Today it is my extreme pleasure to welcome Canadian author Megan Crewe to the blog in celebration of her new novel Earth & Sky (Razorbill)! What if life on earth was all just an experiment? That’s the premise of Crewe’s YA sci-fi novel. Skylar has always felt that the world around her is wrong in some way but no one has ever been able to make it right. Until Win, a boy with answers for all the wrongness. But the truth is greater and more terrifying than she ever imagined. On her blog tour, Megan stopped by to chat about time travel, the number three and her writing process.
Bookish Notions: Welcome Megan! What influenced/inspired you to write Earth & Sky?
Megan Crewe: I’d been wanting to write a YA novel that was more intensely science fiction-y than the Fallen World trilogy for a while. There were so many post-apocalyptic and dystopian stories coming out but hardly any that explored other science fiction elements like space travel and aliens. And I’ve been a huge SF fan since childhood, growing up with the original Star Wars movies and the various Star Trek TV shows (and movies) and having my parents pass on their favorite SF novels to me. It was just a matter of finding the right story.
During that time I read a story, Hero by Yoshitaka Amano, that had a small bit about the main character realizing certain details in the world around him had changed overnight, and no one else seemed to notice. That idea stuck with me and made me want to play around with a similar feeling. It and my interest in SF ended up coming together in Earth & Sky.
BN: Skylar’s obsession with numbers is so solidly ingrained into her character and her narration. How did her obsession with numbers develop for you? Was it always a part of her character or did that come later?
MC: Skylar’s interest in numbers and math emerged pretty early on in the brainstorming process. When I was working out what the effects of her sensitivity to the shifts in time might be, it made sense that she’d take comfort in anything she could find that she didn’t have to worry about changing—and mathematics would be a subject that was pretty immutable. As Skylar says in the book, “No matter how many times you perform the same operation, the answer’s always the same.” The specifics of her obsession and how she used numbers to cope fell into place from there. The idea of three being significant, for example, started with me thinking about how she might see her three struggles in the three books of the trilogy as making up three chances she had to save Earth, and then I realized there were a lot of other ways that number could be important to her.
BN: Tell us a bit about your writing process.
MC: I’m very much a planner—I spend a lot of time brainstorming and outlining, and I generally know everything major that’s going to happen in a book and in what order before I start the actual writing. (Though of course bits and pieces end up changing along the way, and then again during the editorial process.) With Earth & Sky, for example, I got the initial idea and started piecing it out all the way back in 2011, before The Way We Fall had even come out. It took several months before I was ready to start writing.
Then, once I am writing drafts, I tend to write quickly and do multiple drafts rather than revising as I go. I find it’s difficult for me to get the beginning of a story solid before I’ve written the end and seen exactly how it plays out on the page, because it’s never the same when I’m writing things out as it is when I’m just imagining them. So I’ll write a first draft in usually two or three months, let it sit and get feedback from critique partners, then rewrite the whole book over from the beginning using their feedback.
BN: I love that Sky and Win got a glimpse of Ancient Rome! If you could time travel, when and where would you want to go and why?
MC: If I could just visit, there are so many places and times I’d want to see! I think I’d be most curious to see some of the most “popular” historical figures and find out how the reality matched up to the stories we’ve heard: people like Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Henry the 8th, and Shakespeare.
Megan Crewe is the celebrated author of the Fallen World trilogy and the novel Give Up the Ghost, which was shortlisted for the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three cats. Find out more about Megan at www.megancrewe.com or on Twitter @MeganCrewe
Check out more Earth & Sky blog tour awesomeness at Razorbill Blog Canada!
Earth & Sky is available now!