Before you ask a question, take a look at this page. It’s useful if you are a blogger or writing an online review. Please see below (“for new writers”) if you are a student doing a paper, a new writer or have another question.
I really appreciate good reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, even if short. If you liked STARTERS, please “like” the best good reviews on GR and Amazon too. Thank you so much for the support!
Please do not give away any spoilers — this is especially important for readers tweeting after they’ve read Enders because you can’t assume all my followers have read Enders yet.
If you want to post a cover for Starters or Enders, please make sure it is 1) the actual cover you’ve seen in your country on the shelf or on an established bookseller’s site or 2) any of the ones posted here on this site. Please do not post other covers.
Here are some questions of interest to bloggers:
1. In Starters, you have Starters and Enders, but all the Middles are dead? I don’t believe some of the Middles didn’t get the vaccine!
You are right. In Starters, it says that some of the VIP Middles got the vaccine by using their power. This would be holo-stars, politicians, etc. Callie’s mother argues in a flashback that the father should get the vaccine to protect them, because he has contacts, but he doesn’t believe in using his position to get it when the triage policy is that the young and the elderly should get it first.
2. So where are the Middles?
You’ll see them in Enders. They didn’t feature in the plot of book 1.
3. If some Enders are living to 200, due to medical advancements as you said in the story*, didn’t you like skip a generation? Is your math wrong? (only one blogger didn’t get this, but I put it here just in case)
No. Let’s take Helena. She had her baby at age 45 (not unheard of today and certainly possible in this future where medical advances are allowing people to live longer). Then her daughter grows up and has her baby at, say, 46. So now Helena is 91. When the granddaughter turns 16, Helena is 107. No generation was skipped. Some women had their children even later.
Note some of the upper Enders can be great-grandparents and so on.
Some parents have their children earlier, like Callie’s parents.
4. When does book 2, ENDERS, come out?
Enders has released in the majority of the countries that Starters was published. But since Starters came out later in some countries (I believe it has not been published yet in Iceland), Enders has yet to release in some places. See the page on Enders for more information.
5. What are the e-shorts and what order should I read them?
The links to these, “Portrait of a Starter” and “Portrait of a Marshal,” are to the right (note the first one is 16 pages, the second one 35 pages) and the last one, “Portrait of a Donor.” They are available in all versions, even on a computer in case you don’t have an e-reader. The paperback of Starters (blue photo) has an exclusive short story called “Portrait of a Spore,” that is only available in print.
You can read them in any order, but the ideal would be 1) Portrait of a Starter 2) Starters 3) Portrait of a Marshal 4) Portrait of a Spore 5) Portrait of a Donor 7) Enders.
6. How is it that the spores could have killed people exactly at ages 20-60?
You’re right, that would be strange. In the book I explain that the vaccine (that saved people from the spores) was given to the most vulnerable of the population, the infirm and those under 20 and those over 60. This is like what happened in the US during a shortage of the flu vaccine.
And please note I NEVER USE THE WORD “VIRUS.” It is NOT a virus! 🙂
7. Why didn’t you mention Callie’s hair color. Did you forget?
Sometimes the author chooses not to specify the main character’s hair color or eye color. The reason is to let the reader fill that in for themselves, so they can identify more with the main character.
You’ll note that the cover artist has a style where he doesn’t color in the hair. In the book trailer, we went with an actress with dark hair. The Portuguese cover has red hair.
The original cover art drawing is artistic license. A theory behind it is in the story Portrait of a Starter.
8. I wanted to know more about Michael.
You will see him in book 2. And “Portrait of a Starter,” is a prequel told entirely from Michael’s POV.
9. I wanted to know more about the Spore Wars.
Every author has to decide how much backstory to put in, and how much to leave out so the result can be a page-turner. Intense backstory details come at the cost of pace. You can learn much more about the Spore Wars in “Portrait of a Spore,” in the paperback of Starters.
10. About Enders – I didn’t read Starters and I wrote in my blog review that I was confused by parts of Enders.
That’s because Enders is the sequel to Starters and you really have to read Starters FIRST.
11. How do you pronounce “Hyden?”
HI-den, like the 18th century composer, Papa Haydn.
12. I have a question that wasn’t answered above.
You might find it in other parts of this site so look around. You’ll see links to interviews at the right, under “news.”
*Note how people are living longer today. It’s not unusual for many to live well into their 90s. So in the world of Starters, I have people living to 200 due to medical advancements, before the Spore Wars even started.
And a reminder: Please don’t tweet or blog about the big twists. Let them enjoy the surprise!
For new writers as well as students doing homework:
1. Can you read something I’ve written?
I’m really sorry, but my lawyers and agents will absolutely not allow me to. Please do not send anything. Ask your teachers, your friends and look for a writing group.
2. I have an idea for a book I’d like to share with you (or an idea for a book you think I should write, perhaps in my existing series).
Same answer as #1. I love hearing from fans, but not this way.
3. I need to get your personal information for a paper for school.
Sorry, but no. You’ll find plenty of information on this site and/or in the interview links.
4. How can I get published?
Read a lot, write a lot, and be patient with yourself. Take classes, go to conferences, read books on writing from the library and then buy the best ones. Find a local writing group because writers who are working at your level will be your best allies. And you’ll make some great friends who will understand you in ways your non-writer friends cannot.
Allow yourself to make mistakes. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else – your journey is going to be special to you.
See my other pages for writers.
5. I’m thinking of publishing my book with PublisherI’veNeverHeardOf.
See this excellent post by an agent: http://rapidprogressive.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/hard-truths-why-being-unpublished-is-better-than-being-poorly-published/
6. Someone is offering to publish my book if I pay them.
That used to be called “vanity presses” and it was never a good thing. With the e-changes, maybe there are people who are offering valuable services, but the ones people have asked me about were charging too much money. You should be making money with your publishing, not losing it.
7. What about self-publishing my first novel? In e-format?
I have no experience with this, but there are many authors who have been successful at it. They are almost always authors who already had a following of readers because they were first traditionally published (often called “legacy publishers”). If you are a new writer, unless you have a special niche and you have a way to market to that niche (a novel about a winery written by a winery owner perhaps), I would suggest that you try to go the traditional route and look for representation first.
If you’re determined to self-publish your first manuscript, then study the people who have done it, particularly http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/ who seems to have considerable information about it.
I do understand that publishing is changing rapidly due to the e-revolution. And that for established authors, the choices have expanded so much that there is a term for those who publish both traditionally as well as self-pubbing: hybrid authors. J.K. Rowling is actually one of them, since she retained her e-rights (Potter being published before all this changed).
Just be aware that for every huge success you hear about for a self-published debut novel, there are hundreds of thousands of ones that agents will not consider because they’ve been self-pubbed and did not make good sales. Sometimes, you have to do the hard work — take a class, go to conferences, join a critique group, read books, read books about writing, do writing exercises, write short stories, write a manuscript, rewrite the manuscript after listening carefully to notes, rewrite again and again, research agents, learn how to write a synopsis and pitch letter. And then do it all again if you don’t score the first time. I can’t think of an author I personally know who sold their very first manuscript. Most are grateful they didn’t. They perfected their craft until they had a manuscript that was good enough to be published. And that’s the way you want to start your career.
And beware of people approaching you, trying to charge you thousands of dollars to “promote” you, even if they have a recommendation from an author, as in this case.
If your question wasn’t answered here, please check out the other pages. Now let’s all go have a Supertruffle!