When I had the chance to host a guest post for author, M.K. England, I knew I had to jump at it! I really enjoyed England’s book, The Disasters, (Review), and wanted to be able to shed any spotlight I could! One of the things I loved was the found family in the book and so I knew I wanted to ask about the personal meaning and significance of found families to England.
Hotshot pilot Nax Hall has a history of making poor life choices. So it’s not exactly a surprise when he’s kicked out of the elite Ellis Station Academy in less than twenty-four hours.
But Nax’s one-way trip back to Earth is cut short when a terrorist group attacks the Academy. Nax and three other washouts escape—barely—but they’re also the sole witnesses to the biggest crime in the history of space colonization. And the perfect scapegoats.
On the run and framed for atrocities they didn’t commit, Nax and his fellow failures execute a dangerous heist to spread the truth about what happened at the Academy.
They may not be “Academy material,” and they may not get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32469736-the-disasters
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Disasters-M-K-England/dp/0062657674
- Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-disasters-m-k-england/1127120040?ean=9780062657671
- Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Disasters-M-K-England/9780062657671
- Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-disasters
- IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062657671
I feel like in these stories the concept of found family and friendships are really important. Can you talk more about them and maybe some of your motivation for the strength of these themes in THE DISASTERS?
I absolutely love books, movies, and TV shows with found families at their heart. It’s probably one of the reasons I gravitate so much toward sci-fi set in space; when people spend a lot of time together in an isolated situation, it has a way of bringing them together, and what’s more isolated than space? Ultimately, though, I think I’m fascinated with the concept because it’s because it’s something I’ve always wanted but have never really had outside of college.
I’ve moved around SO MUCH since graduating college, rarely staying in one place more than a year and a half or so. In each place I would start to build a life, find my people, start to get to that place of exchanged house keys and friendsgiving dinners, but then off I’d go again. I’m not very good at making friends in the first place, honestly, so starting over is always hard. I’m finally settled permanently, though, and I’ve been here for about two and a half years. I hope I’ll find my friend-family here one day.
Beyond that, I think there’s always an element of found family that emerges in queer communities, maybe in lots of marginalized communities. When you can’t share your full self with the world, or with your family, the people you CAN share with become essential in a unique sort of way. Fandom is probably the closest I’ve come—there’s a special sort of bond that comes with shared love of a thing, plus shared queer identity and struggles.
At the end of the day, I think we all enjoy found families in fiction because the world forces us to live our identities in pieces. We can share parts of ourselves with some people, and different parts with other people, but when you find a friend with whom you can share your complete self without fear? That’s friend-family.
It’s an amazing thing.
About the Author
M.K. England is an author and YA librarian living who grew up on the Space Coast of Florida and now calls the mountains of Virginia home. When she’s not writing or librarianing, MK can be found drowning in fandom, going to conventions, rolling dice at the gaming table, climbing on things in the woods, or feeding her video game addiction. She loves Star Wars with a desperate, heedless passion. It’s best if you never speak of Sherlock Holmes in her presence. You’ll regret it.
Her debut YA space opera, THE DISASTERS, will be out on 12/18/18 from HarperTeen. For the latest DISASTERS news, you can subscribe to the Eccentric Orbit monthly newsletter at biy.ly/MKEnews. You can also find her on twitter (@geektasticlib), instagram (m.k.england), tumblr (mkengland), and at www.mkengland.com.