We’d like to introduce ourselves…we’re Miranda Storm. Yes, there are actually four of us. Wow! Right? Our names are Kai Knight, Evan V. Francis, Skyrah Archer, and Ira Kiourti. Some of us have chosen artist names, some are using our real names, and we all have our areas of expertise.
Kai’s our sports enthusiast—a kung fu black belt, scuba diver, and rock climber who loves developing plot twists and action scenes. Evan’s our star at adding comedic elements to dialogue and action, and he is fascinated by the power of books to bring imaginary worlds to life. Skyrah’s our expert at developing characters and their background stories—which is no surprise given she’s also an actor—and she has a hidden passion for military stories. Last but not least, Ira’s our logician, philosopher, and stargazer who loves the sea and is on a quest for consistency and meaning.
Our story starts on a sunny summer afternoon when the four of us sat together in a sleepy Athens taverna and came up with the concept of “Blue Out” and the character of Naya DeLora. Over the next four years, we laughed, struggled, and conspired to bring this story to you. So many things inspired us: our connection to Greece and its deep blue seas united us and runs deeply within this novel. Our greatest joy is sharing this world and all its characters with you. We’ve had a blast bringing them to life and we hope you enjoy reading about them just as much as we loved writing them!
You can buy Blue Out here.
Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?
Miranda Storm is a pen name for a group. Our group united with one goal: to write an epic story. YA dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games and Divergent inspired us, but we wanted to look at dystopia from a new angle: a watery environment combined with a fantasy element. The Blue Out trilogy is set in a future where the water levels have risen. This allowed us to address big issues such as global warming, renewable energy resources, and pollution of the oceans.
Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?
Blue Out was an obvious choice. It’s a fantasy term reminiscent of a blackout, but connected to the sea. “Blue Outs” are weather warnings, alerts that a storm accompanied by tsunami-like waves is approaching. Blue Outs have a similar impact and magnitude to blackouts: both have the potential to cause mass panic. This ever-present, doomsday-like threat hangs over the entire society that our protagonist lives in like the sword of Damocles and is central to the plot—which is why we chose Blue Out as our title.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?
While we’re hoping that our novel has the potential to rock the world and raise awareness about current issues, we want our readers to have fun! Many current novels have this underlying feeling of doom and gloom. Blue Out is dystopian, but it’s also full of jokes. It’s a feel-good novel. As for our perfect reader? There were some people we met, while we happened to have a copy of the book on us, who pretty much snatched the book out of our hands and started reading right away. They are our stars!
What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?
The overall response. Most of our teen readers fell in love with the story straight away and are eagerly anticipating the sequel. We’ve also had some very heartwarming reviews from parents whose kids weren’t reading much and got completely drawn into the book and enthusiasm from schoolteachers who couldn’t wait to tie the book into their curriculum.
What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?
Part two, of course! It’s called Riptide and it’s gonna be a bit darker, more connected to the sea, and…that’s it, no more spoilers.
Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.