Author Interview with Gretchen Powell

I’m hosting an interview today with author Gretchen Powell, the author of YA dystopian novel “Terra”. Thanks for replying to my questions, Gretchen!

Author Interview

1)     When did you know you wanted to be an author? 

I think, to some degree, I’ve always known. When I was little I used to craft stories about fairy gardens and frogs, and I’d jot them all down in composition notebooks. My passion for writing got pushed to the wayside when I was in college, but before I had graduated I’d rediscovered it, and I think I knew even then that one day it would culminate in me becoming an author.

2)     How long did it take you to write Terra from start to finish? 

Terra took almost exactly one year from concept to publication, which is actually really fast in traditional publishing terms. That included everything from editing to designing the print book to converting to eBook… the works! One of the perks of self-publishing, hehe.

3)     If you could change one thing about Terra, what would it be? 

I think that if I had maybe been a little more patient, I would have fully plotted out the entire series from the beginning, before I published book 1. That way, I would know way ahead of time if I was writing myself into a corner with something, or if I needed to plant a seed for one of the sequels. It’s not like I feel like I really missed out on anything so far, but I think it just would have made the entire process a bit easier.

4)     Can you describe your editing process to us? 

I’m fortunate to have a really wonderful friend who is also a super talented editor at my disposal. With book 1, I finished up the first draft and then immediately went into hardcore editing mode with her. She helped me reshape some of the events of the book, identify character motivations, and generally make for a much stronger product. Then, after going back and forth with her for a while, I pass the final draft of the book onto a copyeditor to go over and check for language and spelling mistakes.

5)     What are your writing goals for 2013? 

My hope for 2013 is to get the sequel to Terra, called Underground, out at some point over the summer. Then it’ll be a matter of starting work on what is planned as the final book in the trilogy.

6)     Do you plot everything beforehand or ‘write as you go’?        

I plot out the big stuff—what major events are going to happen, what characters are going to be involved, etc—but everything else is definitely more off the cuff. I like to be able to leave room for sudden inspiration, or for lines of dialogue that come from one character’s mouth and opens up a whole new thread to explore. It definitely makes it more fun that way, while still maintaining the structure necessary to tell a complete story.

7)     Are you working on something right now? 

Absolutely! As mentioned, I’m currently working on book 2 of the Terrestrials series—the sequel to Terra. Big things still to come!

About Terra

terra-final-ebookTitle: Terra

Author: Gretchen Powell

Genre: YA Dystopian

A broken and desolate Earth. A young girl struggling to survive. A lost boy with a powerful secret.

A discovery that will change everything.

In the distant wake of a plague that has decimated the Earth’s population, humanity is split in two: The rich and powerful live in skycities that float overhead, while those who remain on the ground have gathered in settlements strewn across a dying planet. Eighteen-year-old Terra Rhodon is a terrestrial–a denizen of the barren groundworld–who makes her living as a scav. Long abandoned by her father, her caregivers gone, Terra supports herself and her younger brother, Mica, by scouring the earth for discarded scraps and metals to recycle for profit. One day, while on a routine scavenging run, she discovers something that shocks her home settlement of Genesis X-16. When the value of her discovery is revealed, Terra’s world is turned upside down.

Terra suddenly finds herself asking questions no one will answer. Her search for the truth leads her to Adam–a beguiling skydweller unlike any she has ever met. But Adam has secrets and a quest of his own, and with him by her side, the world Terra thought she knew begins to unravel. Soon her discoveries unearth a terrifying conspiracy that has the potential to shatter everything–a revelation that will test the bonds of loyalty, family, and love.

The first book in debut author Gretchen Powell’s anticipated Terrestrials series, Terra catapults you through a story filled with blood-pumping action, intrigue, and surprising twists that will both wrench and warm your heart. As the hidden truths of this world unfold, new dangers that loom on the horizon are sure to leave you waiting breathlessly for the sequel.

Author Bio

Author Pic EbookHalf-Chinese and the daughter of a US diplomat, Gretchen Powell spent her childhood growing up in far-off places. She made it all the way to her mid-twenties whilst maintaining her deep-seated love for young adult novels, so she decided to write one of her own.

Her creative process involves copious amounts of Sour Patch Kids and sleeping fitfully.

When she isn’t writing young adult dystopian science fiction, Gretchen also writes a successful healthy living blog, entitled Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!

She lives in Northern Virginia with her two adorable miniature schnauzers. They wear many sweaters.

Visit her website and writing blog at


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There are two tour-wide giveaways during this tour.

The first is US only and is for a signed paperback and bookmarks of Terra.

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The second giveaway is international, and is for an eBook copy of Terra.

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