After pumping gas for nine years to put himself through college, Dan Krokos, now twenty-seven, dropped out to write full-time. He is currently hard at work on three separate projects: the final stop for Miranda North in the False Memory series, the next adventure for thirteen-year-old Mason Stark in The Planet Thieves series, and his first adult thriller.
All of Dan’s books have been optioned for film or television, and False Memory recently won the International Thriller Writer’s Award for best Young Adult book. He enjoys watching TV, playing MMORPGs, and drinking coffee.
FALSE SIGHT, the 2nd book in the False series (after FALSE MEMORY), just came out in August, and Dan was kind enough to answer a few of my questions!
Kristin Centorcelli: Will you tell us a bit about your new book, FALSE SIGHT?
Dan Krokos: False Sight picks up a few months after False Memory. Miranda and her team are trying, and failing, to live normal lives. After Miranda gets in trouble at school, the team plans to move on. Until one of them suddenly goes rogue, killing another member of the team. Now Miranda has to figure out why, and stop what’s coming next.
It’s definitely bigger and crazier than the first book. With monsters.
KC: False Sight is the 2nd in a series, after False Memory. How do you think your heroine, Miranda North, has grown since the first book?
DK: At the start of False Sight, Miranda has come to accept who she is. While she was initially horrified by her true purpose, she wouldn’t trade her team in for the world. They’re a family. But Miranda also yearns for a normal life away from death and destruction.
I’m more excited about how she grows over the course of the book. By the end, Miranda really knows the meaning of sacrifice.
KC: You’re now a full time writer, but have you always wanted to be a writer growing up?
DK: No, growing up I wanted to act or be a comedian (I’m not very funny). I did write when I was a kid, but it was never something I considered a possible career. That’s like saying you want to be a professional baseball player when you grow up. Although, I firmly believe anyone with a deep passion for stories can be a writer, whereas I’m now a grown man and still can’t throw a softball in from deep right field.
KC: What authors or books have influenced you the most in your writing?
DK: I learned how to write a fight scene from RA Salvatore. George RR Martin has been a huge influence on me. Same with Josh Bazell and Suzanne Collins. JK Rowling. Basically everyone you love.
KC: What do you enjoy most about writing fantasy/sf and about writing for a young audience?
DK: These have the same answer: anything is possible. With fantasy/sf, my imagination is the limit. That really feels good from a creative standpoint. And in YA/MG, you can write any kind of story. Younger main characters are by nature less jaded. There is always an infusion of hope in teen books—that the world doesn’t have to be a certain way forever.
I’m really drawn to that, and I try to recapture that feeling in my own life.
Also, I’m an action junkie. Where else can I write sword fights and space battles in the same book?