#MeetTheNewbs ~Margaret Fortune Author of Nova (Guest Post+Giveaway)

Meet The Newbies is a blog event co-hosted by Dana @DanaSquare and I, in which we introduce you to all of the new kids in school, the 2015 debut authors!

Meet Margaret Fortune:

Margaret Fortune wrote her first story at the age of six and has been writing ever since. She lives in Wisconsin. NOVA is her first novel.

Meet Her Debut Novel:


The clock activates so suddenly in my mind, my head involuntarily jerks a bit to the side. The fog vanishes, dissipated in an instant as though it never was. Memories come slotting into place, their edges sharp enough to leave furrows, and suddenly I know. I know exactly who I am.

My name is Lia Johansen, and I was named for a prisoner of war. She lived in the Tiersten Internment Colony for two years, and when they negotiated the return of the prisoners, I was given her memories and sent back in her place.

And I am a genetically engineered human bomb.

Lia Johansen was created for only one purpose: to slip onto the strategically placed New Sol Space Station and explode. But her mission goes to hell when her clock malfunctions, freezing her countdown with just two minutes to go. With no Plan B, no memories of her past, and no identity besides a name stolen from a dead POW, Lia has no idea what to do next. Her life gets even more complicated when she meets Michael Sorenson, the real Lia’s childhood best friend.

Drawn to Michael and his family against her better judgment, Lia starts learning what it means to live and love, and to be human. It is only when her countdown clock begins sporadically losing time that she realizes even duds can still blow up. If she wants any chance at a future, she must find a way to unlock the secrets of her past and stop her clock. But as Lia digs into her origins, she begins to suspect there’s far more to her mission and to this war, than meets the eye. With the fate of not just a space station but an entire empire hanging in the balance, Lia races to find the truth before her time—literally—runs out.

One day I got a promotional email about this book, and I was intrigued from the start. I can't wait to read this one! Today Margaret shares ten trivia facts about "Nova."

Guest Post:

Ten Trivia Facts About Nova

Whether it’s books, movies, or music, I’m always fascinated to find out “insider” information about how something was created. What was the author thinking when they came up with that line or what actors did the movie director consider casting? So I thought I’d share some little-known insider trivia about my debut sci-fi novel Nova.

1) The idea for Nova started with a random thought along the lines of, “I want to write a story set on a space station!” As I was brainstorming on the idea, the sentence, “My name is Lia, and I’m a genetically engineered human bomb” popped into my head. The rest of the story unfolded from there.

2) One of the first things my editor Betsy Wollheim of DAW Books asked me about was my idea for the cover. I told her my concept, and then added that I would probably be happy with any cover as long as it was aesthetically pleasing and didn’t feature models who look nothing like the characters. Lucky for me, it turned out we had the same cover concept in mind! Even better, the cover designer (G-Force Design) nailed it.

3) In Nova, the protagonist Lia finds an amazing observation deck constructed entirely of glass hidden away at the very bottom of the space station she’s staying on. Shortly after I first wrote about it, I stumbled across a music track called “Enigmatic Soul” by Two Steps From Hell, which immediately conjured to mind that observation deck. Now every time I hear the track, I think of Nova.

4) I drank way too much hot chocolate during the writing of Nova. (Although, technically I drink way too much hot chocolate most of the time.) In my defense, I live in Wisconsin, the state of quasi-eternal winter. Hot chocolate is practically a survival necessity.

5) I wrote Nova as a young adult novel, but when the book finally sold, it went to DAW Books, an adult SF publisher. So the book is actually being marketed as adult SF, rather than YA. While I’m happy that it appeals to both teens and adults, I still find it strange when reviewers say that though it’s an adult book, it would appeal to teens too. Funny, I always think of it as a teen book that would also appeal to adults!

6) While writing the novel, I hit a point where I wanted a math problem for one of my teenage characters to solve. I thought it would be really cool if it was a story problem set in the Nova universe rather than just some generic problem. Being a non-math person myself, I went to my older sister Wendy, who was a math specialist at a high school in Houston, and asked her to write a problem for me. That math problem ended up at the beginning of chapter fifteen.

7) It took approximately two and half years for Nova to go from final draft to print. I finished the book in December 2012, got a literary agent for it in September 2013, and the book sold to DAW Books in June 2014. The release date for Nova is June 2nd, 2015. It was a long haul at times, but definitely worth the wait!

8) There are lots of great lines to be found in Nova, but one of my favorite quotes is this:

“Even my name is not my name, but another girl’s treasured possession, now taken and bestowed on me. And like any piece of stolen property, it has been worn in by the original owner, and I know it will never fit me quite as well as it did her.”

9) One of my least favorite things about writing speculative fiction is how many things you have to name—characters, planets, space stations, organizations, etc. What most people probably won’t notice while reading Nova is that Michael, the main male character, is never called by his last name. That’s because I hadn’t given him one! It wasn’t until I started the sequel to Nova, which stars Michael as the protagonist, that I finally decided I better come up with a last name for him. After asking everyone I knew for suggestions, all of which I promptly shot down, I finally decided on the name Sorenson.

10) I always intended Nova to be a standalone novel, but when I finished the book, it was clear the story wasn’t over. After brainstorming on it, I ended up conceiving a five-book series. However, I’ve always enjoyed companion novels more than series, so each book in the Nova series will feature a different protagonist and setting. While all the books will have their own standalone plot, each will carry a piece of a much bigger puzzle which will be put together in the fifth book. It promises to be quite a ride. If you enjoy Nova, I hope you’ll consider coming along for it!

The publisher is kindly offering a finished copy of the book to one winner! (US ONLY)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Remember to mark down on your calendar that Saturday, June 20th @ 4pm EST the second Meet The Newbies twitter chat is taking place using the hashtag #MTN2015

Other #MeetTheNewbs Posts & Giveaways:


  1. Wow I'm glad that after the long process you had to go through, you're finally going to see your book on the shelves soon. I've been really bad at reading books by debut authors this year, but thank you for putting this one on my radar!

  2. I love love love this book! I want everyone to read it since it was awesome!!

  3. I hadn't heard of this but it sounds great

  4. This book sounds awesome! I'm glad it's not a stand alone. That's cool that she wrote it for YA but it sold as an adult. I hope that major rewrites weren't necessary. I can't wait to read this!


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