GETTIN’ LUCKY: An Interview with Amie Kaufman, co-author of THESE BROKEN STARS

Today we’re interviewing Lucky13 author Amie Kaufman, whose debut YA novel THESE BROKEN STARS  (co-authored by Meagan Spooner) hits the shelves today!

Here’s the blurb:

THESE BROKEN STARSIt’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

A timeless love story, THESE BROKEN STARS sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

Congratulations on your debut, Amie! THESE BROKEN STARS was a gorgeous love story with a haunting twist. (And that cover! Absolutely stunning.) Can you share where you found the inspiration for the book?

Thank you so much for having me! The inspiration for the book honestly came about piece by piece. My co-author Meg and I were playing with these characters for a long time before we ever thought about giving them their own book. We both love to write just for fun, and we’d put together little pieces about them and send them back and forth, get them into trouble and bail them out. The scenario we picked was because I wanted to play around with something involving a shipwreck, and Meg wanted space, so we crashed a spaceship and then let the story unfold from there! We’re both big science fiction fans and we love a good hate-to-love relationship, so we drew inspiration from years of reading, film and TV, from Firefly to Pride and Prejudice.

Tarver and Lilac come from very different worlds, and face an entirely new one after the disaster aboard the Icarus. How did you go about creating such a complex universe?

We gave it a LOT of thought. There’s a post on how we handled the development of gender, culture and class here, but obviously it went way beyond that. We did a lot of research, and consulted a lot of specialists to get our science right—we have a NASA physicist, a demolitions expert and a doctor on hand to help us out! Our editor had us write what we call the Starbound Encyclopaedia—dozens of pages about the universe our stories are set in.

What was it like co-writing the book? Did you and Meagan face any major challenges, and if so, how did you overcome them?

We love it! Honestly, if readers have half as much fun reading as we did writing, we’ll be delighted! Co-authoring means you’ve always got someone to brainstorm with, always got someone to help you fix a problem, or challenge you to make something better. People often expect we struggled with being on different continents, but with video conferencing, text and phone calls we found it easy, and the time difference meant we could each work while the other slept.

What’s been the most unexpected aspect of your journey to publication so far?

Hmmm. Good question! Silly as it sounds, I think what’s been most unexpected has been the support we’ve received from other writers, from readers and bloggers and everyone we’ve encountered. There are so many people willing to help you learn, share their wisdom and reach out often unprompted. It’s been wonderful.

THESE BROKEN STARS is the first in a trilogy. Can you share anything about the sequel(s) for us to be excited about?

The sequels are companion novels, so they’re set in the same universe, and the events are related to those in THESE BROKEN STARS, but you’ll meet new characters each time. (Though you may also spot a familiar face or two….) So mostly, I’m so excited to introduce readers to Flynn and Jubilee, our characters in THIS SHATTERED WORLD. Flynn’s a rebel, and Jubilee’s one of the soldiers sworn to stop him. It’s a bad situation all round.

As this community is All for One and OneFour KidLit, we’d love to know what two or three books inspired you as a kid!

I was SUCH a bookworm as a kid—I guess some things never change! I adored THE DARK IS RISING by Susan Cooper, and in fact I still read it every Christmas! I also loved SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS and its many sequels by Arthur Ransome, a series about a group of kids in the Lakes District who camp, sail and transform themselves into explorers and pirates every summer. And finally, 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA by Jules Verne was my introduction to science fiction, and I knew even as I read it that things were never going to be the same again.

Thanks for stopping by, Amie, and congrats on your debut!

Amie Kaufman is the co-author of These Broken Stars, the first in the Starbound trilogy, and writes science fiction and fantasy for teens. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

You can find Amy online here:
And you can buy THESE BROKEN STARS here:
Stephanie Diaz is 21. She graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in film production. She’s a Whovian, Browncoat, and publishing intern. Her work is represented by Alison Fargis of Stonesong. The first book in her debut YA sci-fi EXTRACTION trilogy will be published by St. Martin’s Griffin on July 22, 2014. You can follow Stephanie on twitter: @StephanieEDiaz.

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