Girls Gone Sci Fi Tour and Giveaway

Macmillan approached me to be the designated blogger for the Girls Gone Sci Fi tour stop that was coming to Atlanta. I was honored and thrilled that they asked, and readily agreed. As agreed, I got review copies from the four publishers involved and went to the event as scheduled on March 28th at the best Atlanta book store, Little Shop of Stories.

Now, you might notice that it’s been a week and a half since the event, and I apologize for the belated nature of this post. Basically, my life has been really busy the last couple of weeks, so busy that I’ve not had a night without social activities in over a week, and it’s thrown off my schedule. Thankfully, I took good notes, and I can do this thing.

Giveaway books

The Girls Gone Sci Fi tour was put together by Macmillan, Disney, Penguin and Harper to showcase female authors writing science fiction with female heroines. I’m going to break the post down by author, including awesome details I learned about each one and then a giveaway for that author’s books.  Above are the books and some of the swag which the winners will get.

Author 1: Jessica Brody

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Here are some awesome facts about Jessica:

  • Jessica’s favorite writing moments are when a character surprises her.
  • Before becoming an author, Jessica studied economics and worked for MGM. Her job helps her with the business side of publishing.
  • She writes using the Save the Cat method.
  • Nobody, not even Jessica herself, can touch her belly button.
  • In elementary school, Jessica ran the slowest mile in her school’s history (Blogger’s note: Jessica’s a kindred spirit clearly.)
  • The first science fiction novel she ever read was Prey by Michael Crichton. She recommends Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles to science fiction lovers.
Unremembered
Unforgotten - Jessica Brody

The following are some of the cool things I learned about Unremembered and Unforgotten:

  • Jessica came up with the idea for Unremembered after she read an article about a 14 year old girl who survived a plane crash. She then imagined what it would be like if that girl had no memory of how she got there.
  • In the first draft, Seraphina was too robotic, because Jessica didn’t really know who Seraphina was since she didn’t have any memories. Jessica did a lot of thinking about how much our memories shape us.
  • Jessica Brody enjoyed the switch to science fiction from contemporary because there’s so much more that you can put them through. It’s still about a teen girl coming of age, but the couple is split apart by time and not friends/family.
  • Her favorite character in Unremembered is Cody. In fact, Jessica’s editor tried to cut him, but she refused, since he’s the normal character everyone can relate to. She still sends her editor messages when reviews mention how awesome Cody is.
The cover doesn't line up properly on some copies of Unforgotten

The cover doesn’t line up properly on some copies of Unforgotten

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Author #2: Tamara Ireland Stone

 

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Here are some facts about Tamara’s life:

  • Tamara always preferred science fiction films to books, but her favorite sci fi novel is Ursula LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness.
  • The first novel she ever attempted was a When Harry Met Sally type story called “What We Wondered” that was autobiographical.
  • Her favorite thing about writing is falling in love with a new story.
  • Aside from writing, she works in marketing/communications.
  • In fact, Tamara worked with Steve Jobs to launch the first iMac.
  • Tamara had never sweet tea until this tour.
  • She’d also never had Cracker Barrel. Neither had Jessica Brody.
Time Between Us - Tamara Ireland Stone
Time After Time - Tamara Ireland Stone

I also learned a lot about Tamara’s novels, Time Between Us and Time After Time:

  • The idea for Time Between Us came from a conversation with her husband. He asked her what superpower she would want, and she responded time travel, with plans to go back to the early 90s and see Green Day. He asked if he could accompany her, and from there she came up with Bennett and Anna.
  • Tamara’s favorite character is Emma, Anna’s best friend, a snarky brit. Emma actually changed the whole story when, at the midpoint, she made a scene revolve around her that wasn’t initially meant to.
  • She loved writing time travel because she loves exploring what ifs.
  • For a while when writing Time Between Us, Anna was like Tamara at 22.

     

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Author #3: Jessica Khoury

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First, here are some facts so you can get to know Jessica Khoury better:

  • Jessica really admired the books of Jean Craighead George, particularly that author’s approach to nature.
  • She also was highly influenced by Jo March’s love of writing and desire to prove herself in Little Women. She loved the line “I’m an authoress.”
  • Her first real sci fi novel was Ender’s Game, which taught her that science fiction could focus on characters.
  • She also recommends These Broken Stars and Red Rising.
  • Jessica’s first writing endeavor was Redwall fan fiction when she was 13. She wrote it for 3 years and even gave it to friends, along with a survey to see what she was doing well.
  • The first thing Jessica did when she sold Origin was to pay off $115 in library fines.
  • She once spent two weeks in detention for biting.
  • She simply walked into Mordor.
Origin - Jessica Khoury
Vitro - Jessica Khoury

Now some insight into Origin and Vitro:

  • The character of Nicholas in Vitro was meant to be an extra, but he kept showing up. The character became pivotal and was psychologically explored.
  • When asked about her favorite character in her novels, Khoury admitted that she killed one of them in Vitro.
  • Khoury credits Jessica Brody with saving her novel. She was googling how to fix a novel, and found Brody’s post on the Save the Cat writing method. That helped her look at the story from a new angle and finish it off.

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Author #4: Lauren Miller

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Finally, get to know Lauren Miller:

  • The character that most inspires her in fiction is Nancy Drew, because of her inquisitive nature. However, she was also influenced negatively by Jessica Wakefield of Sweet Valley High, learning about interaction in high school. There’s always a Jessica in her books, obsessed with looks and popularity.
  • College scared Lauren off of writing, because she didn’t think she was as talented as all the people in her class. She eventually took a writing class in London with people she would never have to see again, which brought her back to writing.
  • The only story Lauren ever finished before Parallel was a short story about a woman who is shopping with her boyfriend for the dinner where she’ll meet his parents for the first time. He proposes, but she doesn’t hear him because she’s too focused on shopping. He decides he doesn’t want to marry her after all.
  • Before becoming published, she worked as a lawyer. Now that she writes full time, she worries she’ll lose the sheer love of writing since it’s WORK.
  • Lauren didn’t read SF as a teen because it intimidated her, which is why she writes it. She wants to bring in female audiences.
Parallel - Lauren Miller
Free to Fall - Lauren Miller

Lauren’s novels Parallel and Free to Fall, unlike the previous authors’ novels are standalones. Here’s the inside scoop:

  • The initial draft of Parallel didn’t have high enough stakes in the middle of act 2, so her editor suggested a death. You’ll have to read the book to see if that’s what Miller went with.
  • Lauren’s favorite aspect of writing science fiction is finding real world science on which to base her novels, and then tricking readers into believe her science is real. (Apparently it works, since the other three authors were shocked the science in Parallel was made up.)
  • Parallel was originally a television script for Paramount.
  • Lauren hadn’t heard of Save the Cat, which all three other authors use, until this tour, even though it’s a screenwriting technique and she was writing a TV script.
  • Abby was initially 27, Lauren’s age at the time of writing. Now Abby is 17 year-old Lauren and Lauren doesn’t like her as much. Rory of Free to Fall is much cooler.
  • Lauren loves finding connections and tying everything together in her books. In Free to Fall she chose the Greek letter upsilon randomly, but its meaning (a symbol of the the path of virtue vs. vice) ended up being perfect for the book.

     

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The authors aldo had an awesome game where they brought up the audience for a Dating Game scenario, where a girl in the audience got to choose between the four love interests, one of whom was played by Abigail Spencer. It was hilarious. Incidentally North from Free to Fall (on right) won.

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That’s it! Make sure to enter the giveaways for whichever books you have yet to read, and please leave comments for the authors!

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11 responses to “Girls Gone Sci Fi Tour and Giveaway”

  1. I’m glad you had a great time! I wanted to go to this but life got busy and since it’s so far from me I just decided not to. It’s awesome that Macmillan reached out to you. Thanks for the recap and good luck to everyone who enters the giveaways!
    Michelle @ In Libris Veritas recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Unique BooksMy Profile

  2. Gillian says:

    I love love love posts like this. AUTHORS ARE PEOPLE TOO and all that. I also have never been to Cracker Barrel and don’t actually even know what that is.

    I’d say that Vitro and Origin are also standalones and are only vaguely connected.

    I am also a kindred spirit with Jessica Brody vis a vis running miles (or more accurately NOT running miles).
    Gillian recently posted…Getting to Know You (Plus a Birthday Giveaway!)My Profile

  3. This is such a cool post! I really enjoyed reading it.
    I also now want to read Jessica Khoury’s books just because of the “She simply walked into Mordor” comment. Ha!
    Lauren’s books sound great, especially because the science is so believable. I love that the other authors thought it was real. That’s cool.
    Entered all of the giveaways! Fingers crossed.
    Stefani @ Caught Read Handed recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Unique BooksMy Profile

  4. One of the best posts I have ever read! Simply awesome Christina! I absolutely love the way you broke down each of the authors who participated. Thank you for this amazing giveaway!
    Shelley @ Gizmos Reviews recently posted…*Stacking the Shelves* Episode # 102My Profile

  5. This sounds like a wonderful event! I am a bit jealous – I would have loved for them to come to my neck of the woods 🙂
    Becky LeJeune recently posted…The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic by Hazel GaynorMy Profile

  6. Anya says:

    I love this so hard core!!!!!!! Man, now I’m sad there wasn’t one close enough for me to attend, but I’m just so pumped that this was a thing at all, awesome!
    Anya recently posted…Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve ReadMy Profile

  7. tonyalee says:

    I had actually planned to go to the ATL event but something came up and I couldn’t! I was SO BUMMED!

    Of all the books here, I have only read Tamara’s books! And yes, you’re notes were great haha

  8. That’s so cool! I wish to go to an event such as this one day.

  9. Monique says:

    That sounds like tons of fun! I wish I could’ve been there!
    Monique recently posted…Cover Reveal: Ex-Factor by Elisa DaneMy Profile

  10. Lyn Kaye says:

    Sweet! What an honor! I have to admit, I laughed at the expense of Unforgotten’s cover fail!
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Graphic Novel Review: Sailor Twain by Mark SiegelMy Profile

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