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  • Writer's pictureGeoff H.

Interview and Ice Cream - Claire Buss

Today I am pleased to be interviewing Claire Buss about her forthcoming book, The Gaia Solution, the third book in the Gaia Collection. (The Gaia Solution comes out on November 8, 2019, so if you are reading before then, you can pre-order the book. If you are reading this after the release, then you can buy it!)

Let's start with the basics, in this final book of the series Kira, Jed and their friends have fled New Corporation and joined the Resistance, but their relief is short-lived as they discover how decimated the human race has become and learn of an environmental crisis that threatens to destroy their existence. Kira and Jed must travel up the mountain to the New Corporation stronghold, City 50, to bargain for sanctuary while Martha and Dina risk everything to return to City 42 and save those who are left. With the last of her reserves Gaia, the fading spirit of the Earth uses her remaining influence to guide Kira and her friends but ultimately, it’s up to humanity to make the right choice.

Now, let's learn a bit more about Claire and The Gaia Solution.

The Gaia Solution is the final book in this trilogy. Do you have any bittersweet feelings about leaving Kira, Jed, and the other characters at the end of this series?

The first book in the trilogy was my debut novel so there was so much emotion when it got published and 'out there'. Then I worked on something else before coming back to book two and that was tough because I had to get back into the world of Kira and Jed. The Gaia Solution came hot on the heels of The Gaia Project and I think that helped keep me immersed in their hopeful dystopian landscape but yes, I was terribly sad when I realised I'd written the end. I'm also a little relieved lol.

You have called The Gaia Collection a “hopeful dystopian” series. How do you define “hopeful” and what sets the series apart from more “traditional” dystopian books?

Usually dystopian books are set in a doom and gloom environment, where there is no hope and the end is possibly nigh. In The Gaia Collection I offer hope, it's small and mankind still has to make all the right choices to get there but it is possible. It comes from the definition of the gaia hypothesis which states that despite the ravages of man, the planet will eventually balance itself out and regain its equilibrium. I found that to be a powerful idea.

You are also the author of two books in the Roshaven humorous fantasy series, which might be as far from a dystopian sci-fi (even if it is hopeful) as you can get. What do you do to get your mind into the right “mood” to be able to switch from one series to the other?

I wrote the opening scene for The Rose Thief as part of a writing exercise in my writers' workshop and then the characters wouldn't stop talking to me, so I just carried on writing. I'm definitely a discovery writer and not a planner. I also have to be in the mood to write, when I am, I can knock out 2k words an hour easily, when I'm not it's more like 5. After writing and publishing The Rose Thief and The Interspecies Poker Tournament, I knew I needed to go back and finish up The Gaia Solution – the bones had been written in NaNo last year, so I was most of the way there. It wasn't difficult to switch between the two because the characters are so different. It's weird because I don't have to turn the comedy on when I'm writing in the Roshaven world, it just happens. It's lots of fun!

Who are the writers that have influenced you or who you look up to in the writing community?

I admire many people in the indie writing community – those writers who juggle day jobs and kids and still work hard on their craft. I admire everyone who keep pushing through and making their author dream a reality because it is so hard to be an indie author. I work a 40+ hour week in mostly unsociable hours and without the support of the writers in places like Sparkly Badgers or Sci-Fi Roundtable, I don't think I'd keep persevering. There are lots of authors out there like Joanna Penn and Mark Dawson who've really worked hard and gained great success so I use their journeys as my motivation. I wish I could give a shout out to everyone but there are just too many – they know who they are!

What’s next for you? What projects are on the horizon?

I have two more novels planned for my Roshaven world – The Bone Thief and The Silk Thief – and I have vague story ideas already but I really want to start a new project about a young woman called Kat who ends up temping for a very unusual temping agency. It's a new adult, urban fantasy, magical realism endeavour and my goal is to rapid release books three at a time, I've got about 21 titles already loosely worked out. It's a huge project but I'm super excited about it and I'm thinking about making a start in NaNo this year.

What’s the one thing that you hope readers will take away when they read The Gaia Collection trilogy?

I hope readers will appreciate how precious our planet is to us and how important it is that we start paying attention to the small things we can do to help. If a billion people stopped using plastic – imagine the results! And I hope they can enjoy the books, lose themselves in an alternate future for a short time.

Without giving us any spoilers, what’s a scene from The Gaia Solution that you like the most? Why does that scene resonate for you?

Oooh a scene I like the most? Hmmm. There are a lot of emotional scenes in this book and I was so pleased when my beta readers told me I had made them cry. That for me is always a plus. I put a lot of emotion into the scenes and I never know if it'll work for my readers or not.

What’s something about The Gaia Solution that you want readers to know that is not conveyed in the book’s blurb?

If you enjoy stories with family and heart, of the good guys winning in the end and if you believe a little hope goes a long way, then you'll love The Gaia Solution.

So, you’ve done interviews with other authors yourself (including one with me), and you always ask what their favorite cake is (being a lover of cakes yourself). But what I want to know is do you have a favorite flavor of ice cream?

Mint choc chip. But I love salted caramel too. Oh, and I had liquorice gelato when I was in Rome which was incredible. And anything with nuts in lol.

Thank you, Claire, for sitting down with me today to tell us about your new book, The Gaia Solution, and to answer our questions.

Get your copy of The Gaia Solution.

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