In this weeks author spotlight, I meet up with Lara Fanning, author of Red Fox, a Dystopian adventure.
What is your book about?
"In the 1950’s, a Russian scientist began an experiment with one goal in mind - to breed a domesticated variation of the red fox. After ten generations of breeding the adrenaline out of wild foxes, the scientist had created a tame creature named the Silver Fox. Decades later, the Australian government use this knowledge to devise a shocking plan that will end humanity as the world knows it.
When Freya Walker and her family are ordered to attend a town meeting by the ruthless Biocentric government, Freya is certain something horrible will occur. The people of her town are split into four groups of people: A's, B's, C's and D's. Freya is the only one placed into the mysterious B's group and transported to a ring in the bushland where she must survive a fortnight without food, water or weapons with her new companion and fellow B's member, Whilliam Cliff.
As Freya and Whil begin to unravel the truth behind the B's group, fighting for their freedom becomes a key part in overthrowing the Government and putting an end to their heinous plans for humanity."
What inspired you to write this book?
My little sister, who is striving to be an actress, told me to write a book in which she took the part of the main actor. That gave me the spur to write Red Fox, and the inspiration for Freya. However, the plot idea came from my time working on a dairy farm. Our large herd of dairy cattle were sorted into groups of A’s, B’s, D’s and S’s, and I wondered what would happen should we treat humans in the same manner we treated those animals.
Who is your favourite, and least favourite, character in the book?
My favourite character ends up being Kharanshu Delhi, who you meet at the very end of the novel. He is very much like Freya and becomes a symbol of freedom and strength, but also vulnerability later in the series.
What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre?
I love dystopian, especially because it allows me to express my love for the natural world and the terrible deterioration of it in modern times. I absolutely love writing fantasy too. I call it high fantasy, but it probably isn’t quite at that level yet. Creating totally unique worlds and creatures is just such a fun thing to do, and lets my ridiculously vivid imagination run wild.
Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more?
No, Red Fox is the first of a trilogy. It’s sequel titled Red Fox, Silver Fox was released on the 30th November, 2015. And the final book is already written too!
Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who inspired you to become a writer yourself?
As a child I was inspired by Elyen Mitchell, the author of Australian The Silver Brumby novels, and her ability to turn a story about wild horses into something beautiful and fantastic. After reading her novels, I began writing my own short (and terrible) stories about horses and wildlife, and over the years my writing has began to encapsulate my other passions.
My main inspiration is Phillip Pullman, who wrote The Golden Compass trilogy. I think he has a fantastic blend of content for both children and adults.
Other than your own book, what is your favourite novel?
The Golden Compass trilogy by Phillip Pullman. It has always been my absolute favourite novel and I’ve read it far too many times.
Have you written other books we should know about?
I have written dozens of other books, but none that I have yet deemed worthy for publication. There are several books that are well on their way to being published. To protect the original stories, I won’t yet say what they are about, but they are titled:
Wild Rain – Fiction adventure for young adults. There is a very ‘slice of life’ feeling to this book.
The World In The Stars – A high fantasy/ adventure trilogy.
Both Wild Rain and The WITS series are like Red Fox: Emotional, adventurous, lots of action and fast paced.
If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be?
Listen to your critics and your reviewers, no matter what they say! If they give you good feedback then that is fantastic. However if someone can’t finish your book (when it’s published or in the BETA stage) then there is something wrong with the novel and it needs to be fixed. Heeding the advice of these people will make you a better writer and show you what your targeted audience desire. Of course, always take criticism with a grain of salt. Just because someone reads books does not make them an author or a professional critic, nor will they have the same style or ideas as you. But the last thing you want to do is publish a book and it be slammed in reviews because you’ve never properly considered what others have said about your novel.
Where can we find your book?
Where can we find out more about you?