I've been busily working away on my latest book for the past few months, so I've been pretty quiet on the blogging front. Thankfully, I'm finally finished! I did a lot of thinking about pessimism when I was writing my second novel, The Migraine Mafia. I've always found the way people filter the world around them to be fascinating, and after that book was finished, there was still a lot of pessimistic energy bouncing around inside me. Naturally it made sense to whip up a dystopian frenzy.
I love me some zombie/Apocalypse stories (Shaun of the Dead is my absolute favourite, followed by The Walking Dead, the Until the end of the World series and the Deadland Saga). Over the past few years I've made it a habit to ask people what their zombie-preparedness plan is - and I love that most people have one! But Zombie/Apocalypse stories always have that *kablammo* moment where everything was normal, and then suddenly everyone (who doesn't get their face gnawed off) has to exist in the aftermath of a complete societal breakdown.
But what if the Apocalypse sneaks up on us?
This was the story that I wanted to write. How will people behave when the lifestyle we've all worked so hard for starts to disappear? (Mega franchise Chipoltle recently caused a stir when they announced that global warming might impact their ability to supply guacamole. They've subsequently backtracked a little, but it's still a slightly ominous indication that the food we eat will likely be one of the first areas hit). What will the government do to convince the population to get in line behind eco-friendly reforms (and how badly will they botch everything? I'm from Toronto, don't get me started.) Will the rich keep getting richer? (Spoiler: Yes!) How will people just like you and me behave when the world as we know it is disappearing-but-not-quite-gone-yet?
So there you have it - my latest is a zombie-free dystopian novella with delicious bribes, microfarming, and a whole lotta solar panels!
There aren’t any zombies (yet), but the world is still at the brink of destruction: It’s 2028 and global warming has led to rising oceans, crazy weather, and resource scarcity. On top of that, someone just turned the Internet off. Seeing as how it’s humanity’s last chance to turn things around manners are, understandably, a bit frayed.
Bookish etiquette buff Olive O’Malley is busy microfarming her urban property and minding her own business (and her chickens) when the government comes calling. Their goal is to push the populace towards carbon-neutrality while keeping kvetching to a minimum, and they come with a proposal: transition Olive’s popular etiquette column to a radio show for the masses, and they’ll help Olive find her grandfather, who’s gone missing.
Olive doesn’t trust the hipster government officials who try to bribe her with delicious-but-probably-a-little-evil chocolate pastries, and declines their offer. (Politely, of course.) But they won't take no for an answer, and soon Olive is knee-deep in turmoil, eco-terrorism, and missing chickens. Now she has to untangle herself from their demands and figure out how to make sure her family (and her poultry) are safe before it’s too late.
An Etiquette Guide to the End Times is a 28,000 word novella. It's currently available as a pre-order on Kobo, and will be available at all online retailers in a week - Friday, June 6, 2014. Add yourself to my mailing list to get a nudge when it comes out or read the first chapter here.