Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Interview with Naomi Hughes for Refraction


by Naomi Hughes
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release Date: November 5th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
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After an attack on earth, all reflective surfaces become weapons to release monsters, causing a planet-wide ban on mirrors. Despite the danger, the demand rises, and 17-year-old Marty Callahan becomes a distributor in an illegal mirror trade―until he’s caught by the mayor's son, whose slate is far from clean. Both of them are exiled for their crimes to one of the many abandoned cities overrun by fog. But they soon realize their thoughts influence their surroundings and their deepest fears begin to manifest.

With fast pacing and riveting characters, this is a book that you’ll finish in one sitting.

Can you briefly describe REFRACTION and its main characters?

Sure! Refraction is about seventeen-year-old Marty Callahan, who lives on an island off the coast of Florida. Most of the rest of the world is covered in an eerie fog and presumed dead, thanks to the monstrous Beings that started crawling out of mirrors and other reflective surfaces last year after an alien attack.

Marty’s brother is stranded in London—one of the few remaining safe havens—and Marty is desperate to find a way to get to him. Trying to make enough money to bribe a pilot to fly him above the fog, Marty starts a black-market business selling mirrors, which still have unique uses even if they are deadly and now illegal.

But when Marty gets arrested by the mayor’s straight-laced son, Elliott Ackermann, he’s exiled to a mainland full of fog and deadly, terrifying Beings. Elliott, thanks to the laws he broke in order to collar Marty, is exiled along with him. The two enemies will have to work together if they want to survive…but what’s waiting for them in the fog turns out to be more shocking than anything they could’ve expected.

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

Oh, that is SO tough! Honestly, Marty and Elliott both have a pretty powerful hold on me. I love Marty because he’s an antihero with a redemption arc (one of my all-time favorite tropes, thanks to Zuko!) and because his mind works so much like my own; and I adore Elliott because he’s just good in this bone-deep, really rare way—he’s a person you’d want to be friends with in real life.

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?

Refraction, like most of my stories, evolved in fits and spurts. The very first tiny-baby seed of the idea came to me way back in 2014.

I had just finished another book and was searching for my next project. Without any particular plot in mind, I started writing this wacky, fun story about four characters stuck in a town where portals to deadly other worlds could open at any second. I could tell there was something special about this story, but it petered out after two chapters and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out where the plot went after that.

I set it aside while I wrote my next book (Afterimage, which would end up becoming my debut novel!). Then, in the spring of 2018—a few months after Afterimage published—I had an idea. It was about OCD, and mirrors, and a world covered in a fog, and one tiny claustrophobic island in the middle of it all.

I went back to that old wacky story, which still felt special to me, and pulled elements out of it to blend with this awesome new concept. Then I was like “might as well add even more cool stuff that I always wanted to write, right?” and tossed in an antihero arc and a bromance. And voila! Refraction was officially born.

If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?

Definitely something by Imagine Dragons! Probably “Demons.”

If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would play your characters?

Ooh, that’s tough! I’d say…maybe a broody Cole Sprouse for Marty, Connor Hill for Elliot, and Naomi Watts for Mayor Ackermann.

What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

A perfect book date with Refraction would be somewhere secluded, outdoors, and just a little bit eerie (with bonus points for a foggy night!). The perfect drink would be black coffee, or something similarly no-nonsense that you could gulp down in one shot to keep you awake while you watch out for Beings.

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish REFRACTION?

Absolutely!! If you’re looking for more great mental health representation, definitely check out For a Muse of Fire (bipolar main character) by Heidi Heilig and Darius the Great is Not Okay (deals with depression) by Adib Khorram. If you’re on the hunt for bingeworthy YA sci-fi and fantasy, some of my recent faves are We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal, An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson, Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston, and Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer.

What’s next for you?

I’ve got some fun stuff up my sleeve! Right now I’m working on this really lovely, epic-feeling YA fantasy involving magical metals and a doomed romance between a bodyguard and a dangerous Lady. After that, I’ve got a pretty good bead on two more ideas I want to flesh out, but those are still evolving.

Hey! I’m Naomi Hughes, writer of quirky young adult fiction (usually involving physics and/or unicorns). I live in the Midwest US, a region I love even though it tries to murder me with tornadoes every spring. When not writing, my hobbies include reading (of course), traveling, and geeking out over Marvel superheroes and certain time-traveling Doctors. My debut YA sci-fi standalone novel, Afterimage, is available now from Page Street Publishing. My next novel, Refraction (also a standalone YA sci-fi), comes out in Nov 2019. I also offer freelance critique services at naomiedits.com.

1 comment:

  1. Creepy beings crawling out of mirrors--I thought I had it tough looking at new wrinkles every morning!