Today I am interviewing Brenda Cooper, award-winning author of the new dystopian, science-fiction novel, POST. Brenda is a technology professional, a futurist, and a writer.
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DJ: Hey Brenda! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Brenda Cooper: I’m a westerner – I grew up in California and then migrated north to Washington State, where trees and water and wild things surround me. I’m near Seattle, which is one of the best cities in the nation. I have over ten novels out, and well over 50 stories, and a fistful of poems. I love writing, dogs, and wrestling with the future in my work.
DJ: What is POST about?
Brenda: POST is about a journey and an incredible and unexpected friendship.
DJ: What were some of your influences for POST?
Brenda: For one, it’s a conversation with Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. I hated The Road. Oh, it’s brilliantly written and touching, but it’s also unrelentingly dark. So I set out to write a travel story that’s lighter and brighter, in spite of the fact that there are dark people and dark events in POST. At heart, I’m an optimist, and I wanted to create an optimistic take on a future that we may very well face.
DJ: Could you briefly tell us a little about your main characters? Do they have any cool quirks or habits, or any reason why readers with sympathize with them?
Brenda: The two main characters are Sage and Monday. Fun fact: The working title for the book was “Sage Monday.”
Sage grew up in a completely insular community where she was hidden from the world and taken care of. She knows a lot about plants, and notices things about the natural world. She is also quite curious and stupidly naïve. Her curiosity drives her to leave her safe place and follow an airplane to find out about the world. Monday, on the other hand, grew up in tough towns and knows far more about threats and how to deal with them. Monday starts out trying to ditch Sage, but then Monday herself gets into trouble….
DJ: What is the world or setting of POST like?
Brenda: Well, it’s “many of the above.” POST is set here, in the Northwest, in the near future. Climate change has caused major disruptions, followed by severe economic and health emergencies. You don’t see much of that, because POST is not about the crash, it’s about the beginning of the rebuilding. The crash gave the climate a small break, and while it’s not healed, the world is becoming marginally safer. Roughly half of the population we have now are still alive, and they’re governing themselves and surviving any which way they can. So they are variously kind, mean, desperate, helpful….
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing POST?
Brenda: For me, it’s always the characters. I love creating real people with foibles and ideas and problems…
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Brenda: The way Portland gets run in this future, and the kind of leader it needs to survive. What might happen now, when that is no longer the right choice. The relationship between the main characters, Sage’s next choices…I guess I hope there’s a lot to talk about.
DJ: What was your goal when you began writing POST? Is there a particular message or meaning you are hoping to get across when readers finish it? Or is there perhaps a certain theme to the story?
Brenda: Two things: Humans are resilient. We should be careful now. While the world in POST is not a complete disaster, it’s not an easy place or way to live, and it’s not safe. It’s possible for us to avoid becoming that world.
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 POST that you can share with us?
Brenda: “I hope all of Portland is dancing with us.”
DJ: Now that POST is released, what is next for you?
Brenda: My next book, Wilders, will be out from Pyr in June. It’s set in the same time frame as POST, but in an entirely different world, where different choices were made. That’s part of the fun of science fiction. You can play with ideas. I think they are each good books, although they are very different from each other. Both feature young female protagonists, but are really more adult than YA (although both are YA appropriate). The worlds, and the issues I explore, are quite distant from each other.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001HD3FNS
Author Newsletter: Sign up right on my page. I do periodic giveaways, so this would be good.
Blog: On my website, also.
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about POST that we haven’t talked about yet?
Brenda: Really just that I’d love to hear what readers think about the world in POST. Whether they love it or not, I always like to hear from readers. I also really want to encourage people to go to my website and sign up for my mailing list. It’s right on the front page (sometimes you have to scroll down a little). I do periodic giveaways and it’s also a great way for people find out about new novels and stories as they come out.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
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*** POST is published by eSpec Books and is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Nobel | Goodreads | Kobo
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The world, for some, has crumbled.
Disease and natural disasters have brought on social collapse in the Pacific Northwest.
For Sage, born and raised in the safe haven of the Oregon Botanical Gardens, that has never been more than academic. What more could she ask for than to be safe and fed?
But life in the Garden is static.
Sage longs to experience the world beyond the Garden walls as society climbs from the chaos. Her reckless exploration forces her elders to give her a choice: Stay here, hidden in safety, or go and never return.
Sage chooses to leave.
Will she learn soon enough on her journey that the world outside the Garden follows no law? That there is no predator more dangerous than man?
Will she learn soon enough that to rebuild the world one must be ready to fight for it?
She will need to if she chooses to live.
Brenda Cooper has published fiction in Analog, Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Nature, and in multiple anthologies. She is the author of the Endeavor award winner for 2008: THE SILVER SHIP AND THE SEA, and of the sequels, READING THE WIND and WINGS of CREATION. Brenda co-authored Building Harlequin’s Moon with Larry Niven. She also writes nonfiction and poetry.
Her recent novels are SPEAR OF LIGHT, the sequel to the P.K. Dick award nominated EDGE OF DARK – both from Pyr and POST, from eSpecBooks. The two before that are THE CREATIVE FIRE and THE DIAMOND DEEP, also from Pyr Books.
Coming soon: POST, from eSpecBooks.
Her best short work is collected is “Cracking the Sky” from Fairwood Press.
Brenda lives in Woodinville, Washington, with her partner Toni, Toni’s daughter Katie, two border collies, and a golden retriever. By day, she is the City of Kirkland’s CIO, and at night and in early morning hours, she’s a futurist and writer.