Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Guest Author Post: Traci L. Slatton and The Apocalyptic World

Last week, news sources reported the discovery of an ancient Mayan calendar room in Guatemala—and the world doesn’t end in December 2012.

I was glad to hear it, though I don’t think the 2012 apocalyptic fever will go away quickly. Some people will say, “There isn’t really a new-found room, it’s a conspiracy, for purposes of pacifying the masses.”

Don’t conspiracy theorists tell the best stories? I just love to listen to them. Conspiracy theorists operate from the central value that safety and freedom are what we all want—but “they”—Big Brother, or the Bilderbergers, or a secret cabal in Israel/the US/Afghanistan/Mars/wherever thwarts our natural, rightful desires.
Maybe “they” do; so many conspiracies circulate that, by some esoteric law of statistics, some of them must be correct. But factuality isn’t my point. My point is that it’s great entertainment. It’s great story-telling. I love to listen to it all: the moon landing was faked, Pearl Harbor was a hoax, etc etc. Where do people come up with stuff? Creativity fascinates me.

There’s another fascination here, too. It’s the inherent fascination of evil, wrongdoing, cataclysm, and misery on a global scale. I think we all wonder: what would I do in the face of evil and cataclysm? How would I handle this scenario, this piece of devastation, this shock, or this crisis? How would I negotiate the aftermath?

Would I survive? How?

These kinds of musings titillate us, and I’m not saying this with any kind of negative judgment. I’m acknowledging the ubiquity, and the rich pleasure, of human curiosity. We theorize. We come up with options and strategies. We daydream. We wonder. Especially in a world in which we all sense complex, cascading problems without easy resolution. Every day we hear more about international financial failure and the end of enlightenment ideals.

It’s these wonderings that led me into the AFTER Trilogy, of which FALLEN is the first novel, and the forthcoming COLD LIGHT will tell the middle piece. These books are set after a global ecological catastrophe has devastated the planet and killed billions of people. As I worked with the story, it fleshed out. Originally, I had a simple vision of a man and a woman, both very strong, facing dire circumstances, yet walking away from each other.

The dire circumstances became my version of the world immediately after an apocalypse. But I didn’t want to do the ordinary nuclear annihilation. I wanted to do something else. That desire led me to the mists, and then curiosity swept me right along the path of wondering how the mists would come to be. I don’t want to say too much because it would be a spoiler, but that path took me deeper into our nature as creative human beings who want to change our own destinies….

Traci L. Slatton is a graduate of Yale and Columbia. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, sculptor Sabin Howard, whose classical figures and love for Renaissance Italy inspired her historical novel Immortal and their sculpture book The Art of Life. Her other books are the novels The Botticelli Affair and Fallen and the non-fictionPiercing Time & Space.Cold Light, the sequel to Fallen, is set for release July 2012.

Available for $5.99 in ebook/$14.99 in print

Synopsis: As chaos descends on a crippled Earth, survivors are tormented by strange psychic gifts. In this time of apocalyptic despair, love is put to the test. One woman with mysterious healing power guides seven children to safety. Charismatic Arthur offers her a haven. Slowly Emma falls for him. But at the moment of their sweetest love, his devastating secret is revealed, and they are lost to each other. Will Emma stay with him?

The first in a romantic trilogy set during the end times.