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Next Book News!

We’ve debuted, we’re debuting and we’re selling more stuff! Check back on the 28th of each month to find out all the awesome Next Book News!

 

Corinne Duyvis sold another book!

OTHERBOUND author Corinne Duyvis’s ON THE EDGE OF GONE, about an autistic teenager in the near-future Netherlands, trying to hold her family together while weathering the impact of a devastating comet, as she struggles to find her place in the new reconfigured world, again to Maggie Lehrman at Amulet, by Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency (World English). 

 

Heidi Schulz sold another book! 

I sold my second MG! HOOK’S REVENGE: THE PIRATE CODE, sequel to my September 2014 middle-grade adventure HOOK’S REVENGE. The book continues the Neverland adventures of Captain Hook’s daughter, Jocelyn, as she competes with a malevolent pirate captain to find her deceased father’s treasure.  Fall 15, Disney*Hyperion

 

 

Robin Constantine is a born and raised Jersey girl who moved down South so she could wear flip-flops year round. She spends her days dreaming up stories where love conquers all, well, eventually but not without a lot of peril, angst and the occasional kissing scene. Her YA debut, THE PROMISE OF AMAZING, is out now! Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins Publishers.
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Gettin’ Lucky: an interview with Phoebe North, author of STARGLASS

Today, Phoebe North’s debut Starglass goes out into the world, and we’re celebrating the occasion! Take a look at the awesome cover and blurb:

STARGLASS coverTerra has never known anything but life aboard the Asherah, a city-within-a-spaceship that left Earth five hundred years ago in search of refuge. At sixteen, working a job that doesn’t interest her, and living with a grieving father who only notices her when he’s yelling, Terra is sure that there has to be more to life than what she’s got.

But when she inadvertently witnesses the captain’s guard murdering an innocent man, Terra is suddenly thrust into the dark world beneath her ship’s idyllic surface. As she’s drawn into a secret rebellion determined to restore power to the people, Terra discovers that her choices may determine life or death for the people she cares most about. With mere months to go before landing on the long-promised planet, Terra has to make the decision of a lifetime–one that will determine the fate of her people.

I had a chance to read the book for this interview, and it is wonderfully thoughtful, simultaneously embracing and defying SF tropes, and I highly, highly suggest you check it out. Need more convincing? Take a look at this interview!

I think it’s safe to say you’re a massive SF fan. With that in mind, were there any specific SF tropes you set out to play with in Starglass?

I have always absolutely loved generation ships–the whole concept of a city in a bottle fascinates me, and I loved having the opportunity to explore the underpinnings, from population control to renewable resources, that would make such a society work. I honestly didn’t set out to write a novel that played on modern YA dystopian tropes, but once I realized how constrained the citizens of the Asherah would have to be in order to keep the population controlled and compliant, I couldn’t help but play with that a bit. But always with the intention of subverting these tropes, from the notion of job assignment (Terra comes to love her job!) to that of sexuality.

While I’ve seen various fantasy worlds based on specific real-world cultures, I haven’t seen that as often in SF, which mean the secular Jewish society on the Asherah in Starglass was a delightful change of scenery! How did you approach the world-building on the ship?

In its earliest incarnation, the Asherah was not a Jewish ship. In fact, the story has its source in a grad school assignment based on James Joyce’s “Eveline”–the ship was originally quasi-Irish! When I began to retrofit that story into a novel, I initially used generic sci-fi worldbuilding, but I wasn’t happy with the outcome. The Jewish aspect came out of Terra’s last name, Fineberg, which was originally a placeholder (it’s my mother’s maiden name). On deeper inspection, I realized that a generation ship is nothing if not a society in diaspora, and I realized that I could give the novel deeper metaphorical resonance by exploring notions of the promised land, of exile, and of wandering. Not to mention the tensions between Judaism as a cultural heritage and a religious one.

Otherwise, I did a lot of research about things like constant acceleration drives, cold weather cultivation, artificial wombs, and population control. Of course, I consider Starglass *soft* science fiction. Certain aspects of the worldbuilding–say, artificial gravity–are just plain impossible. But I hope that readers will understand that it’s a lot easier to tell a story like this when your characters’ feet are kept to the ground!

The Asherah’s passengers become eligible for marriage at 16, and are expected to wed and raise two children–no exceptions. Those who refuse to choose a partner will eventually be forced into a marriage. This scenario may seem familiar to readers of YA dystopian lit; however, Starglass is the first novel I’ve read that features queer characters in this scenario (including someone introduced in your book trailer!). Was this a situation you set out to explore from the start?

Thank you for noticing that Frances Cohen, who narrates the interchapters in Starglass, is a queer woman! It was important to me to not only include gay characters in the novel’s present, but in its past, as well.

I’m bisexual, and from middle school onward, my most significant friendships were with other QUILTBAG teens. I cannot imagine writing a book without queer characters as part of the general landscape, because that’s the world I know. It’s what’s most authentic and honest to me.

And I have to say I was surprised when I began to encounter arranged marriages in YA dystopian novels but without acknowledgement of the people for whom such a society would be most oppressive–those whose affections are not heteronormative. So yes, in a way, I wanted to address what I saw as a surprising silence on the issue among YA authors. And while, as Paolo Bacigalupi said, the lives of queer teens are often dystopian enough (despite the repeal of DOMA–yay!–suicide rates of queer teenagers remain distressingly high, and bullying and harassment rates are equally appalling), I see this as more reason than ever to explore themes of inclusion and to honestly discuss sexuality in books for teenagers.

Of course, I’m not alone, and there are authors like Malinda Lo, Alaya Dawn Johnson, and Steven dos Santos who are also writing queer themes in their YA speculative fiction. Thank goodness!

Which aspect of the book would you say you’re proudest of?

I’m so proud of Terra’s voice. By the end of Starglass, she was a real, vital *person* to me–sometimes a bit difficult to spend so much time with, for sure, but I can say without a doubt that after writing Starbreak, the conclusion to the duology, I’ll miss her quite a bit.

And which did you struggle with most?

Some of the more difficult aspects of Terra’s personality proved troublesome for me. She’s not an easy character–she’s mired in self-loathing and doubt, and can be occasionally petty, hateful, and even a shade homophobic. Her reactions make sense given her upbringing and age, and she grows wonderfully over the course of the two novels. I’d be happy to call Terra at the end of Starbreak a friend, but I’d be a bit wary of her if we met at the outset of Starglass!

What’s been the most unexpected aspect of your publishing experience so far?

I have been floored by the wonderfully perceptive reaction of early readers and reviewers. Not everyone is going to like your book, but every once in awhile, someone absolutely makes me feel as if I wrote my book just for them. It’s a wonderful feeling, and one that reminds me of all the reasons why I wanted to be a writer.

Finally, as this community is All for One and OneFour KidLit, we’d like to know what two or three books inspired you as a child.

I absolutely adored The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle, and the Animorphs books by KA Applegate.

Thanks so much for these excellent answers–and happy Starglass day! I wish this book all the best.

Phoebe NorthPhoebe North received an MFA in poetry at the University of Florida. She lives with her husband and cat in New York State. Visit her at PhoebeNorth.com.

Add Starglass on Goodreads, or buy it via:
IndieBound
Amazon US & Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Powell’s
Books-A-Million
The Book Depository


Corinne Duyvis lives in Amsterdam, where she writes speculative YA novels and gets her geek on whenever possible. She also sleeps an inordinate amount. Her debut YA fantasy novel OTHERBOUND is forthcoming in 2014 from Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams Books. (Corinne is very excited, and hopes this development won’t impede her sleeping schedule too much.)
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Corinne Duyvis: OTHERBOUND

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 Corinne Duyvis. One author, Four questions. Here we go!

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

Let me dig up the PM announcement, first:

Corinne Duyvis’s debut OTHERBOUND, where a seventeen-year-old boy finds that every time he closes his eyes, he is drawn into the body of a mute servant girl from another world — a world that is growing increasingly more dangerous, and where many things are not as they seem, to Maggie Lehrman at Amulet, by Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency (World English).

It’s a dual point of view, which means you spend an equal amount of chapters in the boy’s (Nolan’s) mind versus the girl’s (Amara’s), but due to the way the book is set up, Amara’s chapters tend to be longer. For one, more things go on there. (Increasingly more dangerous things. Oooooo.) For another, it’s a secondary fantasy world, which means that it requires far more world-building than Nolan’s contemporary American setting.

In my case, I cheated: Amara’s world is partially inspired by The Netherlands, where I’ve lived my whole life. I’d never built a secondary world before, so I wanted to start gently. At the same time, a lot of fantasy is medieval Europe-inspired, and I wanted to do something different. I’m thrilled to see more diversity in historical/fantasy settings crop up, like Ellen Oh and PROPHECY, but I think we can also encourage variety within Europe-inspired settings that do exist. What we see is usually either German, French, or British-inspired. Even though The Netherlands are smack-dab in the middle of those countries, we’re often glossed over.

Hence: dunes, islands, floods, stealth!liquorice, merchants, dikes (and dykes! /bad joke), Dutch-influenced names, ships, Dutch foods, windmills… It’s not a fantasy version of the Netherlands by any means, but I sure had fun sneaking in bits and pieces.

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

Sheer, awesome, dumb luck.

Even though I’ve had two agents, OTHERBOUND never went on submission the regular way.

Instead, my editor reached out to my former agent after she saw a short story of mine at an online magazine called Strange Horizons. She requested an R&R on the submitted book, but also mentioned she’d be interested in seeing more of my work. I passed along my new novel OTHERBOUND–then known as BLINK–a couple of months after parting ways with my former agent.

Cue an offer out of the blue a couple of months after that. I scrambled to find a new agent to negotiate the deal, hooked up with the delightful Ammi-Joan Paquette, and am now eagerly awaiting the next steps. Is it 2014 yet?

What are you most excited about in the debut process?

So far, I’m still giddy just having a Goodreads page!

Honestly, I have a hard time deciding. I’m delirious at the thought of having a cover, especially since the design team at Amulet is beyond spectacular. I’m eager to see what kind of edits my editor wants, and how the book will improve these next few months. I’m even squeeing at the thought of getting my first pass pages, or having to send out the book for blurbs, or imagining how I’ll react to my first bad review.

… yeah, we’re still in the honeymoon stage. 😉

Most of all, I’m proud of this book, and I look forward to having it out in the world.

What cool facts might readers not know about you?

English is my second language; I learned it without the benefit of having English family or living in an English-speaking country. Regretfully, between spending lots much time online, writing and reading English books, and watching English TV, my Dutch is suffering.

It’s, um, really embarrassing.

Thankfully, the rest of me is still super super Dutch. I eat salty liquorice like it’s going out of style. Fair warning: if you meet me in real life, I may invite you to eat some. Don’t be alarmed. Trying salty liquorice has not ever resulted in people grabbing napkins and spitting it out. No. Not once.

This camera I’m holding is merely to document the sheer delight on your face.

Corinne Duyvis lives in Amsterdam, where she writes speculative YA novels and gets her geek on whenever possible. She also sleeps an inordinate amount. Her debut YA fantasy novel OTHERBOUND is forthcoming in 2014 from Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams Books. (Corinne is very excited, and hopes this development won’t impede her sleeping schedule too much.)