Dan Krokos is the author of the False Memory series (FALSE MEMORY, FALSE SIGHT) and THE PLANET THIEVES, the first in a middle grade series. Released May 21, THE PLANET THIEVES is the story of a Mason Stark and his fellow cadets aboard the Egypt, forced to take control of the spaceship when the crew is captured.
Dan's official bio notes that "[h]e enjoys watching TV, playing MMORPGs, and drinking coffee."
1. What was the biggest difference between writing for a young adult audience and writing for a middle grade audience?
I think they’re very similar, but the biggest difference is probably the way the story unfolds. For YA, I’ve found most of the books are very personal, with the protagonist changing over the course of the story. It’s very internalized. For middle grade, I think there is more emphasis on the adventure. Also most YA have a very pronounced romance aspect. Middle grade might have a little something (PLANET THIEVES does), but nothing like YA.
2. I don't think I've ever read middle grade military sci-fi before. What were some of your inspirations?
Star Trek is the obvious inspiration, but for the military aspect, I can probably thank Battlestar Galactica. In that show, everyone is on one ship for most of the series, and the ranks really come into play. Not everyone is on equal footing. I found that a lot of fun to play around with. The cadets start out at the lowest level possible, so it’s cool to see them rise.
3. If you ever encountered an alien race, what do you think would be the best case scenario?
That we wouldn’t attack them out of fear, and that they wouldn’t attack us. It would be great if they really came in peace, but I don’t trust humans. We’d go nuts. Religions would think this was some kind of sign. I don’t think a best case scenario is really possible, but it would be great if we could somehow learn from each other. They could teach us the science of clean energy, and we could give them burritos!
4. What is the coolest thing that's happened to you as a result of becoming a published author?
Going to festivals and meeting readers face to face is beyond cool. Visiting studio lots is super cool. Hanging out with other writers I look up to is the coolest.
5. What books are you currently reading?
N0S4A2 by Joe Hill. RUNNER by Patrick Lee. THE LOST PLANET by Rachel Searles.