As a freshman at the University of Colorado, N.K. Traver decided to pursue Information Technology because classmates said "no one could make a living" with an English degree. It wasn’t too many years later Traver realized it didn’t matter what the job paid—nothing would ever be as fulfilling as writing. Programmer by day, writer by night, it was only a matter of time before the two overlapped.
Traver's debut, DUPLICITY, a cyberthriller pitched as BREAKING BAD meets THE MATRIX for teens, came out from Thomas Dunne Books on the 17th of March.
THE HERE BE DRAGONS 8 KILLER QUESTIONS
Oh man, so many great choices! I think I'd have to take Max Brooks, who literally wrote the book on zombie survival. But he might be in high demand so my next choice would be Victoria Schwab, who, I'm pretty sure, has been preparing for this kind of thing for a while, and who whispers things like "I am fire, I am death" over her morning tea.
2. Look, I got a time machine on eBay! Where do you want to go? (Said time machine may possibly malfunction and leave you there. Possibly. It was *very* cheap.)
I really don't want to get stuck somewhere without plumbing or electricity, so I'd have to say, some time in the near(ish) future. Maybe the year 2115, because I feel like we'll have space travel commercialized by then and I could visit the moon whenever I wanted.
3. What’s your favourite thing about writing for teens?
I'll confess I write less FOR teens and more ABOUT them. My teen years were confusing and awesome and painful and full of possibility. I also miss the days where family and friends took precedence over jobs and bills, so what I love most about writing teen fiction is revisiting that time--those relationships and all the wonderful heartbreak that comes with growing up.
4. A witch has cast a spell on you (sorry about that) and you’ve woken up as a character in a children’s book – what’s your special talent or power?
Not sure why you're apologizing, because AWESOME. My power would definitely be shape-shifting, because I want to be too many different things.
5. What’s the scariest or strangest thing you’ve ever done?
Besides get a book published?? Hm. I'm not sure this is the strangest thing I've ever done, but I had a summer job at a state park, and one of my duties was to feed the wild spiders we had captured for the kids to see. I had a choice of trapping a fly on the window with a cup, or finding ants outside. I got the creeps every time I had to open the cages to drop the poor insect in. (And dude, if you feed wild spiders every day, they kind of get big, you know?)
6. What’s something you wish you’d known about writing when you started out?
I wish I'd known about critique partners before I ever queried my first book. I eventually found my way to the right people, but I wasted a lot of time sending queries to agents with what I'd now consider a very rough first draft. CPs taught me how to edit and gave me an invaluable support system.
What’s something you wish you’d known about publishing?
I'm still learning a LOT about publishing. But if I was to go with what I wished I knew at the start, I wish I'd known how long the process for each book was - from how long it could take before an agent would even read my query to actual book deal/publication - and that it was totally normal and totally going to be okay.
7. What would your daemon be?
A cat. Or a mini-dragon. Something small but vicious.
8. My book doesn’t have dragons, but it does have... ZOMBIE GORILLAS. And ZR1 Corvettes.