Welcome to Snow Island
Welcome to Snow Island
Why did I ever go the Fortune Teller that day? It really wasn't like me. Dad was a scientist so I grew up in a house of science and facts. It had always kept me grounded. But on impulse, I had gone and suddenly, I was questioning whether or not fate, destiny and miracles did exist. Now, I was on my way to a mysterious island where I would experience dangers I couldn’t begin to imagine. Where my thoughts, beliefs, facts I’d come to rely on—my view of the world itself—would all be called into question. And her words still haunt me. If I only knew how much of what she said would soon come to pass. But would it have changed anything? Would I have done anything differently? I’ll never know.
(From Snow Island by M.Y.Zeman)
In December 2016 Culture and Creativity had a talk with author M. Y. Zeman about her career and her future plans. Zeman has just released her third book in the “Snow” series “Snow Island”. I am happy to announce that Zeman have once again taken time out to sit and have a chat with us. In this interview we will focus on her new book and how it came to life.
1. You have just finished the 3rd book in the series of “Snow”, how do you feel?
I'm happy, excited, relieved and very nervous! I really want people to enjoy the book.
2. In this book Snow is becoming more and more independent and her relationship with Josh grows stronger. How would you describe Snow’s transformation from the first to the third book?
Snow matures in each book. Snowball covers from the time she was a baby bunny rescued by her vampire father and includes the first time she transforms to human when she is three. In this book she is really learning what it means to be the only wererabbit in the world, the difficulty she has learning to accept her human half. It ends when she is 14 and discovers her inner strength and desire to be a hero.
The second book she is 14 and beginning to fall in love with the werewolf, Josh that she saved at the end of Snowball.
By Snow Island, she has become comfortable with both her human and rabbit self. She is in love with Josh she begins to wonder about the big questions like is there fate or destiny? Also on the island she sees the dark side of humanity when she faces hunters and poachers who have no qualm about wiping out entire species. She still has the desire to do the right thing and make a difference. Because she is older – the dangers she faces are greater so the amount of action and drama increases. There is a little more violence simply because there is more action but it never goes above a Jurassic Park/ PG-13 level)
3. Where have you found inspiration for writing “Snow Island”
Besides my own three bunnies who are a constant source of inspiration, I'm a big science fiction and fantasy fan. I'm always inspired by books and novels in that genre. For this book in particular, I turned to classics by HG Wells, Jules Verne, Michael Crichton. Since Snow faces some very scary situations I also reread books by Dean Koontz, Peter Benchley and Stephen King.
4. The book contains some strong political issues such as hunting and protection of wildlife, how important is it for you as a writer to raise awareness on serious matters in your books?
In short – very important. I believe art – whether writing, painting, theatre or any other form is very powerful.
I think the best science fiction is able to deal with the problems of society and the issues that we all face. TV Shows like Star Trek and The Twilight Zone are well known for this.
One of my favorites is Ray Bradbury's classic short story A Sound of Thunder. It tells the tale of a group of hunters who travel back in time to hunt dinosaurs. They are warned not to step off the path and, of course, one man does. When they return they find that their time is completely different. The man looks at the bottom of his shoe and finds that in the past, he had stepped on a butterfly. The story is brilliant because it shows how important every life is and how one small change has the ability to ripple through time and affect the future.
5. Did you find a specific part of the book harder to write than other parts? And what do you hope your readers will take from this book?
I did a great deal of research on hunting and endangered animals. It was extremely disturbing and depressing. So many animals are killed for sport or for their body parts (horns from rhinos, elephant tusks, shark fins). Much of what I read could not be included because it was too upsetting.
In Snow Island, I chose to use the death of one animal to represent all animals that have been needlessly and ruthlessly killed. It is a very sad scene because I don't want to minimize the act but instead of concentrating on the death itself, I focused on Snow's reactions. In that moment she loses a piece of her innocence and she asks her father for the first time why he keeps trying to save the world when there is so much cruelty. I spent the most time writing and rewriting this scene because it a crucial moment in her life. It is also some of what I hope that readers take away from the book and series in general. The fact that life on earth is at the breaking point but there is still hope. That every action— no matter how large or small— matters. One person can make a difference. Like Snow, we all have a hero inside of us.
6. This is a series of 7 books, how far in mind are you with the 4th?
I know what happens and have a detailed outline.
I write like I'm directing a movie. I write scenes out of order and write and rewrite each scene until it reaches its potential.
Sometimes I wish I could write scenes in order like other authors because I would be able to finish the books much faster. But I tried and it just didn't work for me. Up until now she has always had her dads to help her and in Snow Road she is separated from them and has to learn to trust herself and become more of a leader. She is literally on the road home. She encounters old enemies and makes some new friends (that I love) as she finds her way back. In a way Snow Road is the yang to Snow Island's ying because after seeing the worst of humanity now she has to find the best to help her.
Thanks to M.Y. Zeman for talking to us.
If you want to purchase “Snow Island” or/and the first two books in the series you can find all the info you need from these links. Here you can also find lot more info about the author and her work.
Interview by B.Jokumsen