Earlier, I reviewed THE WATER WARS, a book I really enjoyed reading (my review). I am excited to welcome Author Cameron Stracher to Dystopian August today!
Reading THE WATER WARS made me constantly want to drink water. What’s the thirstiest you’ve ever been in your life?
I run a lot, so I'm often very thirsty. If I'm in the suburbs, I'll look for people who are watering their lawns, and stop to drink from their sprinklers. The last couple weeks, however, it's been incredibly hot in New York, and there are water restrictions, and most people don't water their lawn at the time I go running. I ran 8 miles the other day when it was 103 degrees and humid. I don't know if it was the thirstiest I've ever been, but it was close. I must have drunk about two gallons of water when I finally got home.
A war over water isn’t so farfetched, especially when you look at what is going on in North/East Africa right now with Egypt having rights to 90% of the water from the Nile even though the sources are in other countries that really need it too. If a water war were to break out in North America, where would the best place be to live? Should we all be moving to Canada now?
I'll tell you where we shouldn't live: California. Las Vegas, New Mexico, Florida, are close seconds. Most of our fastest growing cities have very little fresh water, and have to import it through upstream reservoirs and aqueducts. It's a bad way to live because those places are imperiled if there are water shortages, and it's destructive of the environment to transport water from long distances. Rather than moving somewhere else, however, I think we should all be conscious of the way we live, our use of water, and how we can be better at conserving. If we live in a desert climate like Nevada or New Mexico, we shouldn't be building golf courses.
The story is told in first person by teenage girl Vera. Was it difficult for you to find the voice of a teen girl? Was it always meant to be told from her perspective?
Actually, it wasn't. I don't know why. I always saw the book as Vera's narrative. I think I was influenced by To Kill a Mockingbird, which is told from Scout's perspective. In an earlier draft, Vera was a couple years younger, but my editor suggested she should be older, and I think that works better.
What is some of your favorite dystopian lit? Would you say any of it influenced your writing at all?
Two books inspired me to write The Water Wars. One was Feed, by MT Anderson, and the other was The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman, which is not really dystopian lit. But both books showed me the range of imagination and literary skill that was possible in this genre. Once I started writing, I read a lot more dystopian lit, and my favorites are The Hunger Games (of course), The Pretties/Uglies, and The Road. I've also always been a big fan of dystopian movies like Blade Runner, The Matrix, Mad Max, etc.
You work as a lawyer specializing in First Amendment litigation. Do you have any interesting anecdotes to share?
I represent publications like Star magazine and television shows like Dog the Bounty Hunter. I'd love to tell you some stories, but my clients would kill me, and then I couldn't write a sequel. :)
Thanks Cameron! Nice to hear there's a possible sequel in the works.
Since I know it's going to be hard for everyone to wait for January 2011 to read this fun adventure story, I am happy to report that Sourcebooks Fire is sponsoring a giveaway of 2 ARCs! Just tell me about a time when you were really thristy in the comments and you're entered. This one is open internationally and will remain open until August 31st at 11:59 pm CST.
Find out more about Sourcebooks Fire at the Teen Fire ning.
Photo credit for author photo: Simon Stracher