Beth Revis is the author of the fantastic new novel, Across the Universe, which is our January Book of the Month! She was nice enough to take time out for a quick Q&A.
Amy and Elder’s life on the Godspeed is incredibly fascinating – where did the idea for the story come from?
The entire story revolves around the ending. I had an idea for that twisty end, and everything else—the setting, the characters, the plot—all of it came about as a way to make that ending happen.
During the early planning stages of the story who came first – Amy or Elder?
Elder. Originally, the first chapter was told in his point of view, and his voice was the easiest for me to write at first. I had to go through rather a lot of revision and rewriting with Amy—it took me awhile to figure her out, but once I had her voice down, she actually became the easier character to write.
There’s a lot of technical info about the way the ship works as well as biology, genes, space travel seen in the book, you must’ve done a lot of research before writing the book?
I had to research mostly in terms of what we don’t have and why we don’t have it. For example, I had to research why cryogenic freezing doesn’t work now (the cell walls burst when frozen) and then invent something that would make it work (the infamous “blue goo” Amy encounters in Chapter 1). In some ways, this made things easier for me—since it’s fiction, I got to do a lot of creative inventing to make the science work, and could use my imagination rather than facts.
During the Plague the ship was cut off from communications with Earth – was that someone’s doing or a computer malfunction?
Oh dear….I’m afraid I’m not going to tell you. That is something that will be addressed in the future books, though!
Most of the reviews on other blogs and on Goodreads are 4 or 5 star ratings, are you surprised by the warm reception?
Happily so! It’s so terrifying to send creative work out into the world. Even though I’m fully aware that writing and reading is an entirely subjective thing, there’s so much of me in my work that to see someone not like it feels like a personal insult when I know logically it isn’t. The wonderful reception AtU has received so far has made me thrilled beyond belief and just confirmed my idea that I have the very best readers in the whole world.
I’m sure it’s still top secret at this stage but is there anything you can share about what we can expect from the next book?
I can only say that at least 2 things you think are true from the first book….are actually lies.
And lastly, let’s finish on a fun one….crunchy or smooth peanut butter? (Would they have that on Godspeed?)
Crunchy for me! Peanuts are a crop that would be easy (and necessary) for the residents to grow, so I imagine there’s lots of peanut butter around Godspeed—and since peanut butter is so easy to make, I’d say that they can have it either way they want, crunchy or smooth!
There’s still time to enter our Across the Universe giveaway too, click here to enter.