Sunday, March 6, 2016

SST Interview with Ava Jae + Giveaway!


Beyond the RedTitle: Beyond the Red
Author: Ava Jae
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: March 1, 2016

Alien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimson deserts. She’s the first female ruler of her territory in generations, but her people are rioting and call for her violent younger twin brother to take the throne. Despite assassination attempts, a mounting uprising of nomadic human rebels, and pressure to find a mate to help her rule, she’s determined to protect her people from her brother’s would-be tyrannical rule.

Eros is a rebel soldier hated by aliens and human alike for being a half-blood. Yet that doesn’t stop him from defending his people, at least until Kora’s soldiers raze his camp and take him captive. He’s given an ultimatum: be an enslaved bodyguard to Kora, or be executed for his true identity—a secret kept even from him.
When Kora and Eros are framed for the attempted assassination of her betrothed, they flee. Their only chance of survival is to turn themselves into the high court, where revealing Eros’s secret could mean a swift public execution. But when they uncover a violent plot to end the human insurgency, they must find a way to work together to prevent genocide


1) Tell us something that most people don't know about you.

Hmm well, random fact: English is technically my second language! I learned Spanish before I learned English because my parents (who are of Cuban and Mexican descent) wanted me to learn Spanish. But as I grew up my family started using Spanish less and English more, so now I speak English wayyyy more fluently than Spanish. I actually forgot a *ton* of my Spanish, so at this point I can understand it decently and have native pronunciation, but my grammar and vocab are pretty atrocious. So.

2) Describe Beyond the Red in a tweet (140 characters or less).

An uprising on a distant planet threatens the reign of a teen alien queen.

3) I am so intrigued by the plot of Beyond the Red. Was there anything specific that helped inspire it?

Thank you! There were a couple sources, but James Cameron’s Avatar served as a major source of inspiration for Beyond the Red’s origin story. I was really fascinated by the idea of human/alien contact on another planet, but I asked myself what would happen if, when humans arrived on another planet with a native population, the humans were outgunned. Then after the invaders (humans) lose their position of power, I began asking myself what would happen to the survivors of the encounter who were left behind. Fast-forward many generations later, and we have the volatile situation of two species on one planet and Beyond the Red’s background.

4) Who was the most fun character to write?

Besides my mains, there’s a minor character named Gray who butchers a ton of idiomatic expressions, so that was a blast. Tweaking his language remains one of my favorite parts of revisions. :)

5) If you could trade places for a day with any of your characters, would you? Which would you pick?

Um...I don’t think I would trade with any of my characters. I won’t be specific about why because spoilers but yeah, I’m good right here, thanks. :D

6) It sounds like there will be a lot of action. Was it difficult or really fun writing action scenes?

Yes! There is definitely lots of action. I really enjoy writing action sequences, so it was a lot of fun for me. It can be challenging sometimes, but it’s one I have a blast tackling in my stories. :)

7) What was your favorite book growing up?

Can I pick a series? I’m going to pick a series and it’s going to be a surprise to absolutely no one: the Harry Potter series. I read the first four books, like, four times each and the rest twice and I grew up with those books. Harry Potter will always have a special place in my heart.

8) Who designed your cover? Because it is gorgeous!

Thank you! All the credit goes to Sarah Brody at Sky Pony—she did an amazing job! I couldn’t be happier. :)

9) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors trying to get published?

Don’t rush the process or put a deadline on your dream. I know the very real temptation firsthand of wanting to set a timeline of “I will be published by [age/# of years]” but the best thing you can do when you’re aspiring to be a published author is take your time to hone your craft. From starting my first book to Beyond the Red’s publication in March (which was my tenth manuscript) it’ll have been about ten years for me. I never imagined it was going to take me that long, but in hindsight I’m glad it did--there was so much I needed to learn between my first manuscript and Red and I really could only learn it by going through the process of writing and researching and querying over and over again.

Don’t rush the process. It’ll take you however long it takes you, and in the end every minute will be worth it.

10) And finally, where can we find you online?

Everywhere! I’m on Twitter, tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, and I have a writing blog.

Thanks for having me! :)


About the Author:
Ami Allen-Vath is a YA author living and writing along the shores of New Jersey. She loves great and terrible TV, ice cream, books, and vacations. Ami loathes cilantro, live birds, and when guys do cartoon impressions. Lars and Losers Like Us is her first novel.


And now for the giveaway!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for interviewing Ava as part of the SST!