I wanted to start a series of Author Spotlights to help fellow authors get noticed. Today’s Spotlight interview is Author China Dennington! China is an absolute doll of a person! She is super kind, super honest, and accomplished! I met her on Instagram where she invited me to be apart of her launch party for her newest release. I’m glad I agreed because not only do I love her as a person, but she is also a great beta reader!
Please enjoy the interview with this fantastic lady:
Let’s get to know you!
Who are you and what meal would you gladly eat forever?
China: Hello! My name is China. I’m a history nerd, student, potential elf, and perennial lover of tea. Just one? Hmmm. Hash brown casserole with mashed potatoes and green beans. It’s been my favorite since I was little and it still is! Savory, cheesy, crunchy goodness…Yum.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
China: You do get better as you keep writing. There is no way that you won’t improve as long as you actually are putting words on paper. It doesn’t matter if those words never see the light of day. They are important and shouldn’t be dismissed. Don’t be frustrated with all your poorly constructed sentences and flat characters. Just write, write, and keep writing.
What would you say is the best thing about you?
China: I’m compassionate and empathetic. I try really hard to make sure that I’m truly listening when I talk to the people in my life because I think communication is one of the most valuable tools in any relationship.
Favorite movie and why?
China: I love so many sci-fi movies, but I’m actually going to choose Greta Gerwig’s Little Women. That movie speaks to me on so many levels. To be honest, I’ve never understood the appeal of Little Women. I read the book and I felt ambivalent about it, but the way the timeline was layered in this version…The way the characters came to life and I finally liked Amy…It was just magical. I also love the open nature of the ending and very much relate to Jo’s character as a woman writer. While she ends up marrying in the book, the movie also presents the potential that she maybe she doesn’t. The combination of grief, hope, love, and expression in this movie is so moving.
Let’s get to know your book?
Tell us a little about your book and inspiration for it?
China: Yeah! Starlight Seized is a light sci-fi YA novel about a historian and her journey to uncover what happened to her disgraced grandmother, who was the first historian of the human settlement on the planet Erimost.
Here’s a quick description:
“Maris Hall’s name isn’t spoken. Her writings were burned. Her images erased because of the horrendous thing she did. As a third-generation inhabitant of the red desert planet Erimost, Tessa Hall ironically knows precious little about her own family history, despite being the city historian.
When she discovers the journal of her grandmother, the first historian, she slowly comes to realize that the secrets of the past might be the key to saving the present.
It speaks of aliens who feed on stories and devastating famines. Are the contents true or simply the ramblings of a madwoman?
Mysteriously cut off from communication with the home planet decades prior and with a limited supply of the medicine that helps them tolerate the harsh environment, the people of Erimost are in a precarious position. In a race to understand herself and the planet she’s always despised, what secrets will Tessa uncover?”While Starlight Seized is sci-fi, I would say it also has strong fantasy elements, including a kind of storytelling magic that exerts power in this world. I think I first started drafting this book in 2016 after I had a vivid dream about traveling to Mars and starting a settlement there. Very little of that dream actually ended up in the book, but part of the narrative is based in those emotions and that premise.
What message would you like readers to get from your book?
China: Words never read have power. Expression is priceless. Ultimately, Starlight Seized is about the weight and wonder of storytelling in all its forms. What is more human? Creation is a so personal and universal at the same time, which is why it can have so much power. I hope to capture some of that with this story.
Which character was the easiest to write? Who was the most challenging
China: Tessa and Maris were the easiest to write. I love them so much! Some of the side characters like Amber were more difficult to write because I had to try to make them memorable when they aren’t on the page for very long and don’t necessarily have their own independent character arcs.
China: Chips & ranch dip. No question.
China: Deep red.
Book you’re currently reading?
China: The Inheritance Games
How can people find you?
China: I’m quite active on Twitter and Instagram. You can also check out my blog if you’d like!