When I was sightseeing in Copenhagen for a few days with my best friend I brought my Kindle. An e-reader on holiday is always the best option; all your favourite books can travel with you in your purse, what’s not to like!
The YA novel The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee was on my TBR-list and happened to be on my Kindle, so when the plane took off, I let my mind wander in future New York, where ‘The Tower’ is a big part of the city; it is in fact a city on it’s own. The Tower is equipped with the coolest gadgets, parks, antigravity yoga classes (yes!), and even a ‘hyperloop train’.
The rich people live on the highest floors, and the ‘poor people’ live on the lowest. It gives the best impression between these two extremes then I’ve ever seen.
The book reminded me of a futuristic Gossip Girl, with the exception that all characters live in one tower.
There were a LOT of characters to remember, which was a challenge sometimes, but when my brain got a hold of everyone I was hooked!
When Katharine McGee liked my Instagram post about The Thousandth Floor I had to check several times before it hit me it was really her and couldn’t be happier, but what even struck me more is that she actually took the time to answer my 5 Questions for 1 Author!
Check it out:
Do you remember how the idea for The Thousandth Floor started?
I used to work in publishing, so I was thinking a lot about the dystopian novels that have been popular in recent years. I couldn’t help wondering why no one had written a “non-dystopian” version of the future—that is, a more hopeful future, without a caste system or battles to the death or power-hungry warlords. I started to imagine a world that had moved forward a hundred years, both technologically and socially, and how it would feel to be a teenager in that world. Since my book isn’t dystopian, but isn’t quite science-fiction either (there are no aliens, or spaceships) I haven’t quite known how to describe it… until a few readers on Instagram started calling it “futuristic realism.” I like that term!
How long did it take you to write The Thousandth Floor #1?
I spent about a year and a half working on the first novel, mostly in the planning and outlining stages, and then in the revising! I think the outline took me about five months, and the first draft only three. For a book like this, with lots of characters and interacting storylines, the outline is the hardest part.
Would you like to live in The Tower, and if so, on what floor and why?
I would absolutely love to live in the Tower! So many of the inventions that I created in The Thousandth Floor are there because I wish they were already a reality. Antigravity yoga, for instance, or the Hyperloop train (I would give anything to be able to get to Paris in two hours!) I rarely have the patience to style or straighten my hair, which is why I wish we could have the instant-hairstyling tools of the future. Of course it would be fun to live on the thousandth floor—after all, it’s literally the greatest penthouse in the world—but it might give me vertigo!
How do (or did) you combine writing with your day job and family life?
The Dazzling Heights, the sequel to The Thousandth Floor, was actually harder than book one. I wrote the entirety of this book, from the start of the outline to the final copyedit, in 2016: which was also the year that I graduated my master’s program, moved cross-country, and got married. It was a lot to handle! Luckily, I had a lot of support from my family and friends, who all helped with wedding logistics, read various drafts of the novel and gave their thoughts, and generally kept me sane throughout the crazy year! My husband is also an excellent cook, which really helps—he makes sure that I stay well-fed when I’m writing! 🙂
Which character are you most proud of and why?
This is a tough one! Eris was probably the most challenging, because her storyline was the most complicated. She faces huge upheaval in her family, along with the end of one romance and the beginning of a new one. I needed to write her scenes very carefully to make sure that I did justice to all her conflicting emotions. I’m very proud of the way her story arcs over the course of the novel.
Thank you Katharine for your time and awesome writing!
Be sure to check out Katharine’s crazy beautiful website and her two books The Thousandth Floor & The Dazzling Heights!
Curious? Check out my Bookstagram account