Oasis is a story about survival, illusions, and friendship. I am thrilled I am able to bring you this interview with author, Katya de Becerra!
The oasis saved them. But who will save them from the oasis?
Alif had exciting summer plans: working on her father’s archaeological dig site in the desert with four close friends . . . and a very cute research assistant. Then the sandstorm hit.
With their camp wiped away, Alif and the others find themselves lost on the sands, seemingly doomed . . . until they find the oasis. It has everything they need: food, water, shade—and mysterious ruins that hide a deadly secret. As reality begins to shift around them, they question what’s real and what’s a mirage.
The answers turn Alif and her friends against one another, and they begin to wonder if they’ve truly been saved. And while it was easy to walk into the oasis, it may be impossible to leave . .
How was it to write your second novel?
I first started writing Oasis during NaNoWriMo 2014 when my debut-to-be was on submission to editors. My writing process was different with Oasis compared to my first book as NaNoWriMo requires writers to hit certain daily goals to meet their target in the end of the month. I remember doing a lot of speed-drafting for Oasis, with things like the book’s premise, characters and their dynamics as well as the desert setting all coming together during that time. I had to work with my editor to get the ending right and ended up revising the book’s final act quite significantly, and I’m glad I did – that ending is something that took a lot out of me, but I believe it is authentic to this story.
If the characters from Oasis met the ones from your first book, who would hit it off?
Alif (the narrator of Oasis) and one of her close friends Minh would definitely get along with Hayden and Del from What the Woods Keep. I’m not so sure about Lori, but let’s give her the benefit of the doubt.
Where did the inspiration come from for Oasis?
I draw a lot of inspiration from my personal interests and from places I visit. For Oasis, my love for archaeology and my impressions after visiting Dubai came together to give life to a story that starts with a sand storm and ends… the way it ends.
How was writing the setting in Oasis different from your first novel?
The story of Oasis begins with a (fictional) excavation site just outside of Dubai, while my debut novel was set in a small Colorado town surrounded by woods and shrouded in mist. I had to do a lot of research for both books but in the case of Oasis it helped that I’ve actually spent some time in Dubai, asked locals lots of questions and took many photos.
It seems that Oasis has a thrilling mystery storyline. What the woods keep also had so many twists and turns, what is it like to write Thriller Type Stories? Do you know the ending before you begin?
I usually have a general idea of how I want the story to end, but that often changes as I write the book. Often, best endings are the ones you didn’t even consider at first – endings that surprise you but which are also obvious and authentic to the story.
Which character has been the hardest to write?
I’d say the titular oasis is, kind of, a character in its own right. It was the hardest and also the most fun to write.
Prize: Win finished copy of OASIS by Katya de Becerra (US Only)
Starts: January 1st 2020
Ends: January 15th 2020a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Author
Katya de Becerra was born in Russia, studied in California, lived in Peru, and then stayed in Australia long enough to become a local. She was going to be an Egyptologist when she grew up, but instead she earned a PhD in Anthropology and now works as a university lecturer and a researcher. Katya is a short version of her real name, which is very long and gets mispronounced a lot. What The Woods Keep was her first novel (out now), which is followed by another standalone Oasis in 2020. She has also authored and co-authored academic articles, book chapters, guest posts and opinion pieces.
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