Here you go! You asked and Beth answered! Remember that if the question is spoilery- you aren't going to get much of an answer.
1. What inspired you to write Across the Universe?
It was based on the twist at the end. I had the idea for the big twist first, and then built everything else--the setting, the characters, the story--around that. As for where the twist came from, I think it started with a lot of great books I read, particularly Megan Whalen Turner's THE THIEF and Agatha Christie's MOUSETRAP.
2. You created an amazing world on the Godspeed, what initiated this world and why?
My main focus with Godspeed was making this feel trapped. I really wanted to have a constant sense of entrapment--and I focused on using every sense to show that. So not only does Amy see the steel walls, she tastes the recycled air, she hears the odd noises of the genetically altered animals, she feels the rivets in the walls, etc.
3. Have you considered a spin off series aka when the ship reaches its destination?
4. Your favorite part you enjoyed most whilst writing the book?
Actually--and this is a bit of a spoiler for anyone who's not read the book--but my favorite scene to write was Harley's death and Elder's confession. They were highly emotional scenes, and I really felt connected to those characters in those specific moments. I actually cried when I killed Harley--it was a total surprise for me. I'd not intended for him to die!
5. What inspires you to come up with your book ideas?
I don't think I could quit coming up with ideas if I tried--that's the easy part! I just love telling stories and keep asking "what if" to everything. I have way more ideas than time to write the books!
6. What is the most important advice you can give an asiping writer?
My number one piece of advice is this: when given the choice between writing and experiencing something new, go for the new experience. You can't write without life experience. There will always be more time to sit down and write (if that's what you truly want to do, you will MAKE time), but you can't forego life experiences. (I also have more advice here: http://bethrevis.
7. Ok. This is going to be a terribly silly question. Why did they have to be naked to be frozen? See, I said it was silly. But I just have to ask. Couldn't they have worn a simple frock instead of being so exposed? Sure, they're frozen but can't they maintain some dignity?
It's not a silly question at all!
Whether or not to have the people be naked at freezing was a serious question I asked myself while writing. In an early draft, they weren't naked--they wore something similar to the gowns you were in a hospital. But actually, wearing clothing can cause some complications in the freezing process (things like the cloth sticking to the skin). But also, on a writing stylistic level, it was a matter of taking away all their humanity. The cryo area is coldly scientific, and literally all that makes the people warm and alive is taken from them.
8. Will there be other people who will unfrozen after Amy?
9. How have your parents' careers in science influenced this book?
My parents were both very scientific people--my father is in forestry and agriculture, and my mother is in environmental science--and I was...not. I was much more into the arts and literature. For AtU, I think this shows up on some level in the mere fact that I wrote a science fiction novel--I don't think I would have had the background or the courage to write sci fi without my parent's influence. As for how my parents and my dynamic influence the actual characters--that is something that you will find out more in the sequels. (Good question, btw!)
10. What made you decide to include information on Eldest's warped version of world history and one of its most controversial leaders, Adolf Hitler?
I actually made a conscious effort to include several different references to history--not just Hitler, but also the Armenian genocide, Kim Jong-Ill, Ghengis Khan, Stalin, etc. I tried to include a wide variety of historical references to that many different readers would be aware of the extent of Eldest's manipulation on history--although most people only notice the Hitler reference, not the others. But I've had very nice letters from people who thanked me for including some of the lesser known references, too.
Another reason for including these historical references was a bit of my own political agenda--I wanted people to be as aware of the Armenian genocide, for example, as of the Holocaust. There is a lot of history that gets glossed over and forgotten; I hoped that by bringing up a very well known leader (Hitler) I could draw some attention to the lesser known atrocities by association.
11. Have Amy's parents and their occupations been based on your own parents?
A bit! In particular, my mother is fascinated with environmental sciences, and Amy's mother copies that--although she's a bit more of an expert.
Thanks everyone for entering with your questions. Question number 9 was chosen the winner by Beth and I'll be emailing the winner shortly!