Claudia Gray: A Thousand Pieces of You “Coming Soon” Q&A

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Claudia Gray’s books, so it should be no surprised that I was delighted to hear she had not one, but TWO new books coming out in 2014. Today, Claudia took some time to tell us more about her upcoming November release, A Thousand Pieces of You.

ATPOY graphicYou have another book coming out later this year, A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU. There isn’t even an official synopsis out yet*, but to entice readers, give us your 140-character Twitter pitch.

The daughter of two famous scientists chases her father’s killer through alternate dimensions, never knowing what world comes next.

A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU sounds very different from your other books. Tell us about what to expect and what about it will appeal to fans of your other books?

A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU is definitely a change of pace for me — it’s science fiction rather than paranormal, and the characters are older, verging on New Adult territory. (The main character, Marguerite, is 18; Paul is 20, and Theo is 22.) But those are the obvious differences. I think what sets ATPOY apart for me is the big concept and the many ways I can play with it. With her mother’s experimental device, the Firebird, Marguerite can travel to any dimension where she exists, appearing inside her other self. Some of those worlds are very like our own, but some are radically different. A world where ocean levels have already risen so high that more people live at sea than on land — a world where technology has advanced slightly farther than ours and we communicate via holograms — or even a world where the 21st century looks a whole lot more like the 19th, in a Russia where the czars never fell from power: She sees them all. Some of these worlds are fantastical, others frightening.

Naturally this is a lot of fun for me as a writer (and hopefully for you as a reader), because there’s almost no limit to what can happen. But what makes this most engaging for me is the way this journey challenges Marguerite. She has to confront not only different worlds with different rules — but other versions of herself. We always wonder how our lives would be different if this or that changed; Marguerite actually gets to see it, and she doesn’t necessarily like everything she sees! As she continues on the journey, she also encounters other versions of her family, her friends, the guy on the journey with her and even the one she’s hunting down. Seeing all the different potentials in their lives – the other people they might be — is one of the things that makes Marguerite realize the story of what happened to her father is more complicated than she realized.

How is it the same as my earlier books? Although Marguerite’s main concern is this quest for vengeance, there’s romance in this too. In fact, the romantic scenes in ATPOY are among my favorites I’ve ever written. Hopefully I can also supply a plot twist or two.

And just so you guys know: A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU is the first book in the Firebird trilogy. So two more books to come — and countless more worlds for Marguerite.

Tell us a bit about your inspiration for A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU.

The idea for A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU came to me while I was touring in 2012. I had back-to-back tours in the US and then in Australia, not even going home for a day in between. This tour was very wide-ranging, too: We were in the mountains one day, sunny Miami the next, then the Pacific Northwest, so on and so forth. It seemed like I was in a new world every single morning, and the only two constants on the journey were the two authors with me, Lauren Oliver and Dan Wells. Also, when I’m touring, I do a TON of reading; the book on my Nook then was NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA, about the last Romanovs.

Then I went to Australia — so far removed, so different (and so awesome) — and began touring again, city to city, new climates and new sights every day. Once again, I had only one constant, the publicist who made the journeys with me. That’s when it really began to gel. New worlds all the time. Always adapting. People are the only ones that stay with you when everything else falls apart.

Add one dimension-hopping device, stir, and you have yourself a story. 😀

Thanks for sharing a bit about your new book, Claudia! We can’t wait. A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU will be in stores November 4th.

*Actually the official synopsis IS now available, though at the time I sent these questions to Claudia it was not. HERE is the official synopsis:

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure

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