2016 Snapshot: Amie Kaufman

Interview by Tehani Wessely.

Amie looking up headshotAmie Kaufman is a New York Times and internationally bestselling young adult author, whose multiple award-winning books have been published in 26 countries. She is the co-author of Illuminae with Jay Kristoff and These Broken Stars with Meagan Spooner. Both series are in development for film and TV. Amie has degrees in history, literature, law and conflict resolution, and lives in Melbourne with her husband, their rescue dog, and an extremely large personal library.

Illuminae seemed to take the reading world by storm, and as I understand it, was optioned for film before it was even released. There have been quite a lot of great SFF books brought to TV and the big screen recently, and I wonder if you can you tell us anything about the development process?

TV and film stuff is very exciting, but definitely a different world than the one I’m used to. Illuminae has been optioned by Warner Bros and Brad Pitt’s company, Plan B Entertainment. These Broken Stars has been optioned for TV by MGM Studios and Off The Grid Entertainment. In both cases, the production companies and studios have been very open to our thoughts, and have come to us with lots of questions, but the final decisions will rest with them, and that’s fine with me. My expertise is in writing novels, and theirs is in producing TV and film, which is a very different art form! I’m lucky enough to really trust the folks working on these projects, so I’m enjoying watching it all unfold — and unfortunately, I’m not allowed to say more than that!

Illuminae cover 2So far we’ve only seen you work with collaborators – any plans for individual publications?
Yup! I’m working on my first series now — it’s a middle grade fantasy series, and I’m having the time of my life writing it. I was in Iceland earlier this to research it, and it was incredibly inspiring. The new series — working title Elementals — has wolves, dragons, shapeshifters, lots of my favourite things! I’m editing book one right now, and it’ll be out in the first half of 2018.
Gemina, the sequel to Illuminae, comes out in October – what else have you got coming up?
Lots, over the next few years! In 2017 Jay and I will wrap up the Illuminae trilogy, and then in 2018 things get really busy. Jay and I will be launching a new series, The Andromeda Cycle. I’ll also be launching a new series with my other co-author, Meagan Spooner, Unearthed. And finally, because things won’t be busy enough, I’ll be launching my middle grade series, Elementals.
TBS Aussie cover 2What Australian work have you loved recently?
Gosh, lots! Obviously Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight is top of my list. He’s just incredibly talented. There’s Zeroes, by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deb Biancotti — I’m really looking forward to the sequel, Swarm. I’m also really looking forward to Garth Nix’s Goldenhand. I was delighted with C.S. Pacat’s wrap-up to her Captive Prince series… I could go forever with book recs!
Which author (living or dead) would you most like to sit next to on a long plane trip and why?
Oh wow, good question! I’d say Libba Bray, author of The Diviners and many other amazing books beside. Her writing is incredible, but I’d like to sit beside her because she’s smart, insightful and vastly entertaining.

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