Author Of The Week: Author Chat with Akemi Dawn Bowman (The Infinity Courts), Plus Giveaway! ~ (INT)
Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!
Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!
We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!
Introducing Akemi Dawn Bowman, YABC's Author of the Week!!
Akemi Dawn Bowman is a critically-acclaimed author who writes across genres. Her novels have received multiple accolades and award nominations, and her debut novel, Starfish, was a William C. Morris Award Finalist. She has a BA in social sciences from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and currently lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. She overthinks everything, including this bio. You can find Akemi on Instagram @AkemiDawnBowman.
Meet The Infinity Courts!
Eighteen-year-old Nami Miyamoto is certain her life is just beginning. She has a great family, just graduated high school, and is on her way to a party where her entire class is waiting for her—including, most importantly, the boy she’s been in love with for years.
The only problem? She’s murdered before she gets there.
When Nami wakes up, she learns she’s in a place called Infinity, where human consciousness goes when physical bodies die. She quickly discovers that Ophelia, a virtual assistant widely used by humans on Earth, has taken over the afterlife and is now posing as a queen, forcing humans into servitude the way she’d been forced to serve in the real world. Even worse, Ophelia is inching closer and closer to accomplishing her grand plans of eradicating human existence once and for all.
As Nami works with a team of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment, she is forced to reckon with her past, her future, and what it is that truly makes us human.
From award-winning author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes an incisive, action-packed tale that explores big questions about technology, grief, love, and humanity.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I have always loved fantasy, sci-fi, and Jane Austen, and this story is basically my way of combining the three. It is truly the most “book of my nerdy heart” novel I will probably ever write. It’s what I desperately wanted to read as a teen, especially with having a biracial character at the front and center of such an elaborate adventure. There was a lot of joy that went into writing this one, even if readers can’t always tell between the drama and fight scenes!
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
I love different things about each character, but I have a special place in my heart for Nami. She so badly wants to do the right thing, but she’s constantly questioning what that is, and striving for peace even when everyone around her insists that isn’t possible. Some might call her naïve, but I see her as an optimist with a lot of hope, and a genuine willingness to listen to people who’ve had a different life experience than her.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The idea came first, but I sold this book on partial, so it wasn’t full finished by the time I needed to come up with the title. “The Infinity Courts” was actually a placeholder for a while, because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go with something that was just one word. But it ended up sticking, and now I think it fits the book perfectly.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I love the ending, but for obvious spoiler reasons I can’t really go into detail. But it was one of the first scenes I imagined, and it was kind of the inspiration for the whole book. The final chapters were some of the only ones that didn’t really change throughout the editing process, because the way the story unfolded was so intentional, and it ended in a place that felt exactly right for the first book in this series.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I am obsessed with the art, which was done by the amazing Casey Weldon. The cover designer, Laura Eckes, put everything together so perfectly. But I think a lot of people are going to love the foil on the finished cover. It is SO shiny, and all of the orbs seem to glow in real life. It is genuinely stunning, and I feel very lucky to have such an amazing design team!
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2021?
GEARBREAKERS by Zoe Hana Mikuta looks absolutely incredible, as does THE ONES WE’RE MEANT TO FIND by Joan He. Both are YA sci-fi too, which makes my heart especially happy! I’m also really looking forward to Nicki Pau Preto’s WINGS OF SHADOW, which is the final book in her amazing CROWN OF FEATHERS trilogy.
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2020?
I was super honored to blurb Traci Chee’s WE ARE NOT FREE, and I still think about that book often. It’s one of those books I just feel like everyone should read, because the voices it brings to life are so important and deserve to be heard.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I am currently working on edits for the sequel to THE INFINITY COURTS, as well as drafting my second middle-grade book. It’s about a haunted house and a family mystery, and I’m really excited about it. I pitched it as Coraline meets Pan’s Labyrinth, which are two of my favorites!
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Probably Nami in the sequel. She is dealing with a lot, and has some conflicting feelings after the events of book one. Trying to streamline a character’s thoughts when they’re going through a rough time is always a challenge. Most humans have way more than one thought going on, or one “problem” they’re dealing with at a time. Writers have to craft that in a way that ties everything back to a bigger arc, while avoiding everything feeling too chaotic. But I also never want to strip away all the messy, complicated emotions that humans feel. For me, that’s what makes them feel real, and complex. So there’s definitely a balance there to find!
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Revising, 100%. Drafting just makes me think I’m the worst writer in the world. Revising makes me think “Okay, maybe I’m not terrible at this,” which is the closest I’ll probably ever get to being able to compliment myself haha.
The Infinity Courts
By: Akemi Dawn Bowman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: April 6th, 2021
One winner will receive a signed copy of The Infinity Courts (Akemi Dawn Bowman) ~ (INT)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
The contrast in the lighting on the cover art is so beautiful, and the book itself presents such an interesting, unique concept!