Q: What made you want to write YA time travel fiction?
I love books like the Hunger Games and Divergent. I also love books like Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking and Chuck Wendig’s Heartland Trilogy. They are all exciting, deeply engaging dystopian action adventure series. They all make you stop and think. So I wanted to write something similar. But I’ve been reading about futurology and climate change for years and they have seeped into my subconscious. I liked the idea of exploring possible futures based on the non-fiction I’d be reading. To do that I needed Mathew Erlang, my main character, to be able to jump forward into the future to see how things turn out.
Q: Why specifically write teen dystopia? Why not write for adults?
I’m not sure I am specifically writing just for teens. I read a lot of young adult fiction and I’m certainly not a teen! But when I built the world and the much bigger story that Mathew’s tale exists in, he happened to turn out to be a teenaged boy at the beginning of his series.
Q: You describe your books at cli-fi. What does that mean?
Cli-fi means climate change fiction. It’s a spin on sci-fi, of course, but it’s a type of dystopian science fiction or speculative fiction that specifically deals with the impact of climate change on the people of the future.
Q: Why did you want to write about climate change?
It’s the big issue of our times and the biggest challenge we’ve faced as a civilisation. There’s a huge scientific consensus about the fact that climate change is man made and that it is likely to massively disrupt our lives in the future, but lots of people don’t believe in it. I read an article a while ago in The New Scientist (which is my favourite magazine) saying that the climate change lobby needs more artists and writers to go and spread the message. Frighteningly, young people, who are likely to suffer the most in the future, are particularly not engaging with the issue.
Q: When will the next one in the series be out?
The Boy Who Fell from the Sky is part of the House Next Door trilogy, a series of three dystopian science fiction novels. Silverwood, which is the next is the series is already available. The third and final part, The Moon at Noon will be out in December 2015. Look out for the box-set in early 2016.
Q: So is there a bigger story beyond Mathew’s then?
Oh yes. There’s much bigger story and more books to come! You need to find out more about the Lamplighter, the Kind and understand more about who Mr. Lestrange really is.
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