Tuesday, November 12, 2013

These Broken Stars Blog Tour + Giveaway
Interview with authors Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars blog tour is hosted by The Midnight Garden 
(Make sure you go and check out TMG's gorgeous new blog design.)

Scroll down, or find my review of These Broken Stars, HERE

From the moment I saw the magnetic cover for These Broken Stars, I was determined to get my hands on a copy. Then I started holding my breath that it would be as good as all those glowing rumors being spread about it. 

Thankfully, it IS. 

Now I'm excited and incredibly honored to be able to interview the authors of this spectacular co-authoring debut, Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner.

And don't miss the very bottom of this post for a GIVEAWAY.
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Welcome to Love is not a triangle, Amie and Meg!

Lauren: I’m fascinated by the concept that two authors living in different continents can combine their own ideas and writing styles into one book and make it coherent. You two succeeded with exclamation points!! I’d love for you to talk about how you achieved this feat. At your book signing at BEA you mentioned to me that one of you wrote Tarver’s voice and the other Lilac’s. I’m guessing having a character to focus on was helpful. But did you outline your story together ahead of time, or just pass chapters back and forth? What was easier and harder about co-authoring?

Amie and Meg: Thank you so much! We generally have a good idea about where we’re headed, but we definitely discover some of the story along the way. Amie takes primary responsibility for Tarver and Meg takes primary responsibility for Lilac, but by the time we’re done editing, we’ve both had our sticky fingers all over every chapter, and we genuinely don’t remember who wrote what! We pass the manuscript back and forth as we write, leaving comments and working on new chapters. As for what’s easy and hard—we think it’s ALL wonderful, and we love writing together! Our favorite part is probably that, being in different time zones, we each wake up to find a new chapter added to the book while we slept!

Lauren: I love hearing how much you enjoy writing together. Your mind meld has paid off spectacularly and seamlessly! Also, I'd like to take primary responsibility for Tarver too ;). 

Above you mention that you (mostly) plan your story ahead of time. In These Broken Stars you make some bold choices in what your characters face. I had several near heart attacks while reading. Do you purposefully try to be shocking when you write or did the story just happen that way? Have you ever had a plot idea and thought, “that is too much,” or “no way will that work!” 

As a caveat to that, do you think the genre of science fiction puts any restrictions on what you can imagine? Or, are you pretty much always thinking the sky’s the limit – or in this case, the galaxies?

Amie and Meg: Near heart attacks? Sorry! (Not sorry.) We were sort of aiming for that. We never aim to shock just for shock-value. That’s cheap, and if the reader isn’t truly emotionally engaged then it’s an easy thrill that fades out fast. We aim to pull the reader’s heart and mind into the story, so the twists and turns have a real impact. We love it when people tell us they couldn’t put These Broken Stars down!

Have we ever had an idea we thought was too much, or too far? Well, we discard plenty because they don’t serve the book, but we’ve never pulled back from something because we felt it went too far. We trust our readers.

We feel science fiction opens up endless possibilities, and the ideas are boundless. Sky’s definitely the limit! And maybe not even that, when you’ve got a spaceship….

Lauren: I'd say you 100% succeeded in that emotional connection. 

Let's talk a little about these characters. Lilac and Tarver are thrown together rather unexpectedly and immediately forced to rely on each other for survival. What’s one good quality that Tarver brings out of Lilac, and vice versa?

Amie and Meg: Oooh, good question! Lilac’s life before These Broken Stars might have been cushy, but it certainly wasn’t easy, and she’s been forced to put up walls to protect herself. Over the course of the story, Tarver definitely contributes to those coming down. As for what Lilac teaches Tarver, well—lots and lots of things, but one key lesson is definitely that assuming things about somebody because of their class in society is most unwise.

Lauren: Oh I love those two so much, especially that they come from such different backgrounds. Is there anything in These Broken Stars that you added because it came out of your research and you thought it was too interesting not to include? Conversely, is there anything you found when researching that you were unable to add, but wish it had fit into the story?

Amie and Meg: We learned SO much fun stuff researching this book. We read about physics, space travel, terraforming, dead bodies and checked out quite a few survivalist websites. We’re probably on a lot of watchlists. Even when a fact is cool, though, it has to earn its way in-it can only go in if it serves the story, not just because it tickled us! There are some awesome things we learned that we couldn’t quite fit in… but you might just spot them in books two and three, so we won’t give them away yet!

Lauren: All the research you did made the story feel very authentic. Maybe I'll ask that question again in the future then! 

I'm definitely looking forward to the next two books in the companion series. After finishing These Broken Stars, another blogger friend and I spent a while trying to figure out if we could guess the identity of the new MCs. Are you able to tell us anything at all about where we’re traveling next? Or how closely related the companions will be? i.e. will we get to see beloved/hated characters again?

Amie and Meg: Oooh, we love that you were trying to work out who comes next! Our next book is set on one of the newly settled planets, where a rebellion is in full swing. You’ll meet one of the soldiers and one of the rebels, who are forced to work together to uncover something that threatens both sides of the war. It miiiiight just be that you’ll see a few familiar faces passing through the story as well, and in fact there’s a tiny hint about one of the main characters in These Broken Stars!

Lauren: Now I need to re-read and try to figure out who is this character of which you speak.

This blog is called “Love is Not a Triangle," and I tend to talk about the subject of love triangles fairly frequently. I even rate them in my reviews. (If you’re wondering, These Broken Stars has a Love Triangle Factor rating of NONE). I also like to ask visiting authors their opinions on them. So love triangles: like them or loathe them? I won’t hold it against you if you say ‘like’.

Amie and Meg: We definitely have a rating of NONE. That’s what happens with a body count this high! We are neither for nor against love triangles—it depends on whether they’re well executed, necessary and work with the story.

Lauren: That's a fair answer. Also, yes, hard to have competition when you're stuck on an uninhabited planet with only one other person. 

I have three quick and very random questions to wrap our interview:

1) If you had to describe These Broken Stars using only color(s), what would it be? 

Aime and Meg: We have been informed that Lilac’s dress is the Pantone Color of 2013, so apparently our book is super fashionable. (We are not.) We’d probably say… midnight blue (the sky), silver (the stars) and green (the plains they cross).

Lauren: Wow. I had no idea there was a Pantone Color of the year. Clearly, I'm not that fashionable either. But I do love that green, and the combination of the colors you mentioned above. 

2) If Lilac and Tarver were shape-shifters, what animal forms would they take?

Amie and Meg: Tarver would be a wolf—handsome and super practical. Lilac would be a robin—a flash of color, and a lot hardier than you’d expect!

Lauren: I love those answers! But good thing they aren't shape shifters, because I'm not sure a wolf and a robin would coexist so well. 

3) Okay, one last question that's definitely relevant to this story: would you rather a) Eat nothing but protein bars for the rest of your life? or b) Wear the same outfit for the rest of your life?

Amie and Meg: Definitely same clothes. We’re writers, so we’re in our PJ pants half the time anyway. We might not even notice! Lilac and Tarver tell us in no uncertain terms how bad protein bars taste (they get stuck eating military rations), so we’d rather avoid that. We could never give up chocolate!

My husband and I play "would you rather" a lot, and I had a very difficult time answering this question. I think I might rather each protein bars than have to wear the same clothes forever. But giving up chocolate. Hmm. I'm not sure that's possible! Thankfully, that is not a choice I've been forced to make so far.  

Thank you so much for talking with me today!

Thank you so much for having us!

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A little more about Amie and Meg

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 the Skylark trilogy, currently lives in Asheville, NC, while Amie lives in Melbourne, Australia. Although they currently live apart, they are united by their love of space opera, road trips, and second breakfasts.

Visit the These Broken Stars website for the latest news on the series and follow the authors on Twitter at@AmieKaufman and @MeaganSpooner. You may also sign up for their newsletter as well! These Broken Stars will be available in North America on December 10, 2013.

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Follow the full blog tour:

Monday, 11/11            The Midnight Garden
World-Building for the Future 

Tuesday, 11/12            Love is Not a Triangle
Author Interview

Wednesday, 11/13     The Perpetual Page-Turner
Using Technology to Write with a Partner

Thursday, 11/14           Good Books and Good Wine
Audiobook Sample + Narrator Interview

Friday, 11/15                The Starry-Eyed Revue
Character Interview with Tarver    


Monday, 11/18             Cuddlebuggery 
Author Interview       

Tuesday, 11/19            Books With Bite     
Amie & Meg's Favorite Things   

Wednesday, 11/20       Xpresso Reads
Establishing Characters with Role-Playing    

Thursday, 11/21           Great Imaginations
Co-Authoring Books    

Friday, 11/22                Nawanda Files  
Lilac's Gorgeous Dress: A Look at These Broken Stars' Cover Art  

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Giveaway
Enter to win one of 5 shiny finished hardcovers or a Grand Prize of an autographed/annotated These Broken Stars galley, along with a limited edition necklace + TBS swag! 

Open to US and Canadian residents aged 18 and up, or 13 and up with parental permission. See entry form for complete details. 

Thank you Disney - Hyperion and authors for this generous giveaway!



61 comments:

  1. Wonderful interview, ladies! I have to admit I was wholly invested in this story, which caused for stressful reading at times (you know what scenes I'm talking about), but I love that they weren't thrown in for cheap thrill but rather made the story as a whole much more meaningful. I'm also thrilled that love triangles aren't in the foreseeable future and I cannot wait to get my hands on the companion novel!(: And if I had to choose, I'd rather wear the same clothes than eat protein bars. ;) Thankfully, we don't have to do both! Fantastic interview questions and answers, ladies - thanks for sharing, Lauren!

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  2. I didn't know that they lived in separate countries! Man, that seems even harder. I absolutely love this interview because I loved the book so much. I respect the authors so much more now that I know they didn't just add cheap thrills in, they truly wanted their readers invested. And yay for no love triangles! And yay for a minuscule sneak peek of the next one! And just yay in general, because it was a fantastic post. Great job, ladies, and thanks for sharing, Lauren :)

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  3. With that kind of research, you're most definitely on some watchlists. NSA might even be pulling your phone records as you read this...not to make you paranoid or anything. Unless, of course, that makes you better writers...

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  4. Hey, we play Would You Rather too! The rounds always start with the same question: Would you rather be eaten by a shark or an alligator?

    It sounds even more gruesome in writing. *shudder* Pretty much my whole family (ten of us) choose the shark. Good thing we live in the midwest!

    I'm just barely managing to wait until this comes out without going crazy. I've had my eye on it for a long time. I l love space ships!

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  5. "We’re probably on a lot of watchlists."

    *snort* Love it:) I adored this book, it just blew me away and I'm always impressed when two authors can write such a seamless story! Also, yes to wearing pajamas most of the time, I do that as well since I too work from home, and I could never give up chocolate either. Give me my sweatpants and I will gladly wear them forever as long as you don't take away my M&Ms.

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  6. What a fantastic interview! I love learning more about the process and the "guts" so to speak of a book and it's very interesting reading about how the joint effort for the book writing went!
    I just can't wait till I get my hands on this book!

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  7. YES. No love triangles!! Also, I am greatly pleased that this series is not the traditional YA trilogy. Every new thing I learn about this series just makes me that much more excited to read it!

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  8. I was one of the few completely put off by the cover. But the rave reviews have made me reconsider it. I'm looking forward to it now. There's not enough YA scifi out there.

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  9. I really like how Lilac and Tarver seem to complement each other. I know that.. um.. lots of people love the characters, but not necessarily the world (at least from what I've gathered from the reviews). I agree with combining facts and research into a story--you can't really put everything into a novel, it has to make sense and feel natural. But I do love that these ladies made their research fun for them :) Oh, I didn't realize this is a companion series O.o That's cool! Perhaps I will give this one a try then. I don't really want to start that many new series you know.. Such a lovely interview, girls! Thanks so much for sharing, love!

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  10. I read a digital ARC of this book and I LOVE IT.

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  11. Like the sound of the underlying creepiness to the story. Love to read series, you know that although you may have finished one book you have the next to look forward too.

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  12. Oh, I hope we see Lilac and Tarver in future books! I can't let go of them quite yet. I love that these are companion novels, though, there's nothing that peeves me more than a story that gets dragged out for a series commitment. This way we get to revisit our favorites while knowing their story arcs are complete.

    As always, a great interview, Lauren--thanks for being on the tour!

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  13. Great interview! I always wondered about joint author-books and what/how authors write their part. It's awesome to have another person to bounce around ideas.

    I'm so excited to read the book and see how Amie and Meg were able to world-build.

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  15. Great interview and GORGEOUS cover!

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  16. PRETTY DRESS! That was a fab interview ladies. I really can't wait to read this beauty.

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  17. There are so many great reviews of this novel, I can't wait to read it. It sounds like a thoughtfully constructed scifi with a relationship at the center.

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  18. Ugggggh. I loved this book so much. So very much. I can't WAIT to fall in love with a new couple!

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  19. This book sounds AMAZING! I really can't wait to read it and I'm so intrigued by the collaborative writing process.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  20. Awesome interview and review! This book sounds fantastic and I've heard nothing but great things about it. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!!

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  21. The research behind this sounds great, it will add definition and reality to this fantasy book in a unusual way!

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  22. YAY--awesome interview! I loved all the questions you posed, Lauren! I think that the question about researching is my fave (hello, research nerd over here!) and nice attempt at getting them to spill the identity of book #2's main characters:) I guess we shall have to keep speculating...

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  24. I cant wait to read this!!!!!! I love reading and can't wait to swoon at this great sounding young romance! Thank you Amie and Meg for creating such a captivating work of art. I look forward to add this title to my book list (its a long list). Gook luck, Ill be looking for more titles under your names in the future.

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  25. Good questions and I definitely enjoyed the answers. Would you rather questions can get some inspired answer for certain.

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    1. Oh, and I'm inspired about the series because I love Sci-Fi, opposites attract, and survival stories.

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  26. I can't wait to read this book it sounds so interesting!

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  27. Spectacular interview, Lauren! I loved reading the responses; you can tell right away that these two friends have great chemistry together by reading them. This interview combined with your review of These Broken Stars has me falling off my chair with excitement! I just NEED this book! NEED IT!

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  28. Great interview. I'm even more intrigued by this book. I love plot twists so I can't wait to read it!

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  29. How neat that they each focused on one character. I bet that made it a bit easier to write when they could focus solely on either Lilac or Tarver. Also, I'm always down for when my authors give me near heart attacks! As long as they make it okay in the end anyway :)

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  30. I am really excited and I've been dying too get my hands for this book because I never read a book about in space before and about two totally strangers stuck in a planet it looks and sounds awesome! Thanks for the great giveaway!

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  31. I've already read the book (and am completely obsessed with it), so I cannot get enough of this tour. Awesome interview, thank you!

    PS Your blog name is quite adorable!

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  32. This series looks like it will be amazing!
    Love the cover.

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  33. I've already read the book and I'm really exited to own a copy when it's released. It reminded me of one of my favorite book, Under the never sky by Veronica Rossi and it also reminded me of Lost and to be, it doesn't get better than that....

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  34. It's really crazy how you guys managed to write a book so far away from each other! Still, I've been hearing great things! Can't wait to read it!

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  35. Great interview! I'm always fascinated when two authors can write a book together. It seems like it would be harder, but if you have the right writing partner, I imagine it's quite fun. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  36. Adored the interview! I haven't read that many books that have two authors, but seeing them both merge together always spark my interest. Thanks for the giveaway! Sci-fi is one of my favourite genres to read.

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  37. GREAT INTERVIEW. I just can't get out of this world, I am obsessed with Lilac and Tarver after spending last nigh with them. UGH. I need more

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  38. Awesome interview! Now I feel like I need to re-read the book and see if I can spot the new MC haha. Also, totally appreciate the love triangle factor of 0 ;) Thanks for sharing!

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  39. I have been wanting to read this book, it looks truly amazing! It has been on my to read list on Goodreads for awhile. Thank you for the amazing giveaway!!!

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  40. I can't wait to read this book! I have it coming up this week and I'm even happier that it's a complete story (with companion novels instead of a regular series)

    Wendy - The Midnight Garden has been telling me all about Tarver :-)

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  41. Lilac and Tarver sound like great characters! I can't wait to read about them!!!

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  42. I like protein bars as much as the next person (especially if they're chocolate flavor), but I couldn't eat them for 2 days, let alone the rest of my life! I have to say, though, I'm pretty sure my clothes would fall apart long before forever arrived :P

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  43. I really love that this is a collab work. Having the two authors each write for one of the main characters has to add a bit of realness to it, kind of like having two actors play two people instead of one jumping back and forth. :)

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  44. I am so freaking excited to read this book. I cannot wait until I can get my hands on it.

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  47. That's a cute interview! I like all their answers, which really fit the book and the characters. I DO know about Pantone, thanks to my excessive reality show guilty pleasure. Thank you, Tim Gunn! ;)

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  49. What a great interview (: made me even more excited to read the book!

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  50. Such a great interview. I can't wait to read this book.

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  51. I loved this interview so much! I can't wait to finally read the book!

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  52. Dying to read the book because I can just feel the love I will have for this love story and the excitement I have for such a unique plot.

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  53. Awesome interview! I love a good author mind meld, as you say. Yet another reason I can't wait to read this story with an amazing cover!

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