Good morning/afternoon/evening/middle-of-the-night-cookie-eating-hour readers! Today I have here for you Theresa Kay, who wrote the fantabulous five-star-worthy Broken Skies.
I LOVED your book, Broken Skies! How would YOU summarize it, being the person who, uh, wrote it?
At its core, Broken Skies is about a broken girl finding the strength to face her fears so she can rescue the only family she has left. Yes, there’s a definite romance component to it as well, but it’s primarily Jax’s journey to discovering her own strength.
Jax is a lovely awesome kick-butt character, but she also has panic attacks, one aspect of her character I especially loved. Why did you decide, of all things, to give her panic attacks?
*I* didn’t decide anything. That was all Jax. When I was beginning to plan the story, I filled out a character interview someone had posted in my writing group. Basically, I answered the questions as Jax to help myself find out more about her. I got down to a question something along the lines of “what’s the worst thing you’ve ever done” and Jax piped in with: Well, there were those two guys I killed.
I was shocked. It wasn’t what I was expecting her to say, but it fit the personality I’d seen from her at that point and I had to figure out why. I found it especially interesting that she felt so much guilt over killing them and that played into her character a lot as well.
Ah, Jax. But enough about her. What’s your favorite thing about Lir?
I love how he’s almost as oblivious as Jax is about human emotions. It takes him a bit to figure out that Jax doesn’t have typical responses to things and I love the way he handles it. He’s a bit uptight (which is more a Lir thing than an E’rikon thing) and he’s easily unsettled so it’s always fun to see him embarrassed or confused by something Jax has done.
It’s hilarious to see him confused by Jax’s doings. Who was your favorite character to write?
I’m going to take Jax and Lir out of the running on this one. Besides them, I loved writing about Peter. He was a walk on character who just came into the scene and started chattering. At first I thought he was only important because he had a vehicle, but he became much more than that. Plus, Peter is the first person they encounter who is openly accepting of both Jax and Lir and also of their developing relationship. I’ve actually been toying with the idea of writing a short from Lir’s POV covering those few days he spent with Peter while Jax was delirious. What do you think? Would you want to read what they talked about?
That would be WONDERFUL, considering Peter talks about anything from cattle to his sneaker to his opinion on soup to the story of how he sewed this patch in his sleeve the other day… I think I’m already sobbing from laughter. What authors were you influenced by?
My earliest influence would probably be Stephen King. Current influences would include Maggie Steifvater, Tahereh Mafi, and AG Howard. I read A LOT (seriously, at least a couple books a week) and this has the potential to be a really long list, so I’ll just leave it at those three for now.
I’ve actually never read any of those authors (shame on me!). I have heard that you are a “Doctor Who” fan, though! I am a “Doctor Who” fan! *screams a little* Please take great care and careful consideration when I ask you (and do not be fooled by the subject of this question being utterly fictional): who was your favorite Doctor?
Hmm… this is a tough one. Just kidding. Ten is my favorite. No contest. I liked all of Ten’s companions, but I would have loved to see him with the Ponds. And I totally ship Meta-Crisis Ten and Rose.
Ten is one of my favorites, too! On that note, what made you want to write sci-fi?
I love writing stories with some sort of fantastical element: space battles, aliens, weird abilities, foreign planets… anything out of the ordinary. In fact, something like that is almost required for me to enjoy writing a story. I tried to write a contemporary romance once and… it didn’t go well. Magic and monsters kept trying to weasel their way into the story.
Ah, I understand you. I can enjoy books without aliens and dragons in them, but it’s always a bonus when you add them to the mix. Okay, and now the boring question which I ask all the authors I interview: what advice do you have for young/aspiring writers?
Give yourself permission to write garbage. All first drafts are crap, so don’t feel like everything has to be perfect right off the bat otherwise you’ll lose momentum. That’s why NaNoWriMo is such a great program, because it pushes you to get those words out and then worry about them later.
And finally, the question I think all Broken Skies readers have been looking for the answer to:
why can’t you just send us all Fractured Suns right now what can you tell us about Book #2, Fractured Suns?
Fractured Suns will pick up a couple months after the ending of Broken Skies. When it starts, Jax is living at Peter’s with Jace, Flint, and the other person who left the city with them (vagueness to avoid spoilers). When Jace sets off to do some trading, Rym shows up and pleads with Jax to return to the city where she’ll meet up with a very different Lir from the one she remembers.
The book will be partially from Lir’s POV (about 25%) and you’ll get to learn much more about the E’rikon, their society, and their abilities. There will also be quite a bit of Rym.
I want it now!
BONUS QUESTION: Can you give us any not-so-secret-anymore details about your fantabulous characters?
How about an exclusive teaser from Fractured Suns? (Contains SPOILERS for Broken Skies. Unedited and Subject to Change)
UM. WHAT?!?!? Theresa, you are officially my most favoritiest author ever. (And yes, I do say that to all the authors who send me exclusive excerpts of their work, if you’re wondering.)