Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Superversive Blog Interview and Reactions

L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright is an author, blogger and one of the prime forces in the Superversive literary movement. Last week, she was gracious enough to interview me about my novel.

How did you come to write this book?
It all began with a flash fiction contest at Liberty Island, an online fiction magazine. A New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd, had written a fictional piece sometime in late 2013 that had future U.S. over-run by zombies because the politicians defunded CDC (or something like that, anyway). Liberty Island challenged its members to “write better.” I had a good chuckle, wished my writer friends good luck and went to bed.
Overnight, I had a “vision,” if you will, of an American family packing up to move to Canada. Also, they would be transported by a horse-and-buggy arrangement. That was all I knew. Mind you, before this happened, I had never written fiction in my life, but I got curious as to how this setup might happen. Why are they leaving? Why Canada? Why horse and buggy and not a car or bus or plane?
You can probably tell where this is going. I wrote out the full flash fiction piece, and Liberty Island published it along with other entries. But I kept wanting to know more about the world. I started getting more characters, more stories, and it just kept growing until at some point I realized this could be a full novel. And so here I am, much to my surprise, being told I can no longer call myself an “aspiring” author because my book is actually out there.  


The interview was then re-posted by John C. Wright on his blog, collecting some very interesting comments. In particular, the discussion of how physical ugliness of a society relates to the oppression and whether one causes the other is fascinating. Would any society attempting to crush the human spirit also work at devaluing beauty? Or would beauty naturally disappear as a result of oppression?
Are we, in the United States falling victim to the same process, considering the trends in modern art?

My novel does not address these issues directly, although in my dystopian world art is both censored and discouraged. However, I am pleased that my interview had somehow sparked this discussion among Mr. Wright's commenters. You can check out the comments here.

Many thanks to L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright and John C. Wright for sharing my work with their followers.