Happy Monday and welcome to my stop on the Tarnished Are The Stars blog tour!! I’m so excited to share my interview with Rosiee Thor with you today, because this book is one I’ve been looking forward to for a lonnnnnnnnng time! (Here’s my Can’t Wait Wednesday post about it from back in January!) Read on to find out what her favorite scene from TatS is, what other books pair well with this one, and enter to win a print copy of Tarnished Are The Stars!
Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor
Published on October 15, 2019 by Scholastic Press
Genres: Science Fiction, Steampunk, YA, Aspec, Queer
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The Lunar Chronicles meets Rook in this queer #OwnVoices science-fantasy novel, perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Sharon Cameron.
A secret beats inside Anna Thatcher's chest: an illegal clockwork heart. Anna works cog by cog -- donning the moniker Technician -- to supply black market medical technology to the sick and injured, against the Commissioner's tyrannical laws.
Nathaniel Fremont, the Commissioner's son, has never had to fear the law. Determined to earn his father's respect, Nathaniel sets out to capture the Technician. But the more he learns about the outlaw, the more he questions whether his father's elusive affection is worth chasing at all.
Their game of cat and mouse takes an abrupt turn when Eliza, a skilled assassin and spy, arrives. Her mission is to learn the Commissioner's secrets at any cost -- even if it means betraying her own heart.
When these uneasy allies discover the most dangerous secret of all, they must work together despite their differences and put an end to a deadly epidemic -- before the Commissioner ends them first.
Do you have a favorite scene, quote, or moment from Tarnished Are the Stars?
I think my favorite scene–which was incidentally one of the most difficult to write–is when all three of the POV characters come together. I spent a lot of time building up their motives on their own, so when they all finally collided it was like releasing a very tightly wound spring. It was kind of like playing chess against myself.
What is something that we might not know about your main characters?
As an opinionated member of the Harry Potter generation, I’ve got some feelings about non-textual authorial commentary lol BUT here are some fun facts that didn’t make it to the final draft:
- Anna got her start as a mechanic by making a solar powered mechanical beetle that she named… Beetle…
- Nathaniel has a deep love of living things and after the events of TATS I like to think he finds a lot of joy in growing a vegetable garden
- Before coming to live with the Queen, Eliza had another name, but there’s no one alive who knows it besides her and she plans to keep it that way
Give us the elevator pitch for Tarnished Are the Stars!
Tarnished Are The Stars is the story of three queer teenagers from very different worlds who must work together to put an end to a deadly epidemic and save their planet.
How do you feel about LGBTQIA+ rep in your work and how important is it to you to write diverse characters and storylines?
This book has been a journey of self-discovery as much as it has been a journey of plot and character development. I didn’t set out to write an ownvoices book when I wrote the first draft of TATS. In fact, I didn’t know what ownvoices was or that I was queer when I wrote the first draft. But even though I didn’t intend to write my own identity onto the page, I can’t imagine it any other way. Queerness isn’t simply about romance–it’s story deep. It affects every part of who the characters are and how they form community, friendships, and trust. I can’t imagine writing a book without queerness at the center in some form or another. It has become an integral part of my personal sensibility as a storyteller, just as it is central to who I am as a reader.
What are some TV shows, movies, and books that would pair well with your book?
Tarnished is really a blend of science fiction and fantasy genres, which is something I always loved growing up. I think TATS would pair well with Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. While they’re pretty different stories, they both play in that space between genres, plus they both have big mechanic vibes. As far as books go, I’d pair it with The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer for the blend of sci fi setting with a fantasy vibe, We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia, or The Disasters by M.K. England for a full cast of messy queer kids.
Which of your characters do you identify the most with and why?
This is such a tough question because I identify with different parts of each character. Anna is passionate and reactive, which I like to think is representative of my first instinct in any given situation, whereas Eliza is more analytical and she plays the long game, which is representative of my second instinct. And then with Nathaniel, his journey with his asexuality and aromanticism are very close to mine. I certainly didn’t draw from myself on purpose to create these characters, but I think I subconsciously injected pieces of myself into them all.
Rosiee Thor began her career as a storyteller by demanding that her mother listen as Rosiee told bedtime stories instead of the other way around. She lives in Oregon with a dog, two cats, and four complete sets of Harry Potter, which she loves so much, she once moved her mattress into the closet and slept there until she came out as queer.