http://northwardho.blogspot.tw/2015/12/marissa-slaven-is-writing-cli-fi-novel.html - [Sorry, the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist.]
Archived at mirror site for http://northward.blogspot.com
The Cli-Fi Report interviewed Marissa in 20015.
DAN BLOOM: When and where is the novel set? –
MARISSA SLAVEN -- In Code Blue I do not specify the year the story takes place. I have done this intentionally as I felt that setting it in the too distant future would make the issue of climate change feel less urgent and immediate than it is. On the other hand specifying a date in the near future could call into question the accuracy of the changes described in the novel. My intention was to frame the effects of climate change in North America ( particularly New England) such that the towns and the way people live is similar enough to what YA readers currently experience, for them to be able to easily identify with the setting.
I suppose part of my reluctance to prognosticate also comes from my many years as a palliative care physician. Patients and families often want to know when their particular ‘change’ is coming and it is important to share this but there is also an acknowledgement that prognosis is more accurate when given as a window of time rather than a specific date. I would feel comfortable saying Code Blue is set 20-40 years in the future but couldn’t be more accurate than that at this time.
I read to all my children, now teenagers, every night for as many years as they would let me. I am still reading to my youngest who is going to be fourteen next month. She loves YA dystopian future books like the Hunger Games and Divergent. I enjoy them too and love that the heroines are brave empowered young women. These role models are very physical though, shooting arrows and jumping on and off moving trains. I wanted to read about a girl who was more physically average but who was really good in school. A heroine who was smart, observant, hardworking, and compassionate. I began to wonder what threat or evil such a character could save the world from and climate change seemed to suit the bill.
At that point I knew nothing about climate change (okay I saw An Inconvenient Truth when it came out years ago but found it too depressing to absorb). I was fortunate to find lots of great books and documentaries to help me begin to understand this fascinating and critical topic. The more I read about it the more I wanted and needed to do something about it. I see now there are many things each of us can do to make a difference and I am trying to do my part on several different fronts. I strongly agree with you Dan, with Margaret Atwood, and others, that the new genre of cli-fi, by engaging and empowering readers of all ages has great potential and importance in this epic battle. I hope Code Blue will make a contribution in this way.
Plans for finishing/Publishing-
The book is going through yet another editing/revision process which I hope to be done with by the end of January. After that I am anticipating sending query letters to agents to see if I can engage one. As far as self-publishing an e-book and/or paperback on Amazon goes that is certainly also an option I will consider/explore. In the meantime I am thrilled to have had such a great response to my website and encourage anyone who is enjoying it to share it with others and also to send me any feedback they want.
I can’t say I have a big plan for this at the moment. I am happy to do interviews and whatever else is needed to promote my work however it is a field of expertise that I can’t say I know anything about. I do think social media is a very important part of this process though especially as my target audience tends to engage in this way. I currently am using twitter/tumblr/facebook to promote my book. Based on observing the teens in my house I think the next step needs to be Instagram and perhaps Snapchat. I am also very intrigued by John Green’s youtube video’s but not sure I can pull that off.
I hope that readers of Code Blue will come away with a sense of empowered optimism about tackling climate change. The science of climate change needs to be accessible to non-scientists and the horrifying possibilities that await our species if nothing changes need to be mitigated by a sense of hope. Climate change is a complex problem that requires multiple actions/solutions. Some of these exist already and I tried to put some in the book. Some of these may need more people to become aware of them and advocate for them.
Sadly I wasn’t able to get carbon farming into this version of it and I think that is going to be super-important (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvAoZ14cP7Q- The Soil Story, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBLZmwlPa8A - Green Gold documentary, http://savory.global/institute).
I am hopeful too that scientists and future scientists around the globe will discover even more that will help us all provided that they are supported and encouraged in their endeavors.
Climate scientists are my heroes.
The title –
A code blue is a medical term for the resuscitation effort that occurs when someone has a cardiac and/or respiratory arrest. In Chapter 35 Phish’s mother asks Tic about the future. Here is an excerpt from that scene:
“As a mother I am really worried about the future. Not so much for myself but for my kids and for everyone else too of course. Is it really as bad as it seems? Are we going to beat this thing?”
I understand what she is asking me and don’t have a yes or no answer for her.
I have felt both hopeful and hopeless about the Change and never more so than since I started at N.E.S.
“I don’t know but maybe it’s like a code blue in the hospital.”
“How do you mean?” she asks staring at me.
“It feels like the planet is right on the edge. Well not the planet, but human life on the planet, because the planet can easily go on without us. It’s seems possible that if we can do everything, or do the right things then maybe we can save ourselves. It also seems possible that if we don’t, or even if we do, it might already be too late. Like a code blue.”
Dec, 9, 2015
UPDATE in August 2017 with a new edition, cleaned up and edited by a professional editor:
moonwillowpress.com/code-blue/ An amazing upcoming cli-fi novel by Marissa Slaven
- sending out review copies now!