Monday, August 9, 2010

Introducing 2011: Beth Revis

A former high-school English teacher, Beth can't help but blog tidbits about writing, grammar, and publishing at her blog, Writing it Out []. She is the founder of the new popular dystopian blog League of Extraordinary Writers [], and blows off steam by trying to come up with something witty in 140 characters or less [] or by lusting after books on GoodReads []. Beth is represented by Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House.


Beth's debut novel, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, will be published by Razorbill/Penguin in Spring 2011


1. As a high school teacher, did you use anything from your students/teaching in ACROSS THE UNIVERSE?

Actually, yes! I happened to be at the school late one evening, waiting for a parent conference, and had my manuscript out and was working on it. I knew I needed to add some detail to some minor back characters--they were a little too cookie-cutter for me. I happen to have a student who is an *extremely* talented artist, and she'd painted a koi fish on my podium. As I was developing these minor background characters, I threw in an artist named Harley who liked to paint koi. My crit partner thought Harley was so unique that he eventually became a pretty major character.

2. Where did you get the idea of being cryogenically frozen? In other words, how did ACROSS THE UNIVERSE come to be?

I got the idea for ACROSS THE UNIVERSE from reading books. Between Jeanne du Prau's CITY OF EMBER and Agatha Christie's MOUSETRAP, I knew I wanted to write a contained mystery, where the victims and the murderer are trapped together. I first thought of a cruise ship, but that's been done before. So, I went with a space ship instead. In order to have someone from our time narrate the story in a futuristic setting, I used cryogenic freezing. From there, the story sort of fell into place.

3. Your novel is set in the future, how did you create the world your main character is transported to?

It all stemmed from the mystery, mostly. I needed a world where no one knew who they could trust. At one point, one of my characters comments that "This is a ship built on lies." All of the assumptions the characters make about what they think is true is entirely in the air...

4. In what ways do you relate to your main character?

I relate mostly to Amy, the girl who is cryogenically frozen and awoken without her parents. In order to get her character right, I tapped into my own feelings when I left my parents for college. I went to a college two hundred miles from home, and it wasn't financially possible for me to visit them except for Easter and Christmas. That sort of intense sink-or-swim feeling is something I tried to inject into Amy when she realizes she is expected to live without her parents, at least for a time.

5. What's next for you writing wise?

I'm busy working on the sequels for ACROSS THE UNIVERSE! There is going to be a trilogy of space books. After that, who knows?! :)


Thanks so much Beth!


  1. Oh cool...being FROZEN! That's a super unique idea for a book. Great interview.

  2. Thanks for interviewing me, Kelsey!

  3. Beth--I'm so excited to read your book! Great interview!

  4. any book named after a beatles song is a-ok with me.

  5. The more I learn about Across the Universe, the more excited I am to read it. Mystery + romance are always an awesome combination!

  6. Hooray for new authors, thanks Kelsey!

  7. as always, good stuff Kelsey. Keep em coming. ;)

  8. Hooray for new authors! Thanks for the interviews, and this one sounds really interesting.


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