Today I am interviewing Alice Henderson, author of the new science-fiction novel, Shattered Roads, first book in The Skyfire Saga.
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DJ: Hi Alice! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Alice Henderson: Hi DJ! Thank you for having me here. I’ve written officially licensed novels for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, and The Ghost Whisperer, and have written material for Star Wars video games. For my own original work, I feel very strongly about including themes about wildlife and climatology. I do pro-bono work for a number of wildlife non-profits, including bioacoustic wildlife surveys and mapping. I was selected to attend the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop, the NASA-funded writing workshop devoted to bringing accurate science to science fiction, and strive to uphold that in my work.
DJ: What is Shattered Roads about?
Alice: In a future laid waste by environmental catastrophe, a menial laborer discovers an ancient alarm system warning of an asteroid on an imminent collision course with Earth. Science has long since been abandoned, and she must journey across a storm-ravaged landscape to find a legendary group of people who held onto science and are humanity’s only hope.
DJ: What were some of your influences Shattered Roads and the series?
Alice: I’ve always been inspired by books that recognized unsettling traits in our society and projected them out into the future, portraying how our society would develop if we stayed on the current path. Fahrenheit 451 is an excellent example of this. I also loved books in which characters wander through a world where history has been forgotten, exploring crumbling cities that the reader can recognize, like The White Mountains by John Christopher. That’s also a great example of a story in which characters start out isolated and ignorant and end up fighting for altruistic reasons. That’s always appealed to me.
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?
Alice: My main character, H124, was a very interesting character for me to write. She’s lived an entirely isolated existence. She has no friends, no social contact, merely a job she’s expected to do. As the book opens, she’s a cog in a machine, a gear that turns to keep the megacity where she lives running smoothly. But when she discovers this prescient alarm warning of the asteroid, she has to step outside her routine and reach out to others. She has to learn to fight, to push on for a cause much greater than herself.
DJ: What is the setting of The Skyfire Saga like?
Alice: In the Skyfire Saga, humans continued with business as usual, and anthropogenic climate change grew out of control. Lashed with megastorms and confronted with crippling droughts, humans constructed shielded megacities around population centers. They attempted geoengineering with disastrous results, making the violent weather and increasing temperatures even worse. Society is controlled by media empires, who stream constant entertainment to citizens. To keep the streams coming in, citizens enter commands into their consoles, keeping the megacities’ infrastructures running and the citizens compliant.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Shattered Roads?
Alice: I’m fascinated with climatology, so researching what the future climate would look like was really compelling. In determining the asteroid’s orbit and timing, I delved into near-Earth object research as well. Research is a fascinating part of the job. I really got into writing the action and suspense scenes in the novel, too.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it?
Alice: I hope they’ll be talking about what might happen next, where H124’s journey will take her, and how the characters are going to tackle this monumental problem facing the planet.
DJ: Did you have a particular goal when you began The Skyfire Saga? Shattered Roads is only the first book, but 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?
Alice: I want readers to know that this is a dire look at how things could develop if we keep going with our “business as usual” model. But it’s not too late. Species can be saved. This amazing planet can be brought back from the brink of colossal changes and extinctions if we all act now. We live on an extraordinary planet with so many biomes – deserts, rainforests, mountains, oceans, polar habitats. We are blessed with incredible diversity. And while we’ve taken a terrible toll on that diversity, it’s not too late to save what we have left. The future I’ve painted in Shattered Roads doesn’t have to be the case.
DJ: Now that Shattered Roads is released, what is next for you?
Alice: The second book in the series, Shattered Lands, will come out in December 2018, and I’m currently writing the third book, Shattered Skies.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Alice-Henderson/e/B001HMRPKS/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Publishers Marketplace: https://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/alicehenderson/
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
Alice: My pleasure. Thank you for the interview!
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*** Shattered Roads is published by Rebel Base Books and is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Nobel | Goodreads | iBooks | Kobo
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In a future laid waste by environmental catastrophe, one woman in a shielded megacity discovers a secret hidden within—and the nightmare of what lies beyond.
The Skyfire Saga
Her designation is H124—a menial worker in a city safeguarded against the devastating storms of the outer world. In a community where consumerism has dulled the senses, where apathy is the norm and education is a thing of the past, H124 has one job: remove the bodies of citizens when they pass away in their living pods.
Then one night, H124’s routine leads her into the underground ruins of an ancient university. Buried within it is a prescient alarm set up generations ago: an extinction-level asteroid is hurtling toward earth.
When her warning is seen as an attempt to topple the government with her knowledge of science, H124 is hunted—and sent fleeing for her life beyond the shield of her walled metropolis. In a weather-ravaged unknown, her only hope lies with the Rovers, the most dangerous faction on Earth. For they have continued to learn. And they have survived to help avert a terrifying threat: the end of the world is near.
About the Author:
Alice Henderson is a writer of fiction, comics, and video game material. She was selected to attend Launchpad, a NASA-funded writing workshop aimed at bringing accurate science to fiction. Her love of wild places inspired her novel Voracious, which pits a lone hiker against a shapeshifting creature in the wilderness of Glacier National Park. Her novel Fresh Meat is set in the world of the hit TV series Supernatural. She also wrote the Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels Night Terrors and Portal Through Time. She has written short stories for numerous anthologies including Body Horror, Werewolves & Shapeshifters, and Mystery Date. While working at LucasArts, she wrote material for several Star Wars video games, including Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds and Star Wars: Battle for Naboo. She holds an interdisciplinary master’s degree in folklore and geography, andis a wildlife researcher and rehabilitator. Her novel Portal Through Time won the Scribe Award for Best Novel. Visit her online at AliceHenderson.com.