I'm so pleased today to welcome authors Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner to the blog to answer a few questions about their outstanding YA science fiction novel, These Broken Stars. I read These Broken Stars a while back and fell madly in love with it, but due to crazy schedules on both sides, I'm just now getting this interview up and I'm so excited to share it with all of you! If you haven't had the chance to read These Broken Stars yet, I can't recommend it enough.
We don’t get to spend too much time on the Icarus before tragedy strikes, so our glimpse of the grandeur of her is fleeting. If you both were on-board as first-class guests, how would your days likely be spent?
Gosh, what wouldn’t we do? We’d hang out in the salon a little (like Tarver, we’d want to check out the books) and we’d want to explore the huge gardens, and the viewing decks where you can see the colours of hyperspace—imagine the Northern Lights—whirling past the glass dome. And then someone would work out we’re writers, and march us down to third-class where we belong!
Lilac and Tarver get off to a bit of a rocky start, each finding themselves stranded with someone who doesn’t particularly care for them. If in those early days they could have handpicked a companion from a different young adult novel to replace the one they were with, who would each of them have chosen?
Wow, that’s a tough question! Tarver probably would have picked someone tough and capable, maybe June from Marie Lu’s Legend series. When they first crashed, Lilac had no idea what she was in for, so she would’ve likely picked someone who would be better company, rather than someone competent. She would’ve enjoyed palling around with Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games, or Persis Blake from Across a Star-Swept Sea. (Though of course, Persis actually IS competent, she just hides it well!)
You both end up on the escape pod with Lilac and Tarver, crash landing with them on an unknown planet. What’s one quality or skill each of you possesses that would come in handy given your circumstances?
Amie: I don’t think we’d be anyone’s companion of choice, but I do know how to start a fire, so that’s something. If we were truly shipwrecked I’d be much more useful—I’ve been sailing since before I took my first steps.
Meg: I don’t run very fast, so if anything came after us it’d probably eat me before it’d eat any of the others. I imagine they’d find that pretty handy.
After enduring weeks in a survival situation like Lilac and Tarver’s, what is the first comfort food you would seek out upon being rescued?
Amie: Giant hamburger. I’ve done a lot of hiking, and that’s always one of two things I daydream about while I’m away from it all. The other is fresh, crunchy apples.
Meg: Korean-style fried chicken, and lots of chocolate afterward.
What is a favorite line from the book each of you has that was written by the other person?
Amie: There are so, so many things Meg wrote that are just beautiful and lyrical. It’s so hard to choose one! There’s one, though, that conjures up an image I adore:
Tarver lowers himself down again, arm circling my waist. His voice is soft and warm by my hear. “What is this place?”Meg: Amie’s pretty much hilarious, and that comes through in Tarver’s personality and not-so-hidden sense of snark. I still laugh at some of the things he says, despite having read them over dozens of times by now. One of my favorites happens very early on, when Tarver’s struggling with how difficult it is to drag Lilac through the woods. He asks if she wants to take a break, and here’s her reply:
I have no answer for him, and we watch the false moon in silence. For a dizzying moment I see us as if from above, a tiny lump in the blue-black sea of grass, nearly swallowed by the vastness of the plains.
She considers the question, then nods, reaching up to tuck her hair back where it belongs. “Where will I sit?”Thank you so much Amie and Meg!
Sit? Why, on this comfortable chaise lounge I’ve carried here for you in my pocket, Your Highness, so glad you asked.
I clamp my mouth shut, struggling not to say it aloud.
• • • • • • • • • • •
THESE BROKEN STARS
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.
Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.
Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?
Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.