The internet is a wondrous place: when I began publishing my blog “The Worlds I Long For” just a year ago I wanted to meet and exchange ideas with other green writers concerned for our beloved planet. As I got in touch with activists, technologists, futurists and seekers of ways to adapt to and mitigate climate change, I become acquainted with two women in particular who are especially well-versed in environmental writing and who have encouraged me on my quest.
Claude Forthomme, who has retired from the United Nations where she was Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia and writes green fiction (as Claude Nougat), introduced me to the brave new world of Cli-Fi and Solarpunk and invited me to write an article about “Coming Together on Climate Change,” for the international internet magazine Impakter.
Mary Woodbury is a Canadian green writer and publisher whose Eco-Fiction site and Google newsgroup Ecology in Literature and the Arts are at the very hub of environmental writing. She introduced me to the concept of the Anthropocene, the Arcadian genre, and a whole community of nature writers, green novelists, and environmental innovators. Recently, she interviewed me about my Infinite Games eco-fiction series. Here is a part of our interview (you can go here for the whole thing.)
Mary: You are currently writing Infinite Games, of which the first two books are out: The Marshlanders and Fly Out of Darkness. When I began reading this series, I felt like I’d met an old friend with a story set in a type of pastoral world. The main character, who starts out young and grows older throughout the series, is a strong female who, when young, reminds me of my childhood heroes such as Scout Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird) or Anne Shirley (of Green Gables) or Juana Maria (Island of the Blue Dolphins). Finding such a heroine felt comforting. She is imaginative, strong, playful, and loyal. How did you invent this character?
Annis: About Clare–she is almost entirely autobiographical. All that playfulness and perpetual motion, eagerness to be loved amid plunges into nightmares and gloom, are based on my childhood as a cheerful little soul growing up in a cold and distant family. With maturity, I realized that historical gender norms had crippled my mother’s psyche. My understanding and forgiveness led me to develop Margaret as an affectionate and loving mother who pretends to reject Clare on order to save her from persecution as a healer’s daughter.
Mary: Well, thank you for creating the wonderful, adventurous Clare.