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Rosiee Thor | Tarnished Are the Stars

Tarnished Are the Stars

by Rosiee Thor

A secret beats inside Anna Thatcher's chest: an illegal clockwork heart. Anna works cog by cog -- donning the moniker Technician -- to supply black market medical technology to the sick and injured, against the Commissioner's tyrannical laws.

Nathaniel Fremont, the Commissioner's son, has never had to fear the law. Determined to earn his father's respect, Nathaniel sets out to capture the Technician. But the more he learns about the outlaw, the more he questions whether his father's elusive affection is worth chasing at all.

Their game of cat and mouse takes an abrupt turn when Eliza, a skilled assassin and spy, arrives. Her mission is to learn the Commissioner's secrets at any cost -- even if it means betraying her own heart.

When these uneasy allies discover the most dangerous secret of all, they must work together despite their differences and put an end to a deadly epidemic -- before the Commissioner ends them first.

October 15th, 2019

Introduce yourself and your debut novel!

I’m Rosiee Thor, a student advisor by day and a gay garden gnome by night. My novel, TARNISHED ARE THE STARS (Oct 15th, Scholastic), is about three queer teens--a mechanic, a nobleman, and a spy--who must team up to solve the mystery behind an epidemic ravaging their planet. It’s got a little science, a little fantasy, and a whole lot of fancy hats!

What’s the most surprising part about your debut journey so far?

I remember when I got my book deal I thought “This is it, now it all starts!” and ooooh how wrong I was. I had no idea how much patience and waiting is involved in publishing a book. The waiting doesn’t end when sub ends, and there’s a lot of hurry up and wait that happens between signing and publication. Things are slow until they’re fast, and then before you know it, they’re slow again. I’m the kind of person who really likes to be busy, and it was pretty surprising how not-busy I’ve been throughout the process.

Give a shout-out to a fellow debut!

Just one? How about three ;) This year I’ve loved WILDER GIRLS by Rory Power, and I’m excited for CRIER’S WAR by Nina Varela and THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS by Charlotte Nicole Davis

Who is your favorite character?

Officially, I don’t have a favorite because it’s just Not Done! But I will say Eliza was the easiest for me to write. Her POV chapters came naturally to me and I really enjoyed being in her head. Part of this might be because she was a late addition. Her POV didn’t get added to the book until after it was acquired by my publisher, so it’s possible it was easier because I was coming to it less burnt out, but more likely it’s because she’s so delightfully stabby!

How long did it take you to write this book?

I wrote the first draft of Tarnished in 2013… so… it’s been a while. I wrote 11 full rewritten drafts over the course of five years. It was a hard journey, but it taught me to be a better writer, it taught me how to revise, and it taught me a lot about my own personal identity.

What was the hardest scene to write?

Hands down, the kissing scene. Romantic scenes have been a struggle in this book for a long time, mostly because I was figuring out the characters’ sexualities at the same time I was discovering my own. So that meant I had to write it wrong a lot of times before I wrote it right.

Describe your writing space.

I recently purchased a fainting couch, and really… that’s all you need to know.

How do you select character names?

Naming characters is different for me with every book, but for Tarnished I used placeholder names to start with and then at a certain point I changed all the ones I hated and kept anything that didn’t make my skin crawl. I did have a little fun with Anna, though. She was always Anna, but I changed that to a nickname after a few drafts because I wanted to give her an uncharacteristically fancy sounding name that she could simplify for herself, thus she became Deirdre-Anne (but only to her grandfather who just can’t seem to Get With It)

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I have a lot of author friends, but the most influential of them is hands down Linsey Miller. Linsey mentored me (and my debut novel) in Pitch Wars 2016, and since then we’ve become good friends. Linsey always pushes me to think critically about my stories, and without her, they would all be a lot less complex. I also really cherish my writing friendships with queer authors. Those authors (shout out to Taylor Brooke and J.S. Fields) who not only push me to make my work better, but push me to make my work gayer.

Share a picture of your favorite doggo!

Thanks for interviewing, Rosiee! I'm going to go browse fainting couches while I wait for your book to release on 10/15/19...




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meet sofiya!

Sofiya Pasternack is a mental health professional, the highly-distractible author of Jewish MG and YA fantasy, and prone to oversharing gross medical stories.

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