Publication date: May 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Lisa T. Cresswell
The sun exploded on April 18, 2112. It exploded in a Class X solar storm the likes of which humankind had never seen.
They had nineteen minutes.
Nineteen minutes until the geomagnetic wave washed over the Earth, frying every electrical device created by humans, blacking out entire continents, every satellite in their sky.
Nineteen minutes to say goodbye to the world they knew, forever, and to prepare for a new Earth, a new Sun.
Generations after solar storms have destroyed nearly all human technology on Earth and humans have reverted to a middle ages like existence, all knowledge of the remaining technology is kept hidden by a privileged few called the Reticents and books are burned as heresy.
Alana, a disfigured slave girl, and Recks, a traveling minstrel and sometimes-thief, join forces to bring knowledge and books back to the human race. But when Alana is chosen against her will to be the Vessel, the living repository for all human knowledge, she must find the strength to be what the world needs.
ABOUT LISA T. CRESSWELL
Lisa, like most writers, began scribbling silly notes, stories, and poems at a very young age. Born in North Carolina, the South proved fertile ground to her imagination with its beautiful white sand beaches and red earth. In fifth grade, she wrote, directed and starred in a play “The Queen of the Nile” at school, despite the fact that she is decidedly un-Egyptian looking. Perhaps that’s why she went on to become a real life archaeologist?
Unexpectedly transplanted to Idaho as a teenager, Lisa learned to love the desert and the wide open skies out West. This is where her interest in cultures, both ancient and living, really took root, and she became a Great Basin archaeologist. However, the itch to write never did leave for long. Her first books became the middle grade fantasy trilogy, The Storyteller Series. Her first traditionally published work, Hush Puppy, is now available from Featherweight Press.
Lisa still lives in Idaho with her family and a menagerie of furry critters that includes way too many llamas!
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’m not sure if you mean the first book I ever finished or the first book I attempted. I never finished my first book. Either way, I’m always inspired when I have something I want to say. I’m a big fan of themes and of literature that illuminates life’s lessons.
Do you have a specific writing style?
It’s not something I do on purpose, but I write very spare. My first drafts don’t have much description at all. Rather than write too much and have to cut, I’m the writer who doesn’t write enough words. I guess I see it in my mind so well that I focus on dialog and forget about description. I have to build the skeleton and then add the flesh to the sculpture instead of carving it away.
How did you come up with the title?
I worked on Vessel without a title for much of the first draft. About the time Alana discovers in the book that she is the vessel is when I figured it out. I love how the word can mean a container of some kind or a ship that travels. It fits the story perfectly.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
As much as I love themes, I don’t want my stories to preach a lesson. I really just want my readers to think about the nature of freedom and slavery, religion, political control, and the importance of kindness.
How much of the book is realistic?
Obviously, it’s science fiction fantasy, so it has a bit of reality and a bit of fantasy. The sun really does put off geomagnetic waves that hit the Earth all the time, and occasionally cause havoc with our satellite systems. If you Google solar storms, you’ll find instances where solar storms affected power grids in recent years. Fortunately, we have a lot of protections in place to prevent it from reaching the catastrophic scenario described in Vessel. If the sun really put off the size storm it does in Vessel, we might not stand a chance.
What books have most influenced your life most?
There’s a little book by Brenda Ueland called “If you want to write” that I’ve read many, many times and I absolutely love. Every writer or artist should read it. And I credit “Twilight” for giving me the courage to write anything I want to no matter how mushy.
What are your current projects?
Oh boy! Last year I started a new YA contemporary about a black teen that takes a cross country hitchhiking trip to find his dad and a YA steam punk fantasy about a female airship pilot who travels the glode. Two very different projects, but both fun in their own ways to write. I’m currently editing both and getting ready to submit them. Wish me luck!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Writing is hard work, so one has to be prepared to work hard at it. Criticism is not easy to take, but you better get used to it because every writer ever published has felt its sting. Doesn’t matter how famous you are. The best advice I can give is expect criticism, but don’t let it get you down. Not every book is for every reader and it’s not personal. It really isn’t.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Just that I appreciate every person who takes the time to read my work. I hope you’re entertained, or at the very least, that I’ve made you think a bit about the world we live in.
What genre do you consider your book(s)?
Vessel starts out as dystopian, but ends with a science fiction twist to it. Any sequel would definitely be scifi. I’ve written contemporary and fantasy novels , but almost always YA. I like it all!
Do you ever experience writer's block?
Oh, sure. Now I know that if I’m blocked, it’s because I don’t know what’s going to happen next in the story. When I get that feeling, I go back to the outline and figure out what needs to happen next. Works well for me.
Do you write an outline before every book you write?
Yes, I do a chapter by chapter outline first. It’s much easier t shuffle chapters around that way, before they’re 1,000 words long. Once the chapter outline is set, I rarely rearrange the chapters.
Have you ever hated something you wrote?
Hate is a strong word. ;) But I’ve certainly written outlines I just couldn’t get excited about writing the book for. I’ve also loved books of mine that I couldn’t seem to get anyone else interested in.
What is your favourite theme/genre to write about?
Like I said, I love themes. Friendship is a great one. And kindness. As for genres, I love to write fantasy and paranormal stories. I don’t write actual horror, but ghost stories are fun. And every now and then a contemporary story comes to mind, even though I prefer fantasy. Please visit me at www.lisatcresswell.com to see all my books.
What are your expectations for the book?
Who knows?? Wildly successful would be great! But mostly I hope readers enjoy it enough to ask for a sequel, which I will happily provide. Enjoy~
Giveaway Information: Winner will be drawn June 26, 2015
· Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Vessel by Lisa T. Cresswell (INT)