The new book (and soon to be movie) from author and songwriter Amy S. Foster follows Ryn, a teenager soldier who was specially chosen and trained to guard a Rift—a tear in the universe and a portal to alternate versions of Earth. Sound futuristic and dystopian? It’s actually set in the present day.
The Rift Uprising is a true crossover novel. It fits into many different genres, and that’s why we love it so much. It’s intended for an audience slightly more mature than YA, but it still contains coming-of-age YA themes. It’s also part sci-fi and part military thriller. Basically, it has something a lot of readers will enjoy.
We spoke with Foster about the novel — which comes out today! — and discussed everything from gender equality to quantum physics. Read on, then pick up a copy of The Rift Uprising wherever books are sold near you!
HelloGiggles: The Rift Uprising has been described as the next Hunger Games. I love The Hunger Games, but I have to disagree. I think comparing this book to anything that’s out there, really, does a disservice to how original your story is.
Amy S. Foster: I love being in that company. The Hunger Games is an amazing book. But to me, this is a new genre. The Rift Uprising is not like anything else, so it’s hard to categorize. You look at it on Amazon and [the genres are] like, “First Contact,” “Dystopian,” “Alien Invasion.” And it’s really none of those things. It was written for 17-year-olds, but it’s for all ages to enjoy.
HG: Ryn is a teenager who actually sounds like a teenager. All of the characters feel like somebody I know. They feel very real.
ASF: I wanted to give Ryn and her contemporaries a very authentic teenage voice. We’re all misunderstood, and we all have struggles. Ryn is an ordinary person in an extraordinary situation. She’s doing the best that she can do given this extraordinary situation.
HG: The Rift Uprising is incredibly empowering for young women. Ryn gives a voice to so many. You didn’t shy away from putting her in real situations of rape, abuse, and manipulation.
ASF: That was important to me. I just really wanted there to be a true equality within the Citadels. It doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or a boy, you will do the exact same things, and fight, and be put in the exact same situations.
HG: Can you talk a little bit about the science behind the book?
ASF: All the science in the book is sound. I had a physics expert to help me. There’s nothing so crazy that it can’t actually be real. Without getting too nerdy—although I am a big time nerd—the concept of the multiverse is not a pie in the sky concept. Stephen Hawking believes in the multiverse, and there are different explanations as to how the multiverse works. Most physicists believe in the multiverse theory, and most believe in other dimensions. When you work on a subatomic level, or you work with string theory or quantum physics, the truth is anything is possible.
HG: Not to completely change the subject to boys, but I have to bring up Ezra and Levi, two of the men in Ryn’s life. Is it just me, or is there kind of a Team Peeta/Team Gayle thing going on? And is it okay that I’m Team Levi?
ASF: Yes there is. So many people are Team Levi! Why are we so attracted to the bad boys? I don’t get it!
HG: I can’t wait to see who ends up playing them in the movie. Congratulations by the way! Before The Rift Uprising book was released, you already had two big producers on board. That’s huge.
ASF: We’re working on that for sure. I chose two producers, Michael Sugar (Spotlight, The Knick) and Ivan Reitman (Up in the Air, Ghostbusters), because I needed that balance between light and dark. Everyone who reads the book, universally, unilaterally, is like, When is the movie coming out? I think people see it as such a cinematic experience. So there is a movie in the works! It’s going into pre-production next year.
HG: Can you tell us anything about what’s coming up for Ryn in the next book? No spoilers though!
ASF: The trilogy is a journey for her. She has to figure out who she is when she’s not a soldier. That will all be explored, and she will evolve as a person. I won’t tell you how it all turns out!