Can you tell me about your book?
The Carol of the Reactors, my book, is set in a near-future dystopia located in Diablo Valley, California.
Featuring a range of characters from diverse races and backgrounds, it is centered on Josh & Kilia – child counselors tasked with sharing a horrible truth to tween-agers about the world they have been born into.
Paige Turner, another character in the book, whose blogs are woven into the narrative is on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/earthlingpaige) and has a blog of her own (https://earthlingpaige.blogspot.com) which can be read independently of the book.
The book also presents three double-spreads in Graphic Novel format which have been extended into a webcomic (https://earthlingtrilogy.com/noobphilos.php).
The sci-fi genre apart, I was flying against the wind even in choosing to write in the “third person present progressive tense”. And having written it, I realize that this work finds a fit within the umbrella of post-modern literature by way of minimalism and fragmentation. All of which is going to make it quite difficult for me to find readers, ha ha!
Where did the idea for this book come, your Eureka moment?
It was an idle afternoon sometime in 2012 and for some reason, I pulled up a map of the world that featured seismic fault-lines (earthquake-prone zones) on which all the nuclear reactors, plants, and facilities built there were marked. I haven’t been able to find that image since, perhaps it wasn’t accurate, but one long look at that map was enough for me to start writing this book.
If you were stranded on a beach with a fictional character, which character would you be with?
I have heard writers should treat writing like a job, give it a dedicated time like 9 to 5, do you do that? Or are you an erratic creative writer? What’s your writing process like?
Over the course of writing this book, I realized that keeping “writing hours” works best. However inspiration, as and when it strikes, doesn’t restrict itself to the schedule.
How long did it take you to pen this novel?
It took me over three years to complete my first draft. Probably because I was developing my method as I went along.
How many edits did it go through?
Three rounds of edits before I turned my manuscript in. And one round thereafter.
Which author in your genre of writing do you like the most?
Robert A Heinlein, without a doubt.
If you were to go for dinner date with an author which one would you pick?
What’s your opinion of publishing industry? How is it different from Advertising and marketing?
I don’t know enough about the industry to say much, but this much I can say for sure: Advertising moves like a hare while Publishing crawls.
In the process of writing, what surprised you the most?
I was most surprised when – after all the planning, research and outlining I had done – I’d write myself into a corner. And then even more surprised when I’d find a way out.
A message you would like to give budding writers and “judgemental” readers.
For budding writers, I’ll cite Robert A Heinlein’s rules for writing:
1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you start.
3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
4. You must put your story on the market.
5. You must keep it on the market until it has sold.
And for judgemental readers, I’ll quote Anton Ego (the food critic) from Ratatouille:
In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends.
Exacting a terrible price, the nuclear apocalypse divided humankind into two: Mutated and Untainted. Kilia & Josh, child counselors for the United Nations, are tasked with telling this horrible truth to tween-agers. Yet forced to lie about their own feelings for each other. Despite the UN’s efforts, life is harsh for Mutants and an underground resistance has sprung to life in the Quarantine Zone.
Untainted humans living in the safety and comfort of a terrarium, most of them migrant volunteers, remain blissfully unaware of things to come. Under the watchful eyes of the Chief Administrator, life at the UN mission in Diablo Valley unfolds in mundane quietude.
But then, the universe begins to conspire.
Paying homage to counterculture, The Carol of the Reactors blends scifi, suspense and philosophy in the dystopia of an alternate reality.
Laced with pop-culture, real world contemporary and historical references, this novel speculates on the future of humanity in the face of climate change, our dependence on technology and the fears that accompany it.
To buy the book, click https://amzn.to/2pdUtN2