Thursday, April 26, 2012


It is 2033, and the world hovers on the edge of explosion as unexplained crop deaths lead to severe global food shortages. In the United States, the Sickness is taking lives slowly, creeping its way into every family. Fi Kelly has already faced the Sickness in her own family, toughening her beyond her years. But a shocking confession from her dying father will push her toughness to its absolute limits. Saddled with an impossible secret and the mission of saving her little sister, Fi sets out to transform herself into the warrior that she must become to survive the coming collapse. Along the way, she will discover that evil can be accidental and that love can be intentional


1. When did you begin writing? 

1.) I actually wrote when I was a kid and in school. I never thought I was particularly talented at creative writing but I won some poetry awards. Then I didn't write a single creative thing again for about 15 years. And one day I sat down on a couch with my laptop and this girl and her story started to come to me. 

2.What inspired you to write your first book? 

2.) I know that my bout with ovarian cancer impacted me in ways that I am still discovering. I was trained as a researcher so when I got a rare disease I did what I knew...I researched. And I learned so much about food health and safety that disturbed me that I changed my life. I was always wondering how my cancer scare would work its way out of me, but it turns out that it did it in novel form. 

3. How did you come up with the title? 

3.) The title was a struggle. I originally thought of 'The Staff of Life' as an option as a reference to wheat...which used to be our nutritional backbone and now is killing us. But eventually I realized that I wanted to reference Eden...and then Root was obvious. I wanted plant references but I also wanted the double entendre of the 'root' of the issue. What started all this? How did Eden end up having to be built? Where did we go wrong? 

4. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

4.) I guess so. In some ways this story helped me to unburden myself so that I didn't run through the streets screaming, 'Don't eat that!' But then I feel that way when I see people smoking too. Not that I didn't do the stupid thing and smoke a little in college, but now I just feel frightened of it. So what I want my readers to think about is the importance of our food supply. There is nothing that can have as direct an impact on our health and right now we are eating some really bad makes me sad to see people suffer when we should be demanding better.  

5.Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? 

5.) Many of the experiences and bits and bobs of characters are based on people I know and events in my life and I mean my whole life, not just the cancer part. Some of these things come from grandparents and lifelong friends and such. You know one I will share? Jane, the chaplain that comforts Fi when her little brother is fighting cancer. The chaplain at the hospital where I was treated was named Jane and she had beautiful white hair and the most soothing demeanor I'd ever seen. 
6 .If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in the book? 

6.) I actually have changed a lot of things. People who read the very, very first version got about three other character POVs and 50 pages of backstory...but good advice steered me to change this. :) 

7.Do you have any advice for other writers? 

7.) I think I am too new to this to give advice. I am enjoying myself but I am also making mistakes and learning the hard way. It's a lot of work beyond the writing when you self-promote, self-publish, and self-edit or design. There is quite a lot to it. But I feel like I'm soaking it all up like a sponge and nothing can stop me from telling these characters' stories. Fi wouldn't let me quit. :) 

8.Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 

8.) I just hope that they love Fi and her Family as much as I do. Despite all that she faces, she keeps her loving heart and that is what touches me about her.

Thank you Rachel for taking the time to do the interview with us we greatly appreciate it and we hope that you continue to write!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome interview my blog partner way to go and thanks so much Rachel for being able to do so! :)