Friday, July 13, 2012

Interview With Meagan Spooner author of Skylark

Skylark by Meagan Spooner
Vis in magia, in vita vi. In magic there is power, and in power, life.
For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley waited for the day when her Resource would be harvested and she would finally be an adult. After the harvest she expected a small role in the regular, orderly operation of the City within the Wall. She expected to do her part to maintain the refuge for the last survivors of the Wars. She expected to be a tiny cog in the larger clockwork of the city.
Lark did not expect to become the City's power supply.
For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley believed in a lie. Now she must escape the only world she's ever known...or face a fate more unimaginable than death.

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Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She's traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there's a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Northern Virginia, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there's no telling how long she'll stay there.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.

She is the author of SKYLARK, coming out August 1 from Carolrhoda Lab/Lerner Books. She is also the co-author of THESE BROKEN STARS, forthcoming from Disney-Hyperion in Fall 2013. 

interview with Blkosiner's Book Blog

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.
Lark has never seen the sky--but now she must fight her way across a twisted wilderness in search of freedom and a place she can be safe.

--How did you get the idea for the story?
I get a lot of my ideas while moving or traveling in some way. The first fragments of SKYLARK came to me while I was driving in my car, and listening to something on NPR where people were discussing the energy crisis. I started thinking about alternative forms of energy, and being a total fantasy geek, my mind went to “magic” almost straight away. From there this world took shape where magic was literally power, the energy source powering technology. Once I had my world, the concept for Lark came almost fully formed. And the plot came tumbling after.
--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
Kris. He’s charming and funny, and not too proud to stuff his face when he’s hungry (he particularly likes cake). Now, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to hang out with Oren, because hoo boy, would I ever like to hang out with Oren. But Oren’s table manners leave quite a bit to be desired, and I’m pretty sure he’d insist on killing whatever we ate himself.
--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?
The first book in my other series comes out Fall 2013 from Disney-Hyperion. It’s a science fiction romance co-written with Amie Kaufman, titled THESE BROKEN STARS. Here’s a little teaser!
Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen never should have met. She’s the socialite daughter of the richest man in the galaxy, and he’s a decorated soldier fighting back rebellions on newly terraformed planets. But when the vast luxury spaceliner they’re both traveling on crashes, they find themselves thrown together as the two sole survivors on an alien planet…
I’ve also got a Beauty and the Beast retelling that I started while I queried SKYLARK, intending it to be my next project if SKYLARK didn’t sell. Two three-book deals later, and I’m still just trying to find time to one day finish writing that book!
--What book(s) is your book’s “cousin”? (Similar set-up or style)
I think the premise probably has a lot in common with Veronica Rossi’s UNDER THE NEVER SKY, which came out earlier this year. Girl in a dome, escapes, meets up with wild boy, hilarity ensues. (That last was sarcasm, in case you couldn’t tell.) But in truth they’re very different, with different stories and focuses. Aside from that, I’ve seen comparisons drawn between SKYLARK and anything from THE GOLDEN COMPASS, THE WIZARD OF OZ, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, and THE HUNGER GAMES. So take from that strange assortment of comp titles what you will.
--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
Recent favorites include FIRE by Kristin Cashore and UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi. All-time favorites include fantasy classics like BEAUTY by Robin McKinley, The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede, pretty much anything by Diana Wynne Jones. I also adore THE GOLDEN COMPASS by Philip Pullman, and STARDUST by Neil Gaiman.
I don’t have much time to read these days—it takes me ages to finish books, even books I’m really enjoying. I used to read in bed, but now when I hit the sack I’m asleep within minutes whether I’m trying to read or not. So I usually have to set aside time during the day where I just read, and don’t do anything else.

--If a fairy godmother told you could be put into the world of your favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?
Originally I was going to say THE GOLDEN COMPASS or one of the Dragonriders of Pern books, simply because I’d love to have a daemon or a dragon companion. But the thing is, you’d have to come back after 24 hours, and I think leaving those things behind would be really sad. So I think instead I’ll say the world of UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld. Now, I know that’s kind of strange. But the day-to-day life of the Pretties in that world is just partying all the time and having fun and being gorgeous and totally awesome. I think for 24 hours, that’d be a lot of fun. But I wouldn’t want to stay there any longer than that.

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?
I need quiet to write. Well—I like quiet to write. To be honest, I can write anywhere, at any time, on anything (laptop, PC, notebook, toilet paper). You kind of develop that ability whether you like it or not, because conditions aren’t always perfect when you need to get some work done. But my ideal writing situation is sitting at my own computer with the keyboard I’m used to, in silence, with a cup of tea. Music just distracts me!
I do, however, listen to a lot of soundtracks to get myself in the mood to write. While writing SKYLARK, if I was driving home in my car, I’d put on the Mononoke Hime soundtrack, and by the time I’d get home my brain would already be halfway immersed in a dark, shadowy forest place.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

I’d like to be able to shapeshift. And I don’t mean like turn into a wolf once a month or turn into mist, Dracula-style. I want full-on Mystique-level shapeshifting abilities, where I can look like anyone whenever I want.

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
I play guitar and sing, though I don’t do either of those very well—only well enough to entertain myself! I also play a lot of video games, though lately I haven’t gotten much time in. I do a lot of logging in to a game and then sitting there not playing while I answer emails in another window. Other than that, my biggest vice is TV! I’ve been a huge fan of awesome TV ever since I started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer in high school. Though I’m horribly behind on pretty much every show, I avoid spoilers like the plague and then catch up marathon-style whenever I can set aside a chunk of time for it.
--What is one thing you would tell your 15 year old self?
Chill, honey. You’re not good enough to get published yet, so stop worrying. It’ll happen when you’re good and ready! Well… it’ll happen, at any rate.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
So far you guys have been blowing me away with your support and love for my book. Seriously, getting tweets and emails from people who’ve read and enjoyed SKYLARK is always the highlight of my day. The highlight of my WEEK. And I’m just so grateful to be part of such an awesome writing and reading community!

Lightning round: this or that?
Vanilla or chocolate?
Edward or Jacob?
I haven’t read much of the Twilight series, but from my vague understanding, Jacob. The mopey and broody of Edward makes my teeth ache.
Hockey or soccer?
Ebook or paper?
Paper. (But I do have an e-reader for reading manuscripts.)
Salty or sweet?
Both, please. (Chocolate-covered pretzels, anyone?)
Beach or mountains?
Phone call or email?
Early bird or night owl?
Early bird.
Dog or cat?
Messy or neat?
Ninjas or pirates?
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  1. I love Skylark! Oren stole my heart! Thanks Brandi for the awesome interview and Thank you Meagan for Skylark, Awesome novel!!!

  2. Having heard several good things about this book it was nice to learn more about the author, thanks to you both.

  3. I've been seeing this around and it really seems awesome! Happy reading.

  4. The more interviews and guest posts I read about/by Meagan Spooner the more I want to read Skylark. What an inspiring woman!


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