Earlier this morning I posted a review of Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener. Now, I have another treat for you because I also have an interview with Chani to share with you all! I hope you enjoy!
1. What was your inspiration behind Amid Stars and Darkness?
When I started it, I had just seen an episode of that show, Ancient Aliens. It had me wondering what the world
would be like if we knew with absolute certainty that there were aliens out there, and how the main character who
wants nothing to do with them would react if she suddenly got kidnapped by them and forced to acknowledge
their existence. Since I don’t plot before I sit down to write a novel, other than having a basic concept/idea, I had
no clue where the book would go from there, and it’s a lot different from my original thought.
2. What is your process for creating these characters?
I let my characters basically create themselves. Usually, I’ll start with at least one set of names—for Amid
Stars and Darkness, that was Delaney and Ruckus—and I sit down and write the first chapter with only that
in mind. As I write, other characters introduce themselves and get named as I go. So, for example, we’re
introduced to Mariana, Delaney’s roommate, before we meet Ruckus, but when I was writing that I had no
idea she even had a roommate until suddenly Mariana was there. So things like character traits develop
themselves as I write. I wasn’t even aware Delaney was a redhead until that’s what was written down.
3. How often do you get writer’s block and how do you deal with I?
I don’t usually get writer’s block. This year has actually been the first year that I’ve gotten a bad case of it. Typically, to
overcome writer’s block I make myself sit down and just write whatever comes to mind. Sometimes if I force a few
pages suddenly the story will come back to me and I’ll recapture that flow. Other times I distract myself for a bit first,
by either reading books or watching tv that ar4e a part of the same genre that I’m currently writing about.
4. What was your favorite book when you were younger, and what is it?
I was a huge fan of The Phantom Tollbooth when I was little. I think the first time I read it I was around five
or six, and I must have read it a few dozen times since then. It’s so clever and fun and introduced wordplay
to my younger self in such an interesting and exciting way.
5. What is something you like to do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing I typically draw or craft. Usually, I draw portraits, of my characters or celebrities, but I’ll
draw just about anything. I also like to craft things and try new projects out, like making plushies and
notebooks and collaging. I actually spent most of my younger childhood days thinking I’d become an artist until
I hit 9 and decided to focus on becoming an author instead.
6. When you began writing the novel, did you have a clear idea of how you wanted it to go or did the story come to you as you were writing it?
As I mentioned in earlier questions, I didn’t really have any idea how the story would go. I didn’t even know
Trystan was going to be a factor until the scene where Delaney and Ruckus are getting interrupted and told
that the “Zane is there”. At that point even I was like, “Who?”. If I plan things out too much, I tend to lose
interest in the story and characters rather quickly, because there aren’t any surprises involved.
7. Did you draw any inspiration from any other science fiction novels?
I’m sure there were aspects as I was writing where I did without clearly thinking about it (I don’t read many
sci-fi novels, to be honest, but I watch a lot of tv shows and movies) though there aren’t any I can specifically
name. A lot of concepts, like being able to talk telepathically through a device and weapons that shoot out
energy bullets, are ones seen frequently in the genre though.
8. Can you tell us anything about the upcoming third book in the series?
I can’t tell you much, but I will say that the story, while mainly told in Delaney’s POV, also has POVs from
Trystan and, finally, Ruckus as well. It was a lot of fun to get to write from Ruckus’s perspective especially,
since in book two (Between Frost and Fury) we got to get into Trystan’s headspace but not the Ander’s.
Delaney also really comes into her own in this final book and is no longer taking orders from either Trystan
or Ruckus, whereas in the first two books she sort of had to rely heavily on them to know what to do and
where to go, etc. I guess I can also say that we finally get to learn a bit more about Sanzie’s backstory,
which was an interesting thing to write. There’s so much I wish I could tell you! But I can’t!
I hope you all enjoyed reading her answers, I sure did!
Here is the link to my review of Amid Stars and Darkness
Love you all,
XOX Shelby Grace