Today is a very special post!
Now you need a bit of backstory. So the awesome Jaime at Harper Voyager f sent me a proof copy of one of my most anticipated books of this year; Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. Ahhhh I know right?? And then I was asked if-
Some of you idiotas might not know what Nevernight is…. which is an insult but I guess I need to give you a quick blurb of this magnificent, thrilling, sexy ass book:
Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.
Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.
The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student.
The shadows love her. And they drink her fear
Anyway, I was in Pisa when I received an e-mail asking if I wanted to interview Jay.
You read it right, or maybe heard ’cause for all I know you are reading this where my voice is speaking to you. So if so, hi!
Naturally, I said yes!!!! Swiftly, I sent off my questions and received some totally awesome answers.
1. What inspired you to write Nevernight?
Well, NEVERNIGHT is a bunch of different inspirations all colliding together in my head. The Republic of Itreya was born from my love of Rome and Venice (I’ve lived in both), and the histories behind them. The idea for a world with three suns, where nighttime only occurs once every two and half years comes from an old science fiction story I love. The inspiration for Mia was a drunken discussion/argument between two of my female friends I witnessed one NYE. Inspiration comes from everywhere.
2. Are any of the characters in Nevernight (and any other of your novels) based off of anybody you know? If so, do they know about it and how do they feel?
No, I never base characters off real people. Sure, I take certain personality traits from people I know or observe, but I never use someone I know as a template for a character. That’s a good way to lose friends. 🙂
3. Amie Kaufman and yourself are writing the dossier-style heart poundingly brilliant Illuminae Files, does working with another author change your writing process?
I definitely work differently writing alone, yes. When you’re writing with another author, you need to plot very intensively together, to make sure each partner knows where the story is going. When I write alone, I’m a total pantser, or more accurately, a join-the-dotser. I know key scenes or points of conflict in the novel I’m writing, but often have not idea how I’ll get there or what the outcome might be.
4. How long does it take you to get a first draft of a book written?
Depends on the book! I’ve been writing NEVERNIGHT since 2013, but I also wrote three other books during that period. I usually average about 3,000 words a day, upwards of 5,000 on a good day. A typical YA book is around 90,000, but NEVERNIGHT is almost twice that.
5. Do you do any research for your novels? If so, how much research do you do for each book?
Again, it depends on the book! I’ve been a studier of Ancient Roman and Venetian history for twenty years—it’s always been one of my hobbies (I’m a nerd, I know). So for NEVERNIGHT, I was falling back on research I’d already done over the course of many years. I tend to rely on the advice of experts too—I have a friend who’s a huge medieval recreationist buff, for example, and he helped me with weaponry and fighting styles. I have another friend who’s an astrophysicist, and she designed the trinary star system that NEVERNIGHT is set in. Getting a system where daylight would only fall on a planet for two weeks every two and half years was apparently very tricky! We also had long and involved conversations about the viability of life on a planet constantly scorched by sunlight—temperatures would climb very quickly on a world like that, which is how I came across the idea of cool winds blowing off the ocean as the turning point between “day” and “nevernight”. She was a huge help—I actually named the Goddess of Fire in Itreya after her.
6. Illuminae is going to become a film, when you began writing it did you ever think you’d have a film come out of it?
No, we didn’t think it would ever be made into a book, let alone a film. The idea seemed too crazy to us. We knew a publisher would have to be nuts to want to make a book like ILLUMINAE. Fortunately, we found an awesome publisher full of brilliant people, who were just as crazed as we are.
7. Have you always wanted to be an author?
I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid. Sadly, I’m too tall. And terrible at maths. 😦
8. Who are your inspirations? (They can be other authors, people in your life etc)
In terms of writing, it was William Gibson’s Sprawl series that started it all for me. Frank Herbert’s Dune, Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker series, China Miéville’s Bas Lag books, anything by Phillip K Dick or Robert Heinlein. But I also draw a lot of inspiration from people I know, places I visit. Music is also a huge part of my life. I couldn’t have written NEVERNIGHT without the work of Ludovico Einaudi—I had his stuff on constant loop while writing this book.
9. Do you have an input as to what your book covers will look like?
I get a small amount of influence because I used to be a designer by trade, and I had a lot to do with the design of ILLUMINAE, so my publishers trust me more than the average author. I had a friend of mine design the typography for the US edition of NEVERNIGHT, for example. And I worked pretty closely with Jason Chan to get the final illustration done. But I didn’t have anything to do with the UK cover, except to go “woowwwwww” when the awesome folks at Harper Voyager showed it to me. But that’s fine too, most authors have very little control at all.
10. What is your favourite book and why?
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Because I was a very angry kid. 🙂 There’s a signed 1st edition of the book at Books of Wonder in NYC that costs $20,000, so if anyone is looking to buy me a birthday present this year, feel free.
11. Why should people pre-order Nevernight?
Well, all US editions will be signed, for starters. Doesn’t matter where you order it from—your local store, online, wherever, it WILL BE SIGNED.
All pre-orders done through Waterstones in the UK will receive a super special black edged edition that isn’t available anywhere else in the entire world.
And Goldsboro Books also have a signed special edition available for preorder on their site, which comes signed and with blood-red edging on the pages.
So if those don’t’ tempt you, I dunno what will.
12. And finally, sum up Nevernight in 5 words
Bloody, sexy, funny, deadly, dark.
Jay Kristoff is a New York Times and internationally bestselling Australian author of fantasy and science fiction. He lives in Melbourne. Jay has managed to trick the world into thinking he’s an author. His award-winning steampunk series, THE LOTUS WAR and the New York Times bestselling sci-fi novel ILLUMINAE, the first of a trilogy, are out now. A new fantasy series, NEVERNIGHT, arrives in 2016.
Buy more of his work here:-