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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Blog Tour- ILLUMINAE by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman, Authors Interview and A Giveaway!

I am so excited to be hosting a spot on the ILLUMINAE blog tour! This book f*** rocks so make sure you grab a copy! And make sure to enter the giveaway to win a copy of the book!

Haven't heard of ILLUMINAE Check it out!

Author: Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Pages: 608
Publisher:  Knopf Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook, Audiobook
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.
Sharing this sample page cause it's awesome!

Check out one of the book trailers! To see the rest go HERE!

Now on to the interview!

Hi Amie and Jay! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books! ILLUMINAE was f*** awesome and am so happy that you could stop by for a visit!

Jay: Huzzzaaaah, glad you liked it!

Amie: Thank you for having us!

For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about ILLUMINAE and the characters?

Amie: It’s a horror action romance thriller mystery, told through a series of hacked documents, like IM conversations, emails, video surveillance, medical reports, etc. In spaaaaaaaace.

Jay: Everything is better in spaaaaaaace. The main characters are Kady Grant and Ezra Mason, two high school kids who broke up the same day their remote colony was invaded. They’re hustled onto an evacuation fleet and end up on different ships. Kady is a bit of a nerd grrl, who uses her computer skills among the fleet’s hacker community. Ezra is something of a jock, who gets conscripted into the military to bolster their depleted fighter pilot crews. Hijinks ensue.

What about book 2? Is there a title yet?

Jay: Book 2 is a sequel, picking up where ILLUMINAE leaves off. It’s set on a space station, but we can’t talk too much about it without getting into huge spoiler territory, and most people haven’t read book 1 yet!

Amie: What we can tell you is that although you’ll definitely want to know what happens in book 2, book 1 doesn’t end on a terriblehorrible cliffhanger either. Book 2 does have a title, but if we told you, Random House would send out one of its Ninja Death Squads and we couldn’t have that on our conscience. Those guys have no mercy.

If you had to evacuate earth on a spaceship right now what is the one thing that you MUST take with you?

Amie: Chocolate.

Jay: Bourbon.

Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?

Jay: I think all authors take inspiration from their own lives, whether it’s the people around them or their own experiences. But there’s no-one overtly based on anyone we know. Considering what we do to most characters in this book, that’d just be mean.

Amie: There are lots of “bit parts” in the book. Innocent bystander #3 and Hapless Victim #6 and so on. So whenever we were stumped for names, we’d use someone we knew. The Copernicus casualty list is full of our friends, booksellers we know, people who work at Random House. And a few of our author friends who were early advocates of the book also got guest roles. Marie Lu got to be a famous movie producer. Laini Taylor is the subject of some medical experiments. We had a lot of fun filling the book with easter eggs for clever readers.

Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?

Amie: Kady, I’d say. Kady goes through a LOT in this book, and one of the things we 
focused on was ensuring she didn’t become superhuman in the process. She’s kicking ass and taking names, but she’s absolutely freaking out while she’s doing it, and that was important for me. Also, getting to direct that amount of sass at everyone within range was pretty liberating.

Jay: Probably AIDAN for me. We didn’t really expect our broken little AI to become the character it did—initially it was just a way for us to introduce some really interesting design elements to the book, by having its madness effect the formatting of the files. But as we got deeper, AIDAN really evolved into one of the coolest characters I’ve ever written. It asks a lot of heavy questions, about morality, humanity, immortality. And watching some of the debates already springing up about it online is a lot of fun. People end up quite stumped about how to feel about AIDAN, which is always the sign of a deep character. Not bad for a bunch of ones and zeroes.

What is your favorite passage/scene in ILLUMINAE?

Jay: Oh, wow. Really hard to pick. There are so many parts of this book I just love in the pants. I think the IMs between Kady and Ezra are probably up there for me. You see so much of their characters and the way they feel about each other in just a few lines of text. Amie and I adlibbed all those scenes—we’d start with a rough idea of what needed to happen (ie, “K&E have a fight here”) but the dialogue was all completely unscripted. Watching us bounce off each other’s ideas and pick up each other’s threads and run with them is just the most fun I’ve ever had writing a book. There’s one scene where Ezra was musing about all the times he thought about kissing Kady before he actually worked up the courage to do it, and Amie picked up that idea and wrote this killer, slam dunk ending for the scene that still makes me smile two years later. 

Amie: Aw, see, you CAN be nice! I have noooo idea how to pick. There’s this scene that runs from p573-575 that I can’t tell you about because SPOILERS, which Jay wrote. In it, Kady and AIDAN are waiting for a Significant Plot Event to take place, and I cried buckets when I read it. (See aforementioned confusion about how to feel about AIDAN.) But for something I can talk more about, there’s this scene where Ezra’s in a dogfight in space—he’s been conscripted into the military—and the combination of language and design is just beyond. Pages 275-277 are my favourites. The line “He presses his triggers, and like roses in his hands death blooms” is just the perfect fit for that moment, and as he then glances at the picture of Kady taped to his console… ack, I stil get a little wobbly thinking about it. Jay nailed it.

What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

Amie: Lllllllots. Most of the ideas people have about the way space works comes from Hollywood, rather than science, and Hollywood tends to drop-kick facts for the sake of theater. We devoured anything we could find about space—documentaries, live feeds, histories. We actually thanked Hank Green and the team at SciShow Space in the back of the book, because their work is incredible (and incredibly funny). Commander Chris Hadfield’s videos from the ISS were also a huge source of inspiration, although we forgot to thank him in the acknowledgments. We’re terrible L

Jay: Terrrrrrible. We had a whole team of consultants read through the text and call us on anywhere we’d goofed. We got 25 pages of notes from an astrophysicist friend of ours. We talked to doctors and psychologists, computer hackers (who we can’t name for legal reasons) police officers, military people, you name it. So even though we were writing this horror romance thriller with insane AIs and explosions in spaaaaaaaace, all the science is 100% legit.

How was it writing ILLUMINAE together? Amie I know you’ve co-written books before but Jay isn’t this your first time?

Jay: First time, yep. Although my former day job actually had a lot in common with co-
authoring—I used to work as a Creative in advertising, and your day basically consists of sitting in a room with another person and bouncing ideas for scripts around. Writing ILLUMINAE was by far the coolest collaborative experience I’ve ever had, though. It was just so much FUN to write. When we were kicking the ideas around, Amie and I knew the book was probably going to be too weird for it to actually sell, and editors apparently weren’t buying SciFi at that stage, so we really just wrote it for ourselves. No idea was too outlandish, no thought too crazy.

Amie: And that idea was so freeing—we thought hey, if we’re writing it for ourselves, let’s make no compromises, and do exactly what we imagine. Of course, then we found a publishing team even more insane than us, and they dived into the design and execution of this thing like it was a pit full of chocolate. Writing together was brilliant fun—obviously you pick a co-author whose work you admire, and getting to see what they’ve done to this story you love is just amazing.

Lightning Round Questions

What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

Jay: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Amie: The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas

What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?

Amie: So very Ravenclaw

Jay: Slytherin 4 life, boiiiiiiii

What inspired you to write YA?

Jay: I write both adult and YA stuff. Honestly, I just listen to the story in my head. If turns out to be YA, great. The YA community is awesome, there’s so much energy and enthusiasm. I love it.

Amie: My stories just turn out that way! I guess I refuse to grow up.

Twitter or Facebook?

Amie: Twittttttter

Jay: If you can’t say it in 140 characters, it’s not worth saying. Unless you’re writing a book, I guess :P

Favorite Superhero?

Jay: Silver Surfer.

Amie:  Loki. By which I mean Tom Hiddleston.

Favorite TV show?

Amie: The West Wing

Jay: The Wire.

Sweet or Salty?

Jay: Salty.

Amie: Both. Chocolate and peanut butter ftw.

Any Phobias?

Amie: I have horrible dreams sometimes about my teeth falling out, does that count?

Jay: Old people are pretty scary.

Amie: Seriously, Jay?

Song you can’t get enough of right now?

Jay: Throne by Bring Me The Horizon.

Amie: I’m still stuck on Take Me To Church by Hosier

Fall Movie you’re most looking forward to?

Amie: The Martian. By the time you read this I will have seen it and it will have been GLORIOUS I TELL YOU.

Jay: Jem and the Hologr . . . hahaha, no, sorry I can’t.
Probably Tom Hardy’s Kray brothers bipic, Legend. Or MacBeth, because Fassbender.

Thanks so much Amie and Jay for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read ILLUMINAE and I can’t wait for book 2!

Jay: <33>

Amie: What he said.

About Jay and Amie:

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of These Broken Stars and This Shattered World, and Illuminae, the first in a new series starting in 2015. She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping. 

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

Jay Kristoff is the award-winning author of THE LOTUS WAR trilogy, a Japanese-inspired steampunk fantasy. Part 3, ENDSINGER, is out now. He's also co-author of the upcoming ILLUMINAE (with Amie Kaufman), a YA Sci-Fi... thing, to be released by Knopf/Random House in 2015, and NEVERNIGHT, the first part of a new fantasy trilogy kicking off in 2016.

Jay is 6’7 and has approximately 13380 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

He does not believe in happy endings.

Jay and Amie will be touring the U.S. in the month of November.  To find out if they’ll be in your area, you can see their list of cities and dates here.

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of ILLUMINAE. US/Canada Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the Tour Schedule!

Oct 1 – The Fandom. Interview and giveaway

Oct 1 – Compulsive Reader. Review and giveaway

Oct 1 – Uppercase Box. Audiobook clip and giveaway.

Oct 2 – YAReads. Review

Oct 2 – Books With Bite. Review

Oct 3 – Addicted 2 Novels. Giveaway

Oct 4 – Brittany’s Book Rambles. Review and giveaway

Oct 5 – Icey Books. Review

Oct 5 – Fantastic Flying Book Club. Review and giveaway

Oct 6 – Ex Libris. Review and giveaway

Oct 7 – My Friends are Fiction. Review and giveaway

Oct 7 – Cuddlebuggery. Guest post

Oct 8 – YA Interrobang. Interview and giveaway

Oct 8 – JessaBella Reads. Interview and giveaway

Oct 9 – A Reader of Fiction. Review and giveaway

Oct 9 – The Ravenous Reader. Giveaway

Oct 10 – Good Books & Good Wine. Review and giveaway

Oct 10 – The Reader Bee. Review and giveaway

Oct 11 – The Reading Nook Review. Review

Oct 11 – The Eater of Books! Giveaway

Oct 12 – Novel Heartbeat. Review and giveaway

Oct 12 – Two Chicks on Books. Interview and giveaway

Oct 13 – A Dream Within A Dream. Review and giveaway

Oct 14 – The Starry-Eyed Revue. Guest post

Oct 15 – Supernatural Snark. Interview

Oct 15 – Unofficial Addiction Book. Review

Oct 16 – Xpresso Reads. Guest post and giveaway

Oct 16 – Rainy Day Ramblings. Review and giveaway

Oct 17 – Effortlessly Reading. Review and giveaway

Oct 17 – Page Turners. Interview

Oct 18 – Mundie Moms Books Review. Review

Oct 18 – SFF World. Guest post

Oct 19 – Chapter By Chapter. Review

Oct 19 – Confessions of a Vi3tbabe. Review and giveaway

Oct 20 – Novel Novice. Review

Oct 20 – Nightly Reading. Review

Oct 21 – Live to Read. Review and giveaway

Oct 21 – My Bookish Ways. Interview and giveaway

Oct 22 – SF Signal. Guest post

Oct 22 – SciFiChick. Review and giveaway


  1. This book looks so amazing!! I was brutally disappointed not to win as part of the YA Scavenger hunt. So thanks for giving me another shot. What a fun interview!

  2. What a great idea - combining a break up story with an alien invasion. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Congrats on a fantastic new series that I can't wait to read!

  4. Talk about an exciting premise! Wow! And I must check out The Lotus Wars too. Thanks for the giveaway and post!

  5. The interview was so fun to read! Jay is hilarious! So excited to read Illuminae and see all the easter eggs they left ;)

  6. This book sounds amazing. I've heard lots of great things.

  7. Heard a lot of good things about this book, Can't wait to get my hands on it.

  8. This book sounds so good! I can't wait to read it!

  9. I read some great things about this book and I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the chance to win! :)


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