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A Conversation with Theresa Kay, Author of BROKEN SKIES (Plus a giveaway!)

This one sounds fantastic!

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Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, Theresa!

Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here!


What 5 things should readers know about you?

1- I’m much more comfortable talking about books than almost anything else, especially if the conversation is about books other than ones I wrote. I read almost every genre and I’m great at book recommendations.

2- I’m a total geeky fangirl who uses words like “ship” and “OTP” in real life conversation. Once I’m introduced to a new fandom I binge watch/read everything I can get my hands on in that world.

3- I grew up on Stephen King books, so my stories typically have darker elements to them and, in my writing group, I’m known as the one who is meanest to her characters.

4- I’m an introvert and pretty shy. Plus, I’m awful at making small talk with people I don’t know, so if you ever meet me in person and I don’t say much, that’s why.

5- I’m awful with visual creativity. I can’t draw or sculpt or even pick out paint colors for my house. Unless we’re talking stick figures, I can only make pretty pictures with words.

Were we separated at birth? (Well, except for #5–though stick figures are the best I can do for people. Mini Moe #2 got those skills…)


Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly, what one thing would they need to have with them if stranded on a desert isle? 😉

Jasmine “Jax” Mitchell

Jax is a 17-year-old girl who suffers from panic attacks and nightmares stemming from an attack prior to the beginning of Broken Skies. She’s extremely impulsive and she rarely thinks things through before acting. She tends to use sarcasm and hostility to push people away and to cover up her vulnerabilities. For all her faults, she also has a fierce sense of loyalty to those who earn her trust. Her only family– and her rock– is her twin brother, Jace, who is kidnapped by the E’rikon in the beginning of Broken Skies.  It’s her determination to get Jace back that drives Jax to push past her fears and set out to retrieve him.

What would she need with her if she was stranded on a desert isle? My gut reaction is to say her brother. That’s at least what she *thinks* she needs the most.


Steliro “Lir” Vestra

Lir is a 19-(Earth) year-old E’rikon male. His familial colors are green and gold and his hair and eyes display those colors. He has a bit of a superior attitude and can be quite condescending, especially toward humans. He often acts overly formal, especially if he’s angry or uncomfortable, but once he relaxes he can be very easy going. He’s a bit of a mystery to Jax and he has many secrets, but he manages to make it past her walls and she slowly begins to trust him. Even if she doesn’t really want to.

What would he need with him if he was stranded on a desert isle? His kitu, a silver, cuff-like band all E’rikon wear on their arms.

Great 🙂


Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

The inspiration for the book was more Jax than anything else. Even though I started with the initial idea that I wanted to write a story with aliens, it was always her story. She told it and she directed me where to go. Jax was particularly vibrant in my imagination and I had a great mental image of her—a redhead in a dirty tank top standing in the woods with a scowl on her face.

I love it!


How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I’ve pretty much always wanted to be a writer. As far back as I can remember I was scribbling out words and asking teachers, “What’s the longest it can be?” It all started when I was seven or eight and we had to write a story in school. Mine ended up being about six handwritten pages, front and back, and easily the longest one in the class. From then on, I was hooked.

My childhood and teenage years involved a lot of writing: school newspaper, school literary magazine, creative writing classes…etc.  But, after I graduated, life got in the way. I put my dream aside and didn’t write anything for at least a decade. I still had the desire to write, just not the confidence or motivation.

Then I found NaNoWriMo, the 50,000 words in 30 days challenge.

In June 2012, I participated in and completed Camp NaNoWriMo (the summer session of NaNo) for the first time. I did it again two months later in August. And again in November. Then I wrote the first draft of Broken Skies during a Camp NaNoWriMo session in 2013 and I’ve been working on that and other projects ever since.

Yes! A NaNo success story—awesome!


What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?

I love reader feedback. I think it’s amazing that people find enjoyment in something I created and if my stories speak to them and make them feel, that’s just a bonus. I also love creating the characters and worlds in my stories.

The most challenging part for me is marketing. I’m not much a salesperson and sometimes I feel awkward when asking people to buy my book. It’s much easier for me to convince someone to buy a book I loved than one I wrote.

I hear you on the marketing bit—self-promotion is hard!


What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I’m putting the final touches on Book 2 in the Broken Skies series, Fractured Suns, and hopefully finishing up my novella serial, Bright Beyond. I’ll also begin working on Book 3 and maybe a new project set in the world from my short story “Stability” (which can be found in The Telepath Chronicles anthology). I also have a shelved project that is somewhat a mixture of urban fantasy and horror that I’d really love to dust off and complete this year.



What authors and/or books have inspired you?

Oh goodness… this could be a really long list.

On a personal level, some authors whose dedication, personalities and general awesomeness inspire me are: the Rebel Writers, Rachel Higginson, Elle Casey, Jason Brant, Rysa Walker, Autumn Kalquist, Tracy Bangheart, Jen Foehner Wells, Ann Christy, Patrice Fitzgerald, and Krystal Wade.

On a literary level, some authors whose writing has inspired me are: Tahereh Mafi, Stephen King, Susan Ee, Maggie Steifvater, Diana Gabaldon, George RR Martin, Andy Weir, Orson Scott Card, and Susan Kaye Quinn.

This is definitely *not* all-inclusive (or in any particular order) because I read A LOT and there have been many authors who have gone out of their way to support and encourage me along the way.

Fantastic list!


What are you currently reading? What are your thoughts about it so far?

I just finished Red Rising by Pierce Brown and I gorydamn loved it. It’s a little slow to start, but once the story got moving, I couldn’t put it down. It has some wonderful sci-fi elements that I enjoyed, but has an almost fantasy-like feel to it. It’s almost like Hunger Games set on Mars, but with a much larger scope to the battles and alliances.

Wow—sounds amazing!


If you had to “sell” this book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

I’d say I’m an awful salesperson in 144 characters 😉 Twitter and I have a love/hate relationship. It’s a necessary tool and there are some great people there I love to talk to, but I also love punctuation and fully spelled out words. Keeping it short is hard on me, lol.

I hear you—even though it seems like cheating 😉


Author Bio:TheresaKay_Headshot

The only person she knows who had a subscription to Writer’s Digest at eleven and was always excited to write research papers, Theresa has been putting words to paper since a young age. Living in the mountains of central Virginia with her husband and two kids, she works as a paralegal by day, binges on Netflix at night and finds bits of time in between reading almost everything she can get her hands on and laundry to craft stories that tend to feature broken characters in sci-fi or paranormal worlds, with a touch of romance thrown in for good measure. She’s constantly lost in one fictional universe or another and is a self-proclaimed “fangirl” who loves being sucked in to new books or TV shows. Theresa originally wanted to write horror novels as an ode to her childhood passion for Stephen King, but between her internal Muse’s ramblings and the constant praise for her sci-fi pieces from her writer’s group – The Rebel Writers – she knew she should stick with what was working.


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Broken Skies Cover

In seventeen-year-old Jax Mitchell’s world, humans are nearly extinct and alien settlers have arrived.

Until recently, the E’rikon have remained segregated in their city and ignored the few humans who have tried to engage them… but now they have taken Jax’s brother. To rescue him, she forms an uneasy alliance with a teenage E’rikon left stranded in the woods. She agrees to guide him to the city if he sneaks her past the human-proof barrier. Too bad it’s not that simple.

Jax, who cannot stand to be touched, finds that she’s drawn to the alien boy with bright green hair and jewel-like scales down his back. And he’s equally affected by her, the courageous redhead with haunted eyes. But she doesn’t know the alien’s true motives and he has no idea that she is much more than she seems.

In this world where alien and human are at odds, the connection forming between the two has consequences. What started off as a rescue mission sets a chain of events in motion which threatens not only the remaining humans and the growing alien society, but Earth itself.

On Sale in Print: January 13, 2015

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

And Available NOW on your Kindle!


 Add BROKEN SKIES to your TBR pile on Goodreads!


BROKEN SKIES is the first novel in a young adult science fiction trilogy by Theresa Kay. Perfect for fans of Angelfall by Susan Ee and the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, it tells the story of seventeen-year-old Jasmine “Jax” Mitchell, an impulsive and traumatized girl whose fierce loyalty to her kidnapped twin brother drives her to rescue him at any cost even if it means employing the help of a teenaged alien boy with questionable motives.


“This book had me ALL OVER THE PLACE. Happy, sad, angry, tummy fluttery, giddy, outraged, betrayed… just… all over the place. —Caylie M., Amazon Reviewer

“This is for those who enjoy exciting, intriguing YA level Sci-Fi and Dystopian with a sweet romance.” — Sophia Rose, Delighted Reader Blog

“The kind of novel that makes you anxiously excited about the series to come!” —Jocey, Amazon Reviewer

“All I want to keep talking about is how awesome Broken Skies was, how much I loved it and that you must read it, so we can gush about it together!” —Total Book Geek


Want to know about what happened when BROKEN SKIES got picked up by a publisher? Check out Theresa’s reaction here!
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