But first, let us start with a teaser:
“Ah, here he is,” said the admiral, bounding from his chair to the window. Two figures in free Post dress were coming up the steps of the porch. “Miss Elliot, I’m so excited to introduce you to the pilot of the ship we’ll be building here, to the captain of the Argos—”
But Elliot saw him clearly through the window. She needed no introduction.
No midnight blue jacket, no new, longer haircut, no strange, noble bearing—nothing would serve to disguise him to her eyes. She had only a moment to compose herself and then he walked into the room. Into her house, for the first time in years.
“Miss Elliot,” said the admiral, as she staggered to her feet. Out shot her hand, reluctantly, mechanically, obeying a courtesy so ingrained as to be unconscious. He was taller now. Taller than her. And though he turned in her direction, his hand did not rise to meet hers, and his eyes remained fixed on the mantle beyond her head. “May I present Captain Malakai Wentforth.”
“Hello.” His voice was the same. It rang through Elliot’s body like a thunderclap announcing a storm.
“Hello,” said Elliot, for parroting him was all she could trust herself to say, there in her old, worn clothes, with her braids all mussed; there, in the same room with the same furniture and the same fire and her hand floating in the air between them, curling out into space like a misguided vine, yearning desperately for him to reach across the distance and touch her again.
And now, on to some of the questions folks have been asking:
Q: Will you be going on tour for FDSTS?
A: Unfortunately not. However, I will be doing a bunch of book related events both near to home and far away, starting with my signing at BEA in New York City on June sixth. there are a bunch of other events on the schedule,a nd I’ll be announcing three right here in the DC area tomorrow.
Q: Ooh! Ooh! Like what?
A: Patience, young paduans. Padoowans? I have no clue how to spell that. Also, in passing, Sailor Boy got a totally random hankering to read some Star Wars Book so he got the one that the general fandom thinks is one of the top ones and is reading it and it was written int eh early nineties and so doesn’t have any of this “paduan” or “Sith” or “metachlorians” nonsense. When they mean “Sith,” they say “dark Jedi.” You know, like the Dark Side Of The Force.
Q: Is For Darkness Shows a Stars really, truly a standalone?
A: Yes. Ish. I have a forthcoming announcement about that, too.
Q: Ooh! Ooh! What is it?
A: See above. Also, it’s actually spelled “padawan.” Thank you, Google.
Q: I would like to interview you or have you come do a guest blog regarding your recent release. May I?
A: Yes! Please! And Thank You! Email me at diana AT dianapeterfreund DOT com. I would love to guest blog/be interviewed/etc. I shall even give away fun swag. (Hint: it’s sparkly.)
Q: How did you make the book YA in such an adult world?
A: This is probably one of the questions I get asked the most. The short answer is I don’t know if there’s such a thing as an “adult world.” Every world, with the exception of the kind in a Michale Grant novel, has people of all ages in it. Any kind of YA that isn’t contemporary American YA is not going to be the kind where the kids are in high school and worried mainly about how they’ll afford Prom (and even that isn’t really accurate — look at books like Coe Booth’s or Laurie Halse Anderson’s or Ellen Hopkins or even just the fact that there are teen gang members or teen moms or teen soldiers and you’ll see that even in our world, teens sometimes have to grapple with really “adult” issues).
But teens act like teens, whether that’s in a post-apocalyptic future or in Jane Austen’s time. Look at the impetuous behavior of the fifteen and sixteen year old Lydia Bennett and Georgiana Darcy, who are willing to run off with the older Wickham at the drop of a hat. Look at seventeen year old Catherine Moreland, who wants to believe that life is just like her favorite novels, or seventeen year old Marianne Dashwood, who goes into the queen of all emo dramas when she gets her heart broken. Anne Elliot is a teenager when she accepts Wentworth’s proposal, and also when she accepts the decision of those older and wiser and in charge of her to break it off. What could be more teenage than letting your dad and your godmother tell you who to date?
And what could also be more teenage than the immature revenge fantasy Wentworth plays out when he comes back into town? He ignores Anne, he insults her behind her back, he flirts wildly with any woman younger than she is in her presence, and he drops pointed comments about their history whenever he can use it to embarass her. It’s so VERY high school.
It’s true that the teens in my book have more on their plate than the average contemporary American teen. But it’s also not out of the realm of experience, even today. Many teens, even those with what my friend Justine Larbalestier calls “picket fence lives” know someone who is a runaway, who joined the military, who has been forced to become responsible for children –either their own or younger siblings, who have to deal with the illness of their parents, who is responsible for his or her family getting food on the table, who has to take a leadership role at home.
And though these teens do have all kinds of responsibilities, they are still teens. In my novel, there are many adult characters around who form different functions. Kai, who lost his father at a young age, is close to the Admiral and Mrs. Innovation, who are his bosses but also his caretakers, and reign him in whenever his youthful exuberance endangers their mission. Elliot is still very much under the control of her horrible father, and even though she has a higher status than the adult servants on her estate, they aren’t idiots. They know she’s a teenager and can’t handle the weight of the world on her shoulders, so they step in when they’re needed as well.
Okay, that’s probably enough FAQ for the day. If you have any more questions, leave them in the comments.
ADDITIONALLY, I WILL BE GIVING AWAY ONE OF MY LAST PRECIOUS FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS ARCS TO COMMENTERS, SO ASK ME SOMETHING!
Contest runs through Friday.