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Mar 21, 2011

Author Interview: Beth Revis


Beth Revis’ Debut Novel broke onto the New York Times Bestseller list the week it hit shelves. Having read it, I can understand why. It is amazing.

This North Carolina girl is a world traveler and former English teacher who’s YA Science fiction novel Across the Universe takes us to the confines of a spaceship on its voyage across the universe to find a new Earth - and all the problems this journey causes for the spaceship's inhabitants.


Once again, that’s enough from me! Here’s the interview:

ABK: Who is your favorite all-time protagonist and why?
BR: I think Edmund from The Chronicles of Narnia. He's flawed--and he has to live with his mistakes. I think what did it for me was in PRINCE CASPIAN, when the others get their gifts from Santa Claus back out of the treasury, and he doesn't have a gift. Or perhaps in VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER, when he tells Eustace that he understands what it's like to have done something horrible and be forced to live with yourself.

ABK: Same question as above, but for your favorite antagonist.
BR: That would be the Operative from the movie SERENITY. I love, love, love that he actually has a very legitimate reason for doing what he's doing. He thinks absolutely that he's doing the right thing--and if you listen to him, you sort of agree with him. His motivation is crystal clear and logical.

ABK: What inspired your first novel (published or unpublished), what got you started?
BR: My very first novel (unpublished) was inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia (I'm very much a fangirl for the series). When I was very very little and reading the books for the first time, I remember that sense of wonder when I realized that the story was about more than lions and witches and wardrobes. It was like a puzzle to find meaning. And I wanted to make my own puzzle.

ABK: What book are you reading, right now?
BR: I just finished BLACK HOLE SUN by David McInnis Gill last night, and I'm starting THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin tonight!

ABK: Was “landing” your agent what you expected it to be?
BR: Not at all! First of all, it took much longer than I expected--I wrote ten novels over ten years before the eleventh novel in the eleventh year won me an agent. By that time, agents had become this near-mythical creature, but in reality they are very nice people!

ABK: What is the most difficult part of the writing process for you?
BR: Revising. I don't plan as I write, so I have to revise heavily, and it's always excruciating.

ABK: Do you think writing about space is the result of your love of travel and exotic places?
BR: Yes!! The idea of being trapped in one area--whether something literally trapping, like a prison, or figuratively trapping, like living in a small town, terrifies me. I got through life living in an oppressively small town by knowing that there was more out there in the world, that I could one day leave. So I can understand the desire to leave for a journey across the universe rather than across the world...and I can also understand how terrifyingly claustrophobic it would be to be trapped in the space ship during the journey.

ABK: What did it feel like, when you found out people not only loved your book (as they should) but it had made it’s way on to the NYT Best Seller list?
BR: Surreal and dumbfounded! I was sitting at the kitchen table, paying bills when I heard the news. My husband came home about a half hour later, and I ran out the door and yelled, "You're taking me out for dinner tonight!"

ABK: If the YA Mafia DID Exist, would you be a consigliere? Or an underboss?
BR: LOL, I wouldn't be cool enough to be a member!!

ABK: Do you have any advice you’d like to share with burgeoning authors?

BR: When given the choice between doing something new or sitting at home writing, do the new thing. Never turn down the chance to live, to experience, to feel rather than to sit at home and write.



Grab her book at your local bookstore or at Amazon.com. You won’t be disappointed.

For more from Beth, visit her website, blog or tumbler.

4 comments:

  1. "You're taking me out for dinner tonight!" I think that would have been me as well!

    I loved that she talked about the claustrophobia of the spaceship. That aspect really haunted me in Across the Universe. Especially the part when the girl yells about the sky that never ends. It really got me thinking!

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  2. I've been surprised lately by some YA fiction that has plenty for us "older" readers as well! I love Science Fiction, and I'll have to go check this one out!

    I also did a double take with the cover, noticing the space and stars before I recognized the faces!

    A question though... novel #11 sold, what happened to the first 10? Were they in any way related to "Across the Universe"?

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  3. Hi ambethinverness! The first ten books I wrote had nothing at all to do with ACROSS THE UNIVERSE--they were all YA, but many different topics, styles, etc.

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  4. Beth! Burns high school misses you! And I love your book

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