Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman: Illuminae Paperback Blog Tour Q&A + Contest

One of the most buzzed about books of the last two years is finally available in paperback – Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. I loved this wildly imaginative, crazy and cool sci fi adventure — and it’s sequel, Gemina, too — and can’t wait for the third book.

But if you haven’t discovered why everyone is crazy about this book — the recent paperback release is the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon. To celebrate, we have a blog tour giveaway – but first, here’s our Q&A with co-authors Amie and Jay:

I’m always curious about the process of co-authoring a book. What approach did the two of you take when you sat down to write ILLUMINAE?

We both love each other’s writing, so we never wanted either voice to drown out the other. We wanted this story to be a true collaboration, and that’s what it was. We sit together and brainstorm (at the pub, if we’re being honest) and constantly go back and forth and discuss each section.

Obviously, this isn’t your typical book – you use so many clever and creative devices for telling the story beyond typical prose. How did you piece together each element?

Once we know what’ll happen in the next section of the story, we ask ourselves lots of questions. What kind of document would suit this next piece? Do we need to deliver a lot of information, in which case a captain’s address might work, or do we need to get personal, in which case a diary entry might be the thing. We also consider whose point of view we should be in, and pull together a few ideas before we decide in each case exactly how to go ahead.

What were some of the unique challenges of telling a story in this way?

Probably the two greatest challenges were creating realistic blood spatter (Jay ended up spitting paint on a page, not recommended) and getting all the statistics right on the death toll (Amie spent days with spreadsheets, also not recommended.)

What were some of the perks?

The greatest perks were getting to work with our incredible design team, who rose to every single challenge, and getting to hear the audiobook, which has a cast of more than twenty, and quite rightly won an Audie Award. (We can be super impressed by that, because that award is for the team who made it, and we’re huge fans of theirs!)

OBSIDIO is meant to be the last book in the Illuminae series. But do you see any potential spin-offs or companion novels in the future?

We’d never say never – these books are set in a very big universe – but for now we’re focused on our next project together. We’re busy with the first draft of what’s currently titled ANDROMEDA, which will also be set in space, and also feature death and destruction, because hi, you’ve met us.

Flash Questions

Must-have writing snack?

We’re more about must-have writing drinks. Jay doesn’t function without Red Bull (he knows he’s destroying his insides, it’s worth it) and Amie absolutely has to have tea. She requires that for general functioning, actually.

Favorite Disney movie?

For Amie, it’s Lilo and Stitch, and for Jay, Aladdin.

Song that can always get you dancing?

For Amie, almost anything, she’s a dancefloor starter. For Jay, almost nothing, unless he’s had enough to drink, in which case also almost anything.

Pen or pencil?


Scented candle: what’s it smell like?

Jasmine. There’s a reason it’s Hanna’s favourite flower in Gemina. (Amie’s answering this one, Jay doesn’t have a view on scented candles.)

Favorite villain?

We could never choose just one, but we both adore Adelina, from Marie Lu’s THE YOUNG ELITES series. Of course, there’s an argument that at times she’s also a hero… but that’s true of all the best villains.

It certainly filled the Battlestar Galactica-shaped hole in my heart.- –Victoria Aveyard, bestselling author of The Red Queen

Read the New York Times bestselling blockbuster that critics are calling -out-of-this-world awesome.- The first in an epic sci-fi series unlike anything else out there.

Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the worst thing she’d ever been through. That was before her planet was invaded. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating craft, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But the warship could be the least of their problems. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their biggest threat; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady plunges into a web of data hacking to get to the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: Ezra.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents–including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more–Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Brace yourself, because you’re about to be immersed in a mindscape that you’ll never want to leave.- –Marie Lu, author of the bestselling Legend series

Prepare yourselves for Illuminae.- –EW.com

You’re not in for an ordinary novel experience. . . .- –Bustle.com

A truly interactive experience. . . . A fantastically fun ride.- –MTV.com

Don’t miss the rest of the series!

  • The Illuminae Files_02: GEMINA
  • The Illuminae Files_03: OBSIDIO (coming soon)

AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of These Broken Stars and This Shattered World, and Illuminae, the first in a new series starting in 2015. She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Jay Kristoff is the award-winning author of THE LOTUS WAR trilogy, a Japanese-inspired steampunk fantasy. Part 3, ENDSINGER, is out now. He’s also co-author of the upcoming ILLUMINAE (with Amie Kaufman), a YA Sci-Fi… thing, to be released by Knopf/Random House in 2015, and NEVERNIGHT, the first part of a new fantasy trilogy kicking off in 2016.

Jay is 6’7 and has approximately 13380 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

He does not believe in happy endings.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

3 winners will receive a paperback of ILLUMINAE, U.S. only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Week One:

Week Two:

Week Three:



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