The Breeding Tree by J. Andersen

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 | 9 comments

The Breeding Tree by J. Andersen

We all know that young people, even those raised in the church are turning away from God in increasing numbers. Y0ung adult readers are searching for hope and my guest, J. Andersen, author of The Breeding Tree, a Young Adult Dystopian Novel shares how young adult dystopian fiction can fill that need without alluding to God overtly, and therefore, reaching a secular audience as well. We would love to hear your comments and hope you’ll sign in on the Rafflecopter for more chances to win a Kindle copy of The Breeding Tree.



Fabulous Fridays

Welcome Jessie! Please share with us a little bit about yourself and how you started writing.

What inspired you to write The Breeding Tree?

I’ll try to make this long story short. It started with my first book, At What Cost. When I first realized I needed to write a book, I began praying about a topic. God told me ‘abortion’. I told him no. lol. He made me do it anyway. AWC was a YA contemporary. Once that was published, I thought I was done.

I’ve always wanted to write a dystopian novel. 1984 and The Giver are two of my all-time favorite books! If I had my way, I’d have started with a dystopian and hit that big swing with The Hunger Games and Divergent; however, nothing came to mind. It wasn’t until I finished another contemporary that I finally got the idea for The Breeding Tree.

I didn’t intend it to even touch the subject of abortion. After all, I’d already written that book, but as the story grew, I realized God wasn’t done having me write about that topic.

Dystopian fiction is a genre that may be new to many of my readers. Tell us something about it.

You can think of it as the opposite of a Utopia. It’s where the government of the society suppresses the people into submission through propaganda and making the people believe the governing body is doing it for the people’s own good. The people often don’t realize they’re being oppressed. Until someone (in YA, it’s always a teenager) makes the realization and rebels against the governing body. Think The Hunger Games!

What kind of research did you do in order to create a story world for your book?

Maybe I shouldn’t confess this, but I do very little research. The only thing I looked up was double-checking facts about fetal development … things I was pretty sure I already knew, but wanted to make sure my facts were right. I may interview someone about a specific detail that I want accurate, and I did shoot a gun to get those details right for book 2, but I don’t spend endless hours researching.

Tell us something about how you designed the characters for The Breeding Tree.The Breeding Tree

I find some of these kinds of questions difficult because I think most of my characters come to me fully formed. I just have to discover the why they are like they are. For instance, I was half way through writing book two before I realized why Saul acted like he did. But when I made that discovery, it was like everything clicked together and it all made sense. My writing is more a sense of discovery, but at the same time, I plan things out.

Amazon classifies The Breeding Tree as Young Adult fiction. Why do you think this genre appeals to younger readers and what might be its appeal for older readers?

Young readers are searching for hope. They (I almost said ‘we’ before I realized I can’t categorize myself as a young reader anymore.) want to envision being the one to bring hope. When we create young characters who are willing to go against the grain and stand up for what they believe in despite what society says, we inspire the readers to do the same.  It’s especially important for us to do this for young Christian readers. In a society that seems to be pushing more and more against Christian values, we must encourage our young people in any way possible to be strong.

For older readers, it’s the same when it comes to bringing hope to those around us. And I think there’s always a sense of going back to our youth. Maybe even a “what could we have done differently?” question to answer. I’ll be honest, I don’t read much other than YA. There’s a real connection and inspiration to change the world there. I want to be a part of that.

If you could spend the day with a character from your all-time favorite novel, who would it be and what would you do?

My all-time favorite novels are places I wouldn’t want to spend much time. Lol. Spending time with Winston from 1984 would probably make me angry. I’d want to slap him a bit. Hanging out with Jonas from The Giver would be fun and even though I’m not an outdoorsy person, I’d probably go sledding. (*wink. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know what I’m talking about here.)

What do you want your readers to gain by reading your book?

I want them to gain a sense of wonder about human development. Many in our society cast off the idea that there is value to pre-born life. I want them to see that everyone, no matter the color, mental capacity, physical need, or stage of development is an amazing creation!

Which do you think is more important: to entertain or teach/inform?

I don’t think the two can be separated. We can say we want to entertain, but in doing so, we are teaching and informing people what we view to be acceptable behavior. If we are writing to specifically teach or inform, we had better do so in an entertaining way, or people will put down our books.

How do you see the importance of Christian fiction?

This is another tough question for me because I don’t consider The Breeding Tree to be Christian Fiction, at least not in the traditional sense. I wrote it specifically for the secular market. I believe the YA secular market doesn’t have a lot of conservative stories or even stories written from the conservative perspective. I set out to do just that. So, TBT doesn’t fit into Christian fiction parameters, nor does it really fit into secular ones. But my goal is to bring a story to teens who may not ever hear both sides of the equation. I want to be the voice of the other side without being in-your-face about things.

How did you weave a spiritual thread through your book in a way that would connect with young adults without being preachy?

Should I just say “see the above answer?” lol. Seriously, my whole goal is not to be preachy. If you read the story, you won’t find mention of God or any sort of a religion at all. But you’ll know where I stand on things. By writing a story that makes people think about the value of life (or whatever the issue is). I have done my job. I always heard that when we give a testimony, we aren’t supposed to worry about convincing a person to convert to Christianity. That’s the job of the Holy Spirit. I look at my writing in the same way. I give the testimony and pray that it will open doors in the readers’ minds. God will do the rest.

Please share the opening passage of The Breeding Tree with us.



Code of Conduct and Ethics: The Institute—Sector 4, USA

Section 9 Article 3.8: Community celebrations must be attended by all individuals,

regardless of age, gender, or physical capacity.

The Parade of Values is my best friend Taryn Black’s favorite event of the year, and every August 2nd she shows up at my door bubbling with energy, dressed in something fabulous; strawberry blonde hair waving in the breeze, and ready to nag me into

leaving early.

Too bad I detest this day with my whole being.

For her, it’s a holiday. For me, it’s duty. Even if we were allowed to miss the event, I wouldn’t, because no matter how much I hate it, I go to support Gran. At least there will be one person there who knows the truth.

Book Blurb:

Is the opportunity to create the next generation of life a dream come true or a deadly nightmare?

When seventeen year old Katherine Dennard is selected to become a “Creation Specialist” in Sector 4, the opportunity sounds like a dream come true. But Kate soon discovers the darker side of her profession – the disposal of fetal organs and destruction of human life. It makes sense, really. In a society where disease and malformations don t exist, human perfection demands that no genetic “mutants” be allowed to live. For Sector 4, “survival of the fittest” is not just a theory – it’s The Institute’s main mission.

When Kate discovers that The Institute is using her DNA to create new life, her work gets personal. In order to save her unviable son, she’ll have to trust Micah and his band of underground Natural Born Rebels. The problem is, if The Institute discovers her betrayal, the next body being disposed of could be hers.

About the author:

Jessie Bailey AndersonThere’s not much to do growing up in a small town in Western, NY, so J. Andersen wrote stories and won high school writing contests. But in college her writing was limited to term papers. While teaching middle school she began to read young adult books and got serious about writing. She now writes full time, volunteers at the town library, helps to run a School of the Arts at her church, and sings in the church band. She enjoys good coffee—read: home roasted by her husband—crafts, baking, and chasing after her children. You’ll rarely see J. without a book in her hands, and that’s the way she’d like to keep it.

Connect with Jessie:






Snapchat ID: jvdlandersen



Book Link:



  1. Thanks so much for hosting me, Norma.

    • You are so welcome, Jessie!

  2. Interesting. Definitely a book I’d like to read.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Kay. The Breeding Tree is on a 99c sale, so you can get a copy super cheap! 🙂

  3. I agree, Jessie, we need more of these kinds of books that appeal to both Christian and secular young adults. Good interview!

    • Thanks! Yes, I think we need stories that will appeal to all teens while not compromising our values in the process.

  4. Fantastic interview! Any question I may have had was answered. I’m not one for YA usually, but this book sounds intriguing! Thanks!

    • If you think of any questions in the future! Feel free to contact me. I love to chat with readers!

  5. Congratulations to Brenda Baker for winning the Kindle copy of The Breeding Tree! Thanks to everyone who participated!

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