A miracle energy source, Lumite, has been discovered on the moon. The dark days of future Earth - torn apart by war and energy crisis - finally appear to be over. Aggie is the violet-eyed poster girl for the mining company, Lunar Inc, persuaded to campaign for a hopeful new future. But a chance meeting with one of the prisoner-miners, the darkly attractive Danny, changes her mind about everything she knows about her world ...
Gemma Fowler is the author of Moondust, out now, priced £6.99.
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. When you're not writing, what books do you like to read? Any favourites?
When it comes to writing, I’m all about the future and space, but my favourite books to read are always in the fantasy genre. Robin Hobb is my number one, followed very closely by Neil Gaiman (American Gods is my all time favourite book). Their worlds are so rich I never want to leave them. I’ve missed more tube stops because of those two than I can count!
2) When did you know you wanted to be an author?
It was a dream ever since I was at school, but back then the idea of writing something as long as a novel just seemed impossible. I had loads of ideas and I wrote all the time, but I just didn’t have the patience to turn them into proper stories. I also think I hadn’t had the right idea yet, I was desperate to write a fantasy story, but I couldn’t ever think of anything original.
3) How did the story of Moondust come to be? From where did you draw your inspiration or research?
I had an idea about a world without power, where a tech dependent society had to learn to survive in the darkness. It kind of all spiraled out of control from there!
I have this theory that a good idea never leaves you alone. Moondust was nagging me in the back of my mind for months before I did anything about it. I had a setting, I had an ending, and I had a girl with red hair and violet eyes, the rest came out slowly over about 7 years.
4) I would say that the main message in Moondust is really about the environment; about not taking the earth (or moon) for granted. Would you say that was the main message you wanted to get across to readers? Is it something you're personally passionate about?
I think it’s really good that people are taking that message out of the book.
It’s definitely something I wanted to get readers thinking about. I love exploring the moral challenges the future poses to us all, as individuals and as a planet. Technology is wonderful and exciting and liberating, but we need to be prepared for the effects that it’ll have on us as a society and as a planet.
5) Who is your favorite character? Or, if that's too hard, what was your favorite scene or element to write?
Oh wow, how can you choose between your characters! Obviously Aggie’s my girl, I see the world of the United Earth through her (violet) eyes. Danny is based on every crush and imaginary boyfriend I dreamt up when I was a teenager, and Seb is the guyfriend I wish I’d hung out with. Basically I love them all, though Celeste, the AI, was probably the most interesting character to write.
I love a bit of world building. Before I think of anything else, I think of the way the world feels, to me and to the characters. The United Earth and the Lunar Inc. base always felt bright and colourful, despite being in space. I would always start with that feeling when I was writing a new scene, and it would always lead me to interesting new ideas and places.
6) The book features quite varied 'space-food'. Where did the inspiration for these come from, and what's your favorite flavor of frozen custard?
I’m passionate about snacks. It obviously shows! I think snacks and food in general are a great insight into a society. On the Lunar Inc. base, the food is abundant and varied, but ultimately quite fake and false.
When I was at school (in the olden days before the internet) there was a trend for freeze-dried ‘space food’ that came in silver packets. I think they still sell them in the Science Museum. I always thought the idea of something rehydrating in your mouth was kind of cool!
Frozen custard is a real thing! I tried it when I drove Route 66 with my boyfriend a few years ago and it blew my mind. They served it to us upside down, to prove how thick the mixture was, it felt kind of spacey and strange and I knew I had to get it into the book!
My favourite flavor would be Chocolate Meteor Mudslide (triple choc custard with cookie dough meteor’s mixed in), and maybe a drizzle of salted caramel sauce! Heaven!
7) Describe the book in one word, and yourself in one word.
Colourful and colourful. Ha!
A big thank you goes out to Gemma for answering all of my questions and her fabulous answers. I also want to thank Jasmine Bartlett for allowing me to take part in the promotion for Moondust, for arranging this interview, and also to her and Chicken House Books for the lovely ARC of Moondust; I truly adored it. You can find more about Gemma and Moondust here, or visit the Chicken House Books website here.
Please do feel free to comment below or @ me on Twitter with any comments or thoughts you have about the interview or Moondust, and as always thank you for reading.