Blogaversary Day 3: Girl Against The Universe by Paula Stokes - Interview + Giveaway

On Day 3 of A Thousand Words A Million Books turns two, I have with me the super kind, super fun Paula Stokes, author of upcoming releases Vicarious (Tor Teen) and Girl Against The Universe (Harper Teen) with an AMAZING interview and an international giveaway!

We’d love to know more about you:

1.       Top Book Boyfriend and Book Girlfriend:
Separately, or as a couple? For couples I really like Dante and Charlie from THE COLLECTOR, Ziri and Liraz from DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE series, and Cas and Anna from ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD. I know none of those are technically two-human couples, but hey, the heart wants what the heart wants. Separately, I would say my fave book boyfriends are Cas from ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD and Cassel Sharpe from THE CURSE WORKERS trilogy. Fave book girl is probably Liraz or Meadow from THE MURDER COMPLEX.

2.       If you had one superpower, what would it be?

I forgot which one of the Twilight vamps had the ability to make people feel better. Jasper, maybe? On the surface, that seems like a lame superpower, but imagine the mass casualties you could prevent. I’ve always thought it would be really cool to be a hostage negotiator, and having the ability to calm people telepathically would be really helpful in that position.

3.       Phoebe Buffet wanted her tombstone to say “Phoebe Buffet, buried alive.” What is the wackiest thing yours would say?

Mine would say: I wasn’t ready yet :(

4.       You wrote a book on liars, what is the biggest lie you’ve ever told?
Honestly, nothing big comes to mind. I’ve always been a horrible liar and horrible liars get caught. Once you get caught a couple of times, you learn that it’s just better to tell the truth. Plus, my conscience is like a giant crushing anvil so if I do lie, I beat myself up about it pretty hard afterward. Maybe it seems odd that I wrote a story called LIARS, INC., but my books are often a chance for me to explore and experience worlds completely different from any I’ve ever lived.

5.       A literary character that describes you best:

I am half Luna Lovegood and half Liraz from DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE. I know that sparkly free-spirit meets angry avenging angel is a weird mix, but welcome to my life. I am made of dark and light parts and that’s probably one reason why I write both dark and light books.

And now, moving on to your masterpieces:

6.       What is it like, shifting from genre to genre in young adult itself? Do characters from your past books still inspire you?
This is a hard question to answer because I didn’t set out to write one fluffy romance and one twisty

mystery and one more thoughtful contemp and then a sci-fi thriller. Those are just the stories that spoke the loudest. For me, switching it up keeps things fresh. It can be problematic, because I sometimes lose readers when I genre switch, but if I could only write one genre, I would get bored, not to mention bitter and jealous of the authors writing in other genres. I am definitely still inspired by my characters from past books. Even though THE ART OF LAINEY and LIARS, INC. are standalones, both of those storylines have additional books that I’ve plotted in my head or on paper. They will probably never become published books, but I don’t think a character’s journey is ever over.

7.       You have TWO AWESOME LOOKING books coming out this year. One thought when you think “two books, one year?”

*cackles gleefully* And no one even knows about the third book—a fluffy new adult romance—I’m putting out myself in November. I feel really lucky to be in this position.

8.       What are the best and worst parts of the writing/ publication process?

The best part for me is after I’ve finished outlining or plotting a book but before I start writing it. Like I just wrote a nine-page outline for what I hope will be my 2018 HarperTeen contemp and right now it feels so sparkly and perfect with so much possibility. I’ve watched it play out on that movie screen in my head and it’s epic, you know? Until I start pounding out that very non-epic first draft and I realize how much work it’s going to take to make the manuscript match that movie in my head.

Another best is after the book is released and I get emails or tweets from readers who really loved the story. There really is no substitute for hearing a stranger say “This made me feel better” or “This made me think about my life” or even just “This was a great story.” Don’t ever hesitate to send those emails to authors. We’re needy people who crave validation that what we’re doing is meaningful.

There are a lot, A LOT of worst parts, but I don’t want to be too much of a downer, because those best parts usually compensate for the bad stuff. The major worst thing for me is knowing that I’m living my dream but it could all get taken away in an instant, and there’s nothing I can do to prevent that. Publishing is a business. Books need to sell to bookstores and libraries and individual readers so the publisher can make money. If a book doesn’t sell, it becomes harder to sell future books to publishers.

And on that note, a huge warm thank you to you, Aditi, and to your readers. Every book you read, every review you write, every tweet or post or even telling a friend “hey, you should read this” is so helpful. Those little pieces combine to give each story a fighting chance, and on behalf of writers everywhere, thank you for supporting us and our industry <333

Paula Stokes is the author of several young adult novels, most recently Liars, Inc., which received a starred review from Kirkus. Paula has two new YA novels releasing in 2016 and two more scheduled for 2017. When she’s not writing (rare), she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and having adventures in faraway lands. Paula lives in Portland, Oregon. You can find her online at

Blurb Description: Maguire is bad luck.
No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.
It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.
From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.

Swag Pack consists of: 1 LIARS bookmark, 1 LAINEY bookmark, 1 GATU magnet, 1 ViCARIOUS magnet, and a GATU/Vicarious post card. 

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Thanks a MILLION times, Paula, and see all of you lovelies tomorrow!

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