Meanwhile, Win returns home and evades punishment by pretending to be loyal to Kemya. But he can’t bear knowing that Skylar is imprisoned or watch his fellow Kemyates swallow the Council’s lies about Earth. He must bring the truth to the Kemyate public and see the Earthlings freed—even if it means openly challenging his world’s rulers.
In this final book of the action-packed Earth & Sky trilogy, neither Skylar nor Win knows they are about to uncover an even deeper conspiracy—one that could push the future they’re fighting for completely out of reach.
Megan was also kind enough to answer some follow-up interview questions!
A SKY UNBROKEN imprisons Skylar in the Kemyates' living museum. Very intriguing! What about this setting was most interesting to work with, and how did it develop as you wrote it?
The idea of humans being placed in an alien "zoo" is something I've seen a few times in science fiction, and I toyed with it when I was first brainstorming the larger idea that became the Earth & Sky trilogy. Because of the directions the rest of the story and world-building went in, particularly given the Kemyates' fascination with Earth history, what ended up making the most sense was having that "zoo" be devoted solely to Earthlings from different time periods. It made for a great reveal and way to shock my main character when she discovers it while exploring the space station in THE CLOUDED SKY, and I hoped made it completely clear just how little respect most Kemyates had for Earthlings. Getting to put Skylar right into that setting in A SKY UNBROKEN was a lot of fun and also a challenge.
I think what was most interesting was figuring out how such a place would work. How self sufficient would the Kemyates be able to allow the inhabitants to be? How would they keep them from realizing just how trapped (and how far from home) they were? What aspects of Earth life would they not be able to replicate perfectly, that would disconcert their prisoners? Figuring out what plot points I needed to have happen around Skylar's imprisonment there also helped me flesh out her particular situation in the exhibit.
Interesting! And I really admire the masterful way you used world-building to enhance Skylar's character development. In our last interview, you mentioned the challenges of fitting a novel-sized idea into a short story container. In what ways, if any, have you found this useful in your current writing?
I think that early practice trying to write effective short stories taught me a lot about making maximum use of the words I have. Getting across information through subtext rather than spelling everything out. Avoiding starting scenes too early and ending them too late. Picking the right place to begin the entire story rather than including unnecessary lead-up. It also gave me a lot of practice at figuring out what I found most gripping about a particular idea and focusing in on that. Even though I never really took to short story writing, it was definitely not wasted time or effort.
Definitely not--and it proves that no words are ever wasted. Now that the Earth & Sky trilogy is complete (boo) what's next on the horizon?
I still don't have anything definite lined up in terms of new books, though I hope to have news of one sort or another by the end of the year. I can reveal that I'm re-releasing my out of print debut novel, GIVE UP THE GHOST, in December, with a new cover I'm quite pleased with. I know a lot of readers only "discovered" my books with the Fallen World trilogy or later, and I hope the re-release will bring GHOST to a larger audience!
Can't wait! Thanks for another excellent interview!
To get the books in the Earth & Sky series for yourself, click any of the links below:
Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble