Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Across The Universe With Beth Revis

I've put down my cookies today. Why? Because I'm excited to be joined by Beth Revis. Beth is the New York Times bestselling author of Across the Universe. And she hearts Doctor Who!

First, a bit about ACROSS THE UNIVERSE.

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.

And now onto the questions. *rubs hands together* 

1) What made you decide to switch between narrators for this particular story?

I *had* to. I needed Amy and Elder to know and not know certain things. I needed an "inside" character who knew was it was like to be born on the ship, and an "outside" character who, like us, was new to the ship.

2) Which part of the world-building was the toughest to develop? Which part was the easiest? 

All of it was tough! World-building is what I struggle with the most--*I* know what the world looks like, and I often forget that the readers don't. The thing I've learned to make this easier is to periodically rely on other senses, like smell or touch.

3) If there is one thing you'd like readers to leave with after finishing AtU, what would it be? 

A sense of hope--that no matter how bad things look, don't give up.

4) Do you have any quirks, habits or must do routines when you write?

Not really! I'm weird like that, I guess--everyone seems to have a ritual or something to get them in the mood, but I just sit down and start.

5) The title of AtU is from a song by the Beatles. Did you have a soundtrack during the writing of the book? 

Not really! Another thing that makes me weird--it seems like every writer has a soundtrack. But not me. I like noise, but I will play one or two songs on repeat over and over and over again until I tune them out. But "Across the Universe" was definitely one of those songs.

6) How did you manage to leave such well-placed clues that make you suspect or wonder but not quite know? Did it just come out that way or were they added in later?

A combination! Some things were just little, throw-away details when I was writing, but when I came to the end of the story, I realized I could use them as clues for the plot. Some of them I hid inside the text on purpose--cackling wickedly the whole time, like a parent hiding Easter eggs.

7) How do you write such epic chapter endings and transitions? Every single one left us either shocked at a new revelation or tortured by an intense emotion. 

I don't know! It just comes out that way!

8) We're all about the awesome here. What do you think makes YA such an exciting genre to read/write?

You can do anything in YA! YA is about a style moreso than an age-range, in my opinion--it's a style that embraces fast-paced plotting, clever characters, and awesome story-lines.

9) What is the one tip you could give to an aspiring author? 

Write the next book. I have ten trunk novels. I couldn't have written AtU without having first written them, but I couldn't have published any of them, not the way they were. There's certainly something to be said about not giving up and editing and revising--but there's also a point in time when you've got to just move on to the next story.

10) If you could be any character out of the Harry Potter books, who would you be?

Ginny!!! I would SO love to know more about her--I sort of wish JKR would write another book told from Ginny's POV in the last year...and besides, she gets Harry!

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.

Huge thanks again to Beth for being our guest today. Across the Universe is available from all bookshops/online retailers now, but I'm also giving away two copies. How can you win? Just let me know you'd like to enter and add your email address in the comments. I'll pick the two winners at random on Sunday. Simple. 


  1. A most awesome interview! Thanks! I really want to read this :)

    mrs.which (@)

  2. Great interview! I am loving this book!

  3. Great interview! I'm entering to win a copy:

  4. so great getting to know more about Beth! Great interview!

  5. OH, and I want IN the contest!

  6. Fantastic interview! I can't wait to read Across The Universe.

  7. *waves enthusiastically* MEEEEEE!!! I would love to win a copy of AtU

  8. Ooo, please add me to the list! Yay!
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

  9. Interesting questions and good answers. Nice job, both of you.Having read the first chapter, yep, I'd like to be entered islandwrite at yahoo dot com Thanks!

  10. Awesome interview! Hi, Beth!! Thank you so much for hanging out with us today! I loved your book. It traumatized me, in a good way.

    And good luck to all the giveaway entrants!

  11. I already have a copy, but I wanted to say this was a great interview! And it's an awesome book!

  12. Beth, you're amazing! And I appreciate that you admit how hard world building is . . . I don't feel like such a dunce. :)

    And I'd LOVE to win her book.

    rjljohnson [dot] janet [at] gmail [dot] com

  13. Oh, I want to win!!!!

    Ten books, huh? That means I have 7 more to trunk. I'd better get writing. ;)

    stinalindenblatt at shaw dot ca

  14. Great interview! World-building is definitely very difficult when you know what your world looks like, but have to describe it to readers is difficult.

    I'd love to win a copy!

    emyblogs [at] gmail [dot] com

  15. How fun how fun how fun!!! Beth is so super cool! I heart her so much! This was such a cool interview!!

  16. Hi Lindsay and Beth-- I am reading it right NOW!!! And um, you struggle with world-building?!?!? I think not!

  17. This was awesome! I appreciated the original questions - I learned things I didn't know yet. :-)

  18. hi miss lindsay and miss beth! cool interview. i saw a really neat trailer that miss beth did and it was sooo cool. that space ships got so much on it and that surprise place i cant wait to know what it is. i like what you said you could want people to get from that book "no matter how bad things look, don't give up" i like that lots. every one knows thats me for sure! im hoping that books not too old for me cause i love space stuff. you could enter me for winning a book and im at i got my fingers crossed and toes too. ha ha. :)
    ...smiles and hugs from lenny

  19. Sorry I'm late! So glad to read this interview since I'm only two chapters away from finishing Across the Universe!! (don't enter me in the contest, btw - I won your last one, which is why I'm almost done!!!)


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