Thanks to Yvonne and her book club for reading and discussing my latest book, 2 Degrees. They asked me the following questions to which I’ve provided my answers.
- I saw where your next book will be in this same eco-fiction genre, but will be about water. 2º had water play a role, so how will you make this next one different?
I currently have two works-in-progress. One will be a prequel to 2⁰ with water playing a key role. What will be different are the characters, setting and their particular goals. As climate change continues to wreak havoc on Earth, the scarcity of fresh water will become a more pressing problem for humans. In my writing, I like to explore how humans react to and overcome our most pressing problems of the day. But before that prequel, I’ll be finishing a story titled, The Beekeeper. It will explore a woman’s journey to discover what’s most important to her by becoming a beekeeper. My plan is to finish the manuscript by this fall. It likely would then be published in 2020. I’d characterize The Beekeeper as being within the eco-fiction genre as well.
- Any chance we will see Sharon and Eve in another book?
Yes, there is a strong likelihood that Sharon and Eve will resurface in a sequel to 2⁰. It’s a safe bet that there will be three books in this series. Sharon is one of my favorite characters. Readers will also get to know more about Wilhelmina Woodhouse, aka Woody.
- I’ll be honest, your book scared me, especially with the recent scientific report that came out. In your opinion, is it too late? Is it really possible to change all of this?
Unfortunately, I do think it’s too late to stop climate change. With the melting of the Arctic, we’ve passed the activation barrier. Nevertheless, I think the world should act now to minimize the damage; and begin to think about how to adjust to and live with the impacts of climate change.
- I know you are an avid beekeeper, in addition to helping bees, are there specific things you and your family do to help the environment?
I saw an article on the TED Talks series “How to be a Better Human” about thinking like a bee. The premise is that none of us can change the world on our own, but the collective little things each of us do add up to substantive change. My spouse and I own a 40 acre woodlot. We have a forester who helped us develop a forest plan that is geared toward protecting particular species of trees and providing habitat for wildlife. We also maintain a meadow along our woods which provides habitat and hunting grounds for lots of animals and birds. In the summer, we grow a variety of vegetables and have an orchard of apple, pear and plum trees. In the fall, we can the vegetables and fruits from our gardens and orchards. I think growing and preserving much of our own food cuts down on the cost to the environment of buying food that has been shipped across the country. We also try to minimize our meat consumption during the year. Finally, we were fortunate to be in a position to install solar panels and heat pumps at our home. The solar panels generate the electricity to operate the heat pumps. This has dramatically reduced our consumption of heating oil. We recycle and bring our own bags to the grocery store. The little things each of us do add up.
- I also read Blowback and thought it was outstanding. Why the move toward issue related stories, versus the typical romance that is so much of lesbian fiction?
This is a great question. First, I’ll be the first to admit that I enjoy a well-written romance. Romance stories are good for the soul and let us see ourselves in a positive light. But as an author, I prefer to explore the issues of our day that impact all of us. In the process, I utilize lesbian protagonists to tell my stories. I want straight readers to know that lesbians are human and heroic. On the other hand, I want to give lesbian readers great stories with lesbian protagonists that are about something other than romance.
- How much does being an environmental lawyer -is that correct? – influence your writing and research, and in what ways?
Yes, I am an environmental lawyer. It’s not so much my knowledge of the law that influences my writing, but the process of being a lawyer. A good lawyer gathers the facts and tries to see the world from different viewpoints. That’s why I try to write imperfect characters. The truth is that it’s our imperfections and perfections that make us human. Ultimately, I want to write stories about being human.
- While most of the reviews for the book are good, how do you handle those that say things that might not be so positive?
One would be naive to expect or hope for reviews to always be positive. Obviously, I prefer to get great reviews. But when I don’t, I try not to take it personally. I appreciate when readers take the time to not only read my stories, but leave reviews. I’m proud of all of the books that I’ve written. Each one has gotten better than the last. I put everything I have into telling my stories to the best of my ability. Even if they are not well received, I know that I’ve told a damn good story. Reviews reflect the opinion of the respective readers. Because we all see the world in different ways, it’s to be expected that not every reader will like my stories. As an author, I have to be okay with that; and I am.