I was fortunate enough to interview Anne Osterlund, author of Aurelia and the just-released Academy 7 which came out in stores in the US on May 14th...
First off, what is Academy 7 about?
It is the story of a girl, Aerin, who is fleeing a dangerous planet and trying to find a better life. And Dane, a young man fresh out of prison, who is determined to want absolutely nothing because that is what he has been trained to expect. And together they become the top new students at the most prestigious school in the universe. Think Star Wars meets The Outsiders.
Can you describe Dane in three words?
Guts, self-destructive, trouble
How about Aerin?
Defensive, kick-ass, brilliant
How would you describe your writing style?
It is whatever the characters insist it should be. Generally swift YA with romance to taste and enough danger and death to keep the action going, even when stirred under a ream of— sometimes annoying—perfectionism.
Growing up, what sort of books did you read?
Tons! Especially young adult fantasy and historical fiction. Tamora Pierce, Ann Rinaldi, Richard Peck’s Blossom Culp books, Sally Watson, L.M. Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, Walter Farley, Mark Twain, and, yes, I admit umpteen thousand Sweet Valley Twins and Babysitter’s Club books.
Who is your favorite character you've created?
A very loaded question. (They create themselves). I love Aurelia. She is very opinionated and stubborn, but her strength, passion, and agility within an argument are terrific fun. Dane is a blast! He is always tearing up everyone’s expectations, including mine; and there is really no getting around him because he is far too interesting to ignore. That said, I would go crazy trying to live in Aurelia’s or Dane’s heads all the time. There is definitely something to be said for Robert and Aerin and a wee bit of perspective, LOL. The truth is I love all my main characters, and if I didn’t I couldn’t do them justice.
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
Time shall tell. I have submitted a couple projects and am waiting to hear what my publisher is the most interested in. Personally, Robert, Aurelia, and I are currently confronting Lord Lester on his estate in the middle of the Asyan Forest in Exile, which is the second book in a trilogy; however, Penguin (much to Aurelia’s ire) says they would like another book but that they don’t think there is enough interest in a sequel. So…I can tell you there is a thief called The Cat, a boy who would rather not be everyone else’s salvation, a slave girl who breaks things, a pioneer girl who prefers to go by Alex, and—Oh yes!—a snake. You’ll probably meet one of them sooner and the rest ultimately.
You can find out more about Anne and her books at