Beth Revis is in the house!

I met Beth Revis last year at the SCBWI Carolinas Fall Conference. I was lucky enough to sit next to her during lunch and find out how freaking cool she was and talk about all things sci-fi. She was honest about her path from aspiring writer to N.Y. Times Bestselling author. And she too inspired me to continue on my path.I am excited to share my interview with her.

Her bio: Beth Revis is the author of the NY Times Bestselling Across the Universe series, published by Razorbill/Penguin in the US and available in 17 countries. The first book in the trilogy, Across the Universe, is a “cunningly executed thriller” according to Booklist, and the second book, A Million Suns, was hailed by the LA Times as “a fast-paced, action-packed follow-up.” The final book of the trilogy, Shades of Earth, will be released in early 2013.

A former teacher, Beth lives in rural North Carolina with her husband and dog. Her goals include travelling around the world in 80 days, exploring the moon, and finding Narnia.

1.  What does your desk look like?

My desk is so cluttered that the Leaning Tower of Pisa looks like a perfectly stable structure in comparison. I have a stack of books as tall as my computer screen, dozens of notebooks, empty peppermint wrappers, and more pens than I can count. I am not at all an organized person!

2. Do you write at your desk?

I write at my desk about 30% of the time. Another 30% on my couch, and another 30% at the local coffee shop. If I get stuck on writing, I tend to just move my location–that really helps me refocus. (And for the math nerds, the remaining 10% of writing time is probably done at my kitchen table, when I’m revising and like to have the room to spread out.)

3. Have you always been a panster?

I’ve tried outlining once before–but by making the outline, I discovered I no longer cared about the plot and never completed the book. I’ve been a pantser since then. That said, though, I’m working on a new novel that is very intricate and detailed, and I think I’ll be outlining for the first time in nearly a decade to complete it.

4. How long did it take you to trust your own inner voice when getting critiqued?

I think my problem was more that I trusted my own inner voice much too much. During my first critiques, if someone didn’t “get” what I’d written, I blamed the critiquer, not my writing. It took me a while to learn that I needed to change my writing to make it more accessible and clear.

5. How much editing did your publisher do on your debute novel Across the Universe?

Surprisingly, Across the Universe didn’t need much editing. Which isn’t to say that it didn’t need any! I still had an edit letter, line edits, and copy edits. But compared to the editing I’ve done for the sequels, A Million Suns and Shades of Earth, the editing for the first book was a cake walk.

6. How excited are you about the paperback artwork for Across the Universe?

I love it! I think it’s awesome that my publisher explores different artwork and different ways to express the mood of the book.

7. Did you know where the story was headed before you started A Million Suns or was it another panster book?

I knew vaguely where the story was headed. Even though I’m a pantser, I definitely always know an idea of what the end of the book will be.

Want to know more about Beth Revis, her writing and her book tour? Go to :

Check out her June 7, 2012 post about a writing experiment and tell me what you think.


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