I’ve been tagged by the very talented Amy McCulloch to take part in a meme that’s currently flying round writer’s blogs. Amy’s debut Young Adult fantasy-adventure, The Oathbreaker’s Shadow, will be published in June 2013. You can see her post on the ‘next big thing’ here.
Apologies for not being terribly organized about doing this meme. I’ve been away at a convention for half of this week, and suffering some computer problems the rest of the time, so I’m doing this very much at the last minute. That means I’ll tag some interesting authors, and link to their websites, but they may not actually complete the meme themselves.
1) What is the working title of your book?
Earth Girl has already been published, and I’m now working on the other two books in the trilogy. Earth Girl and the sequel Earth Star are both being published under their original working title. The third book in the trilogy has the working title Earth Flight.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
It came from some thoughts about how changes in society can make a disability more or less of a problem, or even create a whole new disability. For example, dyslexia wasn’t a problem until people invented writing. New gadgets are constantly appearing, becoming vital parts of normal life. What if some people couldn’t use a new technology? How would you feel if humanity could portal between hundreds of planets, but you could only survive on Earth?
3) What genre does your book fall under?
Earth Girl is a Young Adult science fiction dystopia set on Earth in the year 2788, but… It’s also for adults, the story is very much about people not science, and the characters sometimes have fun because their future Earth isn’t entirely a bad place.
4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I’ll pick some well known actors for this, but my characters are only eighteen so you have to use a bit of imagination.
Fian is easy. Most people will have seen Orlando Bloom as Legolas in Lord of the Rings. Take that image, make him younger but keep the stubborn determined look, and you’ve got Fian.
Jarra is hard, because I deliberately don’t describe her in the book, but she’s from a Military family. That means she’ll have ancestors from many different planets. I picture her with short, black, tangled hair. A bit like a young Halle Berry with a hint of Emma Watson.
And after a period of deep indecision lasting an entire week, I’ve finally reached a decision on Drago Tell Dramis (book two). He looks more like Jay Hernandez than Ian Somerhalder, but it has to be Jay Hernandez in his longer haired pictures. On the other hand, Ian Somerhalder would play Drago perfectly, so . . . I think I could be permanently undecided on this one.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
One sentence? That’s evil!
In the year 2788, Jarra is one of the despised handicapped who can only live on Earth, but she’s got a plan to prove that she’s just as good as the norms.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m represented by Ian Drury of Sheil Land Associates.
Earth Girl was published in August 2012 by the Harper Voyager imprint of HarperCollins in the UK and Commonwealth. Earth Star will be published in August 2013, with book 3 following in 2014.
Earth Girl has also been published in German translation by Rowohlt, and will soon be published in English in the USA by Pyr.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The idea had been bubbling away in the back of my mind for about a year before I started writing. The totally raw first draft took six weeks. I then spent two weeks shuffling scenes and throwing away 10,000 words.
The plan was to put the book aside for a couple of months so I could get a fresh perspective, and then do some more detailed revising and polishing. What actually happened was I met an agent and editor a few weeks later, and ended up spending two days polishing before sending the book out.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre.
Always a hard question. Hunger Games, Divergent, Across the Universe, but more light hearted.
9) Who or What inspired you to write this book?
All the authors of all the books I’ve ever loved. Especially those, like Anne McCaffrey, who I read in my teens and twenties. They took me riding dragons, and flying spaceships, across fantastic worlds.
10) What else about your book might pique the readers’s interest?
Jarra invents a fake background for herself – as a normal child of Military parents – and joins a class of norms that is on Earth to excavate the ruins of the old cities. She’s got a secret to keep, collapsing skyscrapers and roaming wolves to worry about, but the real problems start when she falls in love with one of the enemy
I’m tagging some other authors to answer the same questions next Wednesday, November 21st (Week 25). Do check out their blogs.