About the Book
Title: SPINNING STARLIGHT
Author: R.C. Lewis
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks
Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it’s hard to escape it. So when a group of men show up at her house uninvited, she assumes it’s just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired.
Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi’s vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word and her brothers are dead.
Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home-a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers’ survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back?
Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’sThe Wild Swans strings the heart of the classic with a stunning, imaginative world as a star-crossed family fights for survival in this companion to Stitching Snow.
R.C. Lewis teaches math to teenagers—sometimes in sign language, sometimes not—so whether she’s a science geek or a bookworm depends on when you look. That may explain why her characters don’t like to be pigeonholed. Coincidentally, R.C. enjoys reading about quantum physics and the identity issues of photons.
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PLEASE WELCOME R.C. TO BOOKHOUNDS YA
Keeping Authorial Control Over the “Math Switch”
by R.C. Lewis
Growing up, I was a geek, but I was not a book-nerd. Don’t get me wrong, I loved reading, but I read Star Trek licensed novels. Not like my friends who read books that could be described as having “lyrical prose.” Not like my friends who cranked out short stories of their own by the notebook-full. Not like my friends who worked on the high school literary magazine.
I dreaded anything resembling a creative writing assignment. Give me something technical to write any day.
Mostly this was because I struggled to unleash my imagination, to let ideas sprout, and came to the conclusion I was uncreative. My math-y side liked things controlled, logical, clear, and convinced the rest of me (for a while) that it was the only way I could function. I became a math teacher, which has been a good fit, and that was that.
Then I read a book that annoyed me, and while I was complaining about it I thought, “Easy to snark about it, but could I do any better?”
And for some reason, the I’m-not-creative part didn’t pipe up, so I said, screw it, I’m gonna try.
Does that mean I have to keep my “math side” completely turned off when my author hat is on? Not at all. For one thing, there’s a reason I write primarily sci-fi. That’s the place that makes both sides happy. For another, I think teaching math for several years is part of what helped unlock my creativity. I’m not the most creative with lesson plans or anything like that, but face-to-face teaching students about math concepts, I started stretching myself. Sometimes I have to come up with a scenario or analogy that a student can latch onto before the concept will click for them. That on-the-spot thinking—especially the part that involves putting myself in the student’s shoes to figure out what will work for them—helps me when I’m writing and trying to get my characters to navigate through a story.
My math and science leanings help in some of the obvious ways with writing sci-fi—technical details and the like—but also (hopefully!) with logic. I apply that not just to the plot but to world-building, thinking through how different things would affect a society’s development.
Sometimes, though, I do need to turn off that side of me. People don’t always (or even often) conduct themselves in the most logical way. Sometimes I need to let the emotional side breathe. Sometimes (frequently) I need to NOT take the straight-line shortest route from point A to point B, and it’s the messier human elements that authentically motivate that kind of meandering.
Just like I do with my math students, I need to let my characters make their own choices. And make mistakes.
I may not be one who can say she started writing stories as soon as she could hold a pencil. However, in the here and now, I am both a novelist AND a math teacher. Despite the funny looks I sometimes get, there’s no contradiction there—it’s just a little nuance. Every author has their own multifaceted self, and so my math-y nature is part of what makes my stories mine.
1 winner will receive a signed finished copies of STITCHING SNOW & SPINNING STARLIGHT. US Only.
Lisa Mandina says
I understand the funny looks about being a math teacher and a novelist. I was a science teacher and decided to go to school to become a librarian. People always thought that was weird, but honestly, books were my true love, science was only 2nd.
Sandra Watts says
Thanks for the excerpt. Sounds awesome! Very cool!
Wonderful giveaway and feature. Thanks.
Kate F. says
This sounds like a good read! I love fairy tale retellings.
missy ellis says
Julie Waldron says
Thanks for the giveaway!
I adore fairytale retellings and can’t wait to get my hands on this one. Thanks for the giveaway!