Without further ado, here is my interview!
Hi Audrey and Krystal! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. Can either (or each!) of you describe Our Dark Stars in 10 words or less?
Krystal: Artificial Intelligence, Forbidden Friendships, Epic Space Battles, War, Betrayal!
Audrey: Sleeping Beauty, Slavery, Tolerance, Space, Forgiveness.
Our Dark Stars is told from two different POVs. How did you work together on the writing process? Did each of you handle one point of view, or did you work together on both POVs?
Krystal: Audrey and I sat outside a hotel room in Nashville with a box of wine and worked for a few hours on the details of the story, the whys and hows and what fors every story needs before writing can begin. Once we had the history and characters nailed down, she drafted each chapter, and I would go behind her and flesh everything out, from science stuff to description, to motivations and such. We talk pretty much every day on the phone, so if something major changed, we'd discuss it, or if she hit a roadblock in the drafting process, we'd work it out. It helps that we're close friends! <3
Audrey: What Krystal said! We work well together because we think alike, and we’re both comfortable killing our darlings! So if Krystal rewrote something or changed something, I didn’t take it personally because I trust her as an editor, writer, and storyteller. Also, we both related to different characters! She gravitated toward Will’s POV and I toward Talia's, which helped balance things out.
Both of you are accomplished authors who have both published books before Our Dark Stars. Why did you decide to co-author this go around?
Krystal: She made me do it. :-)
Audrey: Guilty as charged! I totally bugged Krystal until she caved and decided to co-author with me. At the time, writing this book together was a hard decision, because she was super busy with editing and I was slammed with series I needed to finish. But we both adored the story enough to take time out of our insane schedules and make it work!
How did you two meet, and how did Our Dark Stars come to fruition?
Krystal: Audrey and I met through Blaze Publishing. I acquired Shadow Fall, and through the process of editing and prepping for launch, we became best buds. No, really, like we talk every day, whether by phone or hangouts or text or gif wars. The idea for Our Dark Stars came from Audrey, but the story came to fruition through the above-mentioned Nashville hotel room and box of wine.
Audrey: Krystal and I met through her publishing company, but we bonded over our shared love of dogs, wine, and books. Plus, we’re a lot alike, so I feel like we’ve known each other for years. And Our Dark Stars came to fruition pretty quickly. It started as a basic idea, Sleeping Beauty in Space, and then evolved in a hotel room at a book conference! From there, we talked on the phone and fleshed out the outline enough to start working on it.
What was the planning process like for Our Dark Stars?
Audrey: We started with story beats and made an outline inside a hotel room, then fleshed it out during phone calls over a month-long period. But a lot of the small details didn’t come up until we actually started writing the story.
Throughout Our Dark Stars there is a theme of slavery, whether mocks are enslaved or humans are. What kind of research did you do to ensure that your depiction of slavery in Our Dark Stars seemed as realistic and convincing?
Audrey: I think Krystal and I both researched what we could on slavery and then implemented the idea into the book in a way that, hopefully, seems organic to the story.
Your book has LGBTQ+ rep (yay!) As you were planning this book, did both of you know you wanted a character from the LGBTQ+ community, or did it just happen? If you don’t mind sharing, what are your thoughts on the “We Need Diverse Books” movement in YA literature?
Krystal: We always knew Leo was part of the LGBTQ community, and he's one of our favorite characters (was absolutely the most fun to write/flesh out). He's loyal, smart, and a total bad ass. When we were in the planning stages, it was hard to keep him from stealing Will's spotlight as the main character, but I think we accomplished it well. ;-) And as an editor and writer, I absolutely agree that we need diverse books in ya literature. We're surrounded by diversity everywhere, so why should that not exist in what we read?
Audrey: What Krystal said! Writing diverse characters are important to both Krystal and me. We also agreed to stay away from the stereotypical gay male who's weak and effeminate, because in real life, gay men are just as three-dimensional and diverse as straight men, but we tend to see them portrayed as one type on the page.
With the technological advances we have today, such as Sofia the Robot, do you think this world both have you created is feasible?
Krystal: Artificial Intelligence? Psh! Have you had a conversation with Alexa lately? It's pretty amazing. And it's everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. Do I think we might build mocks to do our work for us? I think we already are. So, yes, it's feasible!
Audrey: Absolutely! Technology is exponential, so what we see today as far as A.I. will be unrecognizable in, say, one-hundred years. There’s a reason some of the smartest scientific minds of the twenty-first century say A.I. is the biggest threat to humanity’s existence.
Last but not least, I’d love to hear about each of your upcoming projects! Plus, is a sequel for Our Dark Stars in the works, or is it a standalone novel? Once again, thank you so much for stopping by and congrats on Our Dark Stars!
Krystal: Well...I'm, umm, perpetually saying I'm going to finish DON'T HANG UP, which is a YA Thriller that follows the life of Julia Bramble a year after her boyfriend was murdered. It's raw and emotional, but also edge-of-your-seat suspenseful, and I only have a few thousand words left to write. I spend most of my time editing at Blaze Publishing, though, so expect a ton of great books out of us this year, and the rest of the time I'm badgering Audrey to meet me in Vegas so we can plot out book two of Our Dark Stars!
Audrey: I have a million projects going on, including a Beauty and the Beast retelling/Epic Fantasy trilogy (the first book is already written) and a New Adult Dystopian vampire series I’m co-writing with a friend. Our Dark Stars started out as a standalone, but as soon as we finished the book, Krystal and I both realized the potential for a sequel. Plus, there’s still so much of Talia and Will’s story to tell! So, while we haven’t confirmed a date to start working, odds are Our Dark Stars will get a sequel!
And that is my interview! Have you read Our Dark Stars, or want to?
Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!
Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!