Last week, Laurie Glover and I interviewed authors Scott Westerfeld and Justine Labalestier for UC Davis’s interdisciplinary writing journal, Writing on the Edge. I’ve been transcribing and editing for the past few days with a February 28th deadline.
We discussed the intersections of science fiction, steampunk, and young adult (YA) fiction, from the early stages of preparatory scientific and historical research to the post-publication visits to high schools where their books are being taught. Along the way, we discussed gender norms in the US and Australia, strategic use of podcasts to get story ideas, the difference between “Apple” hoverboards and “Nascar” hoverboards, and using dystopia to teach social justice.
When I began working with AboutSF in 2007, nearly all the high school teacher I met said that Westerfeld’s Uglies series was a “slam dunk” teaching-wise. Kids just ate it up. Justine’s material is equally interesting. I just read her How to Ditch Your Fairy and enjoyed the blend of magic and everyday teenage disappointments.
I’ll post more when the interview is closer to publication. Many thanks to Scott and Justine for their time, and to Laurie for thinking of me as a co-interviewer.