In my interview with Liz Gruder, author of the sci-fi romance “Starseed”, on February 4, 2013 we discussed her new novel as well as her experience writing this story, featuring extraterrestrials, young love, and the struggles of growing up. Let’s hear what Liz has to say about her ‘out of this world’ creation Starseed debuting February 5, 2013.
Q: Tell us about your novel “Starseed”.
A: Starseed concerns a sixteen-year-old girl who falls in love with a starseed boy who reveals that she, too, is half extraterrestrial, and is forced to choose her allegiance between Earth and her star family.
So to set a story in high school with themes of bullying and cruelty, of love and betrayal, of kindness and redemption are themes echoing throughout the cosmos. For just like humans, some ETs are manipulative and cruel-- yet others are inspiring and loving.
Are humans essentially good or evil? Could we be a reflection of what’s beyond our planet? As above, so below.
Q: Describe what you think your typical fan is like.
A: Starseed is young-adult fiction, so typical fans will be teen readers with a crossover audience, as in all YA fiction, of adults. I love YA readers because they are open to the fantastic. Starseed will appeal to those who enjoy their fiction with liberal doses of the fantastic, yet taking place in an accessible Earth-based setting.
Q: If you could recommend “Starseed” to fans of another book what book would it be?
A: Though Starseed has its own plot & voice, perhaps readers of Jennifer L’Armentrout’s Lux series, Stephenie Meyer’s The Host, Beth Revis’s Across the Universe, or Roswell High, or I Am Number Four… I’m not talking about writing, plot or voice, but this is the ballpark that Starseed plays in.
Q: What did you enjoy most about writing “Starseed”?
A: I had a broken wrist and an external fixator device when I first started researching Starseed. I did it as a mind exercise to stave off depression from not being able to do anything. As I got deeper into the research, I became more spooked and more intrigued. For a while, I near abandoned the project as it was too dark for YA, but when I realized that Kaila and Jordyn were not only half ET, but half human, then I had something to work with. Though we constantly are bombarded with negative stories of what humans do to each other, it was while writing Starseed that I realized that each of us has a beautiful human spark of something greater than ourselves that can be accessed and called upon. There was also a scene where my father came back to me in spirit, taking me completely by surprise. So that was emotionally touching. I always like it when the characters surprise me. It’s almost like channeling, letting them tell their story and not me--the puppetmaster.
Q: What is it about “Starseed” that sets it apart from other books in the genre?
A: There’s some YA sci-fi books out there that don’t have the research to back up fictional premises. They require a real leap of faith and imagination. Much depicted in Starseed is based on research, keeping in mind that most research involving extraterrestrials is considered “fringe” science. For example, in many sci-fi books, they have people or ETs in craft propelled by known physics … well yes, they’re going to age and it will take a zillion light years … but if they are using inter-dimensional travel then they can move quickly. The same way no one could imagine lighting their homes with anything other than candles or kerosene 150 years ago-- that electricity even existed—may one day be the case with inter-dimensional realities. Physicists today seriously discuss multi-dimensions and parallel universes --without Twilight Zone music playing in the background.
Q: What are your future writing plans?
A: I’m currently working on another YA novel, a sci-fi dystopian. It involves cloning of young citizens. After that, I don’t know. I find projecting too far ahead is like worrying: it’s a waste of time to worry because usually the future you worry about, when it finally appears as the present, is completely different than what you worried about. So—one book at a time.
Amazon link to Starseed: http://www.amazon.com/Starseed-ebook/...