Saturday, October 27, 2018

0 Heather Kaczynski, author of ONE GIANT LEAP, on letting her imagination run wild

ONE GIANT LEAP is the second book in the Dare Mighty Things duology, and we're excited to have Heather Kaczynski here to tell us more about it.

Heather, 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?

I really loved writing the scene where Cassie meets the vrag in person. There are two races of aliens in this duology, and the one we meet first is wearing a human disguise. I wanted to go in the opposite direction in this book and write aliens that would be hard for humans to communicate and empathize with - because realistically, if we ever met intelligent alien life, would we even be able to recognize it for being both intelligent and alive? So I got to kind of let my imagination run wild there.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

I think if you enjoyed WARCROSS, you'd also like DARE MIGHTY THINGS and ONE GIANT LEAP: both feature AI, competitions, smart heroines, and twisty surprise endings. THE LONELIEST GIRL IN THE UNIVERSE, also, because spaceships, long distance space travel, and science-loving girls.

Also if you liked DARE MIGHTY THINGS, definitely check out the upcoming books THE DISASTERS by M.K. England for its diverse cast and space shenanigans, and THE LAST 8 by Laura Pohl for more alien invasion funtimes!

How long did you work on ONE GIANT LEAP?

Being a sequel that was purchased at the same time as the first book, I had a much tighter turn around for ONE GIANT LEAP. I started working on it soon after DMT's developmental edits were finalized by my editor. However, I had a bit of a head start: the first third of ONE GIANT LEAP was originally the last third of DARE MIGHTY THINGS. I had a rough idea of how I wanted to end the story, and the stepping stones of what I wanted the characters to discover, but I had to figure out how they got to those revelations on the fly. It probably took me the better part of a year, with my agent and editor chiming in along the way, to both write and edit. My editor approved the final version around the same time that DARE MIGHTY THINGS was published. It was definitely a whirlwind and very nerve-wracking, because I didn't have nearly as much time to perfect and polish ONE GIANT LEAP as I'd had with DARE MIGHTY THINGS, but that's pretty true of anyone writing a sequel. You just gotta learn to let go!


One Giant Leap
by Heather Kaczynski
Released 10/23/2018

When Cassandra Gupta was chosen to be the youngest member of a top-secret mission to the far reaches of the universe, she knew to expect the unexpected. But nothing could have prepared her for the catastrophic events that would occur once she left Earth.

Cassie and the rest of the crew have found themselves in the middle of a conflict between two alien civilizations hell-bent on destroying each other . . . and anyone else who gets in their way.

What was supposed to be a reconnaissance mission soon becomes a fight for their lives. But Cassie knows that it isn’t enough to simply survive.

The war is coming to Earth, and only she has the information that can possibly stop the devastation it will bring. With humanity’s fate in the balance, Cassie must decide who she can trust and who she's willing to sacrifice in order to complete her mission.

Purchase One Giant Leap at Amazon
Purchase One Giant Leap at IndieBound
View One Giant Leap on Goodreads


Heather writes books for teenagers and other people who like books about teenagers. They’re usually about teenagers saving the world, because she really believes they can.

Heather never got to go to Space Camp, so she had to settle for writing about it. After graduating cum laude with a degree in biology from University of Alabama in Huntsville, she returned to her first love of books, and now works in a library near NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. She lives with her husband, their daughter, and cats named after mythological figures. She’s not nearly brave enough to go into space, but she did twirl a fire baton in high school.


Have you had a chance to read ONE GIANT LEAP yet? Have you recycled parts of one book into another book? Are you learning to let go of your stories and send them out into the world? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, Emily, and Lori Ann

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