When I received the email inviting me to join Emmy Laybourne’s blog tour for Sky on Fire, I had just finished reading the arc. I enjoyed the story and was thrilled to be a part of it. Even more so when I was able to send Emmy some questions for an interview.
But before we get to Emmy, let’s check out Sky on Fire, yes?
In this sequel to MONUMENT 14, the group of survivors, originally trapped together in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, has split in two. Most of the kids are making a desperate run on their recently repaired school bus for the Denver airport where they hope to reunite with their parents, be evacuated to safety, and save their dying friend.
But the world outside is dark and filled with dangerous chemicals that turn people into bloodthirsty monsters, and not all the kids were willing to get on the bus. Left behind in a sanctuary that has already been disturbed once, the remaining kids try to rebuild the community they lost. But when the issues are life and death, love and hate, who can you really trust?
Sounds good, right?
1. Where did the idea for Monument 14 and Sky on Fire come from?
I think the seed of the Monument 14 series comes from two of my great loves: survivalist planning and superstores! I love to wander the aisles of superstores, checking out the goods and seeing how I would set up camp in the store, if I had to.And I’ve always enjoyed “worst case scenario” thinking. It’s the worrier in me, but I’m always thinking of how I will save my kids lives if we’re in some terrible crisis…
I put those together and there was the central idea of Monument 14 — fourteen kids stranded in a superstore while civilization collapses.
2. What sort of research did you have to do?
Google makes it so easy for authors these days. It’s hard to imagine how different research must have been for authors before the internet. My habit is to write first, research later. If I let myself read too much, I end up changing the shape of the plot to accommodate the cool things I’ve learned. It’s better, for the books I’ve written, to write first and then go back and make sure everything works.
3. Was it easier for you to write from a boy’s POV?
Dean’s personality made it easy for me to write as him. It’s weird, but the character Dean was just there when I started writing the book. Maybe I found it easy to write as him because he, himself, is easy to know. He’s such a truthful, upright guy. He’s doing his best, and sometimes he fails. Maybe that’s what makes him so accessible.
4. Describe Monument 14 in 5 words.
Torque. Danger. Love. Blood. Choose.
5. What’s next for you?
Oooh, I’m torn between two ideas. One is a horror with a comic tone set on a cruise ship about the product launch of a new sweetener that goes terribly wrong. The other is a fantasy series about a girl who protects her divinely gifted brother from royals who seek to abuse his powers. What do you all think?! Help me pick!
Speed [ish] round:
1. What’s your go to guilty pleasure thing to eat?
Fresh blackberries. Oh my god, are they delicious!
2. What are you reading right now?
I just read “The Giver” for the first time. It broke my heart. I’d like to start something new, but I think I need a few days just to absorb it.
3. Who are your favorite swoony boys?
I will watch Ryan Gosling in anything. He has such intensity – he’s like a smoldering volcano! I’m also big on Matt Damon (who’s more my age). But truthfully, the swooniest guy I know is my own husband, Greg Podunovich. Most of my boyfriends before I met Greg were the intellectual type. They all looked different, tall, short, black, white – but they had one thing in common – none of them knew how to hang a shelf properly. They weren’t builders. Well, my husband is a real mountain man. He can build or fix or lift just about anything. Our 6 year old son boasts that his Dad can pick up a Smart car – and I actually think Greg could! There’s nothing more sexy than a guy in a toolbelt!
4. Are there any authors that you fangirl over?
Omigod yes!!!!! I met Lish McBride last summer (Hold Me Closer., Necromancer) and I was like a giddy goofball. I also revere writers Kristin Cashore, Shanon Hale and Laurie Halse Anderson. I will totally flip out if I get to meet them. I’d also give just about anything to meet novelists Kent Haruff, Tony Early and Ivan Doig. They’re not YA writers, but if you haven’t read them yet- get thee to a library post haste! Also, I met Anne Lamott once and I burst into tears. Nice. Very classy, right? If I ever see her again, I’ll probably do it again.
Huge thanks to Emmy for taking the time and Macmillan for the invitation!
Haven’t been able to pick up a copy of Monument 14 or Sky on Fire? I’ve got them for you. Well, I don’t have them, but I have people who do. :D Winner will receive the books directly from Macmillan.
Rules for the giveaway are on “terms and conditions” on the Rafflecopter widget.
Be sure to check out the previous blog stops on the tour for all sorts of fun stuff…
Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf
Book Haven Extraordinaire
Chick Loves Lit
Jean Book Nerd
Adventures of a Book Junkie