Interview with Dan Krokos, author of False Memory

So I am thoroughly pleased to introduce fellow debut author (and friend) Dan Krokos. He was kind enough to agree to an interview despite his CRAZY tour schedule.

Dan’s book, False Memory, recently released from Disney-Hyperion, and I can safely say it’s awesome. Kind of a Bourne Identity meets The Island. But cooler.

False Memory

Miranda North wakes up alone on a park bench with no memory. In her panic, she releases a mysterious energy that incites pure terror in everyone around her. Except Peter, a boy who isn’t at all surprised by Miranda’s shocking ability.

Left with no choice but to trust this stranger, Miranda discovers she was trained to be a weapon and is part of an elite force of genetically-altered teens who possess flawless combat skills and powers strong enough to destroy a city. But adjusting to her old life isn’t easy—especially with Noah, the boyfriend she can’t remember loving.

Then Miranda uncovers a dark truth that sets her team on the run. Suddenly her past doesn’t seem to matter…when there may not be a future.

1) So, Dan…you’re a dude. In YA. That’s unusual. Do you ever feel like the “odd one out” or do you even notice? (Feel free not to answer this question if it’s just…too weird.)

Nah, not really, because most writers are nerds, so there is always something to talk about. Look at how I became friends with you and Sarah—we like stories and stuff. I feel like nerdhood transcends gender.

The only time I feel like the odd one out is when I see the high school aspect of the YA community. The cliques and stuff. I have no interest in that. I’m down to talk about Star Wars and Harry Potter and funny stories and burritos.

2) Nerdhood does transcend gender—wise words, Dan. Wise words. You are one of the few (only?) people to not only survive the Query Shark, but wind up with an agent in the process… Tell us a bit about how you went from lowly writer to published author.

I worked at a gas station for many years, and spent my days either brainstorming or researching publishing on my “smart phone.” Query Shark really taught me a lot, and I found examples of queries all over the web.

When I wasn’t working, I was writing. With the mindset that I would not stop until I succeeded. Success is measured in different ways, but I needed to see my book in a bookstore.

So I worked, and queried. But people have to remember that sometimes the book you get signed for is not the book you sell! I wrote 2 more books before starting False Memory.

3) Wow. Impressive determination, young Jedi. So…with all your novels, are you a plotter or pantser?

Both, depending on the book. For The Planet Thieves, I wrote the first half with a decent amount of notes, but then I outlined the entire back half. It was a proposal, so I was very detailed, but I allowed myself room to play while I was writing. I kind of loved it, and plan to write the sequel with a complete outline. It was definitely the most fun I’ve had writing a book.

My mind moves too fast if I don’t make notes. All of my books would be 100 pages long. I outlined a little bit of False Memory as I was writing it, but not enough, and that’s why I ended up having to do extensive edits. I try to just do whatever feels good or right in the moment, rather than adhering to one method.

I will say I like the headlight method. Write a little, then outline a little, then write some more, etc.

Wow this is a long answer.

I do plan to keep trying new things. I’d like to write a book with no notes or editing, just to try it.

4) Me. TOO. I’m very curious what sort of horrible (or perhaps wonderful) I could produce sans notes or editing. 😉 Now, you’ve actually sold two series. This is both amazing and enviable. Has it been hard to work on two separate series at the same time? Are you an exceptional Manager of Time?

I am terrible at managing time. Recently I’ve learned to unplug the Ethernet cable from my machine while writing, but it’s been a slow 2012 filled with lots of edits.

The hardest part has been switching gears. I recently finished a round of edits on Planet Thieves, and now I’m back on False Memory 3, which requires a total mind shift, but Planet Thieves will be coming back to me soon, which means I can’t get too into FM 3 because I’ll have to shift again, and so on and so forth. The length of my books makes it easier—False Memory was like 71k, and Planet Thieves is a little less than that. I want to write some longer books, but that will definitely make it harder to do two series. My fantasy project will, alas, have to wait.

Don’t mistake that for complaining, though. I love being busy, and I can’t wait to get more of my stuff out there. The timing can be rough, is all. Doing two rounds of edits on one book, with a round in between on another book, is soul sucking in a way I can’t fully explain.

You guys don’t like editing, right?

5) Um, I personally love editing. When it’s not on a deadline that is… But wait! Pub brawl!! What’s your weapon choice?

Like do I want to really hurt people or are we brawling in a fun way?

If we’re having fun I would use a mattress. Just lift it over my head and drop it on people. (If you’ve never had a mattress thrown at you, it knocks you down, but you don’t get too hurt unless you fall into something hard or sharp.)

If the pub brawl is over whether New Adult is a real thing or not, I’d probably want a bottle of hemlock. We could all do a shot and then never talk about it again.

Just kidding, don’t send me an angry email please!

No angry emails. In fact, we’re gonna CELEBRATE your interview and book release by giving away a copy of False Memory. All that YOU, our dearest readers, have to do is leave a comment telling us if you think there should be more male authors in YA (WE DO, WE DO! We love being strong girls, but it’s nice to have some boys in here to remind us what boys are really like).

We will email the lucky winner in a week, and of course: the contest is open internationally. 🙂
a Rafflecopter giveaway

After pumping gas for nine years to put himself through college, DAN KROKOS, now twenty-six, dropped out to write full-time. He enjoys watching TV, playing MMORPGs, and drinking coffee. Currently, he’s hard at work on the next book in Miranda’s journey. Follow his antics on twitter @DanKrokos.


68 Responses to Interview with Dan Krokos, author of False Memory

  1. Emily Sep 20 2012 at 5:17 am #

    I would love to see more male YA authors. I really haven’t read too many. I do enjoy James Dashner’s novels and Michael Grant is phenomenal as well. I’m really looking forward to reading False Memory. I’ve heard wonderful things about it! 🙂

    • Sooz Sep 20 2012 at 9:48 am #

      I met both of them at Comic Con and totally fangirled on them. Fortunately, both Dashner and Grant were lovely about my mini meltdowns. 😉

  2. Marijana Sitar Sep 20 2012 at 7:04 am #

    YES! We need more male YA authors like Ernest Cline, Patrick Ness, and….and….and……God, I don’t know any other male author! 🙁 I haven’t read any James Dashner’s novel yet, but I will as soon as possible! :]
    And, I can’t wait to read False Memory! :]
    Thank you so much for the giveaway!!

    • Sooz Sep 20 2012 at 9:47 am #

      See? There are, I think, a lot of male authors (though not a lot of young ones like Dan), but…like you, they don’t spring to mind. 😛

  3. DB Graves Sep 20 2012 at 7:22 am #

    Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes! I love my lady counterparts but having more actual testosterone out there would be pretty awesome. No offense ladies. 😉 I think YA sort of gets this stereotype that you have to be a chick to do well at it, but I think that is sooooo wrong. Great story tellers are great story tellers, not matter if you’re male or female. As for my all time fave male author… Wow. He’s not YA, but I LOVE RA Salvatore. The man has style to spare.

    • Sooz Sep 20 2012 at 9:47 am #

      Oh my gosh, how funny–Dan’s favorite author is RA Salvatore!!! Love it.

      • DB Graves Sep 20 2012 at 11:26 am #

        Sweet! Ha! Well we obviously have great taste.. *snortle* 😉

  4. Peggy Eddleman Sep 20 2012 at 8:43 am #

    Definitely! They bring something to the table that we cannot.

    • Sooz Sep 20 2012 at 9:51 am #

      Agreed! Well said. 🙂

  5. Leigh Smith Sep 20 2012 at 9:17 am #

    I’m with Dan. I believe firmly that nerdhood transcends gender. So to me it doesn’t matter if I’m reading a book written by a guy or gal. However, there’s always room for more cute guys in any situation. So I guess my answer is: Heck yeah!

    • Sooz Sep 20 2012 at 9:51 am #

      HAHAHA. Absolutely ALWAYS room for more cute guys. 😉

  6. Gwen Cole Sep 20 2012 at 9:30 am #

    I honestly don’t think gender matters when it comes to writing. As long as someone can write book, awesome, haha.

  7. Precious Sep 20 2012 at 9:33 am #

    Yes, I do believe that we need more YA male authors! 🙂 Besides…I like reading through the perspectives of male writers. it’s just different, you know? Different is fun. My favorite is Jay Kristoff, of course! His Stormdancer is one of my favorite books ever.

    • Sooz Sep 20 2012 at 9:52 am #

      Ah! Jay Kristoff–another newcomer and male YA debut! HOORAY!

  8. Zoe Sep 20 2012 at 9:35 am #

    “Nerdhood transcends gender.” Love it! I think it’d be awesome to have more dudes in YA, to kind of show that it’s okay to read these types of books. If that makes sense at all. Haha

    • Sooz Sep 20 2012 at 9:53 am #

      Really good point, Zoe. The idea that YA is dominated by female READERS is also something to consider…more male writers would suggest more male readers (hopefully!).

  9. Danielle Nguyen Sep 20 2012 at 9:44 am #

    I always like to have more authors to choose from, whether they’re men or women. Some of my favorite male YA authors are John Green, Patrick Ness, David Levithan, and Markus Zusak.

    Thanks for the chance to win False Memory! It sounds really good!

    • Sooz Sep 20 2012 at 9:54 am #

      Oooh, great list of male authors!!

  10. Meredith Anderson Sep 20 2012 at 9:49 am #

    I would love more male YA authors! Especially if they’re as amiable as Dan seems to be! My favorite male YA author is probably John Green or Markus Zusak, but I don’t feel like there are many male fantasy YA authors. I think that would make for a nice change!

    I’m definitely going to be looking into False Memory. It looks fantastic!


    • Sooz Sep 20 2012 at 9:55 am #

      Dan is most assuredly very amiable. You’re right that more YA FANTASY or PARANORMAL authors sure would be refreshing…

  11. Amanda Aszman Sep 20 2012 at 9:52 am #

    I’d love to see more male YA authors. I love variety, and lately I’ve been drawn in by male YA authors’ writing styles, e.g., John Green (nerdfighters!). That said, it all comes down to the author’s individuality, which I do not believe is dependent upon gender. Like Dan Krokos said, nerdhood transcends gender–any day! I can’t think of any off the top of my head, but I bet there are plenty of YA books out there whose author one might guess to be of the opposite gender.

    • Sooz Sep 20 2012 at 9:56 am #

      So true about the YA books whose neutral gender author can trick the reader! I totally though Sherwood Smith was a man when I was a kid reading her books…and when I discovered she was a woman, I was surprised (and really happy! I love female adult fantasy writers!).

  12. Megan Duff Sep 20 2012 at 10:08 am #

    Yes, yes, yes to more boys in YA!

    My favorites are of course John Green and Patrick Ness but I am really excited for Storm Dancer by Jay Kristoff and then of course Dan’s book. It’s surprising to me that these two debuts have female MC’s….interesting….why not male MC’s? I’m guessing that since girls read more, and YA in particular, female protagonists is what is hot right now. Strange….makes me feel bad for the boys….

    Anywhoo that went off track 🙂 Congratulations Dan, enjoy this time!

  13. Kateri Ransom Sep 20 2012 at 10:22 am #

    Boys, Men, Gentlemen, Dudes, Sirs, Misters…Homies. Haha, they’re all welcome in my book.
    (no pun intended) 🙂
    Excited for the new release!

  14. Angelica R. Jackson Sep 20 2012 at 10:33 am #

    The SCBWI LA conference had a lot of male YA authors, who were great speakers as well as great writers. Jay Asher and Gary Schmidt really stood out for me. Based on those samplings, yes, we need some more testosterone in the mix!

  15. Erica Sep 20 2012 at 11:14 am #

    I’d love to see more male authors in YA and Scott Westerfeld has been my favorite for a looong time!

  16. Carl Sep 20 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    I think that more male writers in YA would be a good thing. I’d also like to see more women in politics. Thanks for the giveaway, guys!

  17. Stephanie Allen Sep 20 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Yes! There is always room for more authors period, but there are a lot of us ladies already…

    Personally, I’m a huge fan of John Green, who also happens to be one of the few contemporary authors I go out of my way to read. I also love Sherman Alexie. And…I can’t say that I’ve read too many other male YA authors aside from them. (So let’s revisit my previous paragraph again.)

  18. Giada M. Sep 20 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Definitely! I looooove Scott Westerfeld and Patrick Ness.
    False Memory sounds great! I can’t wait to read it. Thank you for this chance! 😀

  19. Alexa (Loves Books) Sep 20 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    I definitely think there should be more male authors in YA! Different perspectives and storytelling styles can always add something new and fresh to the genre.

    That being said, I’m definitely looking forward to reading False Memory, as many of my friends liked it! Can’t wait!

  20. Markella Sep 20 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    I tried my hand at Queryshark but maybe mine is too good for her 🙂 Haha…more like not interestingly bad enough.

    I love male authors because they are more liking to write male MCs in my opinion and I love the different POV. I read the entire MAZE RUNNER series and liked those. I can’t even think of any other male YA authors I’ve read so we definitely need more!

  21. Vivien Sep 20 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    I always love reading a male author!!! It adds a whole different element. Right now I’m loving Jonathan Maberry but I also love Neil Gaiman.

  22. Rachel Sue Sep 20 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Yes to more male YA authors, but even more than that, I want to read more male protagonists. Or, rather, what I *really* want is to be impressed by how convincingly a female author can write a male protagonist and how convincingly a male author can write a female protagonist (because I operate under the assumption that an author could draw from the experiences of their own gender to lend a helping hand, but it’s the mark of a great author to go beyond that and really sell it to me.)

    Really, anything that can mix things up a bit is good by me 😀

  23. sp Sep 20 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    I would love to see more male YA authors. The perspective is unique and their take on romance is so unlike most YA stories. I really enjoyed I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga and found that I enjoyed the male POV more than the typical female POV. I am really looking forward to reading Dan’s book. It sounds great.

  24. Sara (Page Sage) Sep 20 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    I don’t really have a preference. If there’s an author who can write a good story, it doesn’t matter whether they’re male or female.

    My favorite male author is John Green, although James Dashner is one of my favorite authors, too.

  25. Laura Sep 20 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Yes! It’s refreshing to read about male characters as written from someone who’s actually experienced being a male! Also, it’s pretty cool to see how well male writers can peg female characters and get the voice just perfect. It’s an art. On a more serious note, there just need to be more books out there that appeal to YA males, whether or not they are written by men.

  26. Heather Sep 20 2012 at 5:42 pm #

    I’ve always wondered if mor girl ya authors = the idea that ya books are “girly.” interesting interview. I’m excited to check Dan’s book!

  27. JQ Trotter Sep 20 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    It don’t think the gender of authors matter. Girls can write guys authentically (JK Rowling — Harry Potter) and guys can write girls authentically (like, I’m sure Dan Krokos has). But I like the idea of more men writing YA, I always hear how YA is highly dominated by girl readers and maybe more male writers can bring more male teen readers?

  28. Anary Sep 20 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    Well I think it is good to have more male authors but I’m a more fan of female authors eh 🙂

  29. Alex Ray Sep 20 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    I don’t know about /needing/ any certain type of YA author. I’m good with any author as long as they have a good story to tell! But perhaps because I can’t think of a favorite male YA author, I’ll have to contradict myself on that. 😛

  30. Katherne Sep 21 2012 at 9:11 am #

    For me it doesn’t matter if there male or female. I just like to read a good story. I do like Mike Mullin’s books Ashfall and Ashen Winter.

  31. Heather K. Sep 21 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Yes, we need more male YA authors! My favorite one now is @mrmerrick. I want to read Dan’s book!;)

  32. Patty Blount Sep 21 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    Love this! Will have to steal the ‘headlight’ idea (grabs mattress, gets ready to brawl)

    Just the other day, we were chatting on YAlitchat about our favorite male YA – both characters and authors and Dan was mentioned. I can’t wait to read False Memory; it’s in my pile but the writing comes first.

  33. Michelle Greer Sep 21 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    I would love to see more male YA authors. I think that bring such a great perspective to YA works. My current favorite author male or female is John Green.

  34. Emily Sterner Sep 21 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    We totally need more male authors in YA! I think it’ll help show people that YA isn’t just for the ladies. I don’t think I’ve actually read very many books written by male authors in YA. Of those I have read, John Green is by far my favorite. Not only is he a fantastic writer, but he has the best vlog entries!

  35. Jaime Morrow Sep 21 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    I actually just added this book to my Goodreads TBR list, so this is very timely. I just read a review of it on a friend’s blog and it sounds really good! Thanks for doing this giveaway. 🙂

  36. Rima Sep 21 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    I definitely think there should be more male YA authors out there! Most are told from a female perspective, so it’s refreshing to read about a guys thoughts and feelings. My favourite male YA author at the moment is John Green, he has a great writing style and his books never fail to make me laugh.

  37. Emmy Neal Sep 22 2012 at 12:02 am #

    A LOT of the male authors I read write female perspectives, so I’m not sure it really matters is the author is a guy or a girl as long as they’re doing their job and giving you characters you can root for!

    My favorite male author is probably either Rick Riordan or Jonathan Stroud right now 😉

  38. Shauna Sep 22 2012 at 1:48 am #

    I’m of the belief that it does not matter the gender of the writer as long as the story is good, but ultimately it’s refreshing to see more males in a predominately female industry. Also, I can’t really explain it, but there’s sometihng fasciating about reading a YA book and knowing it’s through the eyes of a male.

    My favorite male authors would have to be Dan wells, Stephen King, and now Dan Krokos! I’m about half-way through False memory, and it’s amazing! I can’t turn the pages fast enough.

  39. Hwa Sun Sep 22 2012 at 4:03 am #

    I don’t really care about the gender of an author, so I’m kind of indifferent about it.

  40. Ashley Sep 23 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    It would be great to see more male authors in YA! It’s great to see a male author write a story in a female point of view. I am a female and I believe writing in a male point of view is a lot more challenging for me. Kudos to him for taking on a female point of view! One of my favorite male authors is James Dashner who wrote The Maze Runner trilogy.

  41. Sarah Johnson Sep 23 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    I agree that we do need more male YA authors, but I have to say that my favorite is John Green.

  42. Ange/Libby Blog Sep 23 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    Yes! There should be! It’s so hard to get guys to still pick up books in high school, but they do gravitate towards the guy authors the most. Dan Wells, Daniel Marks, Carl Hiaasen!

  43. Daphne Sep 24 2012 at 9:00 am #

    Definitely more male authors, although there are a lot of great ones out there! My personal favourites are Patrick Ness and Garth Nix, and a special shout out to Rick Riordan (he should count as YA, right)?

  44. alicia marie Sep 24 2012 at 10:27 am #

    We could always use more male authors, but I also think any new authors are good. Doesn’t matter if they’re male or female to me. A few of my favorites are Markus Zusak, Patrick Ness, and Rick Riordan.

  45. Shelver506 Sep 24 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    I honestly don’t pay attention to the gender of the author as long as the book is good and believably portrays characters of both gender. I think the most recent male author I’ve read that I enjoy is Barry Lyga.

  46. Giulia A. Sep 24 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    I like YA male authors just as YA female authors. Girls and guys write in a different way and I like them both 😀

    • Giulia A. Sep 24 2012 at 4:25 pm #

      Uh, and my favorite male author is Scott Westerfeld 😉

  47. Kaitlyn Sep 25 2012 at 8:28 am #

    There should definitely be more male authors! John Green and Michael Grant are some of my favorites.

  48. Eric C. Sep 25 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    Being a guy who reads *and* writes YA, yeah, I’d like to see more guys who write YA in the bookstores.

  49. Esther Sep 25 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    The first male YA author I read was Karsten Knight, and I loved the way the characters had a male tinge to them, even though they were girls. I think having male perspectives is really great, and I’d love to see more of that!

  50. Julie Sep 25 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    I’d like to see more guys in the YA author-sphere. I love when a girl can write a dude flawlessly, but it’s gotten to the point where this genre is so gender specific. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great guy YA authors but there also aren’t enough of them.

  51. Adriana Sep 25 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    I’m SO looking forward to reading this book 🙂 I’m going to the Austin Teen Book Fest this weekend and buying it there so that Dan can sign it! I’m excited 😀 And yes, there should definitely be more male authors in YA, especially ones that want to talk about HP and burritos 🙂

  52. Chantal Sep 26 2012 at 12:45 am #

    Interesting interview! Will definitely pick up False Memory, and The Planet Thieves when it comes out! Dan’s story is really inspiring, thanks for sharing!

  53. Dan Nov 14 2012 at 11:03 am #

    Where did we meet, Jerald?

  54. Dallas Butler May 7 2015 at 10:23 am #

    I just picked a random book for a book report , but when I got tho the part when Miranda found out why Noah left her and how she wasn’t the Miranda that Noah knew and loved, it made me read nonstop looking forward to getting the rest of the series excellent book !!!!!!!,!!!!!

  55. Dallas Butler May 7 2015 at 10:31 am #

    At first I just picked a random book for a book report , but when I got tho the part when Miranda found out why Noah left her and how she wasn’t the Miranda that Noah knew and loved, it made me want to finish reading it took me a little while to finish it but I’m seriously looking forward to getting the rest of the series excellent book !!!!!!!,!!!!!

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