Author Chat with Alexandra Monir (The Life Below), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Alexandra Monir author of
The Life Below.
Read on for more about Alexandra and her book, plus an giveaway.
Meet Alexandra Monir!
Alexandra Monir is an Iranian-American author and recording artist. She is the author of the hit novel The Final Six as well as four other published young adult novels, including the bestselling time-travel romance Timeless. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California. To learn more about Alexandra, visit her online at www.alexandramonir.com.
Meet The Life Below!
Leo, back on Earth, has been working with renegade scientist Dr. Greta Wagner, who promises to fly him to space where he can essentially latch on to Naomi’s ship. And if Wagner’s hypothesis is right, it isn’t a possibility of coming in contact with extraterrestrial life on Europa—it’s a definite. With Naomi unaware of what awaits, it’s up to Leo to find and warn her and the others.
With all the pieces of their journey finally clicking into place, everything else starts to fall apart. A storm threatens to interfere with Leo’s takeoff, a deadly entity makes itself known to the Final Six, and the questions the ISTC has been avoiding about the previous failed mission get answered in the worst way possible. If the dream was to establish a habitable domain on Europa… the Final Six are about to enter a nightmare.
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~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I got the idea for the first book in this series, The Final Six, while listening to a radio interview with an aspiring astronaut, who had applied for the hypothetical MarsOne mission. This was a woman who was married, with a family and a full life on Earth, who was willing to leave it all behind for the chance to go to Mars. I was so struck by the fact that she would give up the only life she'd ever known for this wild colonization experiment, and and then I had this lightbulb of an idea switch on in my mind: what if it wasn’t a choice? What if people were drafted to space, just like people have been drafted into wars? And the reason for this particular draft would be to find a new home for humanity, after all the climate change crises here on Earth. As soon as those pieces of the idea flew into my mind, I was off and running to the computer! As for the sequel, I was inspired by the characters, relationships and plot points I'd seeded in the first book, but also by my favorite sci-fi films, like Interstellar and Arrival.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
Naomi Ardalan is hands-down my favorite character I've ever written, and I think a big part of that is that she is the Iranian-American heroine I needed growing up! I was a huge reader who never saw my ethnicity represented in the books I read, and it would have meant the world to me if I had. That's why, when I dreamed up the idea for this kickass, brilliant science & tech whiz who goes on this huge adventure, I knew I wanted her to be Iranian-American. There are plenty of other reasons why I love her too, but this is probably the reason I feel closest to her. :)
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
I spent a lot of time brainstorming titles way back when I was still working on the first book! The publisher wanted to have the sequel title in place before beginning cover art on the first book, since whatever font and style choices were made for Book 1 would also have to work for Book 2. I thought so much about what I wanted the sequel to be about, and without giving away too many spoilers, The Life Below is really the most fitting title I could have picked! ;)
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I'm really proud of all the action scenes in the book, because that's a newer writing skillset for me. I didn't start out writing big action-packed scifi, but I've fallen in love with it! :) And I think this book shows my writing growth particularly in those scenes.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
"Finish your stories." It's so easy to start a book and then get distracted or discouraged, but the ONLY way to succeed as a writer is to finish what you start. It can be easy to get stuck rewriting Chapter One a zillion times (I've been there!!) but the most important thing is to keep moving forward.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
This is actually my favorite cover I've ever had! I'm obsessed with the gorgeous shades of red, the futuristic fonts, and the foil design. It's so eye-catching!
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2020?
Lobizona by my friend Romina Garber (author of the Zodiac series!) looks absolutely AMAZING!
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I'm going to be making appearances at book festivals nearly every weekend in March! At the same time, I'm hard at work writing a new book, which is currently slated for a December 2020 pub date. It's a big year! :)
The Life Below
By: Alexandra Monir
Release Date: February 18th, 2020
One winner will each receive a copy of The Life Below (Alexandra Monir) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
Alien stories are few and far between these days in YA, so I'm very happy to read this synopsis. The cover feels almost mystical, which makes me wonder if there will be a bit of a blending of sci-fi and fantasy.