Today we have Australian author Marianne de Pierres answering a few questions about her newest release, Peacemaker. But first, a little about the book:Peacemaker by Marianne De Pierres
Published: April 29th 2014 by Angry Robot
Format: eARC, 416 pages
Series: Peacemaker #1
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction
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Reading Challenges: Australian Authors – Female
When an imaginary animal from her troubled teenage years reappears, Virgin takes it to mean one of two things: a breakdown (hers!) or a warning. Dead bodies start piling up around her, so she decides on the latter. Something terrible is about to happen in the park and Virgin and her new partner, U.S. Marshall Nate Sixkiller, are standing in its path…
Virgin Jackson is the senior ranger in Birrimun Park – the world’s last natural landscape, overshadowed though it is by a sprawling coastal megacity. She maintains public safety and order in the park, but her bosses have brought out a hotshot cowboy to help her catch some drug runners who are affecting tourism. She senses the company is holding something back from her, and she’s not keen on working with an outsider like Nate Sixkiller.
Hi Marianne, welcome back to Speculating on SpecFic 😀
1. Firstly, I love the setting of Peacemaker: a future Australia where overcrowding has become such a problem that a piece of our desert had to be preserved. And it’s been turned into a Wild-West themed tourist attraction! Could you tell us a little about how you built up the outback setting of the original short-story into Birrimun Park and its surrounds?
Hi Shaheen, thanks for having me on your blog! When I started the novel process, I wondered how I could translate the kind of immediacy and narrative tension that I like into an outback setting. I also love urban noir (maybe that’s my cyberpunk background), so the city found its way into my brain of its own accord. I just couldn’t keep it out. 🙂
2. Asylum seekers and refugees have obviously played a major part in the over-population of Australia in the world of Peacemaker. Will future books explore the idea of the asylum seekers war further?
If I get to write more than two books (i.e. if it became a series of three more) I will definitely explore those issues in my own way. I see the asylum seeker situation worldwide as an ongoing and deeply troubling issue. What is the best answer for all parties? We, in Australia, certainly haven’t gotten close to finding an equitable resolution.
3. I was surprised at the prevalent gun-culture in the novel, especially since present-day Australia doesn’t have much of one (that I know of). Did you have to research a lot for this story? Did you frequent gun-ranges and museums?
I grew up on a farm, so guns aren’t foreign to me. And I’ve been around rifle clubs. But it’s interesting that you say the novel has a gun culture because I don’t see it as any different to our present situation, with the exception of Virgin (as a ranger) who is licensed to carry a gun. Other than the police and the GJIC people, anyone else carrying a gun in the novel is doing so illegally. The police don’t go into Mystere much, that’s why there is a gun stand-off in the street (and what’s a Western without one?). Any problems in Mystere become a job for the army … but that’s another story 🙂
4. It feels like Peacemaker has everything: elements of Westerns, science fiction, urban fantasy and mythical fantasy! Do you have any tips for weaving all those elements together for writers considering genre blending?
I guess the main advice I would give is to make sure that you read whichever genre you write in. There’s nothing worse than an author who clearly doesn’t understand a genre’s tropes and clichés.
How can you break or blend the rules if you don’t understand them?
5. If you were a character in Peacemaker, what would your ‘disincarnate’ be?
Hmmm … I guess it would be a cockatoo (pink and grey galah). I have three of them, and I love them to bits. They are smart, fun loving, and tough. Just the sort of spirit guide you need on your side!
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions 🙂
Thank you! xx
A very huge thank you to Marianne, for taking the time out to answer these questions, and Angry Robot Books for organising the blog tour!