Meagan Spooner
Absolutely brilliant. This is the sci fi I’ve been waiting for! Action, romance, twists and turns–this book has it all!

Beth Revis, New York Times best-selling author of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

2017-11-06T11:42:38-05:00

Beth Revis, New York Times best-selling author of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

Absolutely brilliant. This is the sci fi I’ve been waiting for! Action, romance, twists and turns–this book has it all!
"A literally breathtaking archaeological expedition. Spooner and Kaufman prove once again that no one does high-stakes adventure shenanigans like they do."

E. K. Johnston, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Star Wars: Ahsoka

2017-11-06T11:44:34-05:00

E. K. Johnston, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Star Wars: Ahsoka

"A literally breathtaking archaeological expedition. Spooner and Kaufman prove once again that no one does high-stakes adventure shenanigans like they do."
One of the most intense, thrilling, and achingly beautiful stories I’ve ever read. Kaufman and Spooner will break your heart with skilled aplomb, and you’ll thank them for it. Absolutely incredible! If I have to, I will come to your house and shove this book into your hands!

Marie Lu, New York Times best-selling author of the Legend trilogy

2017-11-06T11:48:19-05:00

Marie Lu, New York Times best-selling author of the Legend trilogy

One of the most intense, thrilling, and achingly beautiful stories I’ve ever read. Kaufman and Spooner will break your heart with skilled aplomb, and you’ll thank them for it. Absolutely incredible! If I have to, I will come to your house and shove this book into your hands!
With rich, complex characters and a dynamic—and dangerous—new world, THESE BROKEN STARS completely transported me.

Jodi Meadows, author of the Incarnate series

2017-11-06T12:09:41-05:00

Jodi Meadows, author of the Incarnate series

With rich, complex characters and a dynamic—and dangerous—new world, THESE BROKEN STARS completely transported me.
Intense and absorbing, Skylark transported me to a world of magic and danger unlike anything I’ve read before. I loved Lark, and was riveted by her journey of survival and self-discovery. Dark, original, and beautiful, this is a novel you don’t want to miss.

Veronica Rossi, author of UNDER THE NEVER SKY

2017-11-06T12:13:28-05:00

Veronica Rossi, author of UNDER THE NEVER SKY

Intense and absorbing, Skylark transported me to a world of magic and danger unlike anything I’ve read before. I loved Lark, and was riveted by her journey of survival and self-discovery. Dark, original, and beautiful, this is a novel you don’t want to miss.
Skylark's rich narrative and plucky heroine will transport you into a mesmerizing and horrifying world.

New York Times bestselling author Carrie Jones

2017-11-27T09:17:02-05:00

New York Times bestselling author Carrie Jones

Skylark's rich narrative and plucky heroine will transport you into a mesmerizing and horrifying world.
With its blend of dystopian, steampunk, and generally fantastical elements, Spooner's follow up is even stronger and more gripping as the debut and is sure to ensnare further loyal readers.

Booklist (Starred Review)

2017-11-27T10:01:57-05:00

Booklist (Starred Review)

With its blend of dystopian, steampunk, and generally fantastical elements, Spooner's follow up is even stronger and more gripping as the debut and is sure to ensnare further loyal readers.
This intriguing dystopian adventure's depiction of the stand this strong female protagonist takes against the horrors of her world is fast-paced, compelling, and un-put-downable.

VOYA

2017-11-27T10:05:07-05:00

VOYA

This intriguing dystopian adventure's depiction of the stand this strong female protagonist takes against the horrors of her world is fast-paced, compelling, and un-put-downable.
Once again, the worldbuilding is superb, the characters fully fleshed out and intriguing, the battles riveting, and the edge-of-the seat suspense compelling. Teens looking for a well-written dystopian adventure with steampunk elements in the magical machines created by the Architects will enjoy spending time with Lark and her companions.

VOYA Magazine, starred review

2017-11-27T10:27:43-05:00

VOYA Magazine, starred review

Once again, the worldbuilding is superb, the characters fully fleshed out and intriguing, the battles riveting, and the edge-of-the seat suspense compelling. Teens looking for a well-written dystopian adventure with steampunk elements in the magical machines created by the Architects will enjoy spending time with Lark and her companions.
An extremely entertaining tale of past, present and future leaving the question: where does humanity stand when the best laid plans backfire?

Children's Literature

2017-11-27T10:29:04-05:00

Children's Literature

An extremely entertaining tale of past, present and future leaving the question: where does humanity stand when the best laid plans backfire?
A haunting and romantic exploration of love and what sacrifices come with freedom.


Marie Lu

2017-11-27T15:17:04-05:00

Marie Lu

A haunting and romantic exploration of love and what sacrifices come with freedom.
Amazing. That one word describes the whole book.

VOYA

2017-11-27T15:18:24-05:00

VOYA

Amazing. That one word describes the whole book.

FAQ

What steps should I take to become a full time writer? I’m graduating uni soon & plan to take a year off to write and then I’ll get qualified in teaching the year after but I really hope I can earn a living through my writing. The future scares me :(

This is a tough question because no two writers follow the same path to publication or to full-time writer-dom. And there are so many sub-categories to this answer, so I’m just going to give the broad strokes here. Feel free to follow up with specifics if I don’t address your question! Warning: this is also really long. I apologize in advance. But it’s a BIG question. More under the cut, to spare people just scrolling past from getting a huge block of text. 😉 

READ ON FOR ADVICE ON BECOMING A FULL TIME WRITER…

The first thing you should know is that very few writers (statistically speaking) support themselves entirely on their writing work as full-time writers. Many very successful authors I know have other jobs and/or spouses to support the writing career, especially because being a self-employed artist comes with zero benefits of the financial kind.

Someone out there is going to disagree with me, I’m sure, but I strongly believe that you should never, ever become an artist of any kind for the money. For one thing, it’s way too easy to be disappointed if you never make it big, and for that disappointment to taint your love of creating art. I always tell people to ask themselves this question: If I never get paid a dime for my work, and I knew RIGHT NOW that I’d never get paid a dime for it, would I still do it? It’s okay for the answer to that question to be no! But it’s something worth knowing about yourself and your work, so that you can continue to reevaluate your goals as you move forward.

Now, I’m NOT telling all this to scare you. Far from it. I love being a writer, and I wouldn’t exchange it for any other job in the world. I’m also not trying to discourage you. But others WILL try to discourage you (every single writer out there can tell you about some naysayer who told him or her to study accounting instead) so I’m just laying out the realities so you’ll be prepared when others throw them at you.

SO. First of all, be prepared to work another job while you write (which it sounds like you are: teaching!). You may have to spend many years cramming your writing into lunch breaks and late night or early morning sessions. This can, strangely, help productivity. If you know you’ve only got an hour to write before you’ve got to go back to your job, you’ll end up writing like the wind.

Secondly, if you can afford to take a year to write before starting at another job, that’s fantastic. SEIZE THAT OPPORTUNITY, because it’s invaluable. Make the most of it. Just don’t bank on having a steady writing income by the time the year’s up. While it might happen, there’s no guarantee, so be prepared for what you’ll do if you’re not published by then.

Some advice on what to do to prepare for being a professional writer:

The future IS scary. Trust me, it doesn’t stop being scary as far as I know. And if you’re looking for security, a career as a writer is not likely to provide a fear-free life. But in my experience, facing that fear gets easier with time. The first few years after publication are fraught with ups and downs as the reality of the business sets in. I’m still afraid, all the time, that my own career is a soap bubble dream that’ll burst if I look at it too hard. But fear doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I choose consciously to make that fear a positive, because it motivates me. (Sometimes I’m better at this conscious choice than other times.) I work hard because I love my work and don’t ever want it taken away from me, because what on earth else would I do for a living? I use my fear to drive me.

So it’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to acknowledge that you’re scared. Just don’t let your fear immobilize you. Bravery is going ahead despite being afraid, and art, ANY kind of art, is bravery. Every single one of us was scared too. You’re going to pour your heart onto a page and then ask someone you’ve never met to love it. It’s scary. But you can do it.

You can do it.


Ask A Question (#5): What part of the writing process do you find most difficult?

Katelyn L. asked, “What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? For example, world building, character developments, editing, etc.”

Each aspect of writing has its challenges for me, and they crop up unexpectedly. I might be as familiar with a given character as I am with my own family, and one day just suddenly struggle to get through a scene with her. Or I might just be ripping along at a good pace and then suddenly hit a huge plot hole I never saw coming and sit there for four hours trying to figure out how that happened. Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but for me, it’s not that any one thing has a tendency to go wrong… it’s that anything could go wrong at any time!

I actually did used to really struggle with action scenes, because I was afraid of committing to them and then not really pulling them off. Sometimes my short stories would read like a classic Greek play, where all this dialogue and character building would happen “on stage” and then the real action would sort of happen off-camera and we’d be watching the characters dealing with the aftermath. It became such a habit that I still occasionally catch myself doing it–not because I can’t or even don’t want to write the action scene, but because I was so used to doing things that way for so long. (Read more…)


Ask A Question (#4): What inspired you to write SKYLARK?

Mary O. and Bookwyrm16 both asked, “What inspired you to write SKYLARK?”

What a great question—inspiration is so hard to pinpoint! For me it comes from everything around me, from the people I talk to to the books I read, the music I hear, the movies I see. But for SKYLARK, I can actually point to a single moment that inspired the idea for the world, which then led to everything else. (Read more…)


Ask a Question (#3): How did you come up with Nix’s character?

This question deals with a character in SKYLARK–there are some mild spoilerish parts in this answer! Nothing major gets revealed, but if you’re as anti-spoiler as I am and you haven’t read SKYLARK, be warned!

Carolina S. asked, “Nix is positively my favorite character! How did you come up with him?”

It’s funny–Nix is genderless, but almost everyone uses a gendered pronoun when they talk about the character, because we’re not used to saying “it” to describe sentient, animate creatures. More people seem to call it a “him,” but I’ve definitely come across plenty of people who call Nix a “her!”

Pixie tattoo for SKYLARK, art by C. CashinFor those who aren’t familiar with SKYLARK, Nix is a pixie–which, in Lark’s world, is the name for little mechanical insect-like creatures that the Institute uses to spy on its citizens. When Lark escapes, Nix tracks her, and after she incapacitates it, it’s forced to become her reluctant ally.

Nix started out as sheer necessity. As I was writing the first draft of SKYLARK (which was then called THE IRON WOOD, but that’s another story) I was just ripping along at a great pace until Lark escaped the city and was out in the wilderness. Completely alone. I realized she had no one to talk to and no one to interact with, and while there are a lot of amazing books out there which handle this situation beautifully, it wasn’t actually what I was going for. So I decided she needed a companion (aside from Oren, who she meets later). (Read more…)


Ask a Question (#2): What was the process behind naming SKYLARK?

Amie Kaufman and I are running a MASSIVE giveaway with swag and ARCs from over twenty YA authors in order to kick off our brand new joint newsletter. Be sure to go check it out!

Katelyn L. asked, “What was the process behind naming SKYLARK?”

The original title of SKYLARK was THE IRON WOOD. That was the title I’d called it from the very beginning. I don’t outline, but I do usually have a pretty good idea of where a story is headed, and I knew where Lark was going when she escaped. So that was the title of the manuscript when I queried and signed with my agent, and that was also the title under which the book sold.

(Read more…)


Ask A Question (#1): Why become an author?

Your questions are starting to come in, and I decided to kick this new feature off by choosing a question about why I do what I do!

Lexie F. asked, “What made you want to become an author?”

Reading was probably the single most significant part of my childhood and teenage years. Books were my best friends and my greatest love, and I never went anywhere without them. I could never get enough words and stories and characters. Being completely and utterly absorbed by a book remains one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences I can think of. How can I not want to give that in return to kids today?

I love writing, but the drive to do it professionally comes from the desire to share these stories and worlds with kids today the way the authors of my childhood did with me. I want to form those same bonds across time and space, and if I can make even one reader get lost in my books, I’ll have done my job.


Do you have a question you’d like me to answer about books, publishing, or anything else? Ask it here, and enter my monthly drawing to win a prize pack of signed swag!


To see more questions I’ve answered, click here.


FAQ: How do you make yourself write so much and not get distracted?

This question comes most recently from a school visit, but I get variations on it a lot. (“Isn’t it hard to make yourself work when there’s no one to make sure you’re doing it?”) It seems like an appropriate post for New Year’s Day, when everybody’s busy making resolutions and promises to themselves!

(Read more…)


FAQ: Do I Need an MFA?

A question I see pop up a lot from aspiring writers has to do with creative writing MFA programs, and whether they’re a necessary or even recommended step toward getting published. Someone just asked me this question the other day, and after I rambled at the poor girl for a while I realized that it was a subject on which I have a lot to say.

(Read more…)


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