Today we are chatting with Ruth Fox, author of
UNDER THE HEAVENS
Read on for more about Ruth, her book and a giveaway!
Meet Ruth Fox!
Ruth Fox grew up reading anything she could get her hands on. She decided to be a writer when she was only twelve years old and wrote her first stories very neatly in a collection of notebooks.
Many times, Ruth questioned her decision to become a writer, thinking she should choose a more sensible career. However, she realized she didn’t love anything else the way she loved telling stories. Swapping her notebooks for a laptop, she went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and Editing. She has worked in a variety of “slightly more sensible” jobs, including illustration and editing, but only as a means to support her writing.
Ruth’s first book, The City of Silver Light, was published in 2012. When she is not reading or writing, you can find her cooking vegetarian meals and deserts or playing computer games. Ruth currently resides in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia with her husband, three sons, and too many books to count.
About the Book: UNDER THE HEAVENS
“. . . A winning combination of action, romance, and science fiction centering whales in space.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“In the space-set adventure novel, a young woman contemplates the complications of communication and trust in a futuristic world.” —Foreword Reviews, a Foreword Book of the Day
“A slow-building science-fiction thriller that deserves a sequel.” —Kirkus Reviews
Even the darkest secrets will come to light.
Bubbly social media star Hannah Monksman is captaining Seiiki and carrying the last of Earth’s whales to a new paradise planet. Viewers have been following Hannah’s journey, but what they don’t know is her true identity―Kim Teng who won her role as Caretaker with the help of underground operatives known as the Crusaders.
Kim forms a close bond with the whales in her care, and their mental Link allows conversation on the lonely spaceship. But when one of the whales, Adonai, begins acting strange, Kim begins to suspect that she is a pawn in a secret mission meant to ensure the whales never reach their destination. Or it may just be the isolation getting to her.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
I really love Adonai. He was such a fun character to write. I really enjoy characters who are learning about humans, because it makes me think introspectively about what it means to be human – how we think and speak, what we value, and what we consider important.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel came first. The title “Under the Heavens” came to me when I was rereading the story of Noah and the flood in the book of Genesis. My eyes landed on those words and I knew they were perfect as a title for my novel!
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
I think the most important thing I’ve learned is to write what I love. I gave up aiming for target markets or specific themes a while ago, because I found I would lose interest in writing those stories If an idea comes to me I just run with jt and that works for me.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
This is actually my favourite cover out of all of my books. The colours are perfect – the green/blue tones are mysterious and captivating, conveying the peculiarity of the premise: whales in space. I also love the interlocking A and V. It’s just an awesome cover.
YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?
I LOVED Lifelike by Jay Kristoff! It’s a fantastic mix of post-apocalypse and fairytale. I love that the characters are all perfectly flawed, able to make mistakes and mess up. I love the romantic subplot and the action scenes. The plot twists are ones you won’t see coming. This book really has it all and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I have my first book for adults coming out later in 2022! I’m pretty excited about that. I also just moved house so I’ve had a long break from writing while we unpacked and built a truck-load of IKEA furniture, so I’m very eager to get started on some new ideas I have. I’ve been thinking a lot about the myth of Atlantis and I’d love to do something involving that.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
The most difficult scene to write in this book was the battle with the droids on the exterior of Seiiki. It’s surprisingly difficult to conceptualise action in a zero-gravity environment as it’s not something that’s part of everyday life – and not something I’ve ever experienced first-hand. It’s also a scene where there is so much going on. There were a few details I had to work over a few times and I’ll never be certain I got it right!
YABC: What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from this book?
I hope readers take a sense of hope from this book. While I know “Under the Heavens” is post-apocalyptic, I’m actually very hopeful for the next few decades. I think we are on the right track to avoid the kind of disasters that have occurred to necessitate anything like the Ark Project. I also hope they take a renewed sense of wonder at the amazing creatures we share our Earth with.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Patience! It takes patience to write a book. It takes even more patience to write a book when you have 3 very young kids. I’m not alone, though. Every mum who manages to get anything done in a day other than brushing their hair is The Incredible Patience-woman.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
I am very involved and concerned about any and all issues concerning the environment and wildlife. I try my best to live my life while respecting the planet and all animals. As humans, it’s our job to give back to the landscape and ecosystems that support us and this amazing world we live on. I hope to inspire others to do the same.
YABC: What advice do you have for new writers?
Just write! Write as much as you can, when you can. Get your ideas down and make them into a story. You can work out the details such as target markets and fixing up plot holes later – just get lost in the world and the characters you’re creating first. It’s important to love your book, so don’t let your enthusiasm die down until you have an ending!
Book’s Title: Under the Heavens
Author/Illustrator: Ruth Fox
Release Date: 4/12/2022
Publisher: CamCat Books
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Age Range: 15 years old and up
Three winners will receive a hardcover copy of UNDER THE HEAVENS (Ruth Fox) ~US ONLY
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*