Hello Fantabulous Readers!
Today I got the opportunity to interview the lovely H.S. Stone, author of Beyond New Eden!
1. How did you get into writing? When did you first start writing?
I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember because they contained these magical things called stories. Because of that, I’ve also been writing since before I could even read, which made the first “book” I ever wrote very interesting and nonsensical. J
2. Where did you come up with the idea for Beyond New Eden? Who/ what is your inspiration?
Believe it or not, Beyond New Eden started out in my head as a murder mystery. I was thinking of how we rely on genetic factors like DNA so much in forensic investigations, so what would happen if everyone had the same DNA? Hence the idea of a clone society was born, and things took off from there.
3. Are any of your characters based on people you actually know, if so which ones?
No, none of the characters are based on people I know. Any resemblance to real people, clone or not, is purely coincidental.
4. Have you written anything before Beyond New Eden?
Beyond New Eden is my third novel. My first novel was a middle grade science fiction adventure titled George and the Galactic Games, about a boy who is abducted by aliens and forced to participate in an extraterrestrial version of the Olympics. Then I wrote a YA dystopian book, In the Hands of Children, about a plague that kills all adults. I’ve also written several short stories throughout the years.
5. If you had to pick only five books from your bookshelf you could keep, what would they be?
The Hunger Games trilogy, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
6. Who is your favorite character from any book and why?
That’s a tough one because there are so many characters that I’ve liked throughout the years. A recent one that stuck with me is Benny Imura, the protagonist of Jonathan Maberry’s YA zombie series that starts with Rot & Ruin. Not only is it one of my favorite series of all time, but Benny is a character who I can identify with (despite my not living in a zombie world… yet) and who I found easy to root for. He grows immensely throughout the series, and I really liked the way that Maberry wrote him.
7. How long did the writing process take for Beyond New Eden? From conception of the story to final publication?
It takes me about a year to take a novel from inception to publication, and Beyond New Eden was no exception.
8. Who are some of your favorite authors?
There are so many good authors out there, but for consistently delivering awesome book after awesome book, I’d put Suzanne Collins, Marissa Meyer, and Neal Shusterman on the short list.
9. How did you come up with the title and cover of Beyond New Eden? Did they morph as you wrote the book, or were they constant?
The title I had planned to go with was Adams and Eves. Then shortly before publication, I learned that Michael Grant (author of the Gone series) had published a book titled Eve & Adam. Since my previous book, In the Hands of Children, had already been compared to Gone, I wanted to distance myself from Mr. Grant as much as possible, so I changed the title to Beyond New Eden.
As for the cover, the current cover is the second iteration. I have no artistic ability, so I hired a cover artist to produce it based on my suggestions.
10. Are you planning to write any other books?
Since Beyond New Eden, I wrote a YA sci-fi novel titled Keep Your Enemies Close. I also just released a YA Fantasy novel, Gifted. I have many more novels planned for the future. There are more ideas than time to write them all!
11. What would your advice be to someone who's aspiring to be a writer?
It’s tough to make a living as a writer. Although there are success stories, you have to be both talented and lucky to make a living as a writer, much less make it big. If someone wants to be a writer in order to become rich and famous, I’d advise him or her to consider another career. You should write only because you love to write.
12. Finally, just to wrap things up, what's your favorite color and why?
Most people will say this isn’t a color, but my favorite color is … clear. Yup, the absence of any color, like glass. I say that because I’m really bad when it comes to picking or coordinating colors (see “no artistic ability” above), so I’d rather not have to deal with colors at all!