Hi everyone! 🙂 Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Suzanne van Rooyen, author of the upcoming NA sci-fi novel SCARDUST!
In which an ex-juvenile delinquent’s dream of becoming an astronaut gets derailed when he finds a beat-up amnesiac in the Texas desert, and is forced to confront a painful truth that could shatter both his dream of Mars and his heart.
I’m so glad I got the chance to interview you, Suzanne! Tell me one cool/crazy thing that makes your book unique.
There’s a lot going on in my book, but maybe what makes it a bit different is that the main character comes from a tiny, rural town in Panhandle Texas and dreams of being an astronaut. My MC Raleigh isn’t your typical NASA-employee to be and yet he has the temerity to make his dreams a reality… if he can overcome all the obstacles in his way.
Why new adult speculative fiction?
The speculative fiction part is easy, it’s what I usually write. I love the freedom that comes from crafting new worlds even if they’re built on the foundation of our own. I really enjoy conjuring new technologies and posing those ‘what ifs.’ The new adult part happened accidentally I guess, when I realized that the subject matter and voices of my characters were getting too old to be considered young adult. But my characters are still very much trying to find their places in the world and struggling to come to terms with who they are, thus making the book new adult.
What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
Revision. Staring at a blank page is extremely intimidating, but I love reworking, rewriting, and revising a first draft. Somehow having something to work with makes the process more fun and less stressful even if that first draft is pretty damn awful.
What’s your favorite book?
This is impossible to answer! I love so many and so many different ones for so many different reasons. I think Lost Souls by Poppy Z Brite will always be one of my favourites. I also adore The Sandman graphic novels by Neil Gaiman and the original The Crow graphic novel by James O’Barr. Other books that have had an indelible effect on my life include Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel.
What’s one book you wish you’d written, and why?
Hm… tricky question. I really love Coda by Emma Trevayne and totally envy the dystopian world she created where music was used as a weapon against the people. I thought it was a brilliant idea and very well executed.
Tell me your favorite fictional place. I know I have quite a few!
Geez, these questions don’t get any easier 😛 I love the Elvish cities of Middle Earth and would love to hang out in Rivendell or Lothlorien. I also think I’d enjoy spending some time in Shannara (bounces up and down for the TV series!). I guess my favourite places tend to involve elves… Oh, and Thisby from Maggie Stiefvater’s Scorpio Races – flesh-eating horses aside – the place sounds magical and whimsical.
What’s one place in the real world you’d love to visit?
Just one!? You’re killing me. I’d have to say the Galapagos Islands. They’re so unique and still relatively untainted by human influence, so I’d love to do some eco-tourism there, especially some scuba diving. I also just really want to sit on an island somewhere in the sun staring at a crystal blue sea with one of those drinks that comes with a tiny umbrella in my hand.
Jessica: Think you’ve got the right idea here! Sounds like a great trip to me! 🙂
What are you most excited about for your 2016 release?
Scardust is a sci-fi book but it also deals with some very heavy issues, and issues not often seen in YA or NA, never mind in speculative fiction. I’m nervous but also excited to see how people receive the story. I’m hoping my book will open up discussion for some of these issues which are too often, and sadly, considered taboo.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Suzanne is the author of the YA novels THE OTHER ME and I HEART ROBOT, as well as the forthcoming NA novel SCARDUST. A tattooed storyteller from South Africa, Suzanne currently lives in Sweden and is busy making friends with the ghosts of her Viking ancestors. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When she grows up, she wants to be an elf – until then, she spends her time (when not writing) wall climbing, buying far too many books, and entertaining her shiba inu, Lego.