Archive for March, 2013

I’ve been a big fan of Beth Revis since I first read ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. So when I heard that she would be at the Breathless Reads Tour in Montrose, CA with three other awesome YA Authors, I just had to go.

Yes, I’m that big of a fan girl. I drove 2 and a half hours straight after work, through traffic just to get a glimpse of her. And I’m so glad I did.

Although Beth’s stories are full of mystery and suspense, Beth herself is actually a barrel full of laughs. Her answers to the interview questions were hilarious and I loved the way she easily bantered with her fellow authors.

And she was so grateful when I sent her the link to the many pictures I had taken of her on the tour.

Ten months after I met her, I emailed Beth to ask for an interview. I realized too late that she would be busy with preparations for her upcoming book launch. I gave up on waiting for a response. But a few days after I had sent her the request, she emailed back with a yes. Sufficed to say, I was super thrilled.

Beth is a funny, smart and genuinely nice writer—and her books are just plain awesome. If you haven’t heard of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, A MILLION SUNS or SHADES OF EARTH, read my review.

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Author’s Bio from her website bethrevis.com

Beth Revis is the author of the NY Times Bestselling Across the Universe series, published by Razorbill/Penguin in the US andavailable in 17 countries. The first book in the trilogy, Across the Universe, is a “cunningly executed thriller” according to Booklist, and the second book, A Million Suns, was hailed by the LA Times as “a fast-paced, action-packed follow-up.” The final book of the trilogy, Shades of Earth, will be released in early 2013.

A former teacher, Beth lives in rural North Carolina with her husband and dog. Her goals include travelling around the world in 80 days, exploring the moon, and finding Narnia.

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads

Beth is represented by Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House.

Beth Revis modified

 

The Awesome Beth Revis

1. Tell us three random, unique, or weird facts about yourself. 

  1. My shoulders are double jointed.
  2. I have one thumb shorter than the other.
  3. I name my pets are characters in books.

2. What books and movies inspired your love for Sci-Fi or Fantasy? Would you ever consider writing in another genre?

 I think the biggest influence on my writing sci fi came from watching the Joss Whedon show, Firefly. I loved everything about it, even though I felt that I was the kind of person who didn’t like sci fi. Watching that show made me realize that sci fi doesn’t have to be all-science, all-the-time.

I don’t think I’ll write anything outside of fantasy or sci-fi…I always want there to be a chance for things to blow up!

 

3. What’s the most unusual job you had before you became a full time writer? What prompted you to take your writing seriously?

I don’t know! I had very boring jobs. But I always took writing seriously, even when I was young and probably should have been a little less serious.

 

4. Where did you get the idea to write Across the Universe? Did you always know it would be a trilogy?

I started writing Across the Universe based on the idea of a mystery, where the narrating character has something to hide. And I definitely did not know it would be a trilogy—I didn’t know that until a few days before it sold!

 

5. Which of the three books did you enjoy writing the most? Which one gave you the most trouble?

I enjoyed writing AtU the best—it was fun, and there were no pressures or restraints or deadlines. Shades of Earth, on the other hand, tried to kill me and eat my soul.

6. Your books switch between two POV’s: Amy’s and Elder’s. Which POV did you find the easiest to write?

Honestly, I liked them both. It was fun to explore their different mindsets, and I never felt as if one was better than the other.

7. Your descriptions of Godspeed were so efficiently woven into the story, it was just the perfect blend of technology and setting. Did you have to do a lot of research to come up with the design or layout of the spaceship?

I mostly had to research why we didn’t have the technology I wanted for the story. For example, we don’t have cryogenic freezing now because cell membranes burst. So I invented the blue goo to prevent that.

8. If you could spend one day with any character in your series, who would it be?

Harley—he’s just so much fun, and I love seeing artists work!

 

9. If your books were to be made into a movie, which scene would you be most interested in seeing live on the big screen?

Oh—such a good question! Hmmm…I think probably the moment when Amy and Elder land on Centauri-Earth.

10. Tell us about your path to publication. What is the coolest thing about being a published author?

It took me ten years—and ten unpublished novels—before the eleventh novel sold in the eleventh year of writing. So I think the coolest thing is the incredible sense of validation it’s given me.

11. What’s your typical day as a writer like? Do you have any writing-related rituals or quirks?

It’s pretty normal—just wake up at noon, drink some coffee, and then figure out the best way to slaughter characters and blow shizz up. Normal, like I said.

12.  What do you like to do when you’re not writing?  Any hobbies, sports, or crafts you like to spend time on?

Reading! I’m really a nerd, through-and-through. So reading and writing are my top two occupations. I also love to travel.

13.  Are you currently working on any other projects?

I am! But they’re very secret and I can’t say anything else about them.

14.  What advice would you like to give to writers on the road to publication?

Don’t give up. It’s so trite, but so true.

15.  What would you like to say to your young readers? Is there any advice that you would like to give them?

Your imagination is the last place where magic is real. Hold onto that.

 

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Thanks, Beth, for that wonderful interview!

Tune in again on Friday. I’ll be giving away a copy of Beth Revis’s ACROSS THE UNIVERSE!

 

 

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This month’s Spotlight Week features the ACROSS THE UNIVERSE TRILOGY by YA Author BETH REVIS

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Across the universe copies

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

416 pages, Hardcover

Genre: YA, Ages 12 and up

Published on November 11, 2011 by Razorbill

ISBN-10: 1595143971

ISBN-13: 978-1595143976

 

First Line: Daddy said, “Let Mom go first.”

Synopsis:

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awake on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into a brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship—tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

A million suns copies

A MILLION SUNS

386 pages, Hardcover

Genre: YA, Ages 12 and up

Published on January 10, 2012 by Razorbill

ISBN-10: 159514398X

ISBN-13: 978-1595143983

First Line: “This isn’t going to be easy,” I mutter, staring at the solid metal door that leads to the Engine Room on the Shipper Level of Godspeed.

Synopsis:

Godspeed was once fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.

It’s been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He’s finally free to enact his vision – no more Phydus, no more lies.

But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that’s growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.

shades of earth copies

SHADES OF EARTH

400 pages, Hardcover

Genre: YA, Ages 12 and up

Published on January 15, 2013 by Razorbill

ISBN-10: 1595143998

ISBN-13: 978-1595143990

 

First Line: “Wait,” I say, my heart clenching.

Synopsis:

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They’re ready to start life afresh–to build a home–on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience. But this new Earth isn’t the paradise that Amy had been hoping for. Amy and Elder must race to uncover who–or what–else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together.

But as each new discovery brings more danger, Amy and Elder will have to look inward to the very fabric of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses?

Then everything they have sacrificed–friends, family, life on Earth–will have been meaningless

ATU trilogy

My Review:

Beth Revis’s ACROSS THE UNIVERSE TRILOGY is one of my most favorite YA trilogies of all time.

From the first lines of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE to the last paragraph of SHADES OF EARTH, author Beth Revis has kept me hooked.

I got chills when I read the first chapter of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. The vivid description of how Amy began her journey into space was so gripping and memorable that the images lingered in my mind long after I’d finished the book.

Majority of the story is set in space, and Beth Revis does an amazing job of making the spaceship Godspeed come alive, without being so overly technical in her descriptions. She cleverly uses the setting to elevate the drama and suspense in her story.

The books are told from the point of view of the two main characters Amy and Elder. Amy was born in Soul Earth and sees Godspeed as a prison. Elder is shipborn and thus considers Godspeed his home.Witnessing the unfolding events from both the eyes of an outside, and that of an insider, gave me a complete and deep perspective of the whole story.  I loved being privy to these two characters’ constantly changing and evolving relationship. I truly enjoyed witnessing their love for each other deepen throughout the series.

But what I loved most about the books is the over arching story itself. Being trapped inside a dying spaceship with no hope of ever seeing the planet you thought you’d call home is bad enough. Add the excitement of a budding teen romance, the mystery of why the spaceship is centuries late for its landing, and the suspense of having a cunning murderer on the loose–and you have a series that you just simply can’t stop reading.

Although I adored the first two books, I have to say SHADES OF EARTH is my absolute favorite. The author’s ability to create mystery and suspense and to world-build is most obvious in this final installation. I enjoyed reading it so much that I was actually sad to see the story end. Beth Revis weaves the storylines masterfully and ties everything up neatly. I was left with a feeling of utter satisfaction at having completed such an amazing journey with the characters I had come to love.

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, A MILLION SUNS & SHADES OF EARTH are all awesome reads. This trilogy will make your heart pound and flutter for all sorts of reasons. I recommend these books to anyone who loves space operas, thrilling romances, and suspenseful mysteries. Or just anyone who loves a great story.

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Tune in again on Wednesday for an interview with the awesome Beth Revis.

 

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Back From the Future Blogfest

bftf

 

You’re up before dawn on a Saturday when the doorbell rings. You haven’t brewed your coffee so you wonder if you imagined the sound. Plonking the half-filled carafe in the sink, you go to the front door and cautiously swing it open. No one there. As you cast your eyes to the ground, you see a parcel addressed to you…from you.

You scoop it up and haul it inside, sensing something legitimate despite the extreme oddness of the situation. Carefully you pry it open. Inside is a shoebox—sent from ten years in the future—and it’s filled with items you have sent yourself.

What’s in it?

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I’ve woken up a full twenty minutes before my usual work day alarm. I wrap my fluffy blue bathrobe around me and trudge downstairs, led by a mewling Millie.

I  grab a granola bar from the pantry. I’m about to bite into it, but Millie’s meowing becomes more insistent. I sigh, fill up her food bowl and stare at the clock, annoyed. I should still be in bed, making the most of the twenty minutes of sleep I had left.

I put on the kettle and reflect on my dreary life as I wait for the water to boil. Seven years in the same, boring, low paying job. And the only reason I’m sticking it out there, is because my work allows me some precious time to write.

But I’m beginning to doubt my writing dreams will ever come true. So far I’ve only written two books. Two books which I still have to revise and edit. It’s already March and I have yet to work either of these books–nor have I written anything new.

The kettle whistles and I pour myself a cup of hot water. I’ve spent so much money on writing conferences, organizations, books and office supplies. And although I have accomplished some things—like a successful blog and establishing my own nonprofit writing group—I feel like I haven’t done the most important thing for my writing career to take off. I haven’t written enough.

I feel a hopeless sort of desperation welling up inside me. How do I find time to work on my own stories when there are so many things clamoring for my attention? Work, groups I belong to, family, friends. I have ten thousand things to do, and I always put them ahead of everything else, because they involve other people, and I hate disappointing people. Especially the ones I care about. But in the process of trying not to disappoint loved ones, I end up disappointing myself.

My eyeglasses steam up as I lift the mug to my dry lips. I can’t see a thing and I can’t tell if it’s my eyes or eyeglasses that need to be wiped. My future is as foggy as my sight.

I don’t know if I’ll ever see my writing dreams come true. To begin with, I don’t know if I’ll ever get published.

It’s barely seven in the morning, and my doubts and insecurities have already settled into my heart like twin anvils.

The doorbell rings, momentarily disrupting my dark thoughts. Not wanting to scare whoever is behind the front door, I comb through my bedraggled hair, straighten my bathrobe and swish some water around the mouth to dampen my dragon breath.

I open the front door. My brief preparations prove useless. I see no one there.

I look down and see a parcel sitting innocently by the doorstep. I pick it up and frown. I don’t remember ordering anything. Shrugging, I take it inside.

Sunlight streams through the window and the return label catches my attention. The sender has the exact same name as I do—only with an address I don’t recognize. An address that suggests a comfortable (if not downright wealthy) life.

I cautiously open the box and find a blue shoebox inside.

A small note is taped on the cover. It reads:

“Nutschell, I thought you mightneed a little pick me up. Love, Nutschell.”

P.S. Don’t worry, you’re not going nuts. (well, at least not any nuttier than you already are) This really is you writing 10 years from the future.

I rip open the shoebox and find a folded piece of glossy paper. I open it up, revealing a poster.

My heart stops.

“Bestselling author N.A. Windsor signs the 6th book in her Award-winning Trade Realms Series. March 12, 2023.”

At the bottom of the poster, is a photograph that makes my jaw drop. It’s a picture of myself ten years older and ten pounds lighter, holding copies of my six books.

I flop down onto the chair and exhale slowly, unwilling to believe what I’m seeing. I look into the shoebox for more clues, or for proof that this isn’t some cruel practical joke.

I see only one other thing— a small frame with a postcard of a kitten climbing up some steps. It says, “Don’t ever give up on your dreams.”

This is the only proof I’ll ever need. Only I will send myself a postcard as cheesy as that.

I laugh and I cry and hug the poster to myself. I finish the rest of my granola bar, and prepare for work as usual.

Only this time, I’m singing in the shower and smiling all day when I get to work.

I do my usual accounting job, finish early, and sneak in some time to revise my YA novel. My boring day job doesn’t seem so bad now. Not when I know my writing dreams will come true.

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Thanks to awesome bloggers M. Pax, Suze and Nicki Elson for bringing us this awesome Back From the Future Blogfest!

I had tons of fun working on this (and I felt much better about my writing life after writing it, too)!

Check out the other bloggers who have signed up for this cool blogfest:

This is a Blog Hop!


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