Title: Nova (Nova #1)
Author: Margaret Fortune
Publisher: DAW (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: June 2, 2015
The clock activates so suddenly in my mind, my head involuntarily jerks a bit to the side. The fog vanishes, dissipated in an instant as though it never was. Memories come slotting into place, their edges sharp enough to leave furrows, and suddenly I know. I know exactly who I am.
My name is Lia Johansen, and I was named for a prisoner of war. She lived in the Tiersten Internment Colony for two years, and when they negotiated the return of the prisoners, I was given her memories and sent back in her place.
And I am a genetically engineered human bomb.
Lia Johansen was created for only one purpose: to slip onto the strategically placed New Sol Space Station and explode. But her mission goes to hell when her clock malfunctions, freezing her countdown with just two minutes to go. With no Plan B, no memories of her past, and no identity besides a name stolen from a dead POW, Lia has no idea what to do next. Her life gets even more complicated when she meets Michael Sorenson, the real Lia’s childhood best friend.
Drawn to Michael and his family against her better judgment, Lia starts learning what it means to live and love, and to be human. It is only when her countdown clock begins sporadically losing time that she realizes even duds can still blow up. If she wants any chance at a future, she must find a way to unlock the secrets of her past and stop her clock. But as Lia digs into her origins, she begins to suspect there’s far more to her mission and to this war, than meets the eye. With the fate of not just a space station but an entire empire hanging in the balance, Lia races to find the truth before her time—literally—runs out.
Kayla: Hi Margaret, thank you so much for your time and willingness to answer a few questions about Nova and yourself for the readers at Bibliophilia, Please. To start things off – how did the idea for Nova come to you?
Margaret Fortune: Oftentimes, my stories start with a setting, and the same is true of Nova. This story started with a random thought along the lines of, “I want to write a story that takes place on a space station!” As I was brainstorming ideas for the story, the line “My name is Lia, and I’m a genetically engineered human bomb,” popped into my head. I knew at once I’d struck gold.
Kayla: Can you tell us a little bit about the two factions taking part in the war mentioned in the description of the novel?
Margaret: At this point in the future, the inhabited universe is divided into two main factions: the Tellurian Alliance and the Celestial Expanse. Though both are made up of vast networks of planets, colonies, and space stations, each is always looking to expand their territory. While the war is ostensibly a simple territory dispute, our heroine eventually learns there is a lot more to this war than meets the eye.
Kayla: There aren’t a lot of hardcore science fiction YA novels. What made you decide to aim Nova at that audience, or did you know you were writing for young people from the beginning?
Margaret: From the very beginning, this was always intended to be a YA novel. While I love sci-fi, the idea of writing adult sci-fi has always intimidated me a little because I don’t have a science background. However, I don’t think I realized how “hardcore” this would end up being for the YA SF field until after the fact, when my agent and I tried to sell it. To say I was surprised when my agent called to tell me that DAW, an adult SF publisher wanted it, is an understatement. But it was a happy surprise!
Kayla: If you could rewrite the events of Nova from another character’s point of view, who would you choose?
Margaret: This is a tough one, because while all the supporting characters are awesome, I don’t think this particular book would work from anyone else’s POV. Luckily, Michael, Teal, and Shar will all be returning later on in the series as main characters in their own books, so we’ll get to see plenty more of them.
Kayla: What was the most interesting fact(s) that you found while doing your research for the book?
Margaret: That while they hide spaceships and stuff in nebulas all the time in Star Trek, you can’t really do that in real life. Hence why nothing in the book is hidden in a nebula.
Kayla: Finally, do you have any other upcoming works besides Nova that we can look forward to reading?
Margaret: I have a short story called “Ill-Fated” which is currently slated for publication in Space and Time magazine at the end of the summer. Otherwise, there’ll be another four books in the Nova series coming in the not-too distant future!
Kayla: Thank you so much again for stopping by, and I, for one, cannot WAIT to get my hands on the next Nova book! Everyone be sure to stop by the blog tomorrow to read my review of Nova!
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About the Author
Margaret Fortune wrote her first story at the age of six, and has been writing ever since. Her short fiction has been published or is forthcoming in Nth Zine, Neo-Opsis Science Fiction Magazine, and Space and Time. She has a BA in psychology from the University of Minnesota - Morris. Nova is her first novel.
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