Production begins on the audiobook edition of Sea of a Thousand Words. And, while preparing notes and background information for my narrator, I have revisited the casting choices of my main characters. Below are just a few–can you identify the cast members? Which ones do you agree with, or which ones differ from how you envision them? If so, in what way? (Inquiring authors want to know).
This article posted from The Atlantic is in line with what I’ve been hearing from book sellers and librarians. “Cli-fi” is becoming one of the fastest growing genres in fiction literature. And what’s more, a large percentage of its base are those typically classified as YA readers.
Recently, a buyer from one of the libraries I’ve dealt with seemed initially lukewarm about purchasing my novel until I mentioned it’s cli-fi genre. “Oh wow, we can’t stock enough titles in that section these days!” He pulled the title up on Ingram’s site and purchased two copies while I stood at the desk, then asked if he could personally buy a signed book directly from me.
The increasing popularity of the climate fiction trope has certainly got to give us some hope as to our national attitude. Granted, avid readers tend to fall on the progressive end of the spectrum, but with the presence of more books pertaining to the condition of our planet, does that not bode well for shaping attitudes of future generations? The mere fact that this niche of speculative fiction has become a marketable one for big publishing, I’d like to thing that there is a bigger swath of climate-aware people “out there” than we may have previously estimated, (especially after the past election).
As I work on the sequel to Sea of a Thousand Words, I’m mindful of the setting–and the impact my books, like others in the genre, will have on its readership. I shy away from the word “dystopian” when describing my novel to new readers. Aside from the tired, over-use of that description, I simply don’t want my story to be dismissed so easily; futuristic views of the world need not be dismal (all the time), nor do they need to always follow the archetype of books such as The Hunger Games. I like the way this fresh genre of “cli-fi” enables writers to depict a future that is more of a warning with sense of promise than a predilection of doom and squalor. (At least, I’ll choose to keep writing like it does).
I’m curious, have you read a book recently that you’d categorize as climate fiction? And if so, how did you feel after finishing it–hopeful?… despondent? …fired up?
If so, please send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below, I’d like to hear about it.
After the last month, post-release of Sea of a Thousand Words, I’m settling into a normal pace once again. The whirlwind of setting up the author events and fulfilling special orders has passed and I’m now filling my days by contacting independent book sellers and establishing a (less-political) presence on social media.
The interesting thing that I’ve learned however is this: I expected that the most exciting part of finishing my book would’ve been the much-anticipated publishing-day, but that is not so. The most rewarding part of this adventure has been hearing from my readers–a diverse group of fans to be sure. Many of whom were drawn to the book because of its environmental and geo-political issues, others because of the action and adventure and still others for the science and technology aspects. I’ve also heard from much younger readers who were focused on the relationships between several of the characters. (I didn’t anticipate having a YA audience)! This very morning, I hopped on Twitter to discover that people were retweeting a recommendation for my novel–that’s an exhilarating feeling for an author, to be certain.
Perhaps it is because much of what occurs within the plot is relative to the current–and at times–controversial events that are happening (or threatening to happen), in our own world, but quite a few readers have been sending me articles about these issues. For instance, here’s a link that I recently received in an email from a fan regarding the CRISPR enzyme. It’s on a Radio Lab podcast and is quite fascinating. It got me thinking: Even though my novel is set 15-years in the future, this technology is far closer than I envisioned. Certainly, the ethical questions are no longer hypothetical–scientists are already facing these dilemmas. Give it a listen, it’s well worth it.
The genre for Sea of a Thousand Words has been called “speculative fiction.” I feel that is an adequate description for a novel that’s not too dystopian sci-fi/ fantasy, but not rooted completely in the present. However, as I start the research for a sequel, (which will reach even farther into the future), I doubt that the follow-up novel could even be labeled “science-fiction” any longer… more like, “science-probability or science-inevitability.”
It is great to hear from everyone who has sent their feedback. Your cards, letters and emails have been such a treat, and to hear that my characters are loved by others is more than gratifying. It quite simply inspires me to get back to work and find more adventures in which to immerse them. (Remember, posting your comments on Sea of a Thousand Words Amazon’s page as well as sites like Goodreads helps to spread the word). I’ll continue to post more reader remarks, links and sources that I get from fans of the book. Please feel free to contact me with your insights or opinions on the subjects.
And as always, thank you for supporting this indie author!
The final galley arrived a few days ago, minor tweaks have been made and the novel looks great.
As I wait for the e-reader conversion to wrap up, I’ve been thinking about all the necessities of publishing… what to price the book, how best to market it and when to schedule launches, etc., etc…
…And that’s when it occurred to me: Sea of a Thousand Words is a story that speaks to our times, and although it is set 15 years into our future, the crises are very much now.
Global Warming, climate refugees, diminishing water and food… countries closing their borders, depleted oceans and a century-in-the-making earthquake that reshapes an entire coastline. Throw a little genetic-enzyme weapon into the mix and you’ve got the makings of real millennial mayhem.
Because the topics in this story are so important to me, I wanted to do more than just get the book into as many hands as possible–and yeah, that of course would be nice–but I also really hope to make a difference.
So, to that end, I’m now a proud supporter of water.org and will donate $1.00 from every copy of Sea of a Thousand Words sold to their foundation.
Here’s a little information about Water.org:
663 million people – 1 in 10 – lack access to safe water; 2.4 billion people – 1 in 3 – lack access to a toilet. Water.org is dedicated to changing this. Through sustainable solutions and financing models such as WaterCredit, we can provide safe water and the dignity of a toilet for all.
Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, Water.org pioneers innovative, community-driven and market-based solutions to provide access to safe water and sanitation — giving women hope, children health and communities a future. To date, Water.org has positively transformed millions of lives around the world, ensuring a better life for generations ahead.
I am preparing the pre-order announcement and this week and will post another update on how you can purchase your copy of the book. I am truly grateful to the folks who’ve been so persistent about wanting a signed copy and to those who’ve made the creation of this novel possible. I’m including the acknowledgements section below–take a look at the talented group of people I’ve had the pleasure to work with!
My profound thanks to the following individuals and organizations for their invaluable help in shaping the world of my novel:
George Dyson, author and historian, for sharing his unique sail design for Inuit baidarkas. The stories, photographs and nautical charts of his adventures in Alaska and the Inside Passage provided great insight into my heroes’ journey.
Julie Ross-Buckmaster, Sehome high-school biology teacher, who instilled a passion for the physical sciences in my youngest daughter and helped me to better understand the CRISPR-CAS-9 enzyme—setting me on the path toward Kim Chen’s frightening discovery.
Dr. Chris Goldfinger, Marine geologist and sub-marine seismologist at Oregon State University, who (patiently) answered my many questions about the Cascadia-subduction zone mega-quake. (Our conversations convinced me to research all possible evacuation routes before visiting the Pacific Northwest Coast ever again).
John Gossman, technology architect, for his sage advice on all things computer and technology based—and for an astonishing ability to make a mean Old Fashioned.
Paul R. Peterson, CEO of Volta Volare’ and Executive Director of the EViation Center at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, for taking the time to explain drone technology and the future of flight to a curious writer. Thanks for the personal tour and resources.
Gary Gero, Animal Consultant and bird trainer, whose friendship, support and advice on corvids helped me bring Monk the raven to life.
And to Jeffery, for never doubting me.
Here’s a short video from water.org