ALL FOUR KIDS: An Interview with Rachel Searles, author of THE LOST PLANET

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Today we’re interviewing OneFourKidLit author Rachel Searles, whose middle-grade adventure THE LOST PLANET comes out today!

The Lost Planet book cover

SA: Congratulations on your debut, Rachel! Can you tell us a little bit about how you came to write THE LOST PLANET? What was your inspiration?

I wanted to write something for kids that was big and exciting and action-based, and space seemed like it could be a fun setting to play around in. Once I had some characters in mind, it took some brainstorming to find my premise of a lost boy on a foreign planet, and I ran with it from there.

SA: Openings are so critical to grabbing the reader. I loved how THE LOST PLANET opened, with Chase having no idea of who he is or how he got there, not even his name. It’s not really possible to stop reading once you start. Was that your original opening?

It actually was my original opening, with a few semantic tweaks. I tried changing it at one point to more of a “lost in the desert” opening, but that didn’t feel right and so I went back to the original.

SA: Who was your favorite character to write? (confession: I’m fascinated with Mina…I think there’s more there)

Mina was a hoot to write, but I think my favorite was Parker. He’s so snarky and has such a superior attitude, but at his core he’s really caring and vulnerable. And snark is just so much fun to write.

SA: THE LOST PLANET was really fun to read, adventure after adventure. Was it fun to write?

It was! I confess that I hit a lot of dead ends trying to weave this complex mystery, and ended up pretty much rewriting the whole thing during my revisions, but finishing it was incredibly satisfying.

SA: What drew you to write for the middle-grade audience?

That was the age where I really fell in love with both reading and writing. When I started writing again as an adult, I tried a few different genres/age categories, but it quickly became apparent to me that middle grade was my sweet spot.

SA: How has the debut process been for you so far? Anything you didn’t expect?

It’s been a fantastic ride! Everyone at Macmillan and New Leaf has been so wonderful and supportive, I couldn’t ask for a better experience. Something I didn’t expect, even though I’d read about it, is how incredibly challenging writing a book under contract is. It’s just such a different beast from writing that first book in your free time without a deadline or people watching you.

SA: Finally, as this community is fearless, we’d like to know something you are afraid of and something you are not afraid of.

Afraid of: spiders. It’s so cliché, but there’s some deep part in my lizard brain that just PANICS when I see one. And even after it’s gone, I can’t stop rubbing my skin and my hair to make sure it didn’t somehow sneak onto me. Not afraid of: making a fool of myself if it’s for a good cause. Embarrassment is only temporary, forgetfulness conquers all.

Rachel Searles
More information about Rachel and THE LOST PLANET can be found at
www.rachelsearles.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/RachelSearlesAuthor, or on Twitter at twitter.com/RachelSearles.

Susanadrian-smallSusan Adrian is a 4th-generation Californian who somehow stumbled into living in Montana. In the past she danced in a ballet company and worked in the fields of exotic pet-sitting, clothes-schlepping, and bookstore management. She’s settled in, mostly, as a scientific editor. When she’s not with her family, she keeps busy researching spy stuff, eating chocolate, and writing more books, both YA and MG. Her debut YA novel TUNNEL VISION will be published by St. Martin’s Press in 2015. You can visit her website at susanadrian.blogspot.com.
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