A couple weeks ago, we gave you a look at the first chapter from Rachel Cohn’s upcoming novel Beta. The futuristic story — which centers on a young clone named Elysia who finds herself feeling dangerously human — doesn’t come out until next Tuesday (Oct. 16), but we’ve got an exclusive interview with author herself to whet your appetites. Cohn took the time to talk to us about her first sci-fi novel and ended up dishing on her geek love for Captain Picard and Gone with the Wind as well. So read on and sound off on her new pen name in the comments below!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Where did you get the idea for Beta? I’ve read quite a few of your books and it’s very different from the rest.
RACHEL COHN: I’m not usually this kind of writer. The idea came in a dream I had. I had a dream about a 16-year-old girl who was a clone and she was available for sale at the mall, like the same place you go to buy sweaters, and some lady she only knew as the wife of a governor came in and bought her. I woke up and I was like, that’s an interesting concept that you can just go to the mall and buy clones who fulfill certain roles. That’s where it came from initially. I don’t really think of it as so different thematically from the other things I’ve written. It’s just a bigger, more fantastical setting.
Was it more difficult to write?
It was more difficult in the sense that it was more plot-oriented than the things that I’ve written in the past. With [Beta] I really had to know beforehand. My joke is that this is my 12th published book and I’ve only now figured out that plot is important. Whoa. [Laughs]