Gemma Fowler - City of Rust - (Q&A Interview) - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books #33
- City of Rust is a very intriguing title. How would you best describe the book to potential new readers?
City of Rust is a nail-biting sci-fi mystery adventure, set in a city built entirely out of junk called Boxville. There’s drone racing, bio robotic animals, Sphereships, mechanical bounty hunters, and terrifying junker clans ruling the skies. Phew!
- What would you like readers to understand from this book; is there an important message behind the story you would like readers to pick up on?
Apart from having a load of fun reading it, I’d love readers to understand that the book is inspired by the rubbish problem we have on Earth. I really struggle with the fact we have (nearly) driverless cars now, but still struggle to recycle our waste. It’s nuts!
- I love the book cover for City of Rust. What do you think and how does it illustrate the story inside?
Oh I love the cover! It’s by Karl James Mountford, who’s a bit of a legend anyway, but I think he really knocked it out of the park with this one!
A lot of people think the book has a steampunk vibe after looking at the cover (I think it’s the rusty colours). It does have a few steampunky traits, but it’s really not that kind of world at all. Blade Runner meets Wall E meets Star Wars!
- Are there any movies you think might have influenced the book and would we pick up on any of these references through the story?
STAR WARS. STAR WARS. STAR WARS.
- When did you get the first idea for this book and has the journey taken you to any unexpected places?
I read an article about the space debris problem (there are 180 million pieces of space waste in orbit around the Earth right now and counting), did a big groan about the state of humanity, and then an image of a space junkyard popped into my head that was too cool to ignore!
- Have you had any personal conversations with the characters in the book?
I wouldn’t say I have conversations with them, they sort of talk at me and I write it down. It doesn’t feel like it comes from me at all. Which sounds crazy but it’s just the way it works!
Now the book is written it’s like having a group of friends that you miss hanging out with, I find myself thinking ‘Atti would love this’ or ‘If Railey were here she’d have fixed that already’, things like that.
- Can you tell us about any writing projects you are working on at the moment?
City of Rust has been selected for the Summer Reading Challenge this year, which has a Gadgeteers theme, so I’m working on updating my website with some bits and bobs to go with that over the summer.
I’m currently working on a new book that features a Cornish pasty that can predict the future. That’s all I will say for now! Ha.
- What question were you hoping to be asked and why?
Ok. I’m a weird fact machine (I bore people with my facts on a daily basis), so here are some Gross but True facts I learned whilst researching City of Rust-
- There are hundreds of weebergs, made of frozen astronaut wee flying above our heads in orbit right now. Gross!
- Gecko’s will drop, and then eat, their own tails if there isn’t enough food around (don’t worry, Atti doesn’t do this in the book). Ew!
- The reason the residents of Boxville live on sugary snacks and drinks (Floss and Pop), is that sugar, in its purest form, doesn’t grow bacteria, and can still be eaten years and sometimes decades, after its best before date. Blugh.