Beth Revis was kind enough to answer a few questions for us. Her AWESOMELY AMAZING debut novel, Across the Universe, is coming from Razorbill/Penguin in Spring 2011. A former high-school English teacher, Beth can’t help but blog about writing, grammar, and publishing at Writing it Out. She is the founder of the new popular dystopian blog, the League of Extraordinary Writers and blows off steam by trying to come up with something witty in 140 characters or less, lusting after books on GoodReads, or wasting time on Facebook. [Taken from Beth's website.]
How did you become interested in writing a work of science fiction?
That's what fit the story I had in mind! I didn't intend to write a science fiction--I intended to write a story where X and Y happened, and the sci fi setting was perfect for the story. In short: the story came first, then the space ship.
I’ve seen you describe your book as science fiction for people who don’t like science fiction. Did you do that intentionally?
Nope! One reason I don't read much adult sci fi is because it's bogged down (imo) with scientific details and facts. My setting serves my story--not the other way around. So while there IS science, I only incorporate as much as is necessary to the story.
Who are some of your favorite sci-fi authors? What books would you recommend to read for those just breaking into the genre?
Orson Scott Card is a perennial favorite; I also really loved THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO by Patrick Ness, THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX by Mary Pearson, and several others. I'd definitely start with their works if you're new to the genre!
Did your experiences as a teacher give you perspective as an author? In what way?
Being a teacher made me a better person--more empathetic, more aware of others' (especially teens') problems and triumphs, and more aware of how to keep someone's attention. In these ways, teaching made me a better writer.
Did you have any teachers that influenced you in your writing?
My tenth grade teacher, Ms. Washburn, was great because she didn't accept crap and wasn't afraid to push me to do better. Several elementary teachers, including Mrs. Pearson, Mrs. Oliver, and Mrs Yancy (5th, 4th, and 3rd grades) were awesome because they actually incorporated creative writing classes into their curriculum.