Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Interview: Mindee Arnett + Avalon


I'm super excited today to welcome young adult author Mindee Arnett back to the blog to answer a few questions about her new sci-fi release, Avalon. I fell a little in love with Mindee after reading least year's The Nightmare Affair, and Avalon only further solidified that love. She writes fantastic characters and hugely entertaining stories, so if you haven't had a chance to read either of her books I hope you add them to your lists immediately!

If you could spend one day aboard a fictional spacecraft from any book, movie or TV show, which one would top your list?

Ah! I love this question. I would definitely have to go with the TARDIS from Doctor Who. It can go anywhere in space and time. Plus is has a swimming pool, a library, racquet ball court. Heck, it probably has stables in there somewhere. That makes it impossible to beat.

Jeth is our protagonist, so we get glimpses of his thoughts and feelings toward every member of his elite team of thieves. What’s one word each member of the team might use to describe him?

Okay, I’m going to cheat with this one and provide phrases.

Lizzie: “butthead but I love him”
Celeste: “handsome but not my type”
Flynn: “can kick my ass but I’m okay with that”
Shady: “thinks he can kick my ass but I’d like to see him try”
Milton: “hard of hearing and thinking”

Of course, you could really add “but I love him” to all of these phrases, because Jeth’s crew definitely does.  

You’ve joined the crew aboard Avalon and are hovering just outside the boundary for the Belgrave Quadrant. What’s the last thought running through your head as you cross into it?

Is there any way to leave a trail of bread crumbs in space?

There’s some pretty fabulous futuristic technology in this book. What gadget from Jeth’s world do you wish existed in ours?

Metatech all the way. I know, of course, that faster than light travel is impossible, but if it were, could you imagine what we might learn and discover out there in the big wide universe? So often in our modern world it feels as if there’s nothing new under the sun, but that would all change if we could travel through space without it taking multiple lifetimes.

Jeth is clearly a very capable team leader, staying cool and calm even when his mission seems like it might be headed south. Celeste works closest with him in the field, so she must have witnessed an episode or two where Jeth wasn’t quite as together as he is when we meet him. Does she have a funny and/or embarrassing Jeth moment she can share with us?

Celeste definitely does! More like repeat offenders. The truth is Jeth was very clumsy at fifteen when they first started working together. He just hadn’t grown into his body. So early on, Celeste dreaded anytime she had to hand him something on the sly. He had a tendency to drop it. Oh, and she is extremely grateful that none of their jobs ever required them to dance. Her feet wouldn’t have survived. Fortunately, at 17 Jeth has grown into himself and is much slicker.

Let’s say Jeth and his crew grew up in today’s world rather than their world of intergalactic space travel. Obviously they wouldn’t be able to pilot various spacecrafts, so who would you guess might accumulate the largest number of traffic tickets or moving violations?

I think Jeth and Celeste would be tied. They both love to go fast.

For the entire crew, but particularly Jeth, Avalon is more than a ship; she’s a vital member of the team and a character unto herself. Even though she’s inanimate, how might Jeth describe her personality?

Jeth would describe her as steadfast. It’s an old, kind of hokey term, but also true. Avalon is like his noble steed that will carry him safely through any battle. She’s the Silver to his Lone Ranger, the Black to his Alec, the Artax to his Atreyu. Minus the drowning in the Swamps of Sadness thing, of course. At least in book 1. Book 2 however…joking…mostly…mwhahahaha!

*The mere mention of Artax in this interview had me sobbing via email to Mindee. I can't help it, okay? I simply cannot deal with that horse sinking in the swamp! *curls into a fetal ball*

As always, thanks for such a superb interview! Truly a highlight :)

*Thank you so much, Mindee!

• • • • • • • • • • • 

AVALON


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.



• • • • • • • • • • •

MINDEE ARNETT



Mindee Arnett lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats. She’s addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space. She has far more dreams than nightmares. 

36 comments:

  1. I want to know about that tech now

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    1. It's a fascinating piece of tech:)

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  2. Jeth is definitely stedfast. Love his character and I can totally see him as that awkward, coltish boy -- he still has a lot of those characteristics, though he's growing into his body.

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    1. I just adored Jeth Mary! I can definitely see him in his awkward phase when he was younger though, it just makes me love him all the more.

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  3. I didn't enjoy this book very much, but I did really like these questions you asked, Jenny. I especially loved the question you asked about what Jeth's friends think of him. Love the answer!
    Thanks for sharing, Jenny!

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    1. Sorry it wasn't for you Nick! So glad you enjoyed the interview though:)

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  4. Okay I really need to watch Doctor Who, I have heard so much about it I just need to find old episodes!

    This one looks so good and I am normally not a fan of sci fi but, I can't help it, I want to try this one. Maybe I should start with the prequel and see how it goes from there.

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    1. I'm not normally a sci-fi person either Ali, but I've read a couple lately that have been fantastic, so I'm quickly becoming a fan:)

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  5. Jeth sounds quite the character! I'm eager to meet him and his crew. :)

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    1. I really loved Jeth and his team Rummanah, I hope you get a chance to meet them soon!

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  6. I never get tired of looking at that cover. ;) I wasn't able to really get into this and abandoned it early on, but if the series shapes up to be rather good then you can count me in. This was such an entertaining and amusing interview, Jenny, as all of yours are, so thanks for sharing!(:

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    1. Isn't it gorgeous? I just love how simple yet intricate it is:) Glad you enjoyed the interview!

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  7. I had fun reading Avalon, and especially enjoyed all the sci-fi elements, world-building, and twisty plots in it. Especially the Belgrave Quadrant- so mysterious. Great interview questions, Jenny. I love the ones where you ask Mindee about Celeste, who was one of my favorite characters.

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    1. I did too Kim! I'm a huge fan of all Mindee's books and can't wait for whatever she writes next:)

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  8. I read this book and thought it was a very interesting read. Love the all the answers. I would love to be able to get on the Star Trek spacecraft!

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    1. I've never seen Doctor Who, but I have to say based on Mindee's answer, I'd have to give that a whirl. first Then I'll board the Star Trek ship with you:)

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  9. Jenny dear, you've are a journalist in heart! I cannot but enjoy every of your interview and you always ask amazing questions. Anyhow I cannot wait to read it as it seems like something truly interesting. Great post, Jenny :)

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    1. Thank you Tanja! I have fun coming up with questions and, of course, reading the answers:) Hope you give Avalon a try!

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  10. To be honest the premise doesn't really catch me...but after reading that interview I am so tempted to give this one a go!

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    1. YAY! I hope you add it to your list Melissa!

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  11. Mindee is so mean! I was all *whew* in that last q&a when she said minus the drowning... then evil laughed at us all! *shakes fist* DON'T DO THAT TO ME! *Joins Jenny in sobbing ball in the corner*

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  12. I've been interested in this one anyway, but after that interview I'm kind of dying to read it!

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  13. Oh yes that totally sucked when Atreau sank in the swamp. I would like to be on board the Enterprise... not the Shatner one but either the NG or the new one with the totally hot Chris Pine as Kirk! I really want to read this one. I love space books!

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    1. I always had to fast forward through that seen with Artax Heidi. I couldn't watch him sink. His little white face and his big doe eyes and.... *sobs*

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  14. Avalon is on my wishlist and I enjoyed the interview.I am loving this space and science fiction trend in new releases. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. I'm becoming quite the fan of sci-fi myself Kim, definitely looking for more like this one:)

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  15. Ahh yes, the TARDIS is a fabulous choice! I think I'd choose that too, because I'd want to add time to the mix. Artax!!! *sobs with you* Wonderful interview, I love the questions!

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    1. Can we all enter some kind of Artax support group? I feel like it might be necessary....

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  16. Loved this book so much :) And yes those Metatech's are insanely intriguing ... heheh!

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  17. I'd go with Enterprise, most likely, but TARDIS is a fantastic choice too! Jenny, your questions kick butt as usual. Traffic tickets? :D
    I have a copy of Avalon right here, I just need to find the time to actually read it. So many of my friends loved it, I'm confident I will too. It's sci-fi, what's not to like?

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  18. Wait ... wth .. I'm an idiot - lol. I never even realized that the author is also wrote The Nightmare Affair. Wow I'm lame. Great interview, and thanks for setting me straight. :D

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  19. You always do such great interviews, Jenny--I wanted to read this book before, but now I'm even more excited! The characters sound great, and the technology sounds super interesting. My coblogger really liked AVALON too, so I definitely need to bump it up my list.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  20. You write the best interviews! They're always so thoughtful and fun. I need to meet this Jeth character. I also need to watch Dr. Who sometime, since I've never seen it ever. I think I'm going to wait and read this duet as a pair, but you've definitely made me excited about it.

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  21. I loved all the characters and I thought the idea of the space-travel that they discussed in the novel and the drives that helped them "jump" through space was original and well thought out. I also loved how the characters didn't just fall upon one another with the romance.

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