Today I'm excited to have Mindee Arnett for Sophomore Spotlight, here to chat with me about her sophomore release, Avalon, out tomorrow!
by Balzer + Bray.
A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.
Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.
Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.
Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon's cult hit show Firefly.
Sounds pretty epic, right? Please welcome Mindee to give a little more insight into the book!
J: Describe your sophomore novel, AVALON, in 5 words or less.
M: Teenage spaceship thieves.
J: Right to the point... and I love what the point is! That really sounds so cool. What drew you to go in a very different direction from THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR, a contemporary fantasy, for AVALON, a space sci-fi thriller?
M: A lot of what drew me was the idea that it was different. I find it a lot easier to work on things in parallel when there’s an easy distinction between the two. Mostly, however, I wrote Avalon because—as any debut author will tell you—there’s a huge amount of waiting involved for your first book to come out. Writing a story during that downtime just made the most sense to me.
J: What was your favourite part about working with space as a setting? What was the most difficult?
M: My favorite was having a very broad outer setting (the vast expanse of space) but with a very small, closed-in inner setting (the constricted insides of a spaceship). The vast majority of Avalon takes place a board various spaceships, and I loved that feeling of having nowhere to go. The most difficult part was definitely the science. It’s not like magic, where I can kind of set the rules or break them as I chose. In a sci-fi I have to adhere to the rules, or at the very least, conventions of the genre, such as faster-than-lightspeed travel, gravity drives, etc.
J: Interesting! I've never really thought about space as a setting that way but you're right; on one hand it's so open and free, but on the other you're still stuck inside your spaceship. How did the journey for AVALON differ from that for your debut?
M: In some ways it was very similar, especially the business side of it. I signed my contracts, waited a long time for my edit letter, got to fangirl over cover comps, and so on. From an editorial sense, the journey was very different. No two editors are alike. I adore both of my editors equally, but they vary in how they give feedback. I had a blast with Avalon. Everything has been pure joy.
J: If you could introduce one of your characters from AVALON to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
M: Oh, what a fun question! I think it would be fun to have Flynn, Avalon’s mechanic, meet Arthur Dent from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I imagine the conversation—particularly in any time of crisis—would be pretty funny.
J: The zombie apocalypse is coming and you have to choose one character from AVALON to help you survive it. Who would you choose and why?
M: I would choose Sierra, which is a character we meet a little while into the book. She is both brainy and good with a gun. So lots of headshots wouldn’t be a problem, and she could probably devise a way to cure the darn things.
J: I like her already! She sounds fantastic. In keeping with our theme here, are there any other sophomore releases you've either loved recently or are looking forward to?
M: I really enjoyed Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. It’s a fantastic story and the second book was masterfully written. It was surprising and complicated, and I can’t wait for the conclusion.
J: Can you share anything about your next project?
M: Right now I’m working on edits for the sequel to Avalon. After that it’ll be the third book in the Nightmare series. I do have two other projects in the pre-writing stage, a YA high fantasy and another YA paranormal.
J: Ooh, lots on the go. Exciting! Thank you very much, Mindee!
M: Thanks for a great interview!
Mindee has kindly offered up two swag packs for Avalon to help celebrate her sophomore release. One is open to residents of the US/Canada and one internationally.
Some Rules (aka the not so fun but important part):
~ This giveaway is open Internationally.
~ Must be 13 or older to enter.
~ Winners will be chosen randomly and contacted via email. The winners have 48 hours to respond to my email, otherwise they forfeit their prize and I will choose another winner, who must abide by the same rules.
~ Neither Mindee nor I are responsible for lost or damaged packages.
~ No cheating! I have the right to disqualify entries as I see fit.
~ By entering the giveaway, you are agreeing to these rules.
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