Check This Out: The Color of Rain

In my continuing quest to point you to quality entertainment, I would like to give a shout-out to a book by one of my fellow VCFA alums, the awesome Cori McCarthy.


On May 14, 2013, the world will witness the debut of The Color of Rain, Cori’s young adult science fiction novel, published by Running Press Teens/The Perseus Books Group.

Front Cover

Don’t you just love that cover? Here’s the synopsis:

     If there is one thing that seventeen-year-old Rain knows and knows well, it is survival. Caring for her little brother, Walker, who is “Touched,” and losing the rest of her family to the same disease, Rain has long had to fend for herself on the bleak, dangerous streets of Earth City. When she looks to the stars, Rain sees escape and the only possible cure for Walker. And when a darkly handsome and mysterious captain named Johnny offers her passage to the Edge, Rain immediately boards his spaceship. Her only price: her “willingness.”
     The Void cloaks many secrets, and Rain quickly discovers that Johnny’s ship serves as host for an underground slave trade for the Touched . . . and a prostitution ring for Johnny’s girls. With hair as red as the bracelet that indicates her status on the ship, the feeling of being a marked target is not helpful in Rain’s quest to escape. Even worse, Rain is unsure if she will be able to pay the costs of love, family, hope, and self-preservation.
     With intergalactic twists and turns, Cori McCarthy’s debut space thriller exists in an orbit of its own.

I don’t know about you, but that synopsis gives me chills. And Cori’s in the house, so please behave while I ask her a few questions.

El Space: Four quick facts about yourself?
Cori: I was born on Guam. I have a J.R.R. Tolkien drawing as a tattoo. I lived in Dublin, Ireland for a year. I have a son named Maverick who definitely lives up to his name.

El Space: Love the name Maverick. And I’d love to get to Dublin someday. Also, let me just say that a Tolkien tattoo is awesome. Now, could you tell us who or what inspired you to write this book?
Cori: I got the idea to write a “prostitute in space” book in the middle of the night, but I thought it was a crazy idea. I wouldn’t have started writing it if weren’t for a dare on Facebook to write something for my graduating workshop semester at VCFA that might “frighten the incoming students.” Turns out that they weren’t frightened at all, and I ended up with a high-concept story idea out of the experience.

El Space: Your graduate reading was so powerful, I’ve been looking forward to this book ever since. What excites you most about the genre?
Cori: I love the fact that the young adult audience alters the sci-fi genre. My agent (Sarah Davies at The Greenhouse Literary Agency) encouraged me to embrace the fiction in science fiction, avoiding some of the pitfalls of the adult genre, like too much technology or scientific explanation. There are few gadgets in the novel and some starships, but I didn’t have to explain how humans withstand space travel or manufacture gravity—thank goodness.

El Space: You’re packing for a trip into space. What would you bring?
Cori: My favorite pair of boots: Dr. Martens Triumph 1914 Boots. I’m pretty sure I could take on every alien civilization out there if I were wearing ’em.

El Space: I’m pretty sure you could! Inquiring minds also want to know: what are you working on now?
Cori: I’m working on another YA novel—very different from Rain. It’s near-futuristic, another high-concept book. Beyond that, I’ve been advised to keep the pitch a secret!

El Space: Awww! Well, we’ll look forward to it! Now, any advice you have for aspiring writers?
Cori: Don’t be afraid to rewrite from scratch. If I didn’t rewrite this novel three times, well, I wouldn’t have a novel!

Thanks so much, Cori! Give it up for her, folks. (You can stop clapping anytime.)

You can find Cori at her website: or her Facebook author page.

The Color of Rain is available for preorder at these fine establishments:
Barnes & Noble
Powell’s Books
Anderson’s Bookshops

Check out the book trailer for The Color of Rain at Cori’s website or at The Compulsive Reader.

10 thoughts on “Check This Out: The Color of Rain

    • I’m so amazed at the books that have come out of workshops. I remember Caroline Carlson reading from the book that will debut this year too. So exciting!

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