About the Author:
After pumping gas for nine years to put himself through college, DAN KROKOS, now twenty-six, writes full-time. He enjoys watching TV, playing MMORPGs, and drinking coffee. His YA novel, False Memory, debuted from Hyperion in Fall 2012. Currently, he’s hard at work on the next book in the Planet Thieves series. Find him online at dankrokos.com
Can you tell us a bit about The Planet Thieves in your own words?
It’s a story about a kid named Mason Stark who doesn’t like the world he’s living in, and decides to do something about it. He’s a cadet, a child soldier basically. He and his friends are forced into an incredibly adult situation when their spaceship is boarded by their sworn enemies, and this story is how they deal with it.
There are also space wizards.
Who are the Tremist? What can you tell us about this alien race?
I can’t say much without giving things away, but I can tell you what humans think the Tremist are like.
Tremist wear this high tech armor that looks close to what knights used to wear back in the middle ages. No one has seen what a Tremist looks like. They are assumed to be blood drinking vampyres or possibly shape shifting werewolves. Or it’s possible their suits are man-shaped, but just filled with ectoplasmic energy.
We’ve been at war with them for sixty years, mainly because the Tremist are just like humans—hostile toward things they don’t understand.
How does Mason assume leadership of rest of the cadets during the crisis?
Mason is a natural leader, so they kind of follow him to start with. But after most of the crew is either captured or killed, he’s given command by a gravely wounded officer. Mason officially becomes the youngest captain the Earth Space Command has ever seen.
Is this the start of a new series or a standalone novel?
Right now it’s two books. But there is definitely more story after the second book, so I hope I have the opportunity to share that. I’d love to follow Mason through his teen years.
What’s next for you, after the release of The Planet Thieves? Are there any other stories that you’re working on currently?
This year I have The Planet Thieves and False Sight, which is the sequel to my first book False Memory. Next year is the final False Memory book, and the Planet Thieves sequel. Just working on finishing all those up at the moment, then it’s on to the next thing!
Tell us a bit about yourself and your experience in writing.
I hated English and writing during my teen years. It wasn’t until I turned twenty-one that I decided to try it. And that was after reading a ton of fantasy novels and falling in love with reading again. Before that, I didn’t have much skill at all, and it was a slow process. I wrote four books before I decided to try querying agents. It wasn’t until the fifth book that I got one.
I wrote a lot of adult stuff, and was worried I’d be one of those writers who would write the same kind of books for the rest of their lives. So I decided to step outside my comfort zone and challenge myself by writing from a female POV. The Hunger Games had just come out around this time, and it was a huge inspiration. I can’t remember reading a book that tense. I wanted to write that kind of book.
Who are some of your favorite authors? What books do you love?
My favorite author is actually an adult writer named Josh Bazell. I love his book Beat the Reaper. I love Hunger Games, naturally. A Song of Ice and Fire is one of my favorite series of all time.
What do you do for fun, when you’re not writing?
I play World of Warcraft with my friends, who currently live in Cleveland and LA (we’re all originally from Cleveland, but I’m in New York now). We all got webcams so we can Skype while we play and it’s ALMOST like hanging out in the same room.
About The Planet Thieves:
Two weeks ago, thirteen-year-old Mason Stark and seventeen of his fellow cadets from the Academy for Earth Space Command boarded the SS Egypt. The trip was supposed to be a short routine voyage to log their required spacetime for summer quarter. But routine goes out the airlock when they’re attacked by the Tremist, an alien race who have been at war with humanity for the last sixty years.
With the captain and crew dead, injured, or taken prisoner, Mason and the cadets are all that’s left to warn the ESC. And soon they find out exactly why the Tremist chose this ship to attack: the Egypt is carrying a weapon that could change the war forever. Now Mason will have to lead the cadets in a daring assault to take back the ship, rescue the survivors, and recover the weapon. Before there isn’t a war left to fight.
Courtesy of Starscape, I have a copy of THE PLANET THIEVES for one (1) lucky winner!
Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends June 14. I’ll draw a name on June 15, and notify winner via email.