Today I am interviewing Elizabeth Guizzetti, author of the new dystopian, science fiction novel, The Light Side of the Moon.
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DJ: Hey Elizabeth! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Elizabeth Guizzetti: When I was a child, I discovered I was not a cyborg and growing up to be an otter would be impractical, so I began writing and illustrating stories. Whether graphic novels or the written word, I love and create speculative fiction that is: Fantasy, Horror & Sci-fi. So far, I’ve done a few independent comics: Faminelands, Lure, and Out for Souls&Cookies. In 2012, I conquered my life-long goal to have a novel published with Other Systems.
When I am not writing or drawing, I also enjoy birdwatching and hiking. I live in Seattle with my husband and two dogs.
DJ: What is The Light Side of the Moon about?
EG: The Light Side of the Moon is the second book in the Other Systems Universe, but it is not a sequel. Both novels begin when the Kiposians arrive on Earth looking for healthy young people to immigrate to their colony then they veer in different directions with different characters. Other Systems follows Abigail Boyd Lei to Kipos. The Light Side of the Moon follows an impoverished girl, Ella Sethdottier, who runs away from an arranged marriage and follows rumors of plentiful jobs on the moon. On roads fraught with danger, she discovers Earth is a bigger place than she ever imagined, but Serenitatis is little more than a prison colony. Ella forges unlikely friendships with corrupted androids and the quixotic prison doctor, Ian Whitlatch, who champions rights for inmates.
EG: There are many, but since Other Systems influenced TLSOTM too, I’ll start there. I originally planned Other Systems to be a stand alone story, but readers asked for a sequel. I started to ask myself what would it be like for the people on Earth who chose to stay or were left behind. Pulling out the few Earth chapters in the beginning of Other Systems, I began making sure the society matched.
Then the protagonist slipped into my mind. At four, Ellie was too young to go. (I mentioned in Other Systems, the gravcouch nanites can cause a cascading allergic reaction in young children.) Other reasons why people would stay came to mind and the cast started to come together.
My research began influencing the story. Not only did I look into the science for the lunar colony and rocket speeds, but I began researching stories from the American Colonies, Penal Transport for the Americas and Australia, Colonial law in America, modern prisons and the Stanford Prison Experiments. Finally, current events always leach into my stories. The atrocities which ISIS has been committing. Within the US, police brutality and the demonization of the poor. The Light Side of the Moon took shape with a thought: If we don’t work to solve some of our problems now, space travel will not free us. We will bring our problems to our colonies. In a way, it’s the anti-Star Trek.
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about Ella? Does she have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with her?
EG: When the reader first meets her, Ella is four and wants to be the center of attention. She likes being a “good helper” for her mama and going to the library where the nice Miss. Abigail Boyd Lei (Yep, from Other Systems) paints and sings with her. Her father abandons her family for Kipos, but she is a determined, hard-working girl who grows up during the course of the novel as you can imagine her quirks and habits change as she changes.
EG: While I love the androids, they are characters. In fact, they have every right as the human characters so I don’t want to talk about them as technology. My favorite everyday future tech is smart toilets which track regular user’s health. Since Earth of The Light Side of the Moon has limited functional antibiotics, antivirals and nanotechnology has also begun to fail, the need for preventive care and an inexpensive way to diagnose diseases are of utmost importance. Also in a pinch, the police can use them to spot unexplained injuries.
DJ: When I read, I love to collect quotes – whether it be because they’re funny, foodie, or have
a personal meaning to me. Do you have any favorite quotes from The Light Side of the Moon that you can share with us?
EG: That’s funny, because Royce Whitlatch (Ian’s dad) also collects quotes. He spends the novel doling out advice to mostly Ian, sometimes Ellie through “ancient philosophers” such as Harriet Tubman and Albert Einstein.
Here are three of my favorite quotes from the narration of the novel:
“Love had everything to do with interstellar travel.” (Ian’s realization)
“In the twentieth century, the original space race was carried by nations bent on war. His wife endeavored to promote industry and scientific discovery. It was a harder sell.” (Theodore Kessler thinking about Ivonne Tallier during the first shuttle launch.)
“Fighting the system just made it harder to get things accomplished, but it was disgusting…” (Thought by Ivonne Tallier)
DJ: Have you been reading anything good lately?
DJ: Now that The Light Side of the Moon is out, what is next for you?
EG: I have two projects. The first project is a horror novel entitled The Grove which is about a deluded, but charismatic sorcerer who wants to awake three blood-thirsty primordial Gods because he believes They will bring world peace. The Gods’ Keeper will do everything she can to stop him. The second project is the third book in the Other System’s Universe which will focus on what happened on Kipos’s moons.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Guizzetti/e/B007RJFILS/
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
Elizabeth Guittezzi: Thank you for having me!
About the Book:
In 3062, due to lack of natural resources, no public education, and a surplus of political bickering, Earth is an over-populated cesspool and our solar system’s colonies have failed.
Encouraged by the conquest of Kipos, idealistic dreamers look beyond Earth to build a utopia from the abandoned Lunar Colony Serenitatis. Industrialists reconstruct the colony, but struggle to turn a profit while encouraging scientific discovery.
Brimming with hope despite intense uncertainty and physical hardship, the impoverished Ella Sethdottier follows rumors of plentiful jobs on the moon. On roads fraught with danger, she discovers Earth is a bigger place than she ever imagined, but Serenitatis is little more than a prison camp. Ella forges unlikely friendships with corrupted androids and the quixotic prison doctor, Ian Whitlatch, who champions equality and rights for inmates. Amid corruption and nobility, tragedy and victory, the fate of the colony hangs precariously in the balance.
About the Author:
Prior to becoming an author, Elizabeth Guizzetti worked as an artist. She created the graphic novels, Faminelands and Lure, and the comic book series Out for Souls & Cookies. Other Systems is her first published novel. She currently lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and two dogs.