Indie Superstars with the Author of The Elite Trials Series + Giveaway (US only)
Welcome to YA Books Central's "Indie Superstars" column. This event will spotlight the best and brightest of the indie community.
You don’t want to miss out on these talented authors
This week we’re interviewing Becky Moynihan, author of The Elite Trials series
Welcome to YABC, Becky!
Caitlin Haines: You just released the finale in The Elite Trials trilogy, and now the first in a new series is about to release. How has that transition been?
Becky: The transition has been surprisingly smooth! I've known the characters from both series for over two years now so it hasn't taken too much effort to switch between them. Plus the first two books in the Genesis Crystal Saga (new series) were written before I finished my Elite Trials series, so releasing them so soon afterward has been fairly easy. I do miss my Elite Trials characters though. I've been writing their stories for almost three years, after all. They're my friends!
Caitlin: Can you tell us more about The Elite Trials?
Becky: It's a YA Dystopian Romance set 100 years after an apocalyptic war. Walled cities have been built to protect people from dangerous clans and mutated beasts that roam the land. The story follows Lune as she tries to escape the city the only way she knows how: by competing in three deadly Trials. But everything changes when a boy from her past arrives. The series is a mix of fantasy and sci-fi with a supernatural bend. There's lots of action, emotional moments, and romance, plus some paranormal romance undertones just for fun!
Caitlin: I have read quite a few dystopians, but there is something so unique about this world you have created. Where did the idea come from?
Becky: The Hunger Games and Divergent series definitely inspired me, plus many other dystopian and post-apocalyptic series I've read. I wanted the world to be more recognizable like Divergent's walled-in Chicago but I wanted mine to be set in nature, pretty yet sometimes deadly. So I researched castles within the United States and discovered the Biltmore Estate in NC which just happens to be a few hours from me. For "research" purposes, I visited the largest "house" in America, plus Asheville and the surrounding mountains. The entire area is so incredibly beautiful and I tried my best to capture it in my writing!
Caitlin: In the first book, Reactive, we learn about the three Trials. If you had to choose, which would you participate in?
Becky: Since I have quite a bit of experience riding horses, I'd definitely choose Rasa Rowe, the charger race. I might actually survive that one. The other two, not so much, lol!
Caitlin: There are so many loveable characters in this series, were any inspired by real people?
Becky: I joke with my best friend that she is Asher, Lune's best friend. He's sweet and caring, empathetic and a great listener, just like she is! The rest are a mix of me and other people I know, for better or worse. Lune has some of my best and worst traits. I'm even a little bit of Bren and Iris. I definitely think the characters came to life when I gave them traits from real people, but they ultimately grew personalities of their own and there wasn't much I could do to change that!
Caitlin: In the series, we eventually learn that there are different abilities. Which of the abilities would you like to have yourself?
Becky: Oh man, that's tough. I'd probably choose the one that gives me the least anxiety, ha! So maybe I'd choose Sensor. Maybe. I think. Lol.
Caitlin: Can you tell us a little about your upcoming book, Dawn till Dusk?
Becky: It's an Upper YA/NA Urban Fantasy Romance set in a modern day, parallel universe filled with Fae, Shapeshifters, and humans. Fae, who are usually the superior race, don't rule this world though. Shifters do. The story is a dual POV switching between the two main characters, Tarik and Reagan. These natural-born enemies must learn to work together if they are to unravel a sinister plot. Their world is dark and contains some darker themes, so this series may not be appropriate for a younger audience.
Caitlin: Was it difficult switching from dystopian to urban fantasy?
Becky: Not at all! Both are set in modern day, have a "parallel universe" feel, and give off dystopian fantasy vibes. Since I added supernatural elements to my dystopian series, it wasn't a stretch to write about magic and supernatural creatures in the urban fantasy series. The main difference is world building and my cowriter and I definitely spent the most time creating a believable urban fantasy world.
Caitlin: What made you decide to cowrite this series? What was that process like?
Becky: My cowriter Tyffany approached me a couple years ago and asked if I'd be interested in collaborating with her. Since we have similar writing styles and similar taste in books, I thought, Hey, why not? At the time, I was going through some pretty heavy turmoil in my life, and cowriting really helped get me through that. Writing a book can be a lonely process, so having someone to bounce ideas off of and encourage you to keep going is great! Before you jump into cowriting though, ask yourself these things: can I make compromises when it comes to the story and characters? Can I openly communicate and make joint decisions about every aspect of the writing process? I'm sure not all cowriters have the same structure as Tyffany and I do, but you'll need to start thinking of the book(s) as "ours" not "mine." A perk in our cowritten experience is that we only have to write every other chapter!
Caitlin: Do you have any other books in the works that you can tell us about (other than the sequel to Dawn till Dusk)?
Becky: Besides my co-written series which will include 4 books, I have a little project underway that will remain secret for now. Not for long though. I might announce it in June, so stay tuned! And I've also started drafting an upper YA paranormal romance series that will be a solo project. I probably won't talk about that much though for a couple months. I've also received many requests for a spin-off Elite Trials series or novella, so I'm hoping to do that as well!
Author Bio: Becky Moynihan likes to write fantasy and sci-fi with a supernatural bend, plus heavy romantic subplots filled with all the best tropes. She's the award-winning author of The Elite Trials trilogy (a YA dystopian romance), and co-author of the Genesis Crystal Saga (an NA urban fantasy series) with author Tyffany Hackett. She lives in central North Carolina with her family.
AN INESCAPABLE CITY. THREE DEADLY TRIALS. ONE WAY OUT.
Lune Tatum, adopted daughter of the Supreme Elite, has lived within her father's walled city for eleven years.
But she wants out.
Except she can't leave, and not because of the clans and mutated beasts that roam beyond the impenetrable, electrified walls protecting her life. Her plan has always been to win the Elite Trials and earn Title of Choice--her only chance at freedom. And the only way to return home to her mother.
Then a boy from her past arrives on her eighteenth birthday. His presence threatens Lune's carefully laid plans and exposes memories she's desperate to forget. He can't be trusted. Especially as he possesses dangerous secrets. And what he reveals could ruin the chance at freedom she's willing to die for.
One (1) winner will receive a paperback edition of Reactive!