A full moon is usually a pleasant sight, but on Kiel, the science-fiction planet envisioned by Poway author Stephanie Diaz, the moon is a poisonous and dangerous force.
Diaz, 20, began writing fantasy and science fiction when she was 6 years old. Last month, she signed her first book deal with St. Martin’s/Macmillan—a trilogy, the first of which will be released in the spring of 2014.
Titled Extraction, the series explores the life of 16-year-old Clementine, who has recently proven her worth in a cutthroat culture but reconsiders the reward of permanent safety to save the boy she loves.
“I get inspiration all the time,” said Diaz, a Poway High School alum, of her writing process. “The story just kind of fell into my head and I love the characters enough that they kind of talk to me.”
Majoring in film production at San Diego State University, Diaz said she’s most interested in the screenwriting aspect. She plans on moving to Los Angeles or New York in order to pursue a career in writing sometime after graduation in 2013.
Diaz’s success to date came with the help and expertise of Alison Fargis, a New York based literary agent who submitted query letters to various publishers on her behalf.
Diaz said she got responses from four publishers who wanted to represent her book, which offers readers “a completely new world.”
She added: “The protagonist is a girl, which is kind of different from most of the protagonists out there. She’s very brave and self-aware.”
Even with two more books to write to complete the series, Diaz said she isn’t stressed by the commitment.
“I like these books so much that I want to write them,” she said. “This is what I want to do.”