Author Of The Week: Chat with Unearthed (Amie Kaufman/Meagan Spooner), Plus Giveaway!!
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 Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner, YABC's Author's of the Week!!
AMIE KAUFMAN and MEAGAN SPOONER are longtime friends and sometime flatmates who have traveled the world (but not yet the galaxy), covering every continent between them. They are sure outer space is only a matter of time. Meagan, who is also the author of Hunted and the Skylark trilogy, currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina. Amie, who is the co-author of The Illuminae Files, lives in Melbourne, Australia. Although they currently live apart, they are united by their love of space opera, road trips, and second breakfasts. You can find them online at amiekaufman.com and meaganspooner.com, and on Twitter at @AmieKaufman and @MeaganSpooner.
When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution humanity has been waiting for. The Undying's advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and their message leads to the planet Gaia, a treasure trove waiting to be explored.
For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an ancient alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study... as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don't loot everything first. Despite their opposing reasons for smuggling themselves onto the alien planet's surface, they're both desperate to uncover the riches hidden in the Undying temples. Beset by rival scavenger gangs, Jules and Mia form a fragile alliance... but both are keeping secrets that make trust nearly impossible.
As they race to decode the ancient messages, Jules and Mia must navigate the traps and trials within the Undying temples and stay one step ahead of the scavvers on their heels. They came to Gaia certain that they had far more to fear from their fellow humans than the ancient beings whose mysteries they're trying to unravel. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more Jules and Mia start to feel like their presence in the temple is part of a grand design--one that could spell the end of the human race...
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
The seed of this book came out of an Indiana Jones marathon we watched together when we were touring for This Shattered World. We found it on TV while we were on a hotel room one night, and spent the next few days talking about how much we love those movies.
After tour, we ended up at Meg’s house, where she was showing Amie the latest Tomb Raider game—we both love all things action and archaeology, so she knew it was a slam dunk that Amie would want to see it.
And a little after that, we were eating chocolate and talking, and the conversation went something like this:
“Why aren’t there YA books like Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider?”
“That would be amazing! Someone should write them, so we can read them!”
“Hey, you know…”
“… oh yeah! We’re writers…”
“WE COULD PUT THEM IN SPACE.”
And a book was born.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
Whaaaaat? How are we meant to answer that? Impossible. We refuse! Honestly, we love both our main characters for different reasons—we love Jules’s nerdery and idealism, Mia’s badass practicality, we love… we could go on. So instead, maybe we’ll tell you to keep an eye out for a side character called Javier. We dig him pretty hard.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel definitely began first, but the title showed up shortly after we’d begun writing. We love our titles to have more than one meaning – These Broken Stars was about unfamiliar constellations, and about changing the fate that was already laid down for you. Unearthed is a reference to archaeology, of course, but also a reference to the fact that the book’s set on an alien planet. See what we did there?
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
Okay, this question is cruel too. How are we supposed to choose? It’s always suspenseful, waiting to see what your cover’s going to look like, and authors have far less say than many people imagine. We were hoping the cover would convey a kind of ‘Indiana Jones’ or ‘Tomb Raider’ vibe, but we had no idea we were going to see art like this. We love the color palate, the amazing sense of 3D you get from the pit below the bridge, the way the bridge itself is made up of the title. Basically, we both shrieked out loud when we saw the cover. We adore it.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
Meg’s next book will be the follow-up to her Beauty and the Beast retelling, Hunted – we can’t tell you too much about it yet, but it’s going to be a classic retelling in the same vein. Amie’s got Obsidio coming next, the final book in the Illuminae Files, and then her solo middle-grade debut, a fantasy called Ice Wolves! And of course we’re both hard at work on the sequel to Unearthed.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Jules and Mia came pretty smoothly for us—we wanted to make sure they were both three-dimensional, so he wasn’t just a brainiac with zero practical experience (though admittedly, he doesn’t have much) and she wasn’t just a tough-talking girl full of street-smarts with no book-learnin’. They’re both far more complex than that. But we really enjoyed thinking about them, talking them over, and building them together.
For us, the secondary characters are often more of a challenge, because we don’t get to spend much time with them, but we still need to portray them as fully-realized people with their own stories. So we spent a lot of time thinking about just the right touches to bring to the other people you meet over the course of the books—whether that’s via flashback, or in person at gunpoint—to bring them to life.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Drafting’s a joy, especially when you’re co-authoring. You have that wonderful experience of handing the book over each day, and getting it back with more than there was before! You don’t have to make everything perfect yet, because you know Future Amie and Future Meg will be along to handle that stuff.
When you’re revising, you ARE Future Amie and Future Meg, so that makes things considerably trickier.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Meg’s superpower is telling you in the first sixty seconds of a detective show who the killer is. Amie’s is talking people into things they really didn’t plan on doing.
by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Hyperion | On Sale January 9, 2018
Hardcover ISBN: 9781484758052| $17.99 | $18.99 Can. | 336 pages | Ages 14 and Up
Ebook ISBN: 9781368012294
One winner will receive a copy of Unearthed (Amie Kaufman/Meagan Spooner) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
This is one of my top 2018 reads! I love the cover and the synopsis is just so exciting. Plus, the contrast of a scholar vs. scavenger is too irresistible.
I'm totally sold on this book -- I first heard about it on PageHabit's website last week (I have a different type of book box subscription there), but after first sight and some basic research, I could see a must-read. Plus, I've really loved the (too little) I've read of Amie's work (and still shamefully less -- none -- of Ms. Spooner's! As for the cover, I like how the "electric blue" draws the eye in and conveys excitment, but keeping so much black reminds the reader to expect danger and suspense! Cheers, Kara S
I'm so excited for more scifi and I live Amie Kaufman's books and I'm excited to read this co-authored work (I missed their previous series.)
The cover is very eye-catching. The synopsis draws you in for more. I have enjoyed other books by the authors and I am excited for this book.