For this weeks Ask The Author I'm bringing you Ava Jae, author of Beyond the Red, a YA sci-fi novel that I'm incredibly looking forward to. I actually have an eARC of it, which is really exciting, so when I got the chance to ask Ava a couple of Q's I could not resist. Her A's are amazing so read on to find out all about her book and our interview:
Beyond the Red by Ava Jae
Expted Publication: March 1st 2016 by Sky Pony Press
Number of Pages: 352 Pages (Hardcover)
Alien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimson deserts. She’s the first female ruler of her territory in generations, but her people are rioting and call for her violent younger twin brother to take the throne. Despite assassination attempts, a mounting uprising of nomadic human rebels, and pressure to find a mate to help her rule, she’s determined to protect her people from her brother’s would-be tyrannical rule.
Eros is a rebel soldier hated by aliens and human alike for being a half-blood. Yet that doesn’t stop him from defending his people, at least until Kora’s soldiers raze his camp and take him captive. He’s given an ultimatum: be an enslaved bodyguard to Kora, or be executed for his true identity—a secret kept even from him.
When Kora and Eros are framed for the attempted assassination of her betrothed, they flee. Their only chance of survival is to turn themselves in to the high court, where revealing Eros’s secret could mean a swift public execution. But when they uncover a violent plot to end the human insurgency, they must find a way to work together to prevent genocide. (goodreads.com)
Interview with Ava Jae
1 – Describe Beyond the Red with a haiku.
(This is such a cool question!)
Beyond the Red haiku
an extrasolar planet
rebel and teen queen
2 – What sparked the idea for Beyond the Red? The sole idea of writing a story about an alien queen on a distant planet or something entirely different?
Well I’d sort of come up with the whole planet and culture well before I even considered writing a book about it, as well as a version of Eros who is very different from book-version. Then later on I was inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar with the premise of a story taking place on another planet inhabited already—but I asked myself what would happen if the native species was able to fight back and totally overwhelm the invading (human) forces. And from there I remembered I already had a planet and culture and now I had the background story set up, so it developed from there. :)
3 – What was the most challenging about writing Beyond the Red and which scene was the most fun to write?
Most challenging part was getting Kora to open up—especially in my early drafts she was really closed off, which was an issue because people weren’t connecting to her, and it was a lot of work to dig in and really get to know her. But in the end I think it paid off, because so far readers seem to really like her. So yay!
The most fun scene to write was a very particular scene with kissing. And sand. And that’s all I’ll say for now. ;)
4 – What do you like most and least about your main characters, Kora and Eros?
Kora and Eros are both quite snarky, which was a blast to write and play around with. They’re also very strong-willed characters, which I like about them, but was also occasionally challenging to write and work with given that they can be very stubborn.
5 – In retrospective, is there anything that you’d change about the story or are you happy with the way it turned out in the end?
Overall, I’m very happy with how it turned out. It went through many changes as I revised, and I do love the end result quite a bit. :)
6 – How do you feel about the fact that in a couple of months, thousands upon thousands of people will be able to read your book?
* Insert gif of overly excited Japanese kids of a Spongebob toy here*
7 – What do you think about the cover for Beyond the Red? Does it do the story justice?
I love the cover! It’s actually very similar to what I’d sort of envisioned before I had a cover, so I’m really very pleased. The colors! And two suns! And sand! It’s perfect.
8 – If Kora and Eros were to live in our time, which social media do you think they would each use most?
Hmmm, this is a really interesting question. Eros isn’t really strongly literate, so I think he’d probably stick with something more visual, like maybe Instagram, Vine or Snapchat. And I could totally see Kora coming up with some very snarky and snappy tweets.
9 – Do you have a writing routine or do you write whenever creativity strikes?
When I’m in the middle of a draft, I write every day until I’m finished. I like to start early in the morning when I can, because the later it is in the day, the less energy I have to get my work done. So yeah, I’m definitely more of a routine person—but between drafts I’m much more flexible.
10 – What advice could you give aspiring authors?
Don’t set a deadline on your dreams! I started writing as a teen, and I was initially totally determined to get published as a teen—which not only didn’t happen, but resulted in my putting way more stress and pressure on myself than was necessary. Honing your craft takes time, writing a book takes time, and every one of the steps before getting published takes loads of time. Don’t rush—everyone’s journey is different and you’ll get there at exactly the right time for you.
11 – If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I always flip-flop between teleportation and telekenesis. I really want both—to be able to travel anywhere I wanted instantly would be amazing, as would being able to move things with my mind, I mean, how cool! Can I choose both? I choose both.
About the Author
I'm Ava Jae.
I write. I read. I Photoshop. Then I tweet/blog/tumbl/post/vlog/instagram about it and some pretty awesome people like and read and watch it. I'm also an Assistant Editor at Entangled, and I'm represented by the wonderful Louise Fury of The Bent Agency.
I write YA and NA paranormal, Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels because I love writing about self-discovery and the complicated worlds of young people. Then I like to take their emotionally-ridden lives, rip them apart and set them on fire. My debut novel BEYOND THE RED will be published in hardcover and e-book by Sky Pony Press in March 2016. It has aliens and kissing and explosions and you can add it to your Goodreads shelf here.
I also have an addiction to movies, but that's another matter entirely.