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One-on-one with the authors of Zeroes

When three powerhouse authors come together to write a new YA book series, you can be fairly sure it will be all kinds of epic and awesome. We're pleased to report that Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti absolutely doesn't disappoint. 

Zeroes is the story of six unique superheroes that features a bag of stolen drug money, a bungled bank robbery, multiple esacpes from drug lords and mobsters, crowd-based super powers, and a whole heap of trouble. Each author has written two of the main characters and, despite our best attempts to trick the authors into tell us who wrote which character, this is a secret they will be keeping until the series wraps up in 2017.

We recently sat down to talk all things zeroes to heroes with these three extraordinary writers. They talked to us about how the Zeroes project began and how the writing process, with three authors as opposed to one, worked. (Spoiler alert: it worked quite well. We challenge you to work out when one author stops writing and another begins.)

You can listen to the full audio of our chat with the authors here

If that's not enough for you, here's some more exclusive content from the Zeroes authors!

ScottWesterfeld_photo-credit_Niki-Bern.jpgSCOTT
1. What was your favourite book growing up and why?

Charlotte's Web. It's the perfect book for writers, really, because it's all about the power of text. How the right words at the right time—"Some pig!" "I love you!" "Don't touch that wire!"—can change everything.
 
2. If you could invite three fictional characters to dinner, who would you pick?
Nana (the rock star) from the manga of that name, for glamor and angst; Paul Atreides from Dune, for erudition and intrigue; the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland, for random subject changes and snark.
 
3. Who is your OTP and why?
Alana, from the comic book Saga, and the guy who cuts my hair here in reality. Because she's so earthy and strong, and he's a pensive, delicate artist who needs someone like that to kick his ass.
 
4. What would you like to tell your 18 year-old self?
Think about other people more, and you'll do fine just being who you are. Also, buy Apple stock.
 
5. M&Ms or Smarties?
Peanut M&Ms.
 
6. Who inspires you? 
My friend Pater Zahler who spent his own money and risked his life searching for the woolly flying squirrel in Pakistan because he didn't think it was extinct and he turned out to be right. Now he is a member of the Explorer's Club, which has a really cook clubhouse in NYC.
 
7. What YA book absolutely needs to be adapted into a film?
Tithe by Holly Black. Gritty faeries in the modern world would be great as a movie (or TV show, because TV is really better at everything).
 
8. What’s the best book you’ve read in the past 12 months?
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.
 
9. What is your number one tip for would-be writers?
Everything is point of view. Every description, every simile or metaphor, every digression, every moral judgement, everything heard, seen, or felt, it all comes from the character, never from the writer. Your character is everywhere. You're as hidden as you can possibly be.
 
10. How would you summarise your latest book in 25 words or less?
Collaboration is the human superpower. Fighting against each other is the human addiction. Action scenes are fun to write and read.

Lanagan,-Margo,-2009-Credit-Steven-Dunbar.jpgMARGO
1. What was your favourite book growing up and why?

Alan Garner's The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. I loved everything about that story—the crows, the jewel, the sleeping warriors of pure heart, the names (Fundindelve, Cadellin Silverbrow), the evil Morrigan—but I think my main reason for loving it was that I discovered it in the library myself. I had 2 older sisters and was allergic to hand-me-downs.
 
2. If you could invite three fictional characters to dinner, who would you pick?
Snufkin, from the Moomintroll books. He probably wouldn't come, and if he did he wouldn't talk to anyone, but if you caught up with him afterwards on the veranda while he was smoking a pipe, he'd have a few things to say that would set things right in your head. Mori, from Jo Walton's Among Others, for geek talk with a side order of magic. Michelle, from Anne Enright's short story "Caravan". Just to give the poor woman a night off.
 
3. Who is your OTP and why?
Mad Max and Furiosa and I don’t think you need to ask why. But it all has to happen off screen.
 
4. What would you like to tell your 18 year-old self?
Get away from that guy, darl. That is not what love looks like.
 
5. M&Ms or Smarties?
See's Toffee-ettes.
 
6. Who inspires you? 
At the moment, two sculptors: Alice Hudson and Linde Ivimey.
 
7. What YA book absolutely needs to be adapted into a film?
Anything Amie Kaufman's involved in. Her collaboration with Megan Spooner, These Broken Stars, actually is being made into a TV series. And I'd be surprised if Illuminae, which she wrote with Jay Kristoff, isn't in development already.
 
8. What’s the best book you’ve read in the past 12 months?
It's a toss-up between Maureen McHugh's China Mountain Zhang, Rebecca Stead's Goodbye Strangerand Jillian and Mariko Tamaki's graphic novel This One Summer.
 
9. What is your number one tip for would-be writers?
Write stories that beg to be written by you and no one else.
 
10. How would you summarise your latest book in 25 words or less?
A teen-angsty, action-packed ride through the world of crowd-based superpowers, with bonus fireworks.

Biancotti-Deborah-headshot-Credit-Vicki-Skarratt.jpgDEBORAH
1. What was your favourite book growing up and why?
I'm going to nominate the whole of Elyne Mitchell's Silver Brumby series. I was completely immersed in her world of beautiful, talking horses in the Snowy Mountains of Australia.
 
2. If you could invite three fictional characters to dinner, who would you pick?
Trillian from Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide trilogy. She seems like the smartest of the bunch, but she's often overlooked in favour of the more glamourous Zaphod Beeblebrox or the amusingly dour Arthur Dent. Almost anyone from an Oscar Wilde story, because they would be either hilariously witty or uproariously ignorant, or both. Either would be worth listening to. Anne from Anne of Green Gables. Because honestly, how could you NOT invite Anne? She's so darn passionate and optimistic.
 
3. Who is your OTP and why?
Jo March and Laurie Laurence from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. I know, I know, they both marry other people. But they're wrong to do it!
 
4. What would you like to tell your 18 year-old self?
I'd tell her to stop watching so many horror movies, she's going to give herself nightmares.
 
5. M&Ms or Smarties?
M&Ms, especially the peanut ones.
 
6. Who inspires you? 
Generous, energetic, thoughtful, sensitive, open people from all walks of life inspire me, always.
 
7. What YA book absolutely needs to be adapted into a film?
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.
 
8. What’s the best book you’ve read in the past 12 months?
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.
 
9. What is your number one tip for would-be writers?
Ignore most of the advice you receive. And just keep writing.
 
10. How would you summarise your latest book in 25 words or less?
Six teens with superpowers try—and mostly fail—to be some kind of heroes.

Posted by Global Administrator on 16/09/2015