Thursday 12 March 2015


Title: Breaking Sky
Author: Cori McCarthy
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: 10th March 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
In this high-flying, adrenaline-fueled debut thriller, America's best hope is the elite teen fighter pilots of the United Star Academy

Chase Harcourt, call sign "Nyx," is one of only two pilots chosen to fly the experimental "Streaker" jets at the junior Air Force Academy in the year 2048. She's tough and impulsive with lightning-fast reactions, but few know the pain and loneliness of her past or the dark secret about her father. All anyone cares about is that Chase aces the upcoming Streaker trials, proving the prototype jet can knock the enemy out of the sky.

But as the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret. There's a third Streaker jet, whose young hotshot pilot, Tristan, can match her on the ground and in the clouds. Chase doesn't play well with others, but to save her country she may just have to put her life in the hands of the competition.

Great Lakes Book & Supply – Cori McCarthy’s Local Indie! Pre-order here and                                 receive a personalized signed copy.


Can you tell us a little about your books Breaking Sky and The Color Of Rain?

The Color of Rain is a space thriller published by Running Press in 2013. It’s about Rain, an exotic-looking redhead who attracts the attention of a corrupt space captain. In an attempt to find a cure for her little brother, Rain trades the only thing she has—herself—for passage aboard a starship that will cross the void of space. The story is not for the faint of heart and covers the hard-to-handle real world subject matters of abusive relationships, prostitution, and human trafficking.

Breaking Sky is much different! Coming at you from Sourcebooks, this story is about a walled-off elite teen fighter pilot at a fictional Air Force academy who is tasked with finding a solution to the Second Cold War. Chase flies a jet prototype and might just save America if she doesn’t mess everything up with her maverick tendencies. Unlike my debut novel, this story is full of banter and easy-to-love Top Gun trope, which is my way of saying, this story’s got jokes in it! I swear!

How long did it take you to write your books, from the original idea to finishing writing them?
Both of my novels took a year to write plus a year to revise. They were both hot messes for many solid drafts, and I rewrote them so many times that upon occasion, I can’t remember which storylines/scenes made it through to the end.

Are either of your books, Breaking Sky or The Color Of Rain going to be part of a series?
I am not currently planning any sequels, but if you’d like one, I encourage readers to tweet at me and tag my publisher. Who knows? We’re open to persuasion!

What genre would you place your books into?
People tend to refer to my books dystopian, but they are actually sci-fi. The Color of Rain takes place in an unknowable future year. Something like 3327 or so. Breaking Sky is what I call “near-futuristic.” It takes place in 2048, and although there are new technologies in the book, the country is still America and the cultural references have carried through.

What made you decide to write that genre of books?
I set out to write stories that I’d like to read. I’ve been in love with stories that are so recognizably human and yet also stretch the imagination. Stories like The Grisha Trilogy and Rae Carson’s books, for example.

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I have been writing since I was thirteen. Once I stumbled upon words, I’ve needed them to make sense of the world. I started writing short stories in middle school, which evolved into poetry in high school. In college, I focused on memoir writing before I tried my hand at screenwriting. Finding YA was like coming home!

Do you have a certain routine or a ritual that you have to get yourself into the creative mind set for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I have many, many rituals. Everything from cherry Carmex lip balm to wintergreen Tums. Although, to be honest, I could write anywhere at anytime. It’s actually really hard for me to stop writing.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?
My stories come from a merging of my own life experiences and all the stories I’ve read. Breaking Sky definitely has some relation to Top Gun, but when I look at the book, I see a barrage of stories that have stayed with me. Everything from Hunger Games to A Few Good Men to Code Name Verity to Ender’s Game to Battlestar Galactica.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
I went through five working titles before I hit on Breaking Sky. For The Color of Rain, I wanted to call it Run the Void, but fearing that it sounded too sci-fi, my publisher changed it to The Color of Rain. In hindsight, this was a very smart choice because the natural audience for that book is a more literary fiction-friendly reader. My publishers’ artists designed both of my covers. I LOVE my Breaking Sky cover, which was designed by Sammy Yuen.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
For my debut novel, the title came first. But not with Breaking Sky! Nope. That one was simply called NYX for awhile, followed by Redline and Touching Speed.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
My characters tend to name themselves. This was a little tricky for Breaking Sky because all the main characters also have call signs.

Are character names and place names decided after their creation? or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
They usually happen at the same time. Chase sprung into my mind fully formed, helmet under her arm and scowling from beneath her fauxhawk.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
My characters tend to evolve with each draft. I usually know exactly who they are, but it’s making their personality shine through on the page that is the trick.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I write in a flow state for the first draft. All the subsequent drafts are written with seriously careful plotting! I make many, many color coded graphs.

Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
That’s like picking a favorite child! Well, I am proud of both books for different reasons, but if you’re asking which one I’d prefer to sit down and read…probably Breaking Sky because I like a little humor in my stories!

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
I love Sylph in Breaking Sky, the second streaker jet pilot. She is the most serious and yet hysterical character. She’s one of those people who sounds stone cold until you lean in and catch the sarcasm. Sylph is actually hilarious if you’re playing close attention. In that way, writing her scenes was always fun.

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
Oh, I don’t want to be anyone in my stories! I’m WAY too mean to my characters!

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
This is a great question as Sony is in the process of developing a Breaking Sky movie. I think that movies give us a different view of the same story. It’s like taking a picture of a statue. Walking around the statue, touching it, interacting with it—that’s like reading the book. Looking at a picture of the statue is like watching the movie. Both are experiences although one involves a little more from you. My favorite book to movie adaption is The Secret Garden.

Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
I might give one or two characters a reprieve from death. Poor guys…

Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
Here are my top four new favorite authors who have started publishing in the last few years.

Amy Rose Capetta, author of the space duet, Entangled and Unmade
Maggie Lehrman, author of The Cost of All Things
Erin McCahan, author of Love and Other Foreign Words
CJ Omololu, author of The Third Twin


Meet the Elite Teen Fighter Pilots of the United Star Academy

Call Sign: ARROW
Position: Pilot
Height: 5’11
Hair Color: Long black hair
Eye Color: Ice blue
Age: 18
Originally from: Ottawa, Canada
Plane name and description: PHOENIX, Streaker Jet Prototype 0
Years in the service: 4
Personality strengths: Loyal, trustworthy, outgoing
Personality weaknesses: Suffers from PTSD


He hit Pippin like a linebacker, tossing him to the pavement. Chase threw herself on the guy’s back. She got her elbow around his neck and was about to choke him when the pilot lifted her off like she weighed nothing. He tossed her down and hauled his RIO away from Pippin.
“You’ve ruined everything!” the RIO shouted as his pilot dragged him to a safer distance. His voice cramped with a French accent.
“He didn’t fly us into this!” Chase yelled back. “I did!”
“I don’t hit girls.” The RIO pointed at Pippin. “That little one I can take.”
“How noble.” Chase pulled Pippin to his feet. His face was cran- berry and he gasped unevenly. “You all right?”
He slapped his chest and gave her a thumbs-up.

Chase set her eyes on the pilot. His face was all but hidden behind his visor, and his red helmet was adorned with a white maple leaf above a stenciled call sign: ARROW.

The Prize: 5 copies of  Breaking Sky

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