Today’s indie author shares her love of bad horror movies, strong opinions regarding a Batman vs. Spiderman throwdown, and presents a thought-provoking premise in her book Southern Republic – ‘What would our world look like if the South had won the Civil War?’
In a world where the South has won the Civil War…
It’s 1982. A hundred years have passed since the South emerged victorious in the War of Northern Aggression. From the ashes of the aftermath, the industrial North has evolved into the technical center of the modern world, while the agrarian South, now broken up into Protectorate territories overseen by Protectors, props up its culture with vicious oppression. But now the South is in dire economic straits. Their refusal to allow slaves to use technology in their work has made their system obsolete and unable to compete with the global economy. Something must be done.
Patrick Edgerton is the leader of the Railway Association, an underground network devoted to freeing slaves. When Patrick learns of the horrifying “final solution” to the South’s economic predicament, he teams up with Olivia Askew, a Southern Protector’s daughter. Now, it’s up to them to prevent the mass genocide the South is proposing.
Southern Republic brings to life vivid details about the dual nations created when the South succeeded in defending its way of life, and asks the question, ‘What would our world look like if the South had won the Civil War?’
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I’d tell her to write, write and write some more. Don’t wait until you think you have the time in your busy, overscheduled life to have the luxury of writing – just write. Get in the habit of writing your thoughts, your fantasies and your aspirations to make them real. Get used to turning inward and entering into the land of your own creation. Write whether you feel like it, or even whether you think you have something profound to say. Just write. And keep writing.
What do you love most about the writing process?
Escape. Becoming so entranced with the reality unspooling with my words that I hear my characters talking to me (or arguing with me when I get it wrong). Writing on outline only to depart from it when the flow of the tale becomes flesh and creates its own journey. Subconsciously weaving paths in the story that I later realize fold seamlessly into the larger narrative. In other words, I love the process itself — far more than the finished product, in fact.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I’ve learned to trust my instincts and write what I believe. The more I write the less I fixate on being all things to all people. I definitely enjoy when my readers follow along with me on the trek, but I’ve learned to walk the road my stories lay before me more concerned with the authenticity of the characters than with the opinions of skeptics.
Any unusual talents or hobbies?
More a curse than a talent. Since childhood I’ve been called “Cassandra” by my family for the Greek myth about the woman whom the gods gifted with the sight of prophesy and cursed so that nobody would believe her. Not that this minor talent has lead me to win the lottery or even avoid some of the pitfalls I’ve stumbled into in my own life, but invariably I’m able to predict the course fate will take with others if they take one action or another – only to be ignored and have the very outcome I predicted manifest. I’d rather be a gifted musician.
What’s the last thing you watched on TV/Netflix?
El Rey Network’s marathon of really bad horror movies. It’s a guilty pleasure. The worse the better. Anything having to do with vampires (old school ones not the newer teen romance variety), ghouls, demons, specters or werewolves. Love old Stephen King, love Ann Rice, love Dean Koontz, love Clive Barker and all that.
Who would win a fight between Spiderman and Batman?
Spiderman would kick the crap out of Batman. First of all, Batman has no hint of the supernatural about him. He just has really cool toys and with every iteration gets bigger and bigger muscles. He can’t swing from buildings nor does he have the proportionate strength of a spider (which is pretty impressive when you consider all the larger insects they routinely carry around after snaring them in their webs). Stripped of his costume and hi-tech contraptions, he’s just a spoiled rich vigilante with a depressing childhood.