eSpec Books interviews Brenda Cooper, author of POST, currently funding on Kickstarter: http://tiny.cc/Novels2016.
eSB: Brenda, welcome and thank you for joining us today. We are here to talk about your upcoming novel, POST. This is somewhat different than your other works, what can you tell us about how you came to write the novel?
BC: I actually have a rather long discussion on my website about the origins for this novel. Basically, POST was driven by a few things – one was a story that made it into a Year’s Best anthology, but which felt like it wanted more, and another was a general disquiet with Cormac McCarthy’s brilliant book, The Road. So I left my story nearly-intact as the first part of the novel, added a long travel sequence (really – it’s good – it’s not just travel) and a situation where readers get to experience once way that a major city might weather a disaster, and what happens when the iron control of that success needs a change. For more, drop by www.brenda-cooper.com
eSB: What kind of research went into the book, or did you draw on knowledge you already had?
BC: Both, of course. The most interesting research was around electric planes. A number of people I talked to in the aviation industry said you couldn’t make them. I thought you could, found some websites that supported that, and put them in. Of course, we just had the first electric plane circumnavigate the globe. And it was only about 5 years ago when I did the first draft – this isn’t an old novel that’s been sitting around in a drawer or anything. That’s just how fast innovations are making it into the world.
eSB: What frightens you the most about the world you’ve created?
BC: While I don’t show the fall (POST is set in a rising world, one climbing out of the depths of a devastated economy, a wave of illness, and adapting to the ravages of climate change), the fall itself is scary. Our social fabric is resilient in many ways, but our distributions systems and our ability to handle what amounts to a national level problem driven by a fearful population, real scarcity, storms, and illness is low. Honestly – the grocery store has a few day’s worth of milk. Maybe. There’s a lot about our systems that depends on those systems working, and when they fail rebuilding would be hard.
eSB: If you were stockpiling for the apocalypse, what are the top five items on your list?
BC: Some way to write, water, food (including dog food), protection from the elements, power.
eSB: You’ve described POST as a conversation with The Road. Is that conversation over, or can we look forward to more?
BC: The conversation with that book is over (as far as I know – the creative process is a strange and wonderful thing).
eSB: POST ends with a sense of potential, of more… If given the opportunity, what aspects of Sage’s world do you want to explore?
BC: Well, I have three more books in my head in this world, assuming readers decide they want to go back to it. Sage has only explored the world right around her, things she can walk to. There’s more to explore. In the opening scene, we see a plane. Where did that plane come from? Too much more would be spoilers…
eSB: How would you describe your writing ritual? Do you have to be in a specific place, or with a certain music in the background? What motivates your muse?
BC: I have no time for rituals. I’m better in the morning. I’m often up too early in the morning – this answer is going down on paper at 5:00 in the morning, and I’ve already done an hour’s worth of work for my day job and a few personal to-do list things that have been needling me. But I write when I can. Now if I didn’t have my day job, I’d start late – like 7:00 AM – and go to 5:00 with a long lunch and a nap. A girl can dream…
(To Be Continued…)
About the Author
Brenda Cooper writes science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories, and sometimes, poetry. Her most recent novel is Edge of Dark, from Pyr and her most recent story collection is Cracking the Sky from Fairwood Press. Spear of Light is forthcoming from Pyr in June of 2016 and POST will be out from espec books in late fall 2016. Brenda is a technology professional and a futurist, and publishes non-fiction on the environment and the future. Her non-fiction has appeared on Slate and Crosscut and her short fiction has appeared in Nature Magazine, among other venues.
See her website at www.brenda-cooper.com.
Brenda lives in the Pacific Northwest in a household with two people, two dogs, far more than three computers, and only one TV in it.
SOCIAL MEDIA USER IDs
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BrendaJCooper
Twitter – @brendacooper
Amazon Author Page – http://amazon.com/author/brendacooper