Hi there! I’m not sure if you’ve heard but…Earth Girl is now available in bookstores in UK. They will have the US version published soon, so just wait for it. In the meantime, let’s get to know Janet Edwards, the creator of Jarra’s story world (did I mention that I’m crazy about this debut? This is one of the best YA science fiction novels this year. Don't miss out on this! You can find out why in my glowing review.)
Let's start with something light. How do you feel now that your debut is officially published?
All through the publishing process I've had this feeling that this can't possibly be happening. Even now Earth Girl is out in the UK and starting to work its way round the rest of the world, I still have a bit of that disbelief. The other feeling is stunned delight at how many people have read the book and enjoyed it. It's amazing when someone you've never met sends you a message to say they loved your book.
I love archaeology and anthropology. I was amazed at the amount of detail you put in Earth Girl. Like I said in my review, everything was well-thought out. How did you develop the concept of futuristic archaeology?
Like most things in the book, I took something from today and tried to logically extend it into the future. If most people left Earth in Exodus century, then the cities would have been abandoned for centuries. If archaeologists have thousands of massive ruined cities to work on, and valuable artefacts constantly being destroyed by time and the elements, it made sense to me that they wouldn't excavate with teaspoons and brushes. They'd use the future equivalent of cranes and diggers.
The cities would also be very dangerous places, where you didn't just have to worry about falling buildings, but the ground collapsing into old underground cellars, car parks, sewers and forgotten piped waterways. You'd probably try and limit the number of people actually working in the danger zone, and have a way to yank them out fast if they got into trouble.
How did you come up with the 'slang' and futuristic language in Earth Girl? Do you have specific techniques? Such as dropping the -ing of gerunds (amaz and interest?)
Kids today have their own slang words. I felt that future kids would have them too, and especially someone like Jarra who has grown up in residences instead of with a family. I wouldn't use as much slang normally, but Jarra's use of slang words is very much part of who she is and how she grew up. With so little privacy in the residences, kids would use slang as a defence; a way to help keep their conversations private from the staff. They'd use off world slang words because of their desire to be like the normal kids in the vids.
Shortening words like amazing to amaz, was a natural way to come up with slang. People are always going to shorten words for speed. I hoped it would also ease the problems for readers by making the slang more understandable.
Jarra and Fian's relationship developed quite fast because of their work relationship as tag leader and tag support. When you were writing the draft of Earth Girl, how did they become close to one another? Did you change anything about their romantic development?
When I finished the first draft of Earth Girl, I threw away a few bits that didn't add to the story, and shuffled the order of a few chapters. That draft escaped out into the world faster than I expected. Once I had a publishing deal, and it came to editing, I made some significant changes to the second quarter of the book, but I don't think anything important changed in the romantic development.
Finally, if you could be a woman living in the storyworld/story universe of Earth Girl, which planet would you live in and who would you be? Why?
I think I'd belong to one of the Betan clans of Zeus, capital planet of Beta sector. Jarra learned a lot in Earth Girl, but her knowledge of Beta sector is still very limited and in some areas just completely wrong. She'll learn a lot more about it in the rest of the trilogy.
About the Author:
Janet Edwards grew up in prosaic England, but also shared the lives of amazing people in fantastic worlds. She explored the past, the future, the paranormal, the alternate Earths, and the worlds beyond the fields we know or hidden in the shadows of our own reality. Her guides were books written by authors, some still famous and some already forgotten. Those authors have hundreds of individual names, but they have one title in common. They were all Expert Dreamers.
After growing bored with work involving tedious technical facts, Janet made a break for freedom through a magical wardrobe and is now training as an Apprentice Dreamer. She has a husband, a son, a lot of books, and an aversion to housework.