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Ten Interview Questions with writer David Byerlee for The Next Big Thing

October 30, 2012

Q: What is the working title of your book?

A: The working title is Gaia Redux.

Q: Where did the idea come from for the book?

A: Gaia was the name of the ancient Greek goddess of the Earth and the scientist James Lovelock has used that term Gaia for his philosophy about the earth being interconnected through its geology, biomass and atmosphere. In that sense he sees the world as being like a living organism in its own right. The Gaia philosophy or hypothesis has inspired me and is part of the narrative. Redux means brought back, restored or returned. Both words are often used literature and film.

Q: What genre does your book fall under?

A: The genre is Speculative writing although terms like Science Fiction or SF could be used. This could also be called New Age Millennial fiction, a term I came up with, although Speculative fiction is fine.

Q: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

A: Some of the Actors I would like to see in a Gaia Redux movie would be Russell Crowe, Sam Waterson, Jennifer Lawrence, and others.

Q: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A: In a post- apocalyptic world survivors have managed to salvage the DNA, seedlings and offspring of a wide variety of species and are seeking to create a better world here and in the cosmos.

Q: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I have just signed a contract with the publishing company Julia Sophistique Pty Ltd to publish my book as an eBook in the next year. This company will  present my book in trade shows as well as seeking further contracts  for other formats of publishing or movie rights through negotiation.

Q: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

A: I wrote the first draft some years ago and one part was published as a short story in Japan in the 1990s. This short story, ‘Precursors’, can be downloaded on my website:

I have revisited the novel recently and have updated it to suit our 21st century reality and the challenges ahead. I feel that Gaia Redux is a novel of our times even though it is set in the future.

Q: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

A: I like the works of Robert A. Heinlein who wrote Stranger in a Strange Land as well as the Speculative fiction novels of Margaret Attwood who wrote Oryx and Crake both of whom discussed alternate identities and environments in future worlds. The film Avatar resonates in terms of the look and feel of my narrative Gaia Redux , although some it (in its previous incarnation) was written well before the film came out. There are some aspects of the Twilight series that resonate with Gaia Redux as well. That said I feel that Gaia Redux is unique and stands apart from other works of Speculative fiction and I imagine many writers feel the same way about their work.

Q: Who or What inspired you to write this book?

A: My father was a leading Earth scientist who specialised in Earthquakes and volcanoes, so to a great extent, I was inspired by his example and his work.  While writing the novel I was also inspired by the revolutionary and controversial scientific work of James Lovelock, who came up with the Gaia hypothesis as mentioned.

Q: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

A: My book creates an alternative world, a kind of mirror world of what we could be like and how we may be living in the future. I have tried to give some idea of how humankind might deal with environmental collapse and how a new, positive society could be created out of the ashes. Much of this is expressed through the characters and my goal was to have readers care about them and their situation. I believe the ultimate future of the world lies in Off World environments and that our rapidly advancing science and technology can make this happen in real time, give or take a century or two.

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