Thursday, January 10, 2013

Guest Post by A.D. Croucher, Authors of Altered

Welcome back ya'll!! Thanks for stopping by again for a very fantastic treat! A.D. Croucher is hijacking my blog and writing a guest post! Yay!! My first guest post! *giggle nervously* OK, so these fabulous authors are here to talk a bit about themselves and the inspiration they have found from sci-fi in their lives! Welcome to Belle of the Literati A and D!

Just as there are two of us (A.D. is really A and D), so our YA sci-fi novel ALTERED had two beginnings; two strands that made up its DNA.

The first was a short story we wrote for a Stephen King-related competition. The story was horror-sci-fi, about a boy who developed mysterious abilities that he couldn’t control. It was dark and emotional. Confession: it was never actually submitted to the competition. Instead, it waited, patiently, like a good muse, knowing we would need it one day.

The second strand in ALTERED’s double helix came many years later. We were brainstorming a TV pilot script that we were about to write. Now, we love the TV show Fringe, which uses a suspenseful thriller format to blend unusual, reality-bending science with extraordinary heart. We really wanted a YA version of that; we wanted to know what a “Fringe for the CW” style show would look like. So we wrote a pilot script called ALTERED, using some of the concepts of the original short story, and adding some otherworldly ideas. When it was done, we realized just how much we dug this world we’d created. We wanted to spend more time there; that pilot script barely scratched the surface of the story we wanted to tell, and we knew it was a book begging to be set free.

So the short story and the script basically ganged up on us and wouldn’t let us do anything but write our book (writing often turns out that way; your muse can be really bossy sometimes… lovely and always welcome, but bossy).

We’ve always loved sci-fi. Movies, TV shows, YA novels, graphic novels, comics – we love it all! Some of our earliest memories are of Star Trek, Batman, Doctor Who, the old-school cartoons Godzilla and Battle Of The Planets. A typical toy-filled childhood day would involve Captain Kirk joining forces with Spiderman and the Daleks for a face-off against dinosaurs (that movie script just writes itself…).

For us, growing up, there was always some kick-ass sci-fi inspiration at hand. We both loved – LOVED – Buffy. We basically worship Joss Whedon’s storytelling. That was like the ultimate YA/TV combination. There’s a lot of overlap between the best YA and the best TV – they both need deep characters that drive plot, ferocious pace, and the ability to just grab you and never let go. Right now, the CW is the YA network. We’re Vampire Diaries addicts – how dark and messed up and full of what-the-hell-just-happened is that show?! (one of us, A, grew up reading those novels). The CW also has Arrow, which if you haven’t watched yet, you should: it’s the perfect comic book, gritty sci-fi action show, full of sarcasm and emotion. It feels YA. We love it.


One of our biggest sci-fi inspirations was a movie that we can watch endlessly: Back To The Future. I mean, does it get better than that? It has it all: high-school setting, twisty time travel plotting, constant sly humor, great sci-fi action, and, above all, characters that you just love. We’re always looking to have some of that classic sci-fi movie feel in everything we write.

What’s wonderful is how much amazing YA sci-fi there is right now. Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy is simply breathtaking and magnificent. We also love Beth Revis, James Dashner, Marie Lu: they’re up there with Ness in this new wave of awesome sci-fi. John Cusick too, with his novel Girl Parts, which features hyper-advanced technology grounded in an everyday setting as the backdrop to a concise, heartfelt tale of loneliness and friendship. And Paolo Bacigalupi is creating dark, raw worlds that we love spending time in, with Ship Breaker and Drowned Cities.

All this is fuel to the fire as we write the sequel to ALTERED. We’re inspired by all of the above, because they are in the realm we love best: grounded, gritty, “contemporary sci-fi.” Like Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy: imagination-bending ideas grounded in a plausible reality in service of an emotional journey.

All the books we’re reading and movies we’re watching are confirming our belief that sequels should be bigger, more lethal, go much deeper into your characters, turn them inside out, hit harder; basically, throw your emotions off of rooftops. We're approaching book two like our first movie was an indie, and Warner Bros just gave us $150 million and the keys to ILM and the Pixar story department to make the next one. We’re loving every second of planning, writing, rewriting, editing, planning some more, and discovering aspects of Reese that we’d never anticipated. He keeps us entertained.

It comes down to this: science fiction lets you dream.

We’ve always loved the clarity and romance of stars, space, galaxies, universes. And we love cool ideas, ideas that change the way you see the world, that blow your mind. But the best science fiction uses all that to show us who we are, and what it means to be human.

Really, we think it’s science fiction that shows us the true human heart.

Thanks so much A and D for stopping by to give us all an insight into your inspiration!! If you'd like to find out more about these fantastic people you can social media stalk them in the following ways...

And you can stalk the book in one or both of these ways
Barnes and Noble

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