Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Interview with Beth Revis
Beth was awesome enough to do an interview with me about Across the Universe in order to celebrate the release! I'm really excited to finally be sharing this interview with you guys! So here goes!
Jeremy: When you were growing up, were you ever really into Star Trek or Star Wars that could’ve influenced you in writing about space travel?
Beth: I was SUCH a Star Wars fan! First, I had a brother named Luke. Second, I had super-long hair that I could actually make into the Princess Leia buns. So yeah...definitely a Star Wars fan.
Have you always been interested in being a writer or did you have another career in mind while in High School/College?
Oh, I always wanted to be a writer. But I didn't believe that I could make ends meet that way. I went to college to get my education degree, but even then, I was writing. I had been told all my life that a writer can't make money, and that was true for the first ten years I wrote and earned nothing. Now that writing can pay the bills, I'm happy to do it full time, but do miss the students I taught.
With AtU being your debut novel, how did you come about getting your book queried/noticed?
I didn't! I had zero writing credentials, zero publishing credentials, nothing but a cold query. My agent picked me up out of the slush pile.
To be a writer you must also be a big reader. What are currently some of your favorite books that you’ve recently read?
I just started reading Angie Smibert's MEMENTO NORA, and it's great. I love being a member of the League of Extraordinary Writers--we get to read each other's books early!!!
With Across the Universe being a space-centered novel, what is it that drew you to writing about space and the journey of the Godspeed seeing as “Space” isn’t a hot topic in YA fiction?
You can say space isn't a hot topic again! I worried that I'd never get it published--and several of my rejections when I started querying said just that.
As for why I wrote it: the story had to be written that way. It's as simple as that. I needed cryogenic freezing, I needed a space ship--so I had to write sci fi. Maybe my next project will require magic instead of science, and so I'll write a fantasy. I write the story, not the setting.
Written in two separate POVs, what was it like creating both a male and female identity throughout the story?
Very odd! For a lot of Elder's POV, I turned to my husband. I remember when Elder sees Amy for the first time, I asked my husband what he would think, if he were in a similar situation. Would he notice her skin color, her hair? "Nope," he said, "She's naked in the ice, right? I'd be staring at her boobs." So...Elder stares at Amy's boobs.
I guess you're right. I know I'd be doing the same thing! :) Also, with writing from both Amy and Elder’s POV, did you find it easier/harder to define each personality compared to writing from a single POV and observing others personalities?
I found it challenging--but fun. I like a good challenge. I greatly enjoyed the scenes, such as when Elder picks flowers--told from both of their points of views, and how one will think the other will respond in one way, but really the other doesn't even notice or has the complete opposite reaction.
If you think space is “nowhere near the final frontier,” what do you think is?
Why does there have to be a final frontier? I think there are some things that are infinite.
And finally, can you give us news on the sequel and other current projects?
I can only say that at least two things you think are true from ACROSS THE UNIVERSE are actually lies...and you'll find out the real truth in Book 2.
Thank you for taking the time to do this for me, Beth!
Beth Revis lives in rural North Carolina with her husband and dog, and believes space is nowhere near the final frontier. Across the Universe is her first novel.