Thursday, January 13, 2011

Google-fu with Beth Revis on release of Across the Universe

I asked Beth Revis just three questions for the following Q&A. This week is the release of her debut YA novel, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, and I knew she'd be crazy busy. Yay, Beth!
Beth is one of the first bloggers I met online when I started blogging less than two years ago. She is funny, smart, interesting, caring and honest, which has made me love her blog and now her book.
If you don't know her publishing story it's an incredible one. In the time I've known her she's gone from aspiring to agented to major book deal to published with starred reviews. She tells this journey best in her own words, which she does on her blog, including a five-part series of posts in June 2010.
My three questions for Beth:
Q: You wrote a wonderful post once about how you realized a writer doesn't need to be a scientist to write good sci-fi/dystopian stories. Please tell us what allowed you to strap on your personal jetpack and step into far reaches of space.

A: Honestly, I think it was just doing it. It's like the old writer's mantra: butt in chair. When I started thinking about my story, I realized I needed a sci fi setting--so I started writing a sci fi setting. When I came to something that I didn't know or understand, I'd trot off to the internet. A little Google-fu, a little emailing to people who really WERE scientists, and I'd get enough info keep writing.

If I had thought about it, I would have talked myself out of writing sci fi. I'm so unqualified. But I didn't think about it, I thought about the story, and that led to the words, and that led to a novel, and the rest is history.

Q: What was the first idea for Across the Universe? How did that concept take off for you?

A: Oh, I can't be too specific here! The first idea was the end. I thought of a neat twist, and I built the story around it.
(Drat! *pouts* Guess we have to wait for books two and three to find out.)

Q: If you have one piece of advice for other writers from what you learned this year, what would it be?

A: Write the next book. I had so many trunk novels, so many rejections. But I kept writing. And you know what? I always thought the book I was working on would be "the one." I'd write my heart out, then edit, and rewrite, and revise, and submit....and nothing. But doing that for all those failed novels helped me to write one that didn't fail--and kept me writing, which was the most important thing.

Thanks, Beth. As always, I appreciate your words.

So Beth has this Launch Contest, which nudged me take this photo of me with the reverse side of the book jacket for ACROSS THE UNIVERSE.
Other people are going to be a lot more clever, I think, but I did hang up my swirly cosmos scarf-like cape thingie.
And that's the super-cool diagram of the spaceship, Godspeed.
Everybody's got until Jan. 25 to buy the book, take a photo with it and try to win some fabulous prizes.
In case you've missed the blurb on ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, here 'tis:
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awake on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into a brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship—tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Wishing you a long, star-filled journey, Beth!


Donna said...

What an inspiration. Let's go write, right? I'm happy for you, Beth.

storyqueen said...

I have been reading Beth's blog for a couple of years, too!

I am a big Beth fan. I am holding Across the Universe as a little treat for myself for when I finish these revisions. (This little carrot really IS helping me speed along!)

Love the picture. (I am thinking about turning my cover inside out, too. Love the nerdier side!)

Great interview. Here is a Beth trivia question. Do you remember the original name of her book?



Robyn Campbell said...

As you know, she is my crit partner. I've read some of her trunk novels. They were really good.

I was at the launch last night. It was filled with awesomeness. A huge success being that we live in such a small town.

I know the answer to Shelley's question. I have one too. What was the original name for Godspeed?

Pat, my Word Verification is goreads. Think I will. :)

Wen Baragrey said...

Oh, I am bursting to get this book! I read the sample chapters online and loved it. It's everything I adore in a story. I can't wait for it to come out here (in NZ).

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Donna: She is an inspiration. There are a few bloggers who I'll go back and read earlier posts because they're so good. She's one of them.

Shelley: Cover love, yes! I really liked Beth's post where she showed how simple her drawing was that she gave the publisher and how it was turned into that awesome ship graphic!

Trivia question??? *blinks sleepy eyes* So I cheated, remembering where in earlier posts I'd find it--Long Way Home. I love how Beth included so much of her own journey with this book on her blog. It's been a fascinating ride.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Robyn: Another trivia question??? You guys are killing me. I can't remember Godspeed's former name. And now, you must tell me!

Oh, how lucky you were to go the launch. I'm glad to hear it went well after the snow sensation. And, I'm guessing some of those trunk novels may one day get pubbed, too.

Wen: That first chapter just takes the breath away, doesn't it? I hope you don't have to wait too long!

Tere Kirkland said...

Awesome interview, ladies! I'm reading ATU now, and loving it!

Golden Eagle said...

This is a great interview!

I really want to read the book. :)

Liza said...

Yup, the book is on my list! Hooray for Beth.

Donna said...

I also liked how her ship drawing also became such a fancy graphic on its web site.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Tere: Thanks and have a great time reading!

GoldenEagle: I think you're going to love it, and thank you so much!

Liza: Hip-hip!

Donna: That graphic is so cool. All she needed was a rough drawing and the artist created an amazing ship.

Unknown said...

I'm so outta the loop. I had no idea the release was this week. Thanks for the great interview! :) Yay for Beth!

Jemi Fraser said...

Great interview!! I love Google-fu! :) Can't wait for my copy to arrive!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Karen: I miss you in the loop and hope all is well!

Jemi: I love google-fu, too (is why I had to put it in the header)! Have fun reading when it finally lands on your doorstep.

Catherine Denton said...

What a fun interview! Thanks for pointing us to what sounds like an amazing book. :D

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

Man, those were super questions, Tricia! Loved her "google-fu" answer. It's inspirational, too. My curretn YA project is a bit SF and I worry I haven't a clue what the heck I'm doing. But I'm trudging ahead. It does my heart good to know that it worked out so well for Beth even though she felt she didn't know much about sci fi either.

Also, knowing that ending, I can't believe she didn't end up starting with it! But I'm glad she didn't. It'll make a great second book, though!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

I just purchased this book! Can't wait to dig in. Yes, what a sweetheart she is! thanks for the interview.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Catherine: So happy that I could!

Carolina: I vividly remember the post some time ago when she talked about one book, The Adoration of Jenna Fox, as giving her the courage to tackle a story with science elements but looking at it as a story about characters. That makes the leap of faith less scary.

TerryLynn: Great! You'll be staying up late. :)

The Words Crafter said...

This sounds soooooo good!!!!! Thanks for posting the interview; it's very inspiring to read about a success after so much rejection. Gives hope.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

WordsCrafter: Indeed. I think such stories make it possible to keep going. Beth's blog archives are filled with inspirational moments.

cleemckenzie said...

Yes. Just write the next book. Perfect!

Stephanie Thornton said...

Great picture- I think Beth's dust jacket is one of my all-time favorites.

Fun interview!

Anonymous said...

Awesome interview. I have many trunk books. Persistence pays off.

I'm reading Across the Universe now and loving it.

Tabitha Bird said...

Awesomeness! Thanks for this. I'm going to have to get that bk.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Lee: It works. I've started a new one and feel such joy in it.

Stephanie: That dust jacket has win written all over it. :)

Medeia: I love having a new way to look at trunk books--not failures, but stepping stones, right?

Tabitha: Thank you. Yes, read-- it's a page turner!

Sherrie Petersen said...

I *adore* Beth and whenever I got depressed about all the rejections, her story inspired me. I'm so glad that ATU is out there for the world to read. The sky's the limit for her. Godspeed!!

Sarah Laurence said...

Great questions and answers! This book does sound interesting. It was encouraging reading about her long road to success too.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Sherrie: She lifts me up, too! And AtU is on the NYTimes bestseller list!

SarahL: Thanks! Beth's story to publication is amazing.