Watch Chapter 7 reading of Survival Year:
Reading performed by Steve Rizzo
Get to know writer Jennifer Shearer Frenchh:
1. What is your novel about?
My novel is part of a long line of science fiction novels that try to put forward a radical view of how the world could be saved or improved, by crafting an engaging story and introducing people to new ideas. My characters are contemporary, and they try to craft a new global politics using the the internet, supercomputing, and the relatively new global ethics. It isn’t a heavy book though – they get into a lot of trouble as you would expect, and they also form relationships with each other. My book is consistent with those of other women science fiction writers, in that it is very different from the intergalactic genre, and has a very strong woman as a central character.
2. Why should people read this novel?
People should read this book because we are at a historic time of potential beneficial change, driven by social media and a new appreciation that everyone globally has a shared interest and shared values relating to global political stability, human welfare, and environmental sustainability. This is new. Anything is possible, if people start to open their minds to working towards a new global politics, an enhanced democracy that could transform our future.
3. How long have you been writing stories?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I came to this through journalism and then writing a doctorate on cyber ethics.
4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?
I watch movies for relaxation, I admit to finding movies that portray artificial intelligence as threatening and destructive to the individual, as really annoying. I find that approach plays to the interests of manipulative politicians everywhere.
5. What artists would you love to work with?
I’d like to work with artists who understand that intellectuals have something to offer.
6. How many stories/screenplays have you written?
I’ve written two books.
7. What motivated you to write this novel?
I was directly motivated to write them because of my academic work. I think I have something to say, and I’ve got another book to go before I’ll have finished saying it.
8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?
Generally I write the book in my head, and then I sit down and write, but the job is already essentially done by then.
9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?
Apart from writing, I’m interested in historic buildings.
10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Festival?
I was influenced to enter the Wildsound Festival because it supports indie writers who have ideas outside the usual frame, and it puts forward stories from people who are looking to make a difference rather than make commercial products.
11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?
To other writers, I’d say we would all like to be successful, but a book is a way of finding out about yourself as well, what you truly believe, and who you really are. Then you maybe are are on your way to being a better writer.
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