. Kenzie followed.

“How long has it been?” Wendy asked.

“Four minutes,” Grant said after he checked his watch.

“Too long,” Wendy said under her breath. Members of the watch were supposed to send a second signal within two minutes. Was it friend or foe? She had to stand on tiptoe to see over the sharpened ends of the logs.

“Who’s out there?” Kenzie asked Wendy, who organized the watch and patrol rosters.

“Liz and Hector.” Both were reliable. Both had been here for over a year. They knew the protocols. Why hadn’t they signaled?

“Five minutes,” Grant said.

Wendy shifted her weight from foot to foot. She glanced over her shoulder to search for her dad. This should be his call. A handful of faces looked up from below, but none of them were Ed’s.

Kenzie leaned over and whispered, “We should send someone.”

For all of Kenzie’s girlie manners and emotional tendencies, she was a good tactician. Better than Wendy.

Wendy studied the woods with the eye of a hawk, looking for small movements contrary to the wind, rustles of bushes that normally stayed still or foreign sounds.


“Six minutes,” Grant said.

The group continued to watch. The sun, which only a few moments before had brought warmth and cheer into the world, now beat down on Wendy like a hammer. The breeze disrupted any sounds they might have heard, and the clear sky caused dark shadows deep enough that anything could be lurking.

It only took five minutes to get from the Den to the watch point, and that was if you were walking. Wendy could run it in three.

Which meant something was wrong.

—from Fractured Memories by Jo Schneider

The Interview

What inspired you to write Fractured Memories?

This sounds really cheesy, but this book actually came from a dream I had in college. In the dream I woke up in a small cave, lying on a round bed (no idea where that came from), and there was a man with his back to me sitting at an old wooden desk. The only light came from a single candle on the desk. Through the process of editing and revisions, the scene changed so much it’s no longer recognizable, but that’s where the whole series started.

Why do you think so many people, of all ages, love reading YA?

For me, and I feel for a lot of people, the journey of a teenager finding their way in the world is both familiar and satisfying. I don’t think the process of finding yourself ever really ends, and YA books give readers a chance to see others struggling with and overcoming life, the universe, and everything.

What is fun, and what is challenging, about writing in a post-apocalyptic world?

I fell in love with post-apocalyptic fiction the first time I watched the original Planet of the Apes in the middle of the night. I was maybe twelve, and had a 12” black and white tv in my room. Super fancy, I know. The very end with the Statue of Liberty really freaked me out…and got my imagination fired up. The same things that make writing in a post-apocalyptic world challenging are also fun. Trying to figure out how people would react and what would happen when the world ends is honestly what the genre is all about, but even more important, it’s about how your characters decide to survive. Exploring the psychology of people and society is fun for me. Also, monsters. And sometimes I like killing characters.

What are you working on now, and what’s fun about what you’re writing?

My latest project is an epic science fiction series about a group of teenagers that volunteer for the military in order to save their pacifist parents from having to go. There is power armor, giant fleets, a character who I may or may not have modeled after Zuco from Avatar, and young love, all under the backdrop of clashing political goals and a traitor who will sacrifice anyone or anything to be king.

About Jo

Jo Schneider grew up in the wild west, and finds mountains helpful in telling which direction she is going. Her lifelong goals include: travel to all seven continents, become a Jedi Knight and receive a death threat from a fan. So far she’s been to five continents, has a black belt in Kempo and is still working on the death threat.

Being a geek at heart, Jo has always been drawn to science fiction and fantasy. She writes both and hopes to introduce readers to worlds that wow them and characters they can cheer for.

Find Jo

Website ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ BookBub

Find The Young Adult Charity MegaBundle!

This bundle is available for a limited time at

Half the MegaBundle profits will go to Mighty Writers, a non-profit organization benefiting children’s literacy.

Grab the bundle today! You’re not only getting a fabulous deal, you’re also helping make the world a better place!


Sign up for the Blackbird Publishing newsletter!