Today we're excited to chat with Claudia Gray, author of Defy the Stars! Read on for more about Claudia and her novel, plus a giveaway!
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
CLAUDIA GRAY: I feel like such a traitor picking one of my two leads over the other—I love them both—but if I must go for one, it's Abel. That's only because writing his scenes required me to work in a totally new-to-me viewpoint, that of a mechanical lifeform who would have some of the emotional and mental capabilities of a human but would also look at things in a totally different way. It was fun to dig in to that.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
CLAUDIA GRAY: The novel, definitely. The core of this story started taking shape a few years go, but we didn't decide on the title until well into the publication process. This isn't that unusual; I find my titles
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
CLAUDIA GRAY: Probably the final conversation between Abel and his cyberneticist creator, Burton Mansfield. It's a very emotional scene, but one that has to be fully portrayed and perceived through Abel's logical mech mind. That was tremendous fun to do, and it actually came out on the page as good as it was in my head—which any writer will tell you is a rarity!
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s
the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
CLUDIA GRAY: That I will never learn "how to write a book." Nobody ever will, because there's no such thing. You have to learn how to write each individual book. Every single one requires different skills and presents different challenges.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2017?
CLAUDIA GRAY: Jacqueline Winspear just released IN THIS GRAVE HOUR, the latest Maisie Dobbs mystery, and I'm absolutely dying to get my hands on it. Also I'm eager for REBEL RISING by Beth Revis, a Star Wars YA novel about Jyn Erso from "Rogue One."
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
CLAUDIA GRAY: Revising—though I usually enjoy drafting more than a lot of other writers do. But the most fun will always be when the book is at its shiniest, which is of course at the very end.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
CLAUDIA GRAY: Sadly it appears to be "invariably getting the start time wrong on Facebook event invites." This will not get me into the X-Men anytime soon.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
CLAUDIA GRAY: Several of them. The two I'd most like to call attention to are (1) Heifer International, which helps provide grassroots support for people in underdeveloped nations who are starting their own farms, dairies, etc. They have a fabulous track record all over the globe, not to mention the greatest gift catalog EVER. And (2) the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which is dedicated to the preservation of endangered African wildlife. They provide everything from aerial reconnaissance of wildlife areas to veterinary teams! These guys are amazing.
Meet Claudia Gray!
Claudia Gray is the author of the bestselling Evernight series, Fateful, the Spellcaster trilogy, and the Firebird trilogy. She is also the author the young adult Star Wars novels Lost Stars and Bloodline. She has worked as a lawyer, a journalist, a disc jockey, and a particularly ineffective waitress. Her lifelong interests include old houses, classic movies, vintage style, and history. She lives in New Orleans.
Noemi Vidal is a teen soldier in an interstellar war, fighting to defend her home planet against Earth's robotic armies. When the disastrous aftermath of a space battle strands her on an abandoned enemy ship, she encounters a deadly mech determined to kill her - until a twist in his programming compels him to do her bidding, and to reveal a secret which could save her world.
Abel, Model 1A of the Mansfield Cybernetics Line, is his creator's masterpiece: the most complex mech prototype ever made, he not only appears perfectly human, but possesses an artificial intelligence so sophisticated that he can feel human emotions.
When Noemi boards the ship he has been trapped on for decades, his programming demands that he obey her as his new commander – even if she's fighting on the other side of the war and her plan to win that war will kill him. As they embark upon a dangerous journey through the galaxy, Noemi begins to recognize the soul within the machine, and Abel's devotion to Noemi becomes more than a matter of programming.
Defy the Stars
By: Claudia Gray
Release Date: April 4, 2017
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