Tag Archives: science fiction

Novel Writer’s November–Beth Revis

bethBeth is another author whom I met on a panel at Dragon*Con. (Side note: Way to go, Dragon*Con, for bringing together such an amazing slate of YA talent.) While we don’t quite agree on questions of moral ambiguity in the Potterverse, I had a blast getting to know Beth in August. She has a wealth of experience that she’s quite generous in sharing, so I was geeked that she agreed to do an interview for this feature.

 

Congratulations on your new book The Body Electric!  Can you tell us a little about the book and the process of writing it? 

The Body Electric is a sci fi thriller for teens. It’s essentially about a girl who can alter people’s memories using special technology–a rare skill that the government wants to exploit to stop terrorists. When she discovers that someone’s altered her memory, though, she no longer knows who she can trust.

The story was a combination of a lot of things I loved, and I went into it with the attitude that I wanted to give something to the readers who made my first series a success. Writing the first draft was fun–an exploration of a new world to write in (a futuristic Earth, based on the island nation of Malta), new characters to experience, and plot tropes I loved. Revising it…revising it was a whole other thing, and much, much harder than the first draft! I rewrote the book roughly five times–first making it more sci fi and less dystopia, then focusing on the characters, then changing it from the first in a trilogy to a standalone, and a few more rewrites just to get it all right. This was the book that almost broke me!

You books fall pretty firmly in the on the science fiction end of the speculative spectrum.  What brought you to the genre? 

Chance! I have ten trunk novels that were never published, and they were all fantasy. I was about to give up–but I had this one idea, and it needed cyrogenic freezing and a space ship. Without even meaning to, I’d entered the world of sci fi!

With the release of The Body Electric, you have become a hybrid author.  How are you finding the experience and how does it compare to your previous releases? 

I am LOVING it! I still love traditional publishing as well and currently have a book under contract with my publisher. But it’s been so wonderful to have a book completely under my control, from the cover to the interior, and it’s been so much fun to learn the ropes and test the book in the indie waters. I was very nervous to try it, but I’ve been so happy with the results.

I do remember Gargoyles and it was a cool cartoon.  I was so bummed when it was canceled–especially when it started to get cool with Puck, Titania, and Oberon.  Who was your favorite character and why? 

Oh, I loved the main gargoyle, Goliath, and the human character, Elisa. They had such a great beauty-and-the-beast dynamic!

This is my new favorite question to ask authors.  What is the strangest thing that you’ve had to do or research in order to write your novels? 

In the third book of the Across the Universe trilogy, I needed a scene where a character had to be out in the vacuum of space without a spacesuit–and live. Which is technically possible under the right situations, so I had to learn all the perimeters. But I also needed to know how it felt, because I needed the character to experience it and describe it. Unfortunately, NASA is very safe with its astronauts, and had no real experiences with astronauts in space without suits. Fortunately the Russians are FAR more experimental with their cosmonauts, and there were a few first-hand descriptions of what it felt like. Very awesome to discover (although not so much for the cosmonauts–who all lived; they were in malfunctioning testing units, not space).

Any final advance for all of the NaNoWriMos or other final words? 

Don’t get too obsessed with word count. I mean, I know the point of Nano is to get the words, but don’t beat yourself up if you “fail”–it’s far more important to find the right words and to find your process for discovering those right words. You only fail if you give up.

Find Beth on the Web:

**Leave a comment at the end to win a copy of The Body Electric eBook and a copy of the Skinless or Interlopers eBook. Winner announced 12/1/14.**

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