Welcome back! It’s Daniela again! Today’s Beyond The Bio author is the amazing Alexandra Monir! Alexandra is a recording artist, a Harry Potter fanatic, and a member of the Iranian American Women Foundation. Her new book, The Final Six, just came out earlier this month. The book’s already been optioned by Sony Pictures, so mark your calendars and get ready to go an action packed adventure at your local theater sometime soon! Alexandra has also written several other novels, including the Barnes & Noble bestselling duology, Timeless and Timekeeper, and the standalone YA thrillers Suspicion and The Girl In The Picture. I am absolutely obsessed with her newest book, and I’m sure you will be too. Let’s get to the interview!
Daniela: Hi Alexandra! Thank you for joining us today! I just got done reading your new book, The Final Six, and I could not stop turning pages! Can you tell our readers a little bit about what they should expect?
Alexandra: Thank you so much, Daniela! The Final Six is a near-future sci-fi adventure set in our world post-global warming, where the only hope for humanity is to find a new home on another planet. Jupiter's moon, Europa, is our most viable shot- but for reasons you'll discover in the book, only the young can lead us there. So twenty-four teen finalists from around the world are drafted into the International Space Training Camp, where they will train and compete for a one-way ticket to Europa. The novel is filled with action, conspiracy, science, and romance.
Daniela: How much of yourself do you see in Naomi?
Alexandra: Naomi is the closest I've ever felt to a character- maybe because we share the same Iranian-American ethnicity. We're also both known for our big, lofty dreams and ideas. But I'll freely admit that Naomi is much more brilliant than I am, LOL!
Daniela: The story is built around specific details and information about outer space, countries around the world such as Italy, and climate change. Specifically, I loved learning about Europa the most! Did you have to do a lot of research before writing?
Alexandra: So much research! In additional to all my reading up on Europa, I reached out to a Europa Mission Scientist at NASA-JPL, Dr. Robert Pappalardo, who was so generous with his time and insights. Something else that really helped me understand space travel was attending Space Camp (for adults!) in the summer of 2016. The research was actually one of the most rewarding parts of writing the book- I learned so much, and had an absolute blast.
Daniela: If you had to leave for Europa immediately, what are five things you would take with you?
Alexandra: Well I would first grab my family and dog! After that, I would pack: my laptop, an iPad with an infinite supply of music + eBooks, a lifetime supply of chocolate (various types!), and an icy-weather wardrobe!
Daniela: Personally, I haven’t seen many YA novels that deal with climate change. What inspired you to write about this topic?
Alexandra: Climate change is something I've thought a lot about over the years, especially as it's become more and more visible. Hearing the greatest minds, from Elon Musk to Stephen Hawking, talk about how we're ruining our planet and will need to find a new one, is what inspired me to come up with the world that we see in Final Six.
Daniela: I think I connect to this book so much because I also feel strongly about global warming. What advice do you have for other teens who feel the same but don’t know how to take action?
Alexandra: I'm so glad you feel strongly about it too! I think a great place for teens to start is by checking out The Climate Reality Project. The website is filled with valuable information and resources on what each of us can do to help stem the bleeding here on Earth, how we can support the Paris Agreement, and much more.
Daniela: I was so thrilled when I heard that The Final Six was optioned by Sony Pictures because It would be amazing to see this story come to life in film! I could not help but wonder, who would you like to see cast?
Alexandra: Thank you so much! I'm excited too! I'd love nothing more than for the movie team to discover a young Iranian-American actress for the role of Naomi! For Leo, I think Ansel Elgort would be great.
Daniela: As a musician, will you be recording anything for The Final Six?
Alexandra: You read my mind! I'm already writing a new song to tie in with Final Six! I'm hoping it'll be ready soon!
Daniela: For those who just got done reading your book and want even more sci-fi, what would you recommend?
That’s it for today’s interview, but don’t leave just yet! It’s March, which means we’re hosting #BookMadness this month. Just eight books are left, and we need your help to decide which titles make it to the Final Four. Click here to cast your vote for the winners!