Interview with E.D. Herman, Author of Binding Roots
02 Jan 2024
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Binding Roots?
I have rewritten this book six times front to back now, along with countless sectional rewrites along the way. I don’t think I even remember the original inspiration. But it was actually at my grandmother’s funeral that I got the idea to use her as a loose inspiration for the main character, Yukina. Making Yukina an old lady looking to reconnect with her homeland and heritage that she had left in her youth helped to make the pieces that had never felt quite right start to fall into place.
I finally understood that it was a story about what binds people together and how everyone has their own unique journey. No one else will ever have the opportunity to live our lives again. It is up to each of us to cherish the time we have, regardless of what life may throw at us. Yukina faces unexpected challenges while trying to reconnect with her family and culture. Some of them pleasant, others… not so much.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
I tend to enjoy fantasy and sci-fi, both for reading and writing! They are marvelous for exploring what it means to be human by changing the rules. How does the human condition change when magic is introduced? How about whether that magic is innate and easy to use, or requires years of study to create the most rudimentary effect? Do people become fearful and distrustful? Hopeful and inspired? This extends well beyond magic. Simply having another intelligent race in the mix changes the calculation for humanity. Do we band together against those who are different, or do we remain in conflict with ourselves?
The stories I like best are either single books that delve into one topic really well, or an expansive world that takes itself seriously and remains a consistent vessel for exploring humanity.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
I enjoyed writing reunions between Yukina and her children. It is fascinating to try to consider the image people may have of one another. How that image may change over time, reinforcing emotions as memories are twisted or exaggerated. All of it had to be considered along with the new experiences each has had since they last met. How have they changed as people compared to how they are remembered? When the characters meet again, they are near strangers and must work together to put their memories in order. Writing these conversations and feelings took a lot of time and care to feel authentic.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
I often carry around a tablet anywhere and everywhere! I’ve written on busses, trains, and planes… in front of desks, at beaches, and on park benches. If I suddenly hit inspiration, I’ll whip out the tablet and start writing!
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
Look for the best in people and they will often surprise you. Everyone wants to be good. We simply disagree on what good looks like.
E.D. Herman is the author of the new book Binding Roots
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