THE FINAL SIX by Alexandra Monir

I saw THE FINAL SIX featured as a pre-order offer on Facebook, and the book cover nearly knocked me over. It comes out March 6, 2018.

When Leo, an Italian championship swimmer, and Naomi, a science genius from California, are two of the twenty-four teens drafted into the International Space Training Camp, their lives are forever altered. After erratic climate change has made Earth a dangerous place to live, the fate of the population rests on the shoulders of the final six who will be scouting a new planet. Intense training, global scrutiny, and cutthroat opponents are only a few of the hurdles the contestants must endure in this competition.

For Leo, the prospect of traveling to Europa—Jupiter’s moon—to help resettle humankind is just the sense of purpose he’s been yearning for since losing his entire family in the flooding of Rome. Naomi, after learning of a similar space mission that mysteriously failed, suspects the ISTC isn’t being up front with them about what’s at risk.

As the race to the final six advances, the tests get more challenging—even deadly. With pressure mounting, Naomi finds an unexpected friend in Leo, and the two grow closer with each mind-boggling experience they encounter. But it’s only when the finalists become fewer and their destinies grow nearer that the two can fathom the full weight of everything at stake: the world, the stars, and their lives.

In addition to being an author, you are also a recording artist and composer. Which came first, music or writing (or both)? In what ways, if any, do they overlap in your creative process?

I’ve actually been doing both for as long as I can remember! My favorite activities from as early as age two were singing and reading books, and then I started performing in school plays and writing stories from elementary school on. When I started writing pop songs in high school, that changed my direction for awhile–I became a full-time recording artist and went on the road opening for bigger acts like O-Town and Aaron Carter at ages 17-18. But moving to LA for my music career brought me closer to the world of storytelling too, and in between recording sessions and performances, I was writing and pitching ideas for film/TV. Everything came together when I sold my debut novel, Timeless, since my lead characters were songwriters- and I wrote and recorded their songs for the book!

Fabulous! THE FINAL SIX’s protagonists have to grapple with how to make choices without knowing the full truth. In what ways, if any, did Leo and Naomi surprise you as you wrote them?

Good question! I didn’t expect that Naomi would feel so close to me. She’s a science genius, which I am most definitely not, and she’s also a lot more fearless than I am! But the fact that we share the same Iranian-American heritage caused me to identify with her in many ways, and I started weaving more of myself into her character. I think Naomi has a lot to do with why The Final Six is the book of my heart!

I’ll bet a lot of readers out there will identify with her too! In your other series, Timeless, you explore the consequences of time travel. What about this series was the most fun to write and why?

I absolutely loved writing all the time-travel scenes, where my main character got to step into the New York City of the past. It was definitely wish-fulfillment for me!

I’ll bet! What are some of your current projects?

I’m writing the sequel to The Final Six, plus developing some other projects that I’m excited to share as soon as I can talk about them! 🙂