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Final Storm - Q&A with Deborah Abela
The exciting third book in the Grimsdon trilogy by Deborah Abela will be released on August 6, 2019 through Random House.
Check out the trailer link below.
What is Final Storm about?
This is the third book in my cranky climate change trilogy. After surviving for three years in the flooded city of Grimsdon, Isabella and her friends uncovered the terrible secrets of New City and now face a new world of robots, hover boards, wild weather and a mysterious evil mastermind.
The kids from Grimsdon have settled into New City, enrolled in school and are making new friends, including the charming and talented Aleksander Larsen. But the city is facing a new threat – weather patterns are becoming erratic and fierce ice storms batter the city. When someone from Isabella's past returns, loyalties are tested, someone is watching her from the shadows and Griffin suspects there is more to the ice storms than a broken planet. When Isabella's life is in danger, Griffin has to face his darkest fears or his best friend will be lost forever.
Is there a particular theme in your story?
We need to take better care of the planet and each other.
I am also fascinated by Artificial Intelligence and the increasing presence of robots not only in our daily lives but in industry, in our operating theatres, warfare and space. In 2015, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and dozens of other AI experts wrote an open letter celebrating advances in robotics, but calling for research into potential pitfalls and warning against creating technology that is dangerous or cannot be controlled. I wanted to play with these ideas in the novel, especially as this is the world kids are inheriting.
Was there an inspiration for your story?
I was furious at governments around the world not taking enough care of the planet or taking the issue of climate change seriously. Had we put plans in place to stop the effects of climate change in the 1990s when it became headline news, the world would be in a far better place.
I wrote Grimsdon thinking by the time it came out it would be obsolete and we would have tackled climate change but the reverse is true....we now only have, at most, a few decades to get our act into gear and reverse the damage we've done. But I also think it is really important to be optimistic and positive and focus on all the many amazing things that are being done to save the planet. Including watching Greta Thunberg begin a global movement of kids who want more from adults. It isn't too late to change our ways and protect our planet but we need leadership and action now if it is going to happen.
What is the story behind the story?
After reading about climate change, I became so angry that scientists were not only ignored but belittled and vilified. I wondered what would happen if we continued to ignore the science and something big went wrong. When I read about fears that the Thames Barrier in London may not be able to protect the city from changes created by climate change, I knew I had my trouble. So I flooded a whole city, added sea monsters, flying machines and girls who are good with swords.
What kind of research did you do to write this story?
Apart from researching the flood barriers and how they work, I also did a lot of reading about climate change, the effects of it but also the very clever things that are being done to combat it, like rebuilding coral reefs, building floating homes and even attached bags to cows backs to capture the greenhouse gas, methane. (Cows are one of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters on the planet!) Even though we are facing huge challenges, there are so many exciting ways people are working to save our planet. Because there are robots in my books, I also read a lot of robotics: the good the bad and the downright fun.
Do you have any tips for people wanting to write for children?
Write what you love. Write because you have to. Write because a character won't stop bugging you. And above all, try to ignore that voice in your head that tells you anything else.
Read more about Deborah Abela.