Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 16, 2019

Book Giveaway: SHATTER THE SKY by Rebecca Kim Wells

Author Rebecca Kim Wells debut YA novel titled, SHATTER THE SKY is coming out on July 30th. Catherine Laudone editor at Simone & Schuster sent me a copy and I lOVED what I read. Here is the link to my Goodreads review. Simon & Schuster has agreed to share a book with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Rebecca!

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia—until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold.

If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory—the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she’s been having about a beast deep underground…

With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?

BOOK’S JOURNEY:

It comes as no surprise to anyone who knew me as a child that I became a writer. I wrote an excellent story of a sad neglected pumpkin on Halloween when I was in second grade, a terrible vampire novel in middle school (I was going to be the next Stephenie Meyer), and a retelling of Sleeping Beauty for my senior thesis in high school. Basically, any school assignment that I could turn into a creative writing prompt, I did.

But it wasn’t until I graduated college that I really thought about pursuing storytelling as a career. I graduated with a degree in political science and a vague understanding that I would take the LSAT and apply to law school. But when I thought about the future, I pictured three more years of studying, papers, and exams. And I thought about writing books, and wondered whether, if I took that path, I would ever get around to finishing a book I was proud of.

So instead of going to law school, I decided to get a day job and try to write a book. It took two years for me to write one very bad novel. When I was done with it, I queried over one hundred agents and was roundly rejected. It took a little while, but eventually I got the sense that maybe I needed a leveling up experience. I decided to move from California to Boston to enroll in an MFA program in writing for children.

(You don’t need a graduate degree to be a writer. Despite the fact that I attended one, I do not necessarily recommend an MFA program. Life experience, reading widely, and dedication to the practice of writing are much more important.)

I moved to Boston and wrote another novel, not quite as bad. I signed with an agent with this second novel. She sent it out to publishers in the fall of 2015. It did not sell.

I was incredibly sad for several months. My writing process is such that I find it very difficult to write without a strict deadline—I am a champion procrastinator. And since I was so down in the dumps about my previous novel not selling, it was easy to blame that for my inability to get started on something new. But the world turns on, and eventually I realized that I couldn’t wait around for the next idea to strike me. I had to be proactive. So I set pen to paper and thought intentionally about what kind of novel I wanted to write.

I decided that I wanted to write a classic fantasy and fill it with people who were not often represented in the books of my childhood. I decided to write a book where my bisexual main character and the people she loves are not just “tolerated,” but embraced. Where queer joy is front and center, and unapologetic. I thought, I deserve that. Teenage me deserved that. Lots of people today deserve that. Not a coming out story, or a story about confronting homophobia—though there’s a big place for those in the world, and there should be. I just wanted to write a fantasy novel filled with a lot of things I loved when I was a teenager reading fantasy novels—and queer characters.

Having decided that, I started reading books I wouldn’t necessarily have picked up otherwise. I read Mark Kurlansky’s Salt and started to think about communities built around single industries—and what happens to them when the industry dies. I stumbled upon Alyssa Harad’s memoir Coming to My Senses and fell headlong into an exploration of perfume (I can’t really talk about how that went into Shatter the Sky without dropping some major spoilers!). I threw these things into a jar together and shook it up—and then I added in dragons, prophecies, strange dreams, and a pointed Avatar: The Last Airbender reference. Voila!

Shatter the Sky draws on many wonderful classic fantasy trappings, and I hope that YA fantasy lovers will enjoy it. But at its core, this book is about two things: Joyful queerness, and making a difference. Aside from the queer representation, I wanted to interrogate the trope of “the chosen one,” the idea that the only people who can make a difference in the world are the people who have been selected to do so. Because I have to believe that every single one of us has the potential to make a difference.

It took me just about two years to draft and revise Shatter the Sky. It went on submission to publishers in December 2017. In late January 2018, we had an offer of publication from Simon & Schuster. After several more months of revision (and a whole lot of other things I didn’t even know went into the secret sauce of making a book), Shatter the Sky will hit shelves on July 30, 2019.

My debut novel took about three and a half years from conception to publication. Or it took nine years and three books. Or it took a lifetime of being enchanted with story, of trying and starting and discarding and sorting and reading and learning and starting again. In the past I’ve been disappointed at being told no, but I can’t regret my journey from where I stand today. I couldn’t have written Shatter the Sky without the books that came before it—and I’m so happy that this is the one I get to share first.

REBECCA KIM WELL’S BIO:

Rebecca Kim Wells is the author of Shatter the Sky, forthcoming from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in Summer 2019, and Storm the Earth, forthcoming in Fall 2020. She holds a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Simmons College. When not writing, reading, or talking about writing or reading, she sells books at a fiercely independent bookstore in Massachusetts. She can also be found drinking tea, singing along to musicals, or playing soccer. (Usually not all at once.) If she were a hobbit, she would undoubtedly be a Took.

Rebecca is represented by Rebecca Podos at the Rees Literary Agency.

More Buzz about the book:

“Anne McCaffrey for the next generation, and I absolutely devoured it.” —Mackenzi Lee, bestselling author of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
“Eagerly awaiting the sequel.” —Melissa Bashardoust, author of Girls Made of Snow and Glass
“A wondrous adventure.” —Tessa Gratton, author of Strange Grace
“Perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce, Renée Ahdieh, and Cindy Pon.” —Saundra Mitchell, author of All the Things We Do in the Dark and editor of YA anthologies All Out and All Out Now
“A captivating debut.” —Audrey Coulthurst, author of Of Fire and Stars
“An extremely welcome addition to YA’s queer fantasy canon.” —Dahlia Adler, author of Under the Lights

Thank you Rebecca for sharing you book and its’ journey with us. I know this is going to be a big hit.

You can visit Rebecca at her Website: http://rebeccawellswrites.com/

If you like the book, remember to ask you library to ordered it so other will find it.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. This sounds like a great new book, I’d love to have a copy. Thanks for the chance to win one!
    I do follow your blog by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    I’ve also tweeted a link to this post: https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/1151176490685358080, and pinned an image on Pinterest with a link as well: https://www.pinterest.com.mx/pin/336573772151390903/.
    Thanks again, have a great week everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I put this book on my to-read list, so I’ll remember to pick up a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This looks like a great read!

    Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Categories

%d bloggers like this: