'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Interview: Amie Kaufman

Kids' Book Review Development Editor Jo Burnell was delighted to have the opportunity to catch up with author Amie Kaufman recently todiscuss her debut novel These Broken Stars.

Although These Broken Stars is set in the future, so much is believable because of the intricate details and solid logic that underpins the entire story. Where did the idea of this world come from?
Thank you, what a lovely compliment! We really tried hard to get those details right, as we agree it definitely matters when the world doesn’t feel realistic. The idea came up because I felt like writing a shipwreck story, and Meg was interested in space. From there, we combined the two and started thinking about how our world might evolve in the future. We did a lot of research and had a lot of fun!

It’s as if you have appeared in the writing world from no-where, Amie. How long have you been writing and in what genres? What were you doing before These Broken Stars?
Oh, nobody appears from nowhere! There’s always lots of hard work behind the scenes. I’ve always been a writer, and I’ve always been drawn to science fiction and fantasy. Before These Broken Stars, the only difference is that I was writing for fun.

How did you and Meagan Spooner find each other when you live halfway across the world from each other?
We met online! When Meg decided to come and spend a year in Australia after she finished college, she came to stay with my husband and I. We’d been friends for a long time and talking every day, but it was the first time we’d met in person!

What is it like to collaborate across time zones? Did you each choose a voice to write in, or did you share the creation on both Tarver and Lilac? What are the pros and cons of such a long distance collaboration?
It’s wonderful! It means you can send the book off when you go to sleep, and when you wake up, shazam! There’s a new chapter! It’s like elves worked on your book at night! With video conferencing so easy to do, we don’t miss out on any of the advantages of being in the same place, but since we’re such close friends, we definitely wish we got to hang out more. When it comes to the writing, I wrote Tarver and Meg wrote Lilac in the draft, but we then worked closely together to edit, which means that these days we rarely know who wrote what!

So now you have a three-book contract. Were all three books written before you presented the first? Will it be long before we find out what happens next to Lilac and Tarver?
Definitely not—books two and three were sold on a synopsis only. We’re just finishing up our edits on book two, and we’re getting ready to start drafting book three. We can’t wait! Each book features new characters, as they’re companion novels, but you might catch a glimpse of some familiar faces! The books should be released about a year apart.

What’s next in your writing plans? More futuristic fantasy or something completely different?
I’m a science fiction girl at heart, though I do love fantasy as well. I do have something in the works that I can’t talk about yet, though it might be announced by the time this interview goes up! I’m always tinkering away on a few different stories at any one time, and Meg and I are tossing ideas back and forth for other books we might write together.

Amie Kaufman is the co-author of These Broken Stars, written with Meagan Spooner and published by Allen & Unwin in November 2013. Visit Amie Kaufman's website to find out more. You can also find Amie on Twitter.

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