Today is the final stop on the ROOTLESS Blog Tour! Thanks so much to those who followed along. We've enjoyed industry interviews, behind the scenes scoops, recipes, even ROOTLESS inspired music for download. It's been a great tour!
For those just joining us, you can start from the beginning here.
But now it's time to bring this tour to an end. You asked Chris Howard your questions, and now he answers them on YABC!
ABOUT THE BOOK
17-year-old Banyan is a tree builder. Using salvaged scrap metal, he creates forests for rich patrons who seek a reprieve from the desolate landscape. Although Banyan's never seen a real tree--they were destroyed more than a century ago--his missing father used to tell him stories about the Old World.
Everything changes when Banyan meets a mysterious woman with a strange tattoo, a map to the last living trees on earth, and he sets off across a wasteland from which few return. Those who make it past the pirates and poachers can't escape the locusts . . . the locusts that now feed on human flesh.
But Banyan isn't the only one looking for the trees, and he's running out of time. Unsure of whom to trust, he's forced to make an alliance with Alpha, an alluring, dangerous pirate with an agenda of her own. As they race towards a promised land that might only be a myth, Banyan makes shocking discoveries about his family, his past, and how far people will go to bring back the trees.
Before he wrote stories, Chris Howard wrote songs, studied natural resources management, and led wilderness adventure trips for teenagers. He currently lives in Denver, CO, and ROOTLESS is his first novel. Join him at http://www.chrishowardbooks.com/
READER Q&A WITH CHRIS
Christina Franke Monday, 29 October 2012
What's your favorite Cowboy Bebop episode?
That's a tough one! I'm going to go with the finale… the two-parter… The Real Folk Blues (Part 1 & Part 2). Other episodes are more fun, but the ending's epic.
MrsErica Beaton Monday, 29 October 2012
I love that you chose to focus the book on environmental issues. What are some issues you think students should get involved in?
I think awareness is key. Learning about the history of GMO foods for example, and getting educated about the politics behind it. The more you learn about an issue, the harder it is to turn your back on it. And it's important for students to realize that they can help create change… learning about how environmental activism has been successful can be really inspirational. I also think it's good to take ownership of your own actions as they relate to the environment. Calculating your own carbon footprint can be an eye-opening activity, for example.
Lea Monday, 29 October 2012
I can't help myself... your thoughts on the LOST finale??
I'm one of the few who enjoyed the LOST finale :) I wasn't blown away by it, but it didn't drive me nuts or anything. I thought it was fitting in its ambiguity, I suppose. And the show had earned a lot of goodwill with me by that point!
Carol Tuesday, 30 October 2012
I love that your inspiration for this book came from environmental issues but from what I read, this is not your first work soo : Where the inspiration for that first non-published book came from? Are you planning on publish that one too, someday?
My first book was a great learning experience, but I can't imagine going back to it. I might like to revisit some of the themes, and I even think ROOTLESS revisits some of them, in a more sophisticated way. But I'd like to keep moving forward, and writing new stories. The inspiration for that first book came from a conversation I had with my awesome sister-in-law… about music… and some other things :)
Cathe Olson Tuesday, 30 October 2012
I'm so glad you are taking on the topic of genetic engineering . . . Do you think your book will help get the labeling of GE foods bill passed in California? I'm looking forward to reading your book.
Maybe someday it'll help get bills like that passed… let's hope, right?! I would love to help raise awareness about this issue - it's amazing how many people have no idea the issue even exists!
Connie Shelor Tuesday, 30 October 2012
When will there be a Rootless 2?
I'm not sure when it'll be released! But I'm really excited for people to read it! And I'm working on Book 3, right now :)
Karla Tuesday, 30 October 2012
What inspired you to name your main character Banyan?
I wanted him to be named after a tree, because I thought all the "tree builders" would be named after different trees, and when I suggested that to my wife, she said "You should call him Banyan"! I knew right away it was the perfect name for him. It sounded so right. I love Banyan trees, and I also love that the Banyan tree is symbolic in a lot of religions and mythologies. The similar sound to "Paul Bunyan" is cool, too, I think. It seems fitting, while also being ironic :)
Forest Hoff Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Chris, is there a covert parallel in the way that corporations in the U.S.A. have out-competed, interbred, and marginalized the mental, physical, and social health of peoples around the globe? Do they decide which non-food products we consume, including entertainment, education, and even politicians? Is there room or food for our minds to grow, to be creative, to be collective? Or do we live in a philological desert?
Yes! That's very much something I was going for, in fact. A lot of people assume GenTech was based on Monsanto, and that's an element of it, for sure. But Monsanto is part of a whole system, and it's like Joseph Campbell said "Is the machine going to crush humanity or serve humanity?" So, I think we have a choice…
Grace Lo Thursday, 01 November 2012
Did you always want to be an author, or did the author aspiration come later on? Also, if you didn't write, what'd you do?
I never thought about being an author, actually! But stories started popping into my head about five years ago, and the more I explored them, the more I became driven to continue. I really fell in love with the whole writing process. I have no idea what I'd be doing, otherwise :)
Lauren Giova Dixon Friday, 02 November 2012
Chris, are you a big fan of post-apocalyptic books? If so, which one is your favorite?
I haven't read that many, actually. But I love The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It's incredible. I like Stephen King's The Gunslinger, too. Haven't finished the series, though… need to get back into it :) I really like the Y: The Last Man graphic novels, and things like Ghost In The Shell and Akira. And, while they're not post-apocalyptic, I really like Fahrenheit 451, and a lot of Philip K. Dick's stories that are set in the future.
Margaly Friday, 02 November 2012
This book sounds awesome. What's the hardest part about writing a post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel?
In my case, it was not being able to use any metaphors drawn from the natural world - because that world doesn't exist for my characters!
Jennifer Howard McCoy Friday, 02 November 2012
Would you be able to survive in a post-apocalyptic world??
If I was lucky, I guess :) I'm pretty good at living out in the wilderness, so if all the lights went out, I'd make do OK. But I'm not a violent person… so hopefully there wouldn't be zombies running around or anything!
Reyes Friday, 02 November 2012
Chris, what is your favorite book?
The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy (technically 3 books, I suppose).
Jason Gallaher Friday, 02 November 2012
Where did you get the idea for this book?
Check out this stop on the Blog Tour… << http://booknerd.ca/blog-tour-the-inspiration-behind-rootless-by-chris-howard-vlog-and-giveaway >>
Jonathan Saturday, 03 November 2012
Will there be a sequel?
Yes :) Banyan's full story is a 3 book Tree-logy.
Casog Saturday, 03 November 2012
Was it hard writing this book?
No - it was some of the most fun I've ever had.
Yes - it was hard work getting to the point where I could write it.
Amy Quinn Sunday, 04 November 2012
Do you like Nirvana? I can't help but think of the lyrics to 'Breed', "...We can build a tree..."
I respect them immensely, but don't listen to them much. Had forgot that line… thanks for reminding me!
Brandi Sunday, 04 November 2012
What would you tell your teen self?
Start writing books! And don't believe the people that are telling you to go off and study things you have zero interest in. Know there is more to life than just being a cog in some machine.
Sam Monday, 05 November 2012
Have you ever been to a creative writing workshop?
Yes. I went to this one << http://bigsurwriting.wordpress.com/ >> and came away from it with an agent, an editor, and some great new friends... It's a phenomenal workshop, in a beautiful place. I haven't been to any others, but highly recommend this one!
Megan@The Book Babe
Hi Chris! How did you get the idea of "metal trees"? Have you been watching the Lorax?
I didn't see the film, but I read the book when I was a kid. I don't remember metal trees being in it, but check out this guy… << https://pinterest.com/pin/57069120247932792/ >> I think Dr Seuss is awesome, by the way!
Ashley Monday, 05 November 2012
How did you become interested in writing books?
I was inspired to write because of ideas I had for stories. The stories came first - then the writing, and it's been an important journey in my life ever since :)
Holly Monday, 05 November 2012
What is the thing you miss the most about the UK?
My family and friends that live there.
Christina Kitroeff Tuesday, 06 November 2012
If you were to have a tree built, which one would you choose?
Stéphanie Tuesday, 06 November 2012
How important is helping the environmental to you?
Very important. I think you have to try to leave the world better than the way you found it.
Margie Cortina Wednesday, 07 November 2012
What inspired you to write a dystopian story?
See this stop on the Blog Tour :) << http://booknerd.ca/blog-tour-the-inspiration-behind-rootless-by-chris-howard-vlog-and-giveaway >>
Jasmine Rose Wednesday, 07 November 2012
What was your initial thought when you saw your cover for the first time?
That Phil Falco is a brilliant designer! When I saw the finished thing, I was totally blown away…
Roxane Diaz Wednesday, 07 November 2012
What was the hardest part about writing this story?
Brooke Banks Wednesday, 07 November 2012
Did you do a lot of research to make this dystopian come off as realistic as possible? Does it rely on a lot of sci-fi to make the world work?
I thought a lot about the world I created… and then made sure everything fit within the rules of that world. I don't spend much time explaining the science in the book, because the main character (who narrates the story) cares very little about that side of things!
Ariella Blake Wednesday, 07 November 2012
Were there any scenes that you were stuck on for a long time?
Not in the initial first-draft phase. I spent a lot of time revising almost every scene, though.
estefania montanez Friday, 09 November 2012
what is your favorite book of all time
The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy (technically 3 books!!)
alicia marie Saturday, 10 November 2012
Who was your favorite author growing up? Did they influence your writing now?
When I was a teenager, I read everything I could by Jack Kerouac. Still a big fan - though I don't read him so much these days. Yes, he's an influence! The way he wrote so musically, and the way he described landscapes and human experience have always stuck with me.
Theresa Nowaczyk Saturday, 10 November 2012
How Long did it take to write the book from beginning to end? Thank You!!
I wrote the first draft in kind of a frenzy - about six weeks, writing about 50 hours a week. Then I spent about six months revising it :)
Thanks for all the great questions, and thanks to YABC and all the bloggers who hosted this Book Blog Tour… it's been a blast!
May the forest be with you :)
Here's your last chance to enter the Rootless Giveaway if you haven't already!