I’m thrilled that Marita was kind enough to share some of her thoughts in response to some questions I asked about Emergence and Convergence. Check out my very first author Q&A check it out to find out what she had to say about her books!
What was your inspiration for this series?
This series draws on science and humanity’s connection to the natural world .Studying the intricacies of chemistry and biology was like learning another language – while at university I would daydream about interesting phenomena during lectures and in the laboratory. For instance, our mitochondria, which produce most of our cellular energy, are the result of an ancient symbiosis event. It struck me as both terrifying and miraculous that all multicellular eukaryotes (us included) would not be here today unless one prokaryote engulfed another, billions of years ago.
I began to wonder whether this organelle could have an even more important role, one that has lain dormant and long forgotten. What if a mutation on the mitochondrial gene sequence enabled humans to communicate with animals? I was also inspired by the year I spent working on organic farms alongside people highly attuned to natural rhythms.
We’ve largely lost that sense of balance with the natural world as a species. I began to imagine a world in which individuals formed a bond with a specific animal as a result of their mitochondrial gene mutation. Three people in each generation have an even more extraordinary ability – they are able to communicate with all animals from one of the three biomes of earth, water, and air. Because of the rapid environmental changes on Earth, these three ‘walkers’ have returned after thousands of years in a bid to restore balance.
The series so far covers some classic YA themes, like coming-of-age and the struggle to figure out who we are. Did you set out to write the series for a YA audience, and if so was there a reason for this?
I absolutely loved that I could recognise bits and pieces of Canberra in the books, and that the main character, Robyn, was studying at the Australian National University in Canberra. Was it important to you to set it here?
Do you have a favourite character in the series or one you most relate to?
Without getting spoiler-y, some of the characters in the series have special bonds with animals. If you could have that kind of bond, which sort of animal would it be with?
And finally, that question authors love: can you tell us anything about what you’re working on next?
Thanks again so much to Marita for taking the time to ‘chat’ a bit about these books – I always think it is so amazing to get some insight from authors about their writing and inspiration, and I’m so pleased to be able to share it here on my blog! You can find Marita online here.