Monday, March 30, 2015

Interview with Fonda Lee

GUYS. Today I'm chatting with the fab Fonda Lee about All the Things, and yes---YES---this includes Zeroboxer, her sci-fi thrill ride set in the action-packed sports arena of the future.


Behold, Zeroboxer: 

A rising star in the weightless combat sport of zeroboxing, Carr the Raptor Luka dreams of winning the championship title. Recognizing his talent, the Zero Gravity Fighting Association assigns Risha, an ambitious and beautiful Martian colonist, to be his brandhelm––a personal marketing strategist. It isnt long before shes made Carr into a popular celebrity and stolen his heart along the way.

As his fame grows, Carr becomes an inspirational hero on Earth, a once-great planet thats fallen into the shadow of its more prosperous colonies. But when Carr discovers a far-reaching criminal scheme, he becomes the keeper of a devastating secret. Not only will his choices place everything he cares about in jeopardy, but they may also spill the violence from the sports arena into the solar system.

         Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

          I was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. I was a nerdy kid with coke-bottle glasses who wrote a lot of stories and was into the boy stuff like Transformers, Ninja Turtles, and Thunder Cats. Needless to say, I wasnt the most popular little girl. My third grade teacher thought my parents were helping me write my stories; when she discovered they werent, she recommended me for a gifted program which was a forty-five minute bus ride away. Ninety minutes on the bus each day; I wrote a whole novel on the bus when I was in fifth grade.

          Skipping ahead about a decade, I set aside my high school English teachers incredulity and pursued a career in business. I majored in finance in college and went on to work in management consulting and corporate strategy for several years. I still wrote stories now and then but set aside my impractical writing ambitions. Only after Id had two kids, was chafing at the fact that I had no passion for my day job, and realized the urge to write stories was still in me and would never go away, did I decide I wouldnt be happy with myself if I didnt take my writing seriously and try to become an author.

What drew you into the young adult genre?

          Honestly, I have a short attention span. Ive heard young adult described as, adult stories with the boring parts taken out. I enjoy adult fiction too, but I love the faster pace of young adult fiction. I also prefer stories centered on and grounded in the struggles of one main protagonist, which is often the case in young adult novels.

What is your writing process like?

          Im a planner. I dont even start drafting until Ive done at least a month or two of research, outlining, and wandering around staring into space and thinking. Then I write at a relatively slow and steady pace until I have a first draft. I usually do one major revision, then another smaller one before sending it off for critique and feedback.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

          Two of my favorite authors are Neil Gaiman and Paolo Bacigalupi. Both of them have a talent for making fantasy (in Gaimans case) or science fiction (in Bacigalupis) seem utterly, convincingly real and grounded in common and gritty human experience. Both of them have very strong writer identities: Gaiman is known for his fable-like, mythical-seeming urban fantasy and Bacigalupi for his frighteningly believable dystopias. They tell stories in smooth but unadorned prose, and skip easily between middle grade, young adult, and adult novels, always maintaining a consistent style that is uniquely their own.

What inspired you to write ZEROBOXER?

          ZEROBOXER marries science fiction, martial arts, and sports marketing. It really felt like a story I was meant to write. I often struggle through first drafts, but ZEROBOXER came easy. I am a rabid fan of science fiction movies like The Matrix, Inception, and Minority Report - chock full of action, but smart. I wanted ZEROBOXER to feel like that. 


About the author:

Fonda Lee writes science fiction and fantasy for teens and adults. Zeroboxer (from Flux/Llewellyn) is her debut novel. Fonda is a recovering corporate strategist, an avid martial artist, a fan of smart action movies, and an Eggs Benedict enthusiast.

Say hi to Fonda on her website, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Goodreads.

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