Interview with Ilsa J. Bick the author of Ashes Trilogy
First of all I would like to thank you, Ilsa for accepting this interview!!!I didn’t expect to receive that mail from you, well, I forgot, you too, I know, like I said it happens. Thanks again, Ilsa!
And now you can read !
Among other things, I was an English major in college and so I know that I’m supposed to write things like,”Ilsa J. Bick is …. .” Except I hate writing about myself like I’m not in the room. Helloooo, I’m right here … So let’s just say that I’m a child psychiatrist (yeah, you read that right) and an award-winning, best-selling author of short stories, ebooks and novels. Believe me, no one is more shocked about this than I … unless you talk to my mother.
1.What made you write Drowning Instinct? (How did the story come in to your mind?)
Well, I guess you could say I wrote it for a couple different reasons. Certainly, I think most of us understand and relate to forbidden love. What person hasn’t had a serious crush? And this doesn’t just end when you’re a teen; adults often feel the same way, and I certainly met my share Mr. Andersons (and Jennas) as a child psychiatrist.
But I also think I wrote the book this way because I’d read other novels that were very black and white: the adult is this oily, smarmy, unctuous predator; the kid is this sweet and stupid victim . . . that all felt too cut and dried. As a shrink, I’ve often operated in the gray areas. Everyone brings something to the dance—and, no, I do not think that abuse victims “ask” for it. That’s silly. But I’ve often found that very good people make some really lousy decisions and for all the right reasons.
2.Which is your favourite book series or book?
I’ll answer these two together; I actually don’t have a favorite. If you’ve written a thumpingly good story that I just happen to be reading at that moment, then yours is my favorite—until I find the next thumpingly good story.
4.What do you think about Romania?
As a place I’d like to visit? To be honest, my first introduction to Romania came courtesy of plum brandy, tuica. I’m entirely serious. I was about thirteen or fourteen, I think, and there was this big bar mitzvah celebration. So there are these little cups of regular, really sweet and very sickening Manischewitz (blech), grape juice—and then this very strong-smelling clear stuff. So I tossed back a cup of that. Oh my goodness, I thought a bomb had gone off in my stomach. That shock wave went right to my head. It wasn’t a bad feeling either. I felt very . . . mellowed-out. Even had another. Okay, I had three. Never told a soul, but I think my mom wondered why I’d gotten a little goofy.
Oh, and then there’s Enescu; love his music. (Yes, I’m a complete geek.) And I’m old enough to remember Nadia Comanechi. Like, I saw her strut her stuff as it happened.
5.What about Ashes Trilogy;what can you say about it?
Oh, gosh, what would you like to know? I guess that my idea going into the ASHES trilogy was that I wanted to create something that would bring down civilization in a big hurry; wasn’t a virus or some deadly plague; would let me actually create a setting where you could see/watch the disaster unfolding afterward; and was just credible enough to allow me to play around a bit with just how nasty people, in the aftermath of a disaster, can really be.
So, a lot of the science in ASHES is . . . you know . . . real science. For example, a massive sunspot cycle could decimate all the Earth’s electronics, and I knew that the EMPs from a-bombs are a big problem. Building an e-bomb is actually pretty simple; it’s deployment and detonation at precisely the right spot that’s the trick. (Given all the research I did on this, I’m sure I’m on Homeland Security’s radar, too.) You know there’s a real threat, too, if the U.S. Congress holds hearings on the issue, and the military scurries around, trying to figure out how to harden their electronics in the event of an attack. The irony here: even if their electronics can be saved . . . there’s no power, folks. No oil refineries working, so no fuel for all those military toys. Not to mention, there would be scads of nuclear power plants and storage facilities going up in radioactive clouds. Not pretty.
6.How did you became an author?
That’s kind of a long story. But, short and sweet: I never saw myself as a writer. The only stuff I wrote in high school was really bad epic poetry. But I’ve always been interested in literature. In fact, when I went to college, I couldn’t decide what I liked better: English or bio, so I majored in both. If I hadn’t gotten into medical school, I might well have ended up going to grad school in English. I had some vague fantasy about teaching at an ivy-covered university where I, too, would be ivy-covered, wear a tweed jacket, drink a lot of coffee, and smoke a pipe while discussing Dickens.
Then I got interested in film and psychoanalysis, started writing and publishing a ton. It was my husband who dared me to try fiction. I think he saw all my essays and papers as the sublimations they were: a way I could enjoy myself creatively while not admitting that I wanted to be creative. (He’s a pretty insightful guy, but I suppose that happens when you hang with a shrink long enough.) Specifically, he understood that I’d always wanted to write myself into a Star Trek book. (Yes, it’s true; Kirk had a chest to die for.) So he dared me to try, and I don’t back down from dares.
So I started writing. Did six terrible, deservedly unpublished novels (although one came close) and about thirty, forty equally awful stories before I published my first story, and that was a prize winner (and I’d been ready to give up, too). And it was Trek, to boot. What’s not to like?
7.If you were a character (from your books) witch one would you be?
Alex, hands down.
Because she’s one gutsy kid: never gives up, always picks herself up. She masters her fear by becoming competent, learning how to do things to help herself. You have to admire that.
9.Monsters-Ashes Trilogy;when do you think it will be out?
MONSTERS hits shelves in the US in September. I would suspect that it will appear abroad very shortly thereafter except Germany: they always seem to come out a month early.
10.And now, tell something to your Romanians fans.
Oh my gosh . . . guys, do you know how AMAZING it is that I HAVE Romanian fans? Knock me over with a feather.
Seriously, that my work speaks to you—that you enjoy what I write—that makes all the hours I spend hunched over a hot keyboard worthwhile. Thank you so much for giving my books the time—and welcome to my world J.
About Ashes Trilogy
It could happen tomorrow . . .
An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.
Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.
For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.
Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling post-apocalyptic novel about a world that could become ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.
The Apocalypse does not end. The Changed will grow in numbers. The Spared may not survive.
Even before the EMPs brought down the world, Alex was on the run from the demons of her past and the monster living in her head. After the world was gone, she believed Rule could be a sanctuary for her and those she’d come to love.
But she was wrong.
Now Alex is in the fight of her life against the adults, who would use her, the survivors, who don’t trust her, and the Changed, who would eat her alive.
Welcome to Shadows, the second book in the haunting apocalyptic Ashes Trilogy: where no one is safe and humans may be the worst of the monsters.
+ MONSTERS -> September