I love reading stories set in alternate/parallel universe, especially when there are scientific explanations involve. I like how alternative reality explores “what if” scenarios. Compare to fantasy books, I think science-fiction set in parallel worlds like time travel or time splitting are more engage in reality. That’s why I’m so thrilled to have author Aditi Khorona here on the blog today for a short interview as part of Celebrating Debutantes 2016 event. Aditi’s debut YA science-fiction novel, Mirror in the Sky explores alternative universe. Looking forward discovering how Aditi presents this set-up in Mirror in the Sky when the book hit the shelves this June 21st 2016.
To know more about Aditi Khorona and Mirror in the Sky, check the author’s bio and book’s description that follows after the interview, as well as links where to find Aditi and where to buy copies of the book.
Also, don’t forget to check the fabulous giveaway at the bottom of this post for a chance to win a ARC of Mirror in the Sky and swags!
Interview with Aditi Khorana
Mirror in the Sky is your debut novel, what push you to pursue writing as a career? How did you know what story you want to write about? And why science-fiction?
I was too terrified to pursue my passion for writing professionally for many years. I wrote quietly on the side, at night or on the weekends while working full-time. But my work as a journalist, researcher, market research consultant and communications director at a startup informed both my writing as well as my way of observing the world. Eventually, I wrote my first novel, but it was rejected by multiple agents. I wrote Mirror in the Sky soon after that failure. I was second-guessing myself and all of my choices and Mirror in the Sky came from a very vulnerable place of questioning many of my own life choices. I never really thought of Mirror in the Sky as science fiction while I was working on it. While the overarching idea of an alternate Earth is undeniably science fiction, it’s more of a contemporary speculative story about what the world would be like if we all knew we had a twin on another planet. It’s a book that explores that idea as well as many others, including Otherness, race and class.
One of the things that sets YA science fiction apart from much adult science fiction is how accessible it is for readers (generally speaking), it makes entering alternate world easy (at least based on my own experience). Do you agree? Was that something you thought about while you were writing?
As I was writing, I wasn’t really thinking of Mirror in the Sky as either YA or adult fiction. I just wanted to write a story that felt authentic and was coming from the most honest part of me. But I do think that writing from the voice of a 16-year old was really fun because of how uncensored and raw Tara is. I loved exploring the idea of another world from her point of view, as well as the world that she inhabits in her day-to-day life on the Brierly campus. Ultimately, Tara is an outsider in so many ways and her way of dealing with this is through escaping into a fascination with Terra Nova. The thing is, she’s not the only one. The discovery of an alternate Earth has cataclysmic consequences for nearly everyone she knows.
Could you discuss your concept of mirror Earth? Where did you base this idea?
The Mirror Earth is really a metaphor for all the paths we didn’t take, all the desires we deferred, all the possibilities that still foment within us. That person we could have dated, but didn’t, the career or college we could have chosen, the friends we could have had, that other city we could have lived in. Before I wrote the book, I read Cheryl Strayed’s Rumpus column – The Ghost Ship That Didn’t Carry Us – and it inspired me to write MITS. It’s about choosing a particular path and simultaneously wondering about the one we didn’t choose. Since I was in my own period of questioning, writing about another world inhabited by alternate versions of all of us felt like an idea that I was personally aching to explore.
Based on the reviews I have read, you write in such a way that captures emotions completely. How do you manage this?
I just try and write from the most honest part of myself, even if it’s difficult or embarrassing or makes me cringe a little. Especially if it makes me feel this way. So much of writing is about delving headlong into your own discomfort, your own confusion, your own pain.
Did you encounter any challenges while writing Mirror in the Sky? How did you deal with it?
As I mentioned above, I wrote MITS soon after the first novel I wrote – one I (to my chagrin, and perhaps foolishly) had high expectations for was rejected by multiple agents. MITS was something I wrote for myself and my close friends and family. I wrote it in three months and sent it out to agents on a whim. I suppose the biggest challenge I had while writing it was that I was questioning my abilities and facing my own limitations as a writer. It felt like the only way I could deal with these issues was by writing!
Let’s say there is another version of you on another planet, what do you think she will be like? And what she’s doing right now?
Perhaps there is. I’d like to believe she’s chosen to pursue the work that fulfills her and keeps going despite obstacles.
Where do you see your work going after the release of Mirror in the Sky? Do you think you’ll stick with science fiction or branch out into something else?
I’m not married to science fiction and I love exploring ideas, so I hope to continue doing that in whatever I write. I’ve just finished a work of literary fiction as well as a feminist period fantasy set in ancient India.
Thank you so much Aditi for stopping by today and for taking the time to answer all my questions above. Looking forward to the released of Mirror in the Sky this June.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aditi Khorana spent part of her childhood in India, Denmark, and New England. She has a BA in international relations from Brown University and an MA in global media and communications from the Annenberg School for Communication. She has worked as a journalist at ABC News, CNN, and PBS, and most recently as a marketing executive consulting for various Hollywood studios including Fox, Paramount, and Sony. Mirror in the Sky is her first novel. She lives in Los Angeles and spends her free time reading, hiking, and exploring LA’s eclectic and wonderful architecture. For more information, visit aditikhorana.com.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Mirror in the Sky
Author: Aditi Khorana
Publication Date: June 21, 2016
Format: Hardcover, eBooks
For Tara Krishnan, navigating Brierly, the academically rigorous prep school she attends on scholarship, feels overwhelming and impossible. Her junior year begins in the wake of a startling discovery: A message from an alternate Earth, light years away, is intercepted by NASA. This means that on another planet, there is another version of Tara, a Tara who could be living better, burning brighter, because of tiny differences in her choices.
As the world lights up with the knowledge of Terra Nova, the mirror planet, Tara’s life on Earth begins to change. At first, small shifts happen, like attention from Nick Osterman, the most popular guy at Brierly, and her mother playing hooky from work to watch the news all day. But eventually those small shifts swell, the discovery of Terra Nova like a black hole, bending all the light around it.
As a new era of scientific history dawns and Tara’s life at Brierly continues its orbit, only one thing is clear: Nothing on Earth–and for Tara–will ever be the same again.
What’s up for Grab?
- ARC of Mirror in the Sky + sun and star temporary tattoos
- Open to US and Canada addresses only
- There will be one (1) winner
- Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
- Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
- Ends April 20, 2016
- Prizes will be sent by the author
To enter fill out the rafflecopter form
Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post!