This is the third episode of Story Behind the Story, a monthly interview series featuring conversations with authors about their creative process. In it, host Clara Sherley-Appel talks to YA writer and librarian M.K. England about their debut novel, The Disasters, and the movement for diverse characters and books (especially for young adults).
The Disasters tells the story of five space academy washouts who are forced to step up and save the world after escaping a terrorist attack. It’s a wildly entertaining romp through space that has been lauded for its nuanced representation of LGBTQIA characters, as well as the way it handles mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
We discuss these issues and more – including what it’s like to write action scenes, how publishing a novel has changed the way M.K. England reads books, and how the challenge of National Novel Writing Month has affected their writing.