The posturing, the pressure, the mind games…the nausea in the bathroom…so different, but not so different at all.
In addition to being a writer, you are a teacher. Are any of your own feelings about teaching reflected in Shizuka’s feelings about mentoring?
*giggle* ALL of them…the good, the bad, the obsessive, the self-serving, and the hopeful.
This novel felt, in many ways, like a pandemic novel–in a situation that should be full of hopelessness (the Endplague, a coming soul-deadline), there’s still this tonal quality, even in the early pages, that things will turn out right, even if we have no idea how that will happen. Was any part of the novel written during the pandemic? Do you see it differently now that it’s coming out as we’re still dealing with the coronavirus?
During the first few months of pandemic, most of the novel had already been written, and we were deep in edits. I was pushing so hard to get my story just right that the first part of the lockdown went by unnoticed. Plot hole here, inconsistency there…even without a lockdown, I don’t think I would have gone out, anyway.
These days, I’m feeling the pandemic more, especially because this is when I was to tour, sign books, and meet people in person. And, as I engage with the lockdown more actively, I do notice how the pandemic does seem to echo the themes of the Endplague. Although Covid-19 did not inspire the Endplague, I based the Endplague on how civilizations can often fall, not from outside cataclysms themselves, but from the conflicts and fissures they cause their populace…and a collective loss of hope.