Author Interview & Giveaway: Skywatchers by Carrie Arcos
Skywatchers by Carrie Arcos is a YA historical fiction set in the 50s with a side of scifi? Sign me up. Having just read The Gravity of Us, I’m loving exploring our time of space exploration. We checked in with Carrie Arcos about the switch from writing YA contemporary, what it was like researching the time period, and her childhood experiences with space!
Skywatchersby Carrie Arcos
Published by: Philomel Books
on August 18, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi
From National Book Award Finalist Carrie Arcos comes a thrilling, genre-bending mystery about the history of the Cold War and the UFO phenomenon. Perfect for fans of In the Woods by Tana French and Netflix's Stranger Things.
The year is 1952. The threat of invasion from the Soviet Union has people in a panic. The government has issued a call to civilians to act as radar--and Teddy, John, Caroline, Eleanor, Bunny, Frank, and Oscar eagerly answer. As members of their high school's "Operation Skywatch" club, they, along with others across the country, look to the sky in an effort to protect the country from attack.
But they're not prepared for the strange green light they see when on duty, which looks like nothing they've been trained to look out for. So when the mysterious object lands in the forest, Teddy, John, Caroline, and Bunny go in to investigate. Then, they disappear.
In this thrill of a novel inspired by real events, one group of teens will come face to face with the UFO phenomenon and the vastness of the unknown as they try to save one another, and possibly, the world. A powerful exploration of what if.
Interview with Carrie Arcos
You primarily write in contemporary worlds. What was it like to write historical fiction with a side of scifi?
I loved it. Even though much of what I write is contemporary, I love research. And immersing myself in a year that I wasn’t too familiar with, 1952, was a great ride. And all of the explosion in the SF community during the time is fascinating. I could see myself writing another historical fiction in the future.
What was the catalyst in starting to write Skywatchers?
I was in between projects, trying not to worry about finding the next story. One thing I do is read read read. So I was reading an autobiography on J Allen Hynek, the astronomer who was employed by Project Bluebook and the Air Force to look into the UFO phenomenon for over 20 years called The Close Encounters Man. He later went on to found his own organization and continued to study and produce essays on his findings. I highly recommend the book for anyone interested in the UFO story in America. There was a small section that spoke of Operation Skywatch. The civilian radar program our government had during the 1950s. And I was instantly intrigued. I thought—ooh there’s a story.
What is your earliest memory of space or UFOs?
I don’t remember actually having a UFO experience when I was little, but I’ve always been fascinated with space, what’s up there are there other people, what does it all mean? E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind had a huge influence on me. And of course Star Wars. As a kid I looked up a lot and wondered.