Today, we have Hafsah Laziaf on the blog with a Q&A. You may know her as the mind behind the popular YA blog, Icey Books, but now she’s gearing up for the release of her debut novel, Unbreathable!
1. Your debut novel, Unbreathable, follows Lissa, who’s not only on a self-discovery journey, but also plays a bigger role in the race for earth. Did you always plan to write in the sic-fi genre?
Actually, I didn’t. I’m not a huge sci-fi geek, though I do read YA sci-fi and dystopian – both of which mesh in Unbreathable. But when I think about it, all I’ve ever written is sci-fi, despite loving fantasy, which I’ve just started writing, as well.
2. How did you come up with the idea of the planet Jutaire?
Hmm, I have no idea. The idea for Unbreathable came from a search for a first line that would make people pause. Most sci-fi set in space feature characters getting away from Earth, not trying to get back to it. The rest just sprung from there!
3. Tell me more about Lissa. Did you have any messages in mind that you wanted to send readers through her character?
Oh, boy. I’m terrible at these questions. I’d say Lissa’s journey in Unbreathable is finding where she fits in. She’s been isolated all her life, and suddenly there are people who want to love her, and she’s confused the majority of the time. And lost. But she never gives up.
In short, I’d say the message in Unbreathable is: never give up. And: even if you think you’re completely alone in the world, there will be someone, some way, you’ll be loved. You just don’t know it yet.
4. Do you think you have anything in common with any of your characters?
Lissa’s loneliness in the beginning of Unbreathable is something I can wholly relate to. I was homeschooled from 6th grade, and knew no one at all. Even now, I don’t really ‘know’ anyone aside from this awesome online community – which has changed my life tremendously.
5. There are a few brutal scenes in Unbreathable, where you weren’t pulling any punches! Where any of those scenes difficult for you to write?
Not really! The hardest scenes to write were the ones that transition the plot – the ones in between that most people won’t even pay much attention to.
6. Which scenes are most fun to write: The fight/action scenes or the ones filled with kisses? 😉
Can I say both? 😉
7. While Unbreathable wrapped up nicely, is this the end to Lissa’s story or are you planning a sequel?
There are a ton of unanswered questions in Unbreathable – including the origin of the Jute, the meaning behind the Lost Colony, more about the mutants, and why humans left Earth to begin with. I plan on writing a sequel and then a prequel, as well.
8. I have so much respect for authors who decide to self-publish their novels. Do you have any advice to others who may be considering this avenue?
Brace yourself. It’s an emotional roller coaster filled with many ups and just as many downs that will threaten to tear you apart. But that’s publishing – whether you’re doing it yourself or with one of the Big Six behind you.
With self-publishing, you’re in control, and if that’s something that piques your interest, take the leap!
Unbreathable will be available October 29th 2013!
Three days ago, Earth was a rumor, and Lissa was human.
One hundred and fifty years ago, Earth was destroyed, and the remaining humans fled to the dusty red planet of Jutaire, where the only oxygen is manufactured, food is scarce, and death strikes often.
When Lissa’s father discovers Earth still exists, she accidentally breathes the toxic air of Jutaire and in one breath, she discovers she isn’t quite human.
Her father hangs for his discovery, and Lissa knows the Chancellors will come for her, for she saw the Earth that night too. With nothing to lose, she sets out to expose the truth. It isn’t long before she meets Julian, a beautiful boy who can breathe the toxic air like she can – and shows her that the Jute, the original inhabitants of the planet, are more tangled in their lives than she knows.
As mankind races to extinction, Lissa finds out they aren’t the only ones in need of Earth, and that the Chancellors are only pawns in a greater game – one where the Jute control everything. Now, Lissa has everything to lose. Earth. Love. The redemption of the human race. And more than anything, her life.
Because the Jute plan to leave Jutaire for Earth, but to get there, they need her. And they’ll stop at nothing until Lissa is in their clutches, even if they kill every human in the process.
The race for Earth has begun.
Follow the rest of the Unbreathable tour!
Monday, October 14, 2013 Jessi @ Auntie Spinelli Reads | Interview
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 Steph @ Cuddlebuggery | Interview
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 Alex @ Peace, Love and Fangirl | Interview
Thursday, October 17, 2013 Krista @ Nawanda Files | Excerpt
Friday, October 18, 2013 Darci @ Darci Cole | Review
Saturday, October 19, 2013 Angie @ Pinkindle Reads & Reviews | Excerpt
Sunday, October 20, 2013 Lisa @ Dizneeee’s World of Books | Review
Monday, October 21, 2013 Shannon @ Twilight Sleep | Interview
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Octavia @ ReadSleepRepeat | Review
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 Alyssa @ The Eater of Books! | Guest Post
Thursday, October 24, 2013 Andye @ Reading Teen | Excerpt
Friday, October 25, 2013 Millie @ Millie D’s Words | Guest Post
Saturday, October 26, 2013 Jenna @ Jenna Does Books | Review
Sunday, October 27, 2013 Scott @ Scott Pilgrim | Guest Post