I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on blog tour for SHADOW RUN by Adrianne Strickland and Michael Miller! I LOVED this sci-fi book so freaking much and am dying to read the next one! I have an interview with Adrianne and Michael to share with you today!
"Firefly" meets DUNE in this action-packed sci-fi adventure about a close-knit, found family of a crew navigating a galaxy of political intrigue and resource-driven power games.
Nev has just joined the crew of the starship Kaitan Heritage as the cargo loader. His captain, Qole, is the youngest-ever person to command her own ship, but she brooks no argument from her crew of orphans, fugitives, and con men. Nev can’t resist her, even if her ship is an antique.
As for Nev, he’s a prince, in hiding on the ship. He believes Qole holds the key to changing galactic civilization, and when her cooperation proves difficult to obtain, Nev resolves to get her to his home planet by any means necessary.
But before they know it, a rival royal family is after Qole too, and they’re more interested in stealing her abilities than in keeping her alive.
Nev’s mission to manipulate Qole becomes one to save her, and to survive, she’ll have to trust her would-be kidnapper. He may be royalty, but Qole is discovering a deep reservoir of power—and stars have mercy on whoever tries to hurt her ship or her crew.
“Readers will want to join Qole's crew.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The world-building is excellent, with a convincingly unique source of cosmic energy that has the potential for extraordinary power. The writing is accomplished; the plot, though familiar, has good twists; and the pace is appropriately fast.”—School & Library Journal
Now on to the interview!
Hi AdriAnne and Michael! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books! SHADOW RUN was freaking awesome and am so happy that you could stop by for a visit!
For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about SHADOW RUN and the characters?
SHADOW RUN is about Qole, a seventeen year old starship captain who harvests a dangerous energy source called Shadow. Over the generations, her family has developed an affinity for the substance that Qole has inherited to the extreme—meaning she can manipulate Shadow to grant her greater speed and strength, or to even blow things up. But this power comes at a cost.
The story is also about Nev, who’s just gotten hired onto Qole’s ship as a cargo loader… though he’s also a prince in disguise who thinks her Shadow affinity is the key to changing the galaxy. Unfortunately, the other royal families think so too. They want to get to her first, and they’re more interested in dissecting Qole than in keeping her alive. To protect Qole, Nev’s mission to manipulate her soon becomes one to save her in their death-defying race across the stars.
What about book 2? Is there a title yet?
YES. But we’re keeping it a secret, muahaha! Right now, you can call it: “Copyedits, AAAUUUGH!”
If you had to evacuate earth on a spaceship right now what is the one thing that you MUST take with you?
AdriAnne: My pug, Odin, if this “thing” can be alive. If not, I’d take my e-reader for maximum bookage.
Michael: Wow. Questions like this always make me panic. Why am I evacuating? Is it getting destroyed? I should try to preserve something of earth! Bring a grab bag of seeds, a la Mad Max? Or am I escaping an evil cabal bent on my destruction, never to return? In that case, I’m going to bring an iPod full of music. I hope they have USB chargers in space.
Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?
AdriAnne: Qole was definitely inspired by several amazing female boat captains I’ve had the honor to get to know while fishing in Bristol Bay.
Michael: I don’t know any people in real life.
Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?
AdriAnne: Other than Qole, of course, Basra was my favorite character to write, because, well, it’s Basra. And maybe I have a soft spot because I’m genderfluid. My least favorite, hmmm. I wasn’t as excited to write many of the royals other than Nev or Solara, because they were kind of stodgy. Good thing they were mostly in Michael’s chapters.
Michael: I CANNOT PICK FROM AMONGST THE CHILDREN. Telu. I mean, they are all awesome. Writing Basra on his home planet was supremely satisfying, and Qole and Nev are our main peeps, you know? But Telu is a hacker, and while I’m no hacker, we would both be nerding it up in the corner, no doubt. I don’t have a least favorite.
What is your favorite passage/scene in SHADOW RUN?
We share these.
Non-spoilery answer: When we first describe the ruins of the portals that once connected this galaxy to all the rest. It made the world finally feel as big as it is.
Slightly-spoilery: When Qole is in Dracorva, feeling out of sorts. There’s just nothing like making your character a fish out of water to get some really great reactions.
What kind of research did you have to do for the story?
AdriAnne: I mostly looked at loads of pictures, whether real-world architecture and period clothes, or sci-fi landscapes and ships. It was Michael’s job to delve into the tech-stuff more, so:
Michael: I did research into faster-than-light travel, ship gravity systems, stock markets, and so on. A huge portion of it never actually made it into the book, but it’s there, I swear! My favorite bit was to discover that magnets can be “programmed” to be attracted to one another, which comes into a play at a critical juncture. I’m sure I took wild liberties with it, but the base concept is true!
How was it writing SHADOW RUN together?
AdriAnne: It was so much fun, to be honest. I thought there would be more disagreement than there was, but instead, I marveled at how nice it was to have a partner -in-crime. So often writing is a solo venture, but we got to celebrate milestones, share complaints, and work through roadblocks by brainstorming together. It was a totally different experience from writing alone.
Michael: Super fun, for me. AdriAnne and I saw eye to eye on tone, major plot points, and character development. We would correct one another’s chapters as we traded off, but it was largely in the form of suggestions that, at least for me, always obviously made the chapter better. We did have a few disagreements, but we went into this knowing that some things we would cede to the other person. Most of the disagreements actually ended up resulting in a better book; the entire ending changed pretty dramatically because of one, and I love it.
Lightening Round Questions
What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
AdriAnne: I am reading everything. Stephanie Garber’s CARAVAL, James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series, Kevin Hearn’s Iron Druid series, Richard Kadrey’s Another Coop Heist series. I really want to read V.E. Schwab’s A CONJURING OF LIGHT, which I have waiting for me like a present. Spoil it and die.
Michael: Callie Bates’s THE WAKING LAND.
What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?
AdriAnne: Slytherclaw, if it existed, but in the end I’m probably more Slytherin than
Michael: I refuse to be sorted!
AdriAnne: *whispers* He’s totally a Hufflepuff.
What inspired you to write YA?
AdriAnne: I like the very in-the-moment voice, and the flexibility of the category.
Michael: Many of my favorite books are YA.
Twitter or Facebook?
AdriAnne: Twitter, for shizzle. Facebook is boring.
Michael: Facebook. I’m a writer. 140 characters is wrong.
AdriAnne: The entire crew of Guardians of the Galaxy. I can’t pick one. Maybe Groot. No, Gamora. No…!
Favorite TV show?
AdriAnne: Battlestar Galactica, the remake, but only because Michael will say Firefly and we shouldn’t just repeat each other.
Sweet or Salty?
AdriAnne: Is tangy an option?
Michael: Salty. Keeps me preserved.
AdriAnne: Trypophobia, for real. Even thinking about it makes my scalp crawl. (I was going to post a link for this for the people who don't know what it is but ewwww no! If you want to know do a google search lol-Jaime)
AdriAnne: *whispers* He’s actually a workaholic…
Song you can’t get enough of right now?
AdriAnne: I’m addicted to The Black Keys, all songs, right now.
Michael: Bad Romance is still stuck in my head, and seems to be in no danger of ever leaving.
2017 Movie you’re most looking forward to?
AdriAnne: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, obviously.
Michael: Because Adri said Guardians of the Galaxy 2, I say Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets!
Thanks so much AdriAnne and Michael for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read SHADOW RUN and I can’t wait for book 2!