|Memory’s Child by Lynnette Spratley|
Lynette: I am a second-generation journalist, having followed in my father’s footsteps, but have an on-again, off-again love affair with newspapers. I keep swearing I’ll concentrate on fiction and never go back to reporting, and then…I go back! Currently, I am without any newspaper affiliations and write about animal rescue for our local television station’s website and at Examiner.com. My husband and I have many rescued dogs and cats, and pet welfare is dear to our hearts.
T: When did you begin writing fiction?
L: Honestly, I can’t remember. Sometime in late elementary school or early junior high, I began writing stories about horses. In high school, I experimented with poetry (fail) and romantic short stories (epic fail). My brother found my stash of poems and paraded around the house, sing-songing them in a falsetto while everyone laughed. I never wrote another poem, and from then on, hid my notebooks under my mattress. I still hide them.
T: Please tell us about your novel, Memory’s Child.
L: Memory’s Child is a peek into a future that might be. I enjoy speculative fiction – trying to guess where mankind and planet Earth are headed. Memory’s Child is set many generations into the future and is told in first person by the protagonist, Shelana Thunderhorse. Between mankind’s habit of gobbling up resources without a thought and what may or may not be natural climate change, the world Shelana inherited is devoid of technology and, indeed, organized civilization. Mankind has done so much damage, i.e. pollution, over population, etc. that, in concert with upheavals in nature, humans advanced themselves right back to the Stone Age.
Shelana is a descendant of humans whose memory cache is genetically enhanced to allow them to store many times more information (“memories”) than unenhanced humans. Called Preservationists, each enhanced human carries only specific information. Shelana’s field is history. Presers pass their knowledge on to their children orally, and the children pass it on to their children. Eventually, when mankind is ready to use it, this stored knowledge will help rebuild civilization. The only problem is, there is another group, called the Myths, who kill every Preser they get their hands on. They’re led by Vernon, who wants to gain sole control of humanity’s future.
T. How did you come up with the idea for the novel?
L: Memory’s Child came as a complete surprise to me. I didn’t plan to write this story, at least, not consciously. Late one night, as was my habit, I was sitting up in bed with an open notebook and a pen, and I wrote “Aberration!” That seemed odd, so I wrote it again. “Aberration!” And then I was off, writing as fast as I could, trying to keep up with the story. By sunup, I had several thousand words. I did not stop writing for days. My husband brought me food and took care of things. He took the pen out of my hand when I fell asleep over the notebook. By the time I came up for air, the story was basically done – about 60,000 words. Handwritten. I went back later to add descriptions and other details, flesh out scenes and edit.
I wish that would happen every day!
T: I understand Memory’s Child is part of a trilogy. What is your vision for the series?
L: Originally, Memory’s Child was it, the whole story. I’ve found that even readers who get the point – that history tends to repeat itself – want to know more about Shelana, Race and the others. Some readers have asked about the Phoenix Nest itself. So, I’m working on both a prequel and a sequel. I don’t see the stories resolving to the point that humans are building skyscrapers and talking on telephones. Climate change and societal problems are at the heart of the prequel. The sequel deals more with Shelana and the Presers fighting to protect mankind’s future by going on a quest to locate and destroy the source of the danger.
T: Post-apocalyptic books are very popular right now. What sets your book apart?
T: What lessons do you hope readers might take with them after reading your book?
L: Although it is just a story of adventure that I hope is fun to read, Memory’s Child is something of a cautionary tale: if we don’t start paying more attention to how we impact the planet, the Earth might just turn on us. Humans are terrible snobs (sound familiar?) and think they are lords of the Earth. In reality, we are a fragile species that, by and large, has lost any real knowledge, skill or ability to survive on our own. We are becoming increasingly reliant on technology that, should it fail, will leave us helpless.
T: Memory’s Child has received fantastic reviews. How important are reviews, and how do you handle negative criticism?
L: Reviews are a great resource for potential readers. As a reader, I look at the reviews first, then read a sample of the book itself, if available. Negative criticism hurts, of course, but I don’t expect every reader to love Memory’s Child. That would be unrealistic. Negative reviews can help an author see problems with narrative, pacing, and plot that weren’t evident before. Personally, I think reviews, good or bad, that concentrate on how well the story is told are the most valuable to both authors and potential readers.
T: Where can my readers go to learn more about your work?
Because so many readers have asked when the next book in the Phoenix Nest: Guardians of the Future series will be out, I’m building a mailing list to notify readers when the prequel and/or sequel are published. I absolutely, positively promise the list will not be used for marketing, just for publication notifications. If any of your readers are interested, they can drop me a note at email@example.com.
Memory’s Child is available as an e-book on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007DQ4WHQ/ref=tsm_1_fb_lk
And as a paperbook via Amazon’s CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/3822172
After July 2, the e-book will also be available at:
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/136548 (Smashwords distributes to other platforms, like Kobo.)