HELLO AUTHOR EA SMIROLDO, WELCOME TO WORLDAUTHORS.ORG! TELL US WHAT DRIVES YOU TO WRITE? YOUR MOTIVATION AND THE PURPOSE OF YOUR BOOK(S)?
The big picture is that most of my stories are about young women trying to achieve their dreams despite chaos or trauma. ForThe Silent Count, I wanted to explore climate change and the role it plays in people’s lives. I remember the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when many Louisiana residents were uprooted and displaced to other cities after losing everything in the storm — including loved ones. It sunk in that if climate change wasn’t solved, extreme weather and its consequences could become a way of life for everyone. In my novel, Dara Bouldin, a young nuclear engineer, deals with the consequences of climate change as part of her backstory while desperately wanting to save the planet. The trauma she’s been through informs most of the decisions she makes in life, for better or worse.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE READERS WILL GET OUT OF YOUR BOOKS? HOW WILL THEY FEEL OR BE DIFFERENT AFTER READING IT?
First and foremost, I hope readers will be entertained! After all, my novel is a thriller starring scientists and spies, with off-the-rails plot twists, a ticking time bomb, romance, and even a dreamy embassy soiree. But beyond the thrill ride, I’d love it if my novel made readers think about climate change and how we as the Earth’s stewards should solve the problem.
WHAT BOOKS DID YOU READ AS A KID/YOUNG ADULT? WHAT ARE YOU READING TODAY? HOW HAVE OTHER AUTHORS INSPIRED YOUR WRITING?
I was lucky — although my family didn’t have much, we always had books! Biographies were my favorites, since reading about someone’s triumph over adversity never ceased to capture my imagination. I’m currently reading Denial by Jonathan Raymond, another climate change thriller. It’s fascinating to see other authors’ takes on the problem, how they bring their unique voices and perspectives into their stories. Of course I love the classics as well. We’re still talking about Raskolnikov from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and Jane Austen’s Emma all these years later for a reason.
WHAT IS ONE THING IN YOUR BOOK THAT WILL SURPRISE READERS? (NO SPOILERS THOUGH!)
My novel has a pop punk soundtrack! In addition to being an author and engineer, I’m also a Washington Area Music Award-nominated singer-songwriter. Woven throughout the story are my original song lyrics. As a companion to the novel, I’m posting most of the songs, featuring me on vocals and guitars, on my YouTube channel (EA Smiroldo: www.youtube.com/channel/UCiaygLgXxZj5zIyB2uc7XIg). Check it out!
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NEXT? MORE BOOKS?
I was recently asked to help curate a climate change fiction anthology for the University of Southampton’s Green Stories project! The anthology will be distributed to the delegates of the 27th United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Egypt this November. I’m thrilled at the prospect of cli-fi inspiring decision makers from all over the world. Besides the anthology, I’m also working on the sequel to The Silent Count. Get ready, folks, because Dara will be back to save the planet!
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