I was so excited to get an email about the Nexus blog tour and jumped at the chance to host a date! Not only do I get to host a date, I got to put together a Q&A post for Sasha and Lindsay (I’m still pinching myself). I hope you enjoy it! My review of Nexus will follow shortly.
1. For those who don’t know already, can you tell us where the inspiration for the books came from?
S: We are both space nerds. We love sci-fi, action and a whole lot of epicness! So instantly, we knew what we wanted to write. Friendship and our love for space were both huge motivations for us to write The Androma Saga. We wanted to create a book where girls could be friends without turning against each other. We also just wanted to have a space opera with a diverse cast of characters like they do on Firefly and Star Wars. Sci-Fi is dominated by men and it isn’t very popular in YA, so we wanted to take a leap of faith, and show readers what we got!
2. The Androma Saga was originally a self-published 60 page novella. Was expanding it always on the cards, or brought on by the positive response from readers?
S: YES! We were always going to write the full story, just release it in parts. But then we submitted the book to publishers after hitting #1 on the NYT list and BAM! We finished the full book in a traditional hardback form.
L- We always wanted to write the whole thing, we just didn’t expect such an amazing response from the community! And once the first novella came out, we decided to give readers the entire book as a whole, and I’m so glad that we did!!
3. Did the writing process differ for book two, and if so, how?
S: For sure. Every book is written a wee bit differently, no matter if you try to do it or not. Although Zenith was written in a tighter turnaround time, Nexus was more of a longterm uphill battle, for the better. We really had to rip I apart and rewrite it to make it what it is today, a better and tighter story that has a worthwhile ending. Also, a huge difference was for Zenith, we wrote on top of each others writing but for Nexus, we each took a few characters each and wrote 4-5 chapters from each POV then would switch.
L- We had SO much more time to get it right! That was a super awesome blessing, especially because I was pregnant (and then had a newborn) through the writing process of book two!
4. The books are told from multiple points of view, were they co-written, or did you write for specific povs?
Going off what we said in the last question, we pretty much wrote these books with an equal stake in each character, with a few exceptions.
S: Lindsay was the mastermind behind Klarens POV in book 1. Originally, we didn’t have her as a POV but added her in later. Thank the godstars for Lindsay because It added all of cool dimension to the book. For book 2, Lindsay came up with an epic addition to Valen’s storyline. In book 1, he was my baby and in book 2, he switched to Lindsay’s in such a unique way. I’m just really proud of Lindsay and her creativity with last minute creations!
L- We write on top of each other!
5. Do you have a favourite character from the books and why?
S: Nor has always been mine. I love creating a character with many levels of motivation that can be seen as bad or good, depending on who he reader is and how they rationalize the characters decisions to do what they do. From the outside, Nor is the “villain” but throughout the series, we see her motivations reveal themselves. I think we did a good job plunging our readers into the murky area between good and evil as they read Nor’s POV. How they emerge from that grayness? Guess you need to tell me!
L- I will always have a place in my heart for Androma, because I love a reluctant heroine. But in NEXUS, I love Valen’s storyline. It’s dark, and it’s sad…and also beautiful, in some ways.
6. Now for some fan casting. If you could, who would you choose to play the lead roles in Zenith/Nexus?
S: EVERYONE FROM THE CAST OF “THE 100” (!!!!)
Eliza – Andi
Bob – Dex
L- Lol…I always just picture the cast of the 100 when it comes to this duology!
7. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
S: YOU AREN’T A PERFECT WRITER. Let me explain: As hard as it seems, you need to be open to criticism and critiques, they will help you grow as an author. We always seem to strive for perfection, sometimes we see our books as “perfect” after the first draft. Its great to feel that way, but still get another set of eyes to look at it. Another struggle is writers who get fed up because even after multiple drafts, it still isn’t perfect. But what you need to know is that it will never be perfect. WHICH IS NORMAL! You will always want to change something, but thats why you should pass it off to someone else. They will give you a solid list of changes. Edit the book with those changes in mind and you’ll know when it’s ready. Just don’t strive for perfection, no author is perfect. Strive for pride and happiness in your work. Flaws included.
L- I love this question, because people always come to me saying, “I want to be a writer someday!” I ask them, “Well, have you written something already?” When they respond with a yes, I tell them that they’re already a writer. That passion is what fuels the ones who want to become a *published* writer, and they’ve got to carry that into the future. Read a TON. Write a TON. Let other people read your work, and be open to criticism on that work. It is always hard to share a bit of your heart and soul, but worth it in the end, because it helps you find growth.
8. With the duology coming to a close, what’s next?
S: I’m working on an urban folklore fantasy novel called Project Red (no the official title). You can follow my progress on it over on its IG page: @Projectredbook 🙂
L- A new single release for me, (stay tuned on news!!) about outlaw girls and alien horses.. and a lot of dark magic and mayhem.
9. Do you have any book recommendations for the inevitable post Nexus slump?
S: THE CHOSEN by Taran Matharu! So. Good. Its about a group of kids who suddenly disappear, just to be transported to another world and from there, things get really EPIC. It has lost history, dinosaurs, an *amazing* cast of characters and an ancient, unknown evil who is playing puppeteer.
L- I’m listening to the audiobook of A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC right now, and it’s fantastic!!
I hope you enjoyed reading this Q&A, both Zenith and Nexus are available now so definitely pick them up asap! Keep an eye for my review too!