I’ve had people tell me they are between books, looking for something new to read; a new author, a new genre. There are more writers than ever before: More good writers, more not so good writers. The choices of things to read are enormous. The purpose of interviewing a writer is to give you, the reader, a chance to hear from the writer directly, to hear the writer’s own voice.
Here’s Morgan Nyberg, author of “Since Tomorrow”. Prizewinning Canadian author of literary and young adult novels.
What did you hope to achieve with the novel “Since Tomorrow”?
In this novel I wanted to achieve the following things:
– write about a plausible future that is very different from the present day.
– find a way to express my concern about the economic and ecological mistakes we are making.
– write a novel in which there is no “telling”, only “showing”.
– write an entertaining and exciting story.
What other books have you written?
My previous novel, “El Dorado Shuffle”, was set in South America. My e-novel, “Mr. Millennium”, was set in Portugal. My novel for young adults, “Galahad Schwartz and the Cockroach Army” (winner of Canada’s Governor General’s Award for Literature), was also partly set in South America. My career as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language had carried me to these places. For “Since Tomorrow” I decided it was time to bring the setting home to British Columbia, where I was raised (although there is a chapter set in Dubai, which I know from having worked in the Gulf).
In “Since Tomorrow’ I have projected Vancouver into a future 40 years after a global pandemic and economic collapse. An old man called Frost and those who live on his “farm” among collapsed warehouses and the foundations of vanished houses at the edge of the city struggle to maintain human values. But when others in this makeshift world are driven only by greed and the need for power, all values are replaced by the simple instinct for survival.
The novel is experimental in that I never explain what the characters are thinking or feeling. Thoughts and feelings are inferred from what the characters do or say or from how they appear. I am tremendously pleased with the results – a book that reads as if one is watching a movie.
Here’s a snippet: “…a one-legged woman with a crutch made from a chunk of black plastic pipe bartered an eight-foot length of eaves-trough and went away with enough food for two weeks.
‘Lookit. Lookit what I got.’
Ten feet of garden hose bought a week of root starch.
A dozen matches bought a month’s worth.”
This passage is from a scene at the “market”, where people gather to barter. I like it because it encapsulates the desperate day-to-day battle for survival in a world toward which we seem to be headed.
I’ve been writing for a long time, first poetry, then kids’ fiction, then adult fiction. But I’m slow and fussy, so my output has not been great.
I’m excited about the digital “direct publishing” revolution because it means that the bean counters at traditional publishing houses can be bypassed, subverting the “race to the bottom” that has come to control much of print publishing. Digital publishing is still young, but there is no reason it can’t become a market for excellence.
You can get “Since Tomorrow” and his other eBooks at Smashwords