Meet Kevin Emerson, author of The Lost Code. Just released today, the book is a fast-paced adventure that blends sci-fi with a whole bunch of other genres. From my review:
The Lost Code resembles a YA version of the Percy Jackson series, but darker, and with Atlantis instead of the Greek myths. If I had to assign a genre, I’d aim for climate apocalypse/dystopia/YA fantasy/action-adventure summer camp tale, with a dash of the TV show Lost and a smidgeon of The Hunger Games.
And now, the interview:
Where did you get the idea to mix climate change dystopia with fantasy?
It was weirdly organic. Looking back, I don’t even quite get how it happened. A lot of seemingly unrelated stuff kind of fused together in my brain, and I feel like it was mostly subconscious at first.
That said, there were some concrete things: I read this book called The Atlantis Blueprint which got me thinking about what Atlantis may actually have been. Around that same time, a few years ago now, I wrote this scene where my main character, Owen, is drowning at summer camp, and mysteriously survives. It had Lilly, and the Siren, and the dome. It just kind of came out and I was like, ‘WTF is this?’ I knew I wanted it to connect to Atlantis, but I didn’t know how. Also, I’d wanted to write about summer camp for awhile, because that was a powerful experience for me in my own YA years.
The key to making it all fit was something from my Atlantis research: many ancient cultures have a very similar flood myth, and a similar idea of wise people arriving out of darkness with knowledge to share. There’s a possibility that the Atlantis culture predated the big Biblical flood event. Then, I read about how that flood event may have been connected to climate change. That was the big connection. I thought: we are facing a flood of our own, and the Atlanteans faced one.
The word ‘dystopia’ never actually crossed my mind, until my editor brought it up, though by definition it is accurate. I was just reading a lot of climate change articles and my science-major brain was thinking about where those possibilities could lead, and the results could be pretty bad! (more…)