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Monday, June 11, 2012
Okay, I've got something good for you today. No, I mean GOOD.
I had the pleasure of asking Rachel Fisher, author of Eden's Root, how she came up with the concept for her young adult, apocalyptic story. Now, I realize a lot of readers can get bored with the answers to this type of question, but not this one. Let me tell you!
Rachel's biology background, personal battle, and love for writing leaves her more than qualified to write such a realistic and -dare I say- nail-biting account of a broken world that might all too soon become the fate of our own future.
I will turn over the blog to Rachel, now.
Blakely, I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to discuss how I came up with the concept for my book, Eden's Root. I've been told by reviewers that it was very original and many have asked this exact question. I'd have to say that a lot of non-fictional things came together in my life at once and when they married what resulted was this fictional tale.
To be fair, I was always a voracious reader (particularly of ya and sci-fi) and I am a professional writer, though not creatively. I think I've been expressing myself through my keyboard for so long that when the story began to come to me, it just poured out. Of course, I've learned a LOT along the way. My writing keeps improving as I hone my craft. There are so many little things that you don't realize will affect the flow and tone of your story. But I've been fortunate to have really helpful, creative, people to give me the critical feedback that I need.
The main catalyst for this story was my (successful!) battle with ovarian cancer. I realize that this is not really an upbeat topic, but then, neither are apocalyptic tales. I was 32 when I was diagnosed and my world turned upside down. When I was young, my parents did not have bunches of thirtysomething friends who were ill. Yet I know two other women who've battled ovarian cancer in their twenties, a friend's sister with a cartilage cancer (she's 30), and I have three different friends with auto-immune disorders. And that's just my friends. When I add other family member's friends, and friends of friends, the list of healthy people is shorter than the list of sick people, and all of them are under 50 years old.
The question that kept haunting me was, "Why did I get sick? Why are so many people sick?" So I researched about food and health and my biology background really came into play. As a youngster I was always intent on becoming a college professor of Biology. I finished my major incollege in three semesters because I absorbed my classes like a sponge. Unfortunately as I neared completion of my Masters in Oceanography, I became disillusioned with the field of research and I quit. My interest in the job may have waned, but my interest in Biology never did, nor did my training as a researcher. All of my findings about food led to the inevitable conclusion that our food was neither safe nor nutritious. I started to become AFRAID to eat and that was when I got angry. Really, really angry. If there is anything that should be a human right, it's to eat a piece of food without worrying that it will break something inside of you irreparably. And yet, that was how I felt.
I never intended to write a story like this, or to write a novel at all. I considered writing a childhood interest, like my painting. Nothing to be taken too seriously. But then as my anger, my knowledge, and my love of science fiction all came together, this story began to flow and I couldn't stop it. I got about 100 pages into writing when I realized that Eden's Root was not the end, that it was the first in a trilogy. And I've been writing non-stop ever since. It has been somewhat healing to tell this story, though I still worry endlessly about the increases (I believe) in chronic disease in young people. I feel like I've found a way to express myself and all of the conflicting things that I feel, without jumping on a soapbox and berating people. If you love Fi like I love Fi, then you know that she wouldn't handle her anger that way. She wouldn't allow an angry heart to dictate her life and neither will I. I'm alive, I'm extremely blessed, and now, wonderfully, magically, I've found writing.
You might think that because the Eden's Root Trilogy is my "catharsis" with regards to my former disease, I wouldn't have interest in writing more...but you would be wrong. :) I have another story just waiting on the sidelines of my mind for me to finish with the Eden's Root Trilogy. I don't know what happened...it's like a faucet turned on in my brain and now I'm just trying to keep up as the water rises!
Amazon Eden's Root Paperback
Amazon Eden's Root E-book
Eden's Root on Goodreads.com
Thank you, Rachel, for sharing a bit of Fi's story, and most importantly, your own. The best fiction is born from our darkest fears, greatest accomplishments, and that hidden place where they cohabitate.