Welcome to our Exclusive cover reveal of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff! Here we have a great interview, an amazing giveaway and an out-of-this-world cover reveal! Read on to check it all out!
1. With what gifts did you bribe Marie Lu, Laini Taylor and Beth Revis to give you quotes for this book? Cause that’s some pretty damn glowing praise you have there.
Jay: We have pictures. That’s all I’m saying.
Amie: It wasn’t bribery, it was blackmail.
2. What was your favourite thing about working with each other?
Amie: Jay doesn’t really have a sweet tooth, so he’s no threat to my chocolate supply. Also, he writes incredible, heartbreaking, lyrical prose, as well as drink-snortingly funny frat boy humour and terrifying horror, often within moments of each other. Having a co-author means you’re never stuck brainstorming your way out of a plot-hole alone, and it also means they introduce twists and ideas you’d never have thought up, that make the book all the stronger.
Jay: I say this in all seriousness; writing this book is the most fun I’ve had with my pants on. Amie is sharp as razorblades, insightful incredible at improv (all the IM conversations in the book are just us back-and-forthing on gchat or email, writing the script as we go) and writes the pretty much the best kissing scenes on the planet. Or any other planet, for that matter.
3. Kady and Ezra rocked this novel. Considering that, Jay, this was your first time writing a guy, and, Amie, this was your first time writing a girl, how did you feel falling into these characters?
Jay: It was awesome. Ezra totally has my sense of humor, so it was nice to not only be able to make teabagging jokes with impunity, but also watch them turn into major plot points later in the novel. I’m not entirely sure where his romantic side comes from, though. I had mine surgically removed when I was five.
Amie: Loved it! Kady is in many ways more badass than me, and would definitely outlast me in a survival situation. In terms of gender, I don’t find writing girls or guys to be different — it’s down to what the person’s like, not their gender. To quote George R. R. Martin, who was once asked how he wrote women so well, “I’ve always considered women to be people.”
4. How did you guys come up with the idea for this book?
Amie: Once we’d decided to write together, we originally settled on the idea of an epistolatory novel (one written entirely in letters to and from the characters, in case anyone has to look that word up, like Jay did). From there it evolved to one that used all kinds of formats to communicate. Then we started to wonder if we could actually SHOW those formats. We never thought a publisher would go for such a crazy idea, which meant we were free to write it any way we liked. So we did! There’s not a single page of regular narrative in the book — it’s all “found footage”. Email, IM conversations, security reports, diagrams, you name it.
Jay: The idea of playing around with typography and interior design is something I toyed with a little in the Lotus War books, but it was only after the character of AIDAN started to form in my head that the idea we could really push the limits of what a book could be started to dawn on us. I mean, if one of the narrators is an insane computer whose insanity actually affects the files you’re reading, you can kinda do anything you like. After that, there was no idea too left-field. The amazing thing is we found a publisher who not only let us do everything crazy we wanted, but actually pushed us to go even further.
And yes, I did have to Google “epistolary”. Pro author, me.
5. Was there any source material you drew inspiration from?
Jay: Oh yeah, there was bunch of old classic SF books and films that inspired us. The Ship Who Fought. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Neuromancer. BSG. We even threw in a HAL 9000 joke. I was also listening to a lot of Meshuggah. Something about the drum patterns and bass helped me channel a psychotic artificial intelligence. Not sure that’s an endorsement for the band or not . . .
Amie: We’re both huge science fiction and space nerds. We drew from just about everything we’re fans of, in writing this book. Music, movies, comics, you name it. Think Battlestar Galactica, Scott Pilgrim, 2001: A Space Odyssey… this list could go forever. I listened to Madness by Muse from their Live From Rome Olympic Stadium album on loop while we wrote this book. Every time I hear it, I’m ready to go straight back into this world.
6. So how does the book cover work? Can you explain it for our readers?
Amie: It’s insanity. There’s the actual hard cover of the book, which shows some excerpts from the book itself, then there’s a jacket that goes over the top. There are windows in the jacket so you can see some of what’s underneath. The non-standard format perfectly matches the book. We can’t believe what an amazing job the Random House team did. Our cover designer is called Ray Shappell and he’s beyond brilliant. Beyond.
Jay: BEHOLD THE GIF
7. Considering that you guys are like fairy dust and the unspoken dreams of the innocent, how do you manage to write such a heartbreaking book?
Jay: . . . you have met us, right?
Amie: We’re like duct tape, and The Force. We have a dark side and a light side. (People usually assume I’m the light side and Jay’s the dark side, but the super gory line about the pinking shears? That was me.)
8. While researching for this novel, did you learn a lot about how things explode in space? Is this cover a good representation of that?
Amie: We totally did. In a vacuum, fire burns in a perfect sphere. If there’s an air current (for instance, if the side of your spaceship just got blown off and the atmosphere is rushing out) then the fire can look like a regular explosion. Short version, I’m crazy about the fire on the cover, and so many things blow up in this book that we end up featuring just about every kind of fire there is. FIRE, WOOOOOO~ I mean, um. >.>
Okay, so this cover reveal is a little different. The cover for Illuminae is actually two covers.
The one below is the base cover over which an acetate cover copy goes.
This cover is the acetate cover that goes over the original cover. It has windows through which you can see the original cover.
Put it all together and it looks something like THIS:
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published: October 20th 2015
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.
This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.
Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
Jay and Amie are giving away one signed and annotated copy of Illuminae to a lucky Cuddlebuggery winner!
- To enter, please fill out the Raffelcopter form below.
- We ask that all entrants be at least 13 years or older to enter.
- The giveaway is open Internationally!
- When the winners are chosen, it will be announced here and the winners will be emailed.
- Please enter your email address in the Rafflecopter form and not the comments.