Author Crush Friday with Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Glitter girls, you have pressing questions for your favorite authors and we have their answers. Welcome to our weekly segment, Author Crush Fridays.
We love asking questions and we love the answers from some of our favorite authors. Today we’re talking to Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, who are the New York Times bestselling authors of the powerfully addicting, Sci-Fi YA, Unearthed (January 9, 2018; Disney-Hyperion). Thank you for talking to us today, Amie and Meagan! We’re honored!
GLITTER: What is it like writing with a writing partner? Was it harder or easier to have someone to bounce ideas off of?
AMIE AND MEAGAN: It’s so much easier with a partner! Whenever one of us gets stuck, the other will almost always have a brilliant idea to get us unstuck. It’s very different from writing solo, but so much fun.
GLITTER: Where was the idea for the book, Unearthed, born?
AMIE AND MEAGAN: We were on tour for our book This Shattered World when an Indiana Jones marathon came on the TV during a rare afternoon off—we ended up spending the whole time watching, and asking each other why there weren’t more YA books with that same high-stakes adventure tomb-raiding feel… and then we realized, hey, WE can write that book!
GLITTER: How would you describe Unearthed to a new reader?
AMIE AND MEAGAN: It’s like Indiana Jones and Lara Croft team up to raid tombs… in space!
GLITTER: In Unearthed, what was your favorite chapter/scene to write and why?
AMIE AND MEAGAN: It’s hard to answer this one without spoilers, but suffice it to say, readers will know it when they come to it. We’re known for having twists and turns in a book, and they’re almost always our favorite parts to write because we get to knock down all the dominos we’ve been carefully setting up throughout the story.
GLITTER: Will we see Unearthed on the big screen soon?
AMIE AND MEAGAN: We hope so! There’s an amazing team at Sony and Cross Creek Pictures working on it as we speak. The director, Doug Liman, has done amazing work: The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Edge of Tomorrow; and the screenwriters, Jez and John Henry Butterworth (they wrote Spectre, the latest James Bond movie!) are such great talents. We have so much confidence in them.
GLITTER: How do you find your emotional truths in your writing?
AMIE AND MEAGAN: As a writer you have to be unafraid to show your own inner heart on the page. Often it’s just a matter of imagining how the character feels, but to do so you’re often tapping into your own feelings about unrelated, but no less intense, subjects and events. The tendency is to pull away from that. Writers fight not to pull back.
GLITTER: What was the first book that you ever wrote, even if it wasn’t published?
AMIE AND MEAGAN: For Meg, Skylark was actually the first complete novel she ever wrote, and it was also her debut novel. But she’d also been writing fragments of novels since childhood, so it’s impossible to say what was “first” if you’re counting unfinished works. Amie has the same problem—she’s been writing and telling stories all her life. The first book she ever finished was a young adult adventure novel full of magic—maybe one day it’ll land on shelves, but it would need an awful lot of polishing first!
GLITTER: Do you have anything that you need to have while writing?
AMIE AND MEAGAN: Some form of being able to write something down, and that’s it. We both prefer to write on computer, because typing is so quick and thoughts go by so fast. But we also will both write by hand if there’s no computer around, or sometimes even just for a change of pace. Ideally, We both prefer quiet, our own familiar offices, and a cup of tea, those times we get to choose.
GLITTER: Did any of the authors you read in high school affect how you write now?
AMIE AND MEAGAN: Without a doubt. Constantly, all the time, still, and forever. We’re both firm believers that everything an artist of any kind creates—musicians, writers, painters—comes from a mishmash of everything they’ve seen, read, heard, experienced. Nothing comes from nowhere—we’re all a compilation of our experiences, and for both of us, books in high school were a HUGE part of our experience! In fact, the names in Unearthed are a shout-out to books that influenced us: Jules is named after Jules Verne, author of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the book that first made Amie fall in love with science fiction. Amelia is named after Amelia Peabody, the main character in a series of novels by Elizabeth Peters, which was a big part of Meg’s inspiration to study archaeology (and thus write a book about it)!
GLITTER: What are you passionate about in life?
AMIE AND MEAGAN: Chocolate.
Wait, you were serious? Then let’s just say: chocolate.
But also stories, travel, music, feminism, activism in general, stories, space exploration, good tea, animals, and, of course, stories.
GLITTER: What are you working on right now?
AMIE AND MEAGAN: All the things! Amie’s currently working on the sequel to Ice Wolves, which comes out in March, as well as the next series she’s writing with Jay Kristoff (the last book in the Illuminae Files, Obsidio, comes out in March too!). Meg is working with her on the sequel to Unearthed, which we’re lovingly and not-at-all-teasingly calling “Unrevealed” for now, as well as the next in her series of fairy retellings that started with Hunted this year.
AMIE KAUFMAN and MEAGAN SPOONER are longtime friends and sometime flatmates who have traveled the world (but not yet the galaxy), covering every continent between them. They are sure outer space is only a matter of time. Meagan, who is also the author of Hunted and the Skylark trilogy, currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina. Amie, who is the co-author of The Illuminae Files, lives in Melbourne, Australia. Although they currently live apart, they are united by their love of space opera, road trips, and second breakfasts. You can find them online at amiekaufman.com and meaganspooner.com, and on Twitter at @AmieKaufman and @MeaganSpooner.