OMG BOOKWORMS!! It is day 4 of the biggest blog tour ever (thanks to TheWriteReads) and I cannot believe I get to be a part of it too! After the Green Withered by Kristin Wars sounds exactly like the type of book I would love. Post-apocalyptic where water is currency?? Yes, please! As long as it stays fiction and doesn’t turn into reality *nervous laughter*
I was able to interview Kristin Ward and asked her about her book, her writing process, and what she’s working on next. Check out that and everything you need to know about After the Green Withered below!
After the Green Withered by Kristin Ward
They tell me the country looked different back then.
They talk of open borders and flowing rivers.
They say the world was green.
But drought swept across the globe and the United States of the past disappeared under a burning sky.
Enora Byrnes lives in the aftermath, a barren world where water has become the global currency. In a life dominated by duty to family and community, Enora is offered a role within an entity that controls everything from water credits to borders. But it becomes clear that not all is as it seems. From the wasted confines of her small town to the bowels of a hidden city, Enora will uncover buried secrets that hide an unthinkable reality.
As truth reveals the brutal face of what she has become, she must ask herself: how far will she go to retain her humanity?
Interview with Kristin Ward
BR: What was the idea that first sparked After the Green Withered?
KW: I was inspired to write After the Green Withered and the sequel, Burden of Truth, while completing research for a graduate course I wrote in environmental education. My course included concepts regarding earth’s history and, within this, I learned a great deal about the impact humans have had on the planet. As I studied and composed the course, an idea began to germinate:
What if there was a global drought due to the impact humans have had on the planet?
That seedling idea sat with me for a year or so as I finished my course writing and began to teach a few graduate courses. Eventually, I began to write the story but it took a whopping five years to get it from draft to publish! The final push actually came about after I read an article about Cape Town’s water crisis. I knew the story I wanted to tell was relevant so I buckled down and finished the first book.
BR: Is there a part of your writing process that you think is unique to you?
KW: When it comes to writing, I’m a classic ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ girl. The idea of creating an outline makes me wrinkle my nose and immediately change the subject. It may be how I was taught to write in the good ol’ classroom, but my creativity doesn’t flow through Roman numerals and bullet points. Those things would strangle my thoughts before I even had time to write them.
A panster to the core, that’s me.
An exciting outcome of this approach is that my characters often surprise me. Yes, I know that may sound strange. To put that into perspective, as I write I am creating storylines and characters that all become pieces of the world that was born out of my mind (I know. That’s kind of scary.). Since I am developing this entire world and narrative as I go, while aligning it to a prominent theme, new characters and events are woven into this tapestry of thought and, eventually, into a complete novel.
BR: What scene was your favorite to write and why?
KW: Writing the last scene of the sequel, Burden of Truth, was by far my favorite to compose. From the inception of the story, I always knew the ending. When it became apparent that I would need to write this story in two parts, I began the second book by writing the ending scene first. From there, I crafted the story around that scene. It is a powerful culmination of events.
BR: Which character from this book do you connect the most with and why?
KW: I connect most strongly with my main character, Enora. She has elements of my personality and a worldview that shapes her actions and perceptions of the events in the books. Close friends have said they can hear pieces of me in her dialogue.
BR: Is there a message you’d like readers to take away from this story?
KW: Numerous readers have told me the books offer a truly frightening vision because they could see the story coming to fruition in real life. As the author, it is a wake-up call. An important idea in the book is that the choices we make, environmentally, have consequences. We may not see them in our lifetime, but what we do can and will effect the future. In the end, if the people in Enora’s world had made different choices long before she was born, then her life and the events that shape the story, would have been a much different tale to tell.
I would say the biggest takeaway is that the decisions you make, no matter how seemingly small, have an impact. A river starts with one drop of water. Awareness begins the same way. If we all do one small part, whether that is a household practice or an idea we support, those things can translate to something bigger than ourselves.
BR: What books/authors inspired you to become a writer?
KW: There is no single book or author that I can attribute as my sole inspiration. I am inspired by everything I read. If I trace my path to the catalyst of an interest in writing, I would say that it began with my 7th grade English teacher and the book, The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. As an author of dystopian fiction, my love of the genre began with The Giver by Lois Lowry.
BR: What are you reading right now?
KW: The next book I want to delve into is The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. I’m a sucker for dragons! Plus, the final season of Game of Thrones is coming soon and I’m on a total fantasy kick!
BR: What are you currently working on?
KW: My current work in progress is a SciFi-Fantasy crossover, as fantasy is another of my favorite genres to read. Rise of Gaia has much of my humor, passion, and experiences immersed throughout. It’s been a lot of fun creating my main character, Terran. She’s a funny, complicated young woman who’d rather be lost in the woods than found in a city. In Rise of Gaia, Mother Earth has awakened to a world corrupted by mankind and seeks vengeance.
About the Author
Kristin Ward has loved writing since middle school but took thirty years to do something serious about it. The result is her Best Indie Book Award-winning novel, After the Green Withered, followed by the sequel, Burden of Truth. She lives in a small town in Connecticut with her husband, three sons, and many furry and feathered friends. A SciFi geek to the core, she is fueled by dark chocolate and coffee and can be heard quoting eighties movies on a regular basis.
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