Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A novel Adaptation

Former AfterEllen Managing Editor and all-around cool writer lady Malinda Lo has written, you guessed it, another book. This one, like her previous two, is a young adult novel with strong LGBT representation. But instead of fantasy like “Ash” and its prequel “Huntress,” her new book “Adaptation” is contemporary science fiction. Also it’s got a great concept, cool cover and really creepy trailer. I’ll let it explain the story.

OK, that didn’t so much explain the story as make you want to read the story. So here’s the story. Across America, flocks of birds have been launching themselves at airplanes. This does not go well for either human or fowl. Then lead character Reese and her friend David are involved in a crash when birds fly into her headlights. When she wakes she is miraculously healed. Along the way to figuring out how there just might be a female love interest and a vast global government conspiracy.

Malinda has been so kind as to offer up a signed copy of “Adaptation” for giveaway to a lucky kitten. But before we get to that, here’s a little more from the author herself. I chatted with Malinda about the book, its concept and the gay stuff – of course.

Q: So what prompted you to make the, albeit not enormous, switch from fantasy to science fiction with Adaptation?
I had a dream! Seriously, one night I dreamed that I was in an airport while birds started falling dead from the sky. It was very creepy and very vivid, and when I woke up I rushed to my office and wrote it down in my writing journal. I don’t usually write down my dreams, but this one immediately seemed like it could be the beginning of an awesome story. I don’t think I even paused to think about the fact that I’d be switching from fantasy to science fiction. I’ve written all sorts of stuff (much of it unpublished) and I’ve never been loyal to one genre. I’m poly-genre-ous at heart.

Q: Where did the idea for Adaptation come from? Was it all those birds dropping from the sky we had a bit ago?
I checked my journal, and I had that dream in January 2009. The latest big rash of birds falling dead from the sky happened in January 2011, so I had the dream a couple of years before. However, mass animal die-offs are not unheard of. They do happen with some regularity, and I can't guarantee I hadn't heard of one at some point before I had the dream.
What I think is more likely, though, is that the idea of animals falling dead from the sky came to me from The X-Files. In one episode, “Die Hand Die Verletzt” (which actually is set in a high school and involves teens and a creepy teacher), a bunch of frogs rain down from the sky. I was a big X-phile, so I bet that idea stuck with me subconsciously.

Q: This is part of a duology, so did you see the whole story before you started writing the first book?
Yes. I initially thought this was going to be a trilogy, and I wrote a detailed outline for book 1 and proposals for books 2 and 3 when I submitted them to my publisher. However, they thought it would work better as a two-book series, so then I had to re-outline the story. I actually agree that it works better as two books; it’s one big story now, cut in two parts. Adaptation is the set-up, and the sequel (coming next fall) is hopefully the pay-off.
While the details of the plot did change (sometimes significantly) during the writing of the two books, the beginning and the end have always remained the same. I always knew what the central mystery was; the problem was just figuring out how to reveal it.

Q: Can we expect more changes with Reese’s personal life and relationships in the sequel?
Absolutely. Like I said, Adaptation is part 1. Her story is not over yet. There’s lots to come in the sequel! (And I mean lots.)

Q: How important was it for you to keep the LGBT element in this series, your first two books obviously have that as well.
It was very important. I’m well aware that there are still comparatively few stories published or produced that feature LGBT folks as main characters. So far, the book ideas I’ve had have all been about queer girls, and I’m lucky to be published by a mainstream publisher that has been 100% supportive of my work.
In terms of Adaptation, I felt that I had kind of done the fairy tale lesbian thing before (I can hardly believe I can say that!), and I wanted to try something else. There are very few bisexual characters in YA fiction, and Adaptation gave me an opportunity to write one. There are other queer characters in the book too: a gay boy and a lesbian. I mean, it's set in San Francisco, which we all know is the Gay Mecca! I think these might be my queerest books yet.

See, now you really, really want to read it. Well, you’re in luck. You can pick it up today on book store shelves everywhere. Also on the series of tubes. And one lucky winner will win a signed copy. So if you want to enter please put your name and email in the comments below. I’ll announce the winner next Tuesday on Twitter. Happy reading.

p.s. Yes, international friends, you are welcome to enter, too! In fact let me know where you're from in comments. I always think that is neat to know.

EDIT: Contest is now closed, thanks for entering.


Kalamac said...

Great contest Dorothy. I loved Ash and Huntress, and can't wait to read the new one. Feel free to discard my entry if it is only available to people within the US. I'm Australian.
K. Mackenzie, kmackenzie@y7mail.com

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the opportunity (and interview!)
Elaine in Indy
goodboybennett [at] sbcglobal.net

Caitlin said...

my copy of Ash has sadly gone missing.
I'm glad this book is being promoted.
cjr2f [@] virginia . edu

Mari said...


Anonymous said...

Lara - schmirke(@)gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Woooo!!!! Malinda Lo is awesome!!

Kate - riverdogrecords (@) gmail

Anonymous said...

edheldim [at] gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I love Malinda Lo's work,so thank you so much for the interview and an chance to win a signed (swoon) copy of her latest.
MKD coolfyah at yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting. I never read a book that involves queer characters before, would love to give it a try. Not sure if international readers are eligible for this lucky draw though...

rhinestar [at] gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Two fist-pumps for a fearless author!

A. Moye

Anonymous said...


Hosabosa (at) gmail . com

Anonymous said...

Jess - starbuckriver@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Sounds fascinating!

Anonymous said...

Would love it for my daughter (and myself!)


aelyden at gmail.com

Jimena said...

Thanks for this!

jimetp21 [at] gmail [dot] com

Hello from Peru :)

Anonymous said...

Love Malinda Lo
Amanda, Cgquack@hotmail.com

Kate said...

Count me in!

indubitably [dot] kate [at] gmail

Anonymous said...



Ashley F. said...

LOVED Ash and The Huntress! Would love to get a signed copy of this one!

Ashley - ashleyflitter@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Include me on this one! Would love a signed copy to read!!

lmb_65 at hotmail.com

Redbone210 said...

I've read both Ash and Huntress and loved them both.

Anonymous said...

I'll skip the contest and buy my own copy to support Malinda, but just coming here to say how great it is to see Malinda's success. I read Malinda's work from the beginning of AfterEllen (yes, i am *that* old). Also - from the looks of the trailer....this could be a movie!

Anonymous said...

Would love to win a copy for my middle-schooler!


Anonymous said...

These books sound awesome, I'll definitely check them out!

Lindsay, in Edmonton


Alyssa said...

So excited to read this book! I rarely win anything so I'll be crossing my fingers. Thank you!



Erica said...

Erica (from California, living in London)

Whoohoo! Great interview, too.

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this, her other books are great, but definitely to broke to buy it soon. So *crosses fingers* Emily, in England. An alliteration I've never noticed before!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for including international readers!
It's nice to have something interesting to read every day and checking your blog is something I look forward to every afternoon. Keep writing for your distant readers!
Eleni Kyriakidou
Greetings from beautiful Greece!

Betty said...

Gawd! It would be great to get a signed Malinda Lo copy home!

Bente, Norway
lesbe_b at yahoo dot com

Acrilia said...

Awesome contest!

My name is Vanessa and I'm from Germany.


Anonymous said...

This book sounds so fascinating, I'd love to read it!

Anonymous said...

sounds awesome!!
my name Andi

Anonymous said...


Danie said...

I loved Ash and Huntress and can't wait to read this, so I'll give the contest a try.


Anonymous said...

Loved the previous ones. In to a syfy period myself (reading wise) Winning would be the cherry on top. :)

melissa_vandyck [at] yahoo [dot] com

From Belgium

Team Serrins Springfield said...

I really enjoyed Ash, having just read it recently and this sounds great and very different. I'd love a copy.


Sophie Lesher said...

dc chicks, baby! sophie - @starophie and babygumm@mac.com

Unknown said...

This is gonna be awesome!


Melissa W said...

I can't wait to read this! I read Ash and Huntress recently and I couldn't put them down!

Melissa (from England)

Unknown said...

yes! Love the interview!

Unknown said...

I loved Malinda Lo's previous two books, and am such a sci-fi geek, so I am really excited for Adaptation!

As for the contest:
Caitlin McCullough

Renata said...

It's currently on my to-read/buy book queue. Really looking forward to it!

(Also, here's an international reader/fan from Porto, Portugal, eager to try my luck: Renata Ramos, renata.olivera.ramos@gmail.com)

e said...

Pick me! Pick me!


cloudcast.day @ gmail

Susan said...

Yay for international comments! Coming at you all the way from beautiful Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, where you will move if Romney gets elected.
Susan @ mamanongrata.com

Molly said...

Sounds amazing!

Molly, molly.pearce1@virginmedia.com. From the UK! :)

Anonymous said...

Loved Ash!

Kristin, (Ohio)

Sophie said...

Can't wait to read more from this author!


Jasmine said...

I'm from England and I just finished reading Ash today! I've got Huntress on the bookcase to read next, I might as well try and add to my Lo collection, haha :)


Unknown said...

hello from london.

Anonymous said...

Have loved Malinda Lo since Ash!
Sara in DC
lupine1515 at gmail.com

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to this book, it seems very cool!
/fa in Sweden

Anonymous said...

Great contest! love Malinda Lo :)
Kiersten in DC
email: kiersten.kelley@gmai.com

Jenny said...

Loved Ash! Super excited about this novel and movie :-)

Jenny in Springfield, MO
email: Price712@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Greece! (Though I'm not actually Greek, unfortunately)
What a great potential addition to my classroom library. Thanks for the chance!

Anonymous said...

sounds great, can't wait to read it!

Samantha -

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the interview!

Sherri sharon.frantz@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

People....!!!!!!!!! use {at] in your email addys PLEASE! You are asking for a bunch of spam............

Anonymous said...

I've recently read Ash and Huntress and am in love with them! I cannot wait to read Adaption and it's sequel. I'm from England and hope to get my hands on a copy soon.
Amy Robins, marshmallowhead{at]hotmail.co.uk

Anonymous said...

Susan sew214 at gmail

Anonymous said...

The book seems really good, I got interested.
I'm in love with the blog as always!
Greetings from Brazil and thank you for the opportunity!


Meghan said...

Wow, this is great! Nothing I love more than a good book :) Especially something in the YA section- I'm right at the edge of that marker but I love me some gay girls for sure.

Meghan in Syracuse,

Anonymous said...

Loved Ash, can wait to check this one out!

Lindsay, Jersey girl here!

Jules said...

Julie from Modesto, CA

Jules said...

Julie from Modesto, CA

Unknown said...

Can't wait to read it!

Claire from Northern Ireland

Anonymous said...


Sarah Dee

sarahdee86 (@) gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Here it is

Phoenix said...

Hi, I love reading but where I'm from its really hard to get LBGT books. I look forward to trying to find this, I'm really intrigued by the concept. Much love from Trinidad. My email is stacywarwick@gmail.com.


Anonymous said...

Ah, a comp open to international people too - marvellous!

Louise A (tura@rocketmail.com)

A hop, skip and a bloody big jump across the pond away in the UK

Anonymous said...

So cool to see she's written more. Ash is one of my all time favorite books. In high school I remember thinking, 'I wish there was just one book with a character I can actually relate to.' And there was Ash. Hell yeah gonna read this one way or another.

Shara - shara_shatley@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Still haven't read Huntress yet (I own the hardback from America to fit in with my hardback Ash, and the paperback from Britain to show she has British readers), I was in the middle of reading Ash for a second time when it came out and haven't got around to finishing it yet (yes, I know, but I have been reading a lot of Glee fan fiction).

Still stoked for this, obviously.

Ian - goldringi@hotmail.com

Unknown said...

Would love to read this!

Holly - hollyesansom@gmail.com

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for the interview!


Anonymous said...

Thanks! So excited for this book!


Lilly said...

This sounds awesome!

Cayt - thiscayt [at] gmail [dot] com.

Katrina said...

Just got the book yesterday, I had to stop myself from finishing it in one night because waiting for the second book will be torture. However when I woke up I couldn't help but pick it up again, and I can't wait (already) for the next one :)

Katrina W

Anonymous said...

Hi long time reader, first time commenter.

Had to put my name in the hat, this book sounds very interesting.

Pauline from Edinburgh


Isabella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Clicking my way over to Amazon to see if this is available for Kindle :)


Anonymous said...

You're a goddess!

Channing Ellison said...

I've been a huge fan of Malinda since Ash!


Unknown said...

Thanks for this :)
Shannon Ryan
And I'm from England!

Anonymous said...

I loved Ash and Huntress, so I'm really excited for this one.

Shayla (earlyxsunsets07@aim.com)

whiteyrainbow said...

Look forward to reading this novel. Sending love all the way from Singapore.

Cheo Yee Wei

Anonymous said...

The interview with Malinda was fantastic. I've really enjoyed her other books (Ash is my favorite so far), and I look forward to reading this one!


Sharon said...

Great interview (and contest)! Count me in -- I'm in the UK.

tealhorse71 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Anonymous said...


Lynn S. said...

Malinda's a fantastic writer, and I'm proud to be a Wellesley alum alongside her. Please enter me.

Lynn in Vancouver, Canada

Anonymous said...

358Sounds awesome!

Stephanie C.

Anonymous said...

María from Argentina - fairylandandrevels@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

María from Argentina - fairylandandrevels@gmail.com

TrueTor said...

Thanks so much!!
truetor at yahoo dot com

Rachel said...

Great interview!
I want to win!

Rachel Williams

Anonymous said...

exciting! maja akaikitsune.chan[at]gmail.com

Unknown said...

Love Malinda Lo, sci fi, Dorothy Surrenders, and of course a contest! lisa.sands@gmail.com

Adele said...

This looks amazing. I'd love to read this book. I'm Australian, but in the US for now!
Adele J.

ivanova said...

ivesiana at yahoo dot com
USA, New York State, all day every day!

Laurie said...

branewurms [at] suddenlink [dot] net
*crosses fingers* Looking forward to this one!

Stefanie - The Bookish Owl said...

Stefanie Stokes

Ash is one of my fave books but unfortunately I don't own Huntress yet :( Adaptation sounds really interesting though :D

caligirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirsten said...

Hey ladies, Malinda Lo did another piece about Adaptation here:


It's interesting for a bit more depth to the info.

Kirsten said...

Oh boo, and my original comment for the contest appears to have been eaten by the internets. I would love a chance to win Adaptation -- Ms. Lo has been a lot of fun to read so far. :)

ksollino [at] gmail [dot] com

Sophia Chang said...

I did not know this stemmed from a dream!

Sophia Chang
sophiathewriter at gmail

Sara M said...

I'm really looking forward to this novel! As a bisexual female, I can't wait to meet these characters! :)

Sara M
sara_UFblog [at] yahoo [dot] com

Silver said...

Malinda Lo is now officially my favourite writer!! I really can't wait for the sequel. I'm already dying to read the first book again. Next fall is too far away *cries*

And I would absolutely love a signed copy - shout out from Australia =D

Shelley said...

Thanks for this, Dorothy!

And wow, if I win I am so totally giving this to my awesome niece. Right after I read it. :-)


shelleyq (at) yahoo (dot) com

Delaware River Valley, US

Tama Voter said...

This book sounds sooooo perfect for my sweetie! She would love a signed copy. Pre-internet, she spent months making phone calls to track down a first edition of my favorite book of poetry.


JaggyL said...


Marian, marian_witham@hotmail.com


And I'm from New Zealand :-)

E said...

I hope I'm not to late for this. Sounds like a great novel. Thanks for a good blog! Oh, and I'm Swedish.

peppery said...

I enjoyed this interview (and also the one on John Scalzi's blog). This book sounds great.

flyby5july at yahoo dot com

Kim Lowe, Lowe15@yahoo.com said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this new book from Lo!

Anonymous said...

I bought Ash and Huntress and have had Adaptation on my Amazon wish list. Thanks for the interview and the chance to win a copy. - Lisel (liselht [at] gmail [dot] com)

d1av said...

diav615 [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

Hege. All the way from Norway.

hege_1988 (@) hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Hi :)

I'm Anna, from Iceland! :)

anna.gudlaugsdottir[at]gmail.com :)

hachiemachie said...



NonchattyCathy said...

Great interview. =)

Philippa said...

Sounds like a great read!

Philippa from sunny ol London!


Stella Chen said...

I loved Huntress by Malinda!

Thanks for giving this away.

Greetings from Canada. :)

Ruby97 said...

Hello! My name is Ruby and my email is roxy_rules@live.com . I'm from Australia :) Thanks so much for the giveaway and the awesome interview - I love Ash and Huntress :)

Unknown said...

Thank you for the opportunity!
Lucy from Australia here.
tohsaka (dot) rin (at) gmail (dot) com.