Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Guest Post: John Bemis

    John Claude Bemis

The act of creating a story becomes an opportunity to explore truths about life.  This is one of the most exciting aspects to being a writer.  In writing The Prince Who Fell from the Sky, I discovered something very interesting: our identity is often based on our relationships with others. 
The unnamed boy who is at the center of my novel is the sole survivor of a crashed spaceship.  He has landed on a future Earth where no humans remain.  In our absence, animals and the wilderness have taken over.  To the powerful and outcast bear Casseomae who finds the boy, he becomes her surrogate child.  None of her real cubs have ever survived, and she longs to be a mother, even if it means given up all she has ever known to protect this boy.  But wolves rule Casseomae’s forest, wolves that carry legends how their kind were once hunted by humans.  To the wolves and their merciless leader, the Ogeema, the boy is a threat and a devil.  So the wolves begin a deadly hunt for Casseomae’s cub.
Other animals have legends about humans as well.  Dogs remember how their kind once lived gloriously among us.  And it is because of this that dogs are viewed as traitors by the wolves and other animals of Casseomae’s forest.  To the dog Pang, the boy is a spark of hope, a possible savior for Pang’s kin, and he joins Casseomae in her quest to lead the boy to a safe haven.  The boy’s third companion is a rat named Dumpster.  Rats have very different legends about humans.  To Dumpster, the boy brings out conflicting feelings.  Humans meant food and a comfortable life to his ancestors, but humans were also a threat.  Dumpster struggles with his feelings and intentions for Casseomae’s cub.  To each of the various characters of my novel, the boy takes on a different role.
While the story makes for a grand and often harrowing adventure, it also allowed me a chance to wonder about our relationships, our dreams, and our fears.  Who are we if not the person others see us as?  It’s a fascinating mystery that’s left me wondering long after finishing The Prince Who Fell from the Sky.

John Claude Bemis is the author of The Clockwork Dark, a fantasy adventure trilogy that takes place in a mythical America. The first book, The Nine Pound Hammer (Random House), was described as “a steampunk collision of heroes, mermaids, pirates, and good old-fashioned Americana” by Booklist and was a New York Public Library Best Children’s Book 2009 for Reading and Sharing.  The trilogy continues with The Wolf Tree and The White City and has been described as “original and fresh” and “a unique way of creating fantasy.”  His new book The Prince Who Fell from the Sky was named an Amazon Best Book of the Month for May 2012.   John lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina with his wife and daughter.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the interview, Sandra. What an intriguing premise for a novel. I wonder what sparked the idea for John Claude.