Stephanie Diaz: EXTRACTION

We have a lot of fantastic debut authors at OneFour KidLit and are excited to introduce them all to you. Today, we’re talking to Stephanie Diaz. One author, Four questions. Here we go!

IMG_4100Hey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen?

I still find it hard to believe, so I can’t give you the exact recipe. But I’d say it had a lot to do with persistence, and also some luck. I’ve been a writer since the age of seven, give or take a year (my memory is fuzzy). Basically, I’ve wanted to be an author ever since I read the Harry Potter books. For a long time, I made up fantasy worlds and wrote Lord of the Rings rip-offs.

Eventually that phase passed, and at the age of 13 I began querying my first actual novel with a renewed wish for publication. It took me six years and two more novels (and about three hundred rejection letters) before I had the pleasure of accepting an offer of representation from Alison Fargis of Stonesong. Six months and some revisions later, St. Martin’s Press, an imprint of Macmillan, decided they wanted to publish my books. And I cried.

What’s your debut book about? Can you share any cool details with us?

My debut is a young adult science fiction novel called EXTRACTION. It’s the first in a trilogy, and it was pitched as Divergent meets Ender’s Game, which kind of made my life.
From Publisher’s Marketplace [with my additions inserted like this]: It’s about a girl [named Clementine] who wins escape from a life of brutality [a poisonous moon and a society that kills children at the age of 20] on her planet’s surface only to face the cruel realization that her new life within the core has its own set of horrors.

pink moonMy inspiration came from the moon. One day I started wondering how the world would be different if the moon were poisonous, and the story took off from there.

As far as other cool Extraction-related things, I have a pinterest board and a playlist, if you’d like to give either of those a look/listen! They will certainly provide clues about the story without, I hope, giving too much away.

What do you do in your daily life outside of writing?

Twitter comes to mind—but no, let’s pretend I have a life. I read a lot and spend a lot of time listening to Imagine Dragons and Taylor Swift, and singing loudly. I play guitar. I study film production when college is in session. I have wild and crazy adventures—stargazing, movie-watching, and the occasional game of hide-and-go-seek in the dark—with friends when they’re in town. But mostly I just sit at my computer and scroll through tumblr, wishing I were elsewhere.


What are your desert island books?

First of all, DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth, because I love love love it. I’d definitely need a Harry Potter book, so I’m gonna go with HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN. I’ve been an LOTR fan for ages, so I’d grab THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien. That’d hopefully keep me occupied for awhile. And since I’d be on a desert island with little-to-no clue how to survive, I’d also take a survival book like SURVIVE!: ESSENTIAL SKILLS AND TACTICS TO GET YOU OUT OF ANYWHERE – ALIVE by Les Stroud. That way, maybe I wouldn’t die.

Stephanie Diaz is 20. She studies film production at San Diego State University, but spends most of her time devouring (and writing) unassigned literature instead of studying. She hopes to someday intercept the Doctor on one of his adventures. The first book in her debut YA sci-fi EXTRACTION trilogy is forthcoming from St. Martin’s, an imprint of Macmillan. You can follow Stephanie on twitter: @StephanieEDiaz.

18 thoughts on “Stephanie Diaz: EXTRACTION

  1. Stephanie, all I can say is WOW – querying a first novel at 13? You are awesome. I love that you were inspired by the moon. EXTRACTION sounds like a great read!!


    No, but seriously, that’s so cool! I’m really impressed that you managed to break in so young, and your premise sounds great. I loved Ender’s Game. (And by “loved” I mean “I read it when I was 14 and sobbed through the last 150 pages and haven’t dared reread it since.”)

  3. Oh, Stephanie. I have a life outside of Twitter, too, don’t worry. In said life, I do… um… things with people and OMG TWITTERRRRR.

    Also, in case it was ever a question, we are the same person because I queried my terrible first novel at 13, too. Let’s just hope that means I end up landing a fancy book deal with St. Martin’s like you…


    Also x2, for anyone reading: her book FREAKING ROCKS. (That is all. I promise. *vanishes*)

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