Pintip, what was your inspiration for writing STAR-CROSSED?
My husband and I are total foodies. For over a decade, we would say to each other after a particularly big meal, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could transfer our calories to someone who really needs them?” One night, I was lying in bed drifting off to sleep when it suddenly struck me that this would make a pretty cool idea for a book. (I’d also like to note how often ideas come to me as I’m falling asleep!)
Of course, the premise of STAR-CROSSED is a little more complicated. Because land is scarce on the planet of Dion, not enough food can be produced to feed the entire colony. Thus, Princess Vela steps up to receive a genetic modification that will allow her to convert food into energy more efficiently. The nutrition is then extracted from her via a pill and distributed to the rest of the colony.
The genetic modification means that Vela will have to cut short her life by 60 years — but that’s not her biggest problem. She’s been tasked with choosing a boy fit to die so that her father, the King, may continue to live. But the person who emerges as the best candidate is . . . the boy she’s loved all her life.
What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?
The hardest scene for me to write — and the one of which I’m the most proud — was the very last scene of this novel. When I conceive of my stories, sometimes I know exactly how the book will end, and other times, I surprise myself as I am writing. In STAR-CROSSED, it was the former: from the beginning, I knew that Vela would have to make an impossible choice, and I always knew what that choice would be.
However, that knowledge didn’t make it any easier to write this scene. I feel like I am doing something right when I cry while writing. And I certainly cried my eyes out as I wrote this finale, so I hope that it will resonate with my readers, as well!
How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?
Long. Very long. And hard. Really hard. I wrote for about 15 years before I got my first offer of publication. In that time, I managed to accrue 150 rejections — 100 from agents and 50 from publishers. FORGET TOMORROW was the fourth book I wrote, and the one with which I signed with my literary agent. STAR-CROSSED was the fifth. THE DARKEST LIE was the sixth. All three of them went on submission before I received my first offer for STAR-CROSSED. And then, all three books sold, to two different publishers, plus four more books, in the space of 7 months.
The three books I wrote before FORGET TOMORROW are all safely on the shelf. The first one is an utter disaster. However, I actually feel quite fondly about the second and third, so maybe I’ll dust them off and revise them someday.
What are you working on now?
I am putting the finishing touches on MALICE, which releases on February 5, 2019! This book is about a girl who finds out that a boy in her class will one day create a virus that will wipe out two-thirds if the world...and she has to decide if she can take his still-innocent life today in order to save millions in the future.
ABOUT THE BOOKStar-Crossed
by Pintip Dunn
Princess Vela's people are starving.
Stranded on a planet that lacks food, Vela makes the ultimate sacrifice and becomes an Aegis for her people. Accepting a genetic modification that takes sixty years off her life, she can feed her colony via nutrition pills. But her best friend is still getting worse. And she's not the only one.
Now the king is dying, too.
When the boy she's had a crush on since childhood volunteers to give his life for her father's, Vela realizes her people need more than pills to survive. As tensions rise between Aegis and colonists, secrets and sabotage begin to threaten the future of the colony itself.
Unless Vela is brave enough to save them all…
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pintip’s novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. Her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the Tome Society It list; and the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other titles include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, STAR-CROSSED, and the upcoming MALICE.
Have you had a chance to read STAR-CROSSED yet? Do you know your ending before you start a story? Do you make yourself cry while writing? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!
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