Interview with Jule Owen, Author of Elidir
19 Jan 2021
What can you tell us about your new release, Elidir?
Isobel Twelvetrees and Mo Llewelyn are drawn together across societal divides. They search for clues to the truth in their history, but their relationship threatens those in power.
Elidir is the second book in The Recoverist Quartet, a science fiction story for young adults of any age. It is set in the same world I created in The House Next Door trilogy, but 350 years further into the future. It tells the story of Isobel Twelvetrees and why she was rejected by her people and left outside her city walls to die.
My stories imagine a future transformed by climate change and technology. The British Isles near the end of the twenty-fifth century is unrecognizable to twenty-first-century eyes. Rising sea levels and extreme weather have transformed England’s green pastures to dust and moved the population north. The privileged retreat to climate-controlled cities. The rest survive the best they can, exposed to superstorms and lack of water as the seas rise steadily and transform the coasts.
Elidir is an anomaly. It is a small place built around a hollow Welsh mountain. It contains the remnants of the British Isles’ cultural heritage and has been erased from maps to protect it from destruction. The documents the archive contains are dangerous in the wrong hands, and Isobel’s and Mo’s curiosity leads them into danger.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I have written stories since I was a very young child. I never really stopped, I just learned how to write longer stories, to finish a book and a while after that I worked out how to finish a book other people wanted to read.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Gosh this is a very hard question. I will interpret ‘best’ as ‘books I enjoyed most’ because beyond a certain point the judgement of the quality books is highly subjective.
At a push, my top all-time top 5 would be:
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Orlando by Virginia Woolf
Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
They are all beautifully written, entirely absorbing worlds with unforgettable characters. In case you are wondering, two of them are ghost stories, one of them a fantasy novel (verging on speculative fiction) and the other two science fiction, with Frankenstein being the original text that spawned a whole genre.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
I’d probably bring Terry Pratchett back from the dead (generally a good idea IMHO) and ask him who in his life inspired his characters.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
Making up worlds and naming things.
What is a typical day like for you?
Meditation, exercise, sitting at a desk and typing.
What scene from Elidir was your favorite to write?
The one where Isobel and Mark meet.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
Strong intention, low attachment.
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