Good news on Bad Water: N M Browne
So, last month I promised to be boring about my new book. Today, as a woman of my word, I deliver: you can tell I'm not a politician.
I thought for the sake of brevity I’d interview myself: we’re in lockdown who else is going to do it?
So, Nicky, where do you get your ideas from?
This particular idea came from reading far too many stories of global warming. I love dystopian and apocalyptic fiction and JG Ballard’s Drowned World has been in my head for years as has Pullman’s Gyptians. I live near the Thames and walk on the tow path most days. There are a number of old barges moored on the Twickenham side. They are covered in plastic and odd bits of timber, but in all the apparent chaos there is order: herb gardens and strange solar panels, half-built inventions put together from scrap. The boats got me thinking about surviving in a drowned London.
Ollu my heroine is one of a group of respected bargers. She lives on ‘the Ark’ a matriarch boat built before The Chaos, with a computer hidden under its boards, and a series of trail barges that carry their animals, their gardens and their scavenged scrap for reskiking. They are traders, message carriers, fixers and fettlers with their own codes. She ends up breaking them all, of course, but the story began by the river, watching the boats.
It’s a really stupid idea to write a dystopian novel right now – why did you do that?
I started this book before dystopian novels were in vogue and finished it long after they’d fallen from favour. I didn’t write it for the market but because it was a story that intrigued me. Over the years I’ve kept coming back to it. The book isn’t about how awful it is when everything ends, it’s a hopeful story about how exciting it is when everything begins. Ollu doesn’t think of herself as living in a dystopia, she’s fighting for her family’s life and for all the things she thinks are worth having. She breaks with traditions and makes something new, as young people are inclined to do. She is a force to be reckoned with and a courageous optimist. Bad Water is an adventure story that just happens to be set in the future. But with the world’s eyes on Britain in 2021 for the talks on climate change, it is absolutely a book for now.
Ok you’ve convinced me. Where can I buy it?
I thought you’d never ask. It's here
I have blogged about this book before if you are interested:
and last month about receiving the proof copy here