Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I'm so excited to be asked to participate in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. I've been tagged by the awesome Phil Siegel to answer a few questions about my debut novel coming in 2014. Here goes:

1)      What is the working title of your book? BURN OUT

2)      Where did the idea come from? A song I heard on Pandora (right after watching a space documentary) led to an intense dream that became the basis of this book. Strange but true. Tora’s character was pretty fully formed upon waking and she was screaming at me to write the book already.

3)      What genre does your book fall under? YA sci-fi.

4)      What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Emily Browning looks almost exactly how I pictured Tora and would be incredible in the role. Cam Gigandet is probably the closest match to James, and definitely Alexander Skarsgard as Kale because he’d be perfect. Oh, and Joss Whedon would be the screenwriter—because hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?

5)      What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? During Earth's final years, a teenage girl struggles to escape the planet after the sun turns “red giant,” but discovers her fellow survivors are even deadlier than the hostile environment.

6)      Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency? My book will be published by Egmont in Spring 2014, and I am represented by the amazing Jessica Regel from the Jean V. Naggar Agency in NYC.

7)      How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? About 6 weeks for the first draft, but it took about a year total before I felt it was ready to send to agents. 

8)      What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Well, it’s strange but the book that I’d most compare it to is Graceling by Kristin Cashore, which is a YA fantasy. They both feature a strong female character facing terrible situations, albeit in very different settings. In terms of sci-fi comparisons, I’ve been told my character is the female Han Solo, which is hands down my favorite compliment so far about the book. 

9)      Who or what inspired you to write this book? Aside from Question #2 above, I have a fascination with a concept captured beautifully in the movie, Kung Fu Panda (no, I’m not kidding). The quote is something like “One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it.” Without giving too much away about my book, mankind tries to avoid its destiny--with catastrophic consequences.

10)   What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Hmm, an astrophysicist helped me with some of the technical science behind the story because I wanted it as real as possible. The “science” in sci-fi is so interesting to me, because several of the things I imagined in the book have already come about in the year since I submitted the book to my agency, and last month, astronomers discovered a planet remarkably similar to the one in BURN OUT.

Also, it's a great book to read if you want to feel better about your own life. No matter how much your job or situation might suck, you’ll glimpse Tora’s world and think, “Hey, things aren’t so bad after all.” How’s that for an ad?

As the final part of the bloghop, I'm tagging two other fabulous writers with books releasing in 2014:  Paula Stokes and  Jaye Robin Brown. Check out their posts next Wednesday!


  1. I loved Graceling! So this makes me excited to read a sort of sci-fi version. And a girl Hans Solo? I'm all in!

    1. Thanks, Jaye--can't wait to read yours too! :)

  2. Congratulations! Sounds like a great book. I'll keep my eyes open for it - I love good female characters in good science fiction! And I loved Kung Fu Panda too!

  3. Thanks! It's amazing what you can learn from kids' movies. ;)

  4. It was great to hear more about you and BURN OUT. :)

    1. Thanks, Sharon, and thanks again for all the blog help! :)

  5. LOVE your one-sentence description. That's about a perfect elevator pitch. Also love the Kung Fu Panda reference :)

    My post is actually going up on a friend's blog as a guest post so if anyone clicks early you won't fine me, but you can always (ALWAYS) find me on twitter @pstokesbooks

    1. Thanks, Paula--I did a whole blog post on elevator pitches because I love doing loglines! Can't wait to see your post next week. :)

  6. Movies are a great way to study story. I love the sound of your female protag.