Hello, internet land! Today I bring you an author interview with Becca Mionis! This post is a part of her book tour for her newest novel, The Last Celestials, coming out February 14th! The Last Celestials is a space romance filled with drama, tension, and lots of swoon-worthy moments!
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Jessica: Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Becca: I’m 24 years old, and I live in South Carolina with my husband, our husky, and our cat. I’m originally from Kansas City, Missouri, and the Midwest will always have a special place in my heart. My day job is a freelance copywriter, so it’s pretty cool that I get to work with words all day… even if some words are more interesting than others!
J: How did you get into writing? Which authors/books inspired you to write, if any?
B: I’ve been writing for as long as I’ve been able to spell. I guess I’ve always fancied myself a storyteller. While I was read to a lot growing up, I’d mostly pull my ideas from things I’d watched. (Lots of Disney movies!) But the series that really got me thinking “I want to write like that” is the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. High-tech fairies. Very fun. I also remember liking The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi. I was always attracted to unique cross-genre fantasy like that and wanted to write something that was as witty and imaginative.
J: What is your writing process like?
B: Lol what process? Just kidding. It always starts with a character or a concept, and my tendency is to dive right in and start writing scenes around it and then see where it goes from there. Usually I have to write chronologically, though I have been known to skip around if there are scenes I really want to write first. I guess I’m called a “discovery writer,” though we all know that’s just a fancy term for “panster.” It’s okay, it does work for me, though I am trying to get better about coming up with at least a half-way decent outline so I don’t get lost in the weeds.
J: What inspired you to write your upcoming book?
B: That’s actually a funny story! It started years ago, when we were kids playing Barbies. (Three girls, we played A LOT of Barbies.) My sister came up with this character called the “Galactic Princess” who came to Earth to help a group of humans who I think had found a space artifact? (It gets a little fuzzy.) Later, I drew a picture of her, and the idea of a regal, mysterious space princess coming to Earth and befriending a group of humans stuck in my mind like a splinter. The story went through several horrible iterations before I finally landed on the idea there being two of them, the last of their kind. The rest is history, I guess.
J: Here’s a challenge for you! You have three seconds to pitch your novel to an unsuspecting customer at a bookstore. Describe your book in five words or less.
B: Space people falling in love!
J: What is the weirdest thing you looked up / learned / discovered while researching for your book?
B: I don’t know if this is weird, but it is weirdly embarrassing: Since this book is on the fantasy end of sci-fi, it takes a lot of liberties, but I did want to couch it at least a LITTLE in real astronomy. Originally, one of the star characters (Lidian) was described as a blue dwarf. But in a rare burst of critical thinking, I went back and fact-checked it, and lo and behold: there is no such thing as a blue dwarf! No star has existed long enough to become one, apparently. Silly me.
J: What is one underrated author/book/series that everyone needs to read and why?
B: The Princesses of Westfalin series by Jessica Day George! I wouldn’t say everyone needs to read it because no book is for everyone, but if you like fairy tale retellings, this trilogy is totally underrated. It starts with the Twelve Dancing Princesses and really enhances the story with its lore and atmosphere. Plus, George writes the best book boyfriends!
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What is The Last Celestials about?
A defeated general. A jaded princess. A really awkward situation.
Orion and Cassiopeia are the last of their kind: an ancient, powerful race of space-dwelling beings known as Celestials. After losing a terrible war against another, deadlier race, Orion appeals to Cassiopeia, hoping she’ll help him save their species. After all, he’s a male, she’s a female… This shouldn’t be complicated, right? Wrong!
Cassiopeia, who has been living like a recluse for centuries, wants absolutely nothing to do with Orion. And not just because he has no manners; there are things she doesn’t want him to know, secrets that drove her to self-exile. So she does the only logical thing she can think of: She runs away to Earth, where she allies herself with a group of young musicians and adopts their easygoing way of life in order to blend in. It’s the perfect hiding place, right? Wrong!
Little does Cassiopeia know, Orion is way better at tracking than he is at romance… though he may have to become good at both if he wants a second chance.
Where can I find out more about the author / the book?
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Stay awkward and amazing!