It’s always interesting to get to know the authors behind the books we’re curious about. So I was really excited when I got an author interview for The Stars in Their Eyes book tour hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. Kristy Gardner was kind enough to take time to answer some questions I had for her. Keep on reading to find out more about this book and author!
The Stars in Their Eyes (The Broken Stars #1) by Kristy Gardner
Genre: Adult Science Fiction Horror
Publishing Date: October 18, 2022
The stakes were clear after the Change – survive together, or die.
Calay and Tess’s love has kept them alive four years after the aliens decimated Earth. But when Calay finds herself fighting for her life and Tess missing, she hears death knocking. Banging, really. She has nothing. Scraps for food, the clothes on her back, no safe place for respite. And yet, she is determined to risk it all to reunite with the one woman she has ever loved. She only has one choice: she must find Tess.
Reluctantly, Calay braves the new nightmares of a ravaged Pacific Northwest, alone. Thrust into the darkness, she is haunted by horrors beyond her imagination — alien executioners, a mysterious man whom she can’t quite put her finger on, the rise of a sinister cult, and a shocking family secret that challenges everything she thinks she knows.
As the lines between good and evil blur, Calay’s desperation threatens to spill what’s left of her humanity. Her heart smeared across her tattered sleeve, she is pulled deeper into the madness of a world that has become kill or be killed. Calay realizes she must deny her feral instincts and resist becoming a monster herself, confronting her demons as share stares down the barrel of a terrifying truth: she may actually be forever alone. Time is running out and she knows it. Her only hope is to become who she is truly meant to be and unify with the love of her life once and for all. But, at what cost?
To survive, Calay must choose between the unthinkable: give up, or give ‘em hell.
Fans of Falling Skies, Wilder Girls, or The Walking Dead will love this queer sci-fi horror love story!
Content Warning: Alcohol, animal death, intense emotions: anxiety grief depression, sexual harassment, moderately explicit sex scene, homophobia/biphobia, gore, cheating, death of a loved one, murder
What inspired you to write The Stars in Their Eyes?
I hit my pain threshold and needed an outlet. Or therapy. Probably both. Haha…
Actually though, I didn’t realize I was writing my own history. It’s a book written out of fear, loneliness, and above all else, love. When I started writing this book, I’d spent the better part of a decade neglecting my needs and stuffing my voice deep down inside to the point where I became emotionally paralyzed. For most of my life I was living two selves at once: the one the world demanded I be, and the one who was curled up inside, screaming to get out.
Tbh, I’m still on that journey. It wasn’t until I started to break free of those patterns, starting with this book, that I began to heal. Seven years later I’m putting me back together, piece by piece. And a big part of that process was writing The Stars In Their Eyes and Calay’s journey to reunite with Tess.
What has been the favorite part of your publishing journey so far?
Every part of the publishing process has been a wild ride, and I am here for it! I’d say my favorite part has been connecting with readers. I break into tears every time a reader tells me they connected with the story. It’s so great to hear someone in the world (besides my mom – no offence, love you mom) loves Calay as much as I do. Long after I’ve accompanied her on her journey, many times over, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
If you were a character in The Stars in Their Eyes, what kind of character would you be?
The Walking Dead, Falling Skies, The Hunger Games… These stories inspired my own and have also inspired many late-night conversations with friends about how we would handle the apocalypse. So this is a very familiar, and personal question. I like to think I’d do what needed to be done. No matter the cost. And then promptly lose my shit the moment I’m alone.
Describe The Stars in Their Eyes in five words or less.
Queer. Visceral. Love. Harrowing. Hope.
What is your favorite quote from The Stars in Their Eyes?
It was all there ever was. All that ever would be.
The original title of the book was All That Ever Was, so this is a nod to where it began seven years ago.
What do you hope readers take away from your story?
Darkness is inevitable and we have everything we need inside us to find the light.
Could you give us 5 random facts about The Stars in Their Eyes (think the story, writing, publishing, anything that comes to mind)?
- I wrote most of the initial draft on a friend’s patio, while living in the north of Thailand, in the sweltering heat. It was fuelled by too much strong coffee and those clear glass bottles of bubbly water with the red print on them (IYKYK).
- This book is the first fiction I’d written since I was a kid. The first draft was SO clunky, and SO short. I added over 20,000 words in the second draft to make it a complete novel.
- I didn’t think it’d ever make it out of my desk drawer. Many writer’s first books don’t. Between that fact, evolving trends in publishing, and then querying agents and later publishers with a book about the end of the world in the depths of the pandemic/end of the world, I thought she was done for. But she made it. I have an inside joke (with myself) that I alternatively call her The Little Book That Could.
- There are several people in my life who inspired the characters in The Stars In Their Eyes. They’ll know who they are when they read it and find their easter eggs.
- There are going to be 2 more books in the Broken Stars series! I’m a third of the way through writing book 2 now and have started storyboarding book 3.
Besides my author interview there is a great group of bloggers and bookstagrammers participating during this tour. Click here to follow the tour!
About the Author
Kristy Gardner is a queer sci-fi fantasy writer.
Her debut queer dark sci-fi novel, THE STARS IN THEIR EYES, is coming October 18, 2022.
Furnished with degrees in Gender Studies and Sociology, she crafts complex female characters that adventure through space, time, and emotional maelstroms questioning what identity – and home – really mean.
Her debut novel, THE STARS IN THEIR EYES, comes out October 2022. She is also the author of the award-winning cookbook, COOKING WITH COCKTAILS.
When she’s not jet-setting words on her laptop, she’s chasing stars, mountain adventures, belly laughs, coffee, big dog cuddles, and planning her next trip to SE Asia. She resides in Vancouver, B.C., with her partner and 90-pound rescued American Bulldog, Riley.
She is represented by Julie Gwinn at The Seymour Agency.
I love the message that this author wants readers to take away from reading The Stars in Their Eyes! We all go through some darkness in our lives. I’ll definitely be checking out this story.