Earlier this month I reviewed S.C. Flynn’s debut Children of the Different, which I really enjoyed. Today I am part of S.C.’s blog tour for the book with an Author Query. Thanks to S.C. for dropping by and I hope you enjoy the interview.
Let’s start with the basics. Who is S.C. Flynn?
I am an Australian/British/Irish/Italian reader and obsessive reviser. I was born in a small town in South West Western Australia, but I have lived in Europe for more than twenty years. First the United Kingdom, then Italy and currently Ireland, the home of my ancestors. That has been a great experience, but also difficult and lonely at times.
My whole life has been fairly multicultural, I guess. The town I grew up in had lots of different nationalities. And there was the Australian Aboriginal culture. When I lived in London, there seemed to be just about every culture in the world! Then I met my Italian wife and lived in Italy, and now I speak fluent Italian. So you never really know what directions life will take you in!
How would you introduce people to Children of the Different?
Children of the Different is a Young Adult post-apocalyptic fantasy novel set in Western Australia. The story begins twenty years after a brain disease killed almost the entire world’s population. All the survivors had something special about their brains, and now their children go into a coma at the beginning of adolescence and either emerge damaged or with special powers. The novel follows the Changings and later adventures of two telepathic twins, Narrah (a boy) and Arika (a girl).
Children of the Different is a post-apocalyptic tale. What drew you to this sort of narrative?
Post-apocalyptic stories are common, but ones with fantasy elements are rare, so it was interesting and challenging to work on something that is not often done. Also, this is an optimistic story. It recognises the destructive capability of modern civilization, but also its potential for good. I would hope that readers are inspired to believe that our society – for all its faults – can learn from its mistakes and, given time, overcome the greatest obstacles. Also that our young people really are the future and that we must have faith in their intelligence and determination, and give them the best future we possibly can.
Arika and Narrah’s story is set in South West Western Australia. I know that the joke is that Australia’s wildlife will kill you, but did you have other reasons to set your story there?
I am originally from Western Australia, and the setting offers a huge variety of landscapes and strange creatures to work with.
The vast size of the place and small current population (just 2.5 million) make Western Australia already a place where humans don’t seem to belong. Imagining a future catastrophe that kills most of the people but leaves the landscape and wildlife intact allowed me to take that feeling of emptiness even further. It then becomes plausible that, with modern technology lost, different groups having very different outlooks on life could exist with little or no contact between them.
The twins are thirteen when the book starts. Does that mean that the book is suitable for a YA audience or did you write it with an adult audience in mind?
It is suitable for a Young Adult audience, but I hope that issues like the environment and different ethical approaches to living will be interesting for an older audience as well.
Will there be more stories set in this universe or is Children of the Different a standalone novel?
Standalone, but if there were enough interest, I could make it the beginning of a series.
What’s next for you? Any appearances or conventions planned?
Right at the moment, I am totally involved in the blog tour and publicity for Children of the Different of which this interview is part!
Is there something else you’re passionate about other than writing and books?
Old jazz – I have played it all my life.
As a book reviewer, I’m all about the book enabling; I can’t help but want to make people read all the good books out there. But I can always use help. What are your top recommendations of books we should look out for in the coming months?
Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor. A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb.
Finally, I have to stay true to my roots and ask a librarian question to finish off with: Do you shelve your books alphabetically, by genre or do you have an ingenious system?
I try to read and collect books from all over the world, so I arrange my library by countries or regions.
Bio: S. C. Flynn was born in a small town in South West Western Australia. He has lived in Europe for a long time; first the United Kingdom, then Italy and currently Ireland, the home of his ancestors. He still speaks English with an Australian accent, and fluent Italian. He reads everything, revises his writing obsessively and plays jazz. His wife Claudia shares his passions and always encourages him.
S. C. Flynn has written for as long as he can remember and has worked seriously towards becoming a writer for many years. This path included two periods of being represented by professional literary agents, from whom he learnt a lot about writing, but who were unable to get him published. He responded by deciding to self-publish his post-apocalyptic fantasy novel, Children of the Different and, together with an American support team, aimed for a book as good as those created by the major publishers.