Friday, December 16, 2011


See below to purchase in multiple formats!
I'm very excited to announce an interview with Catherine Stine, the author of Fireseed One.  Her new YA sci-fi novel made me think...Didn't I always know that teenagers have it in them to save the world?  

Here Catherine talks about the genesis of the book, the spiritual aspects of her writing process, and the joy of creating her own art work.   Pop over to her blog for more goodies: Interviews, giveaways, and excerpts (plus a special discount for Nook users).

Catherine, welcome! Tell me a bit about Fireseed One:
Thanks! Here is a two-line synopsis, the hardest thing in the world to write. I’m giving you this because others in the launch party are doing a great job of focusing on Fireseed’s plot, and your blog concentrates on more esoteric matters. Here goes! In 2089, Varik travels to a lethal desert with his enemy, Marisa who’s destroyed the world’s crops, for a mythical hybrid that may not exist. How’s that for brevity?

How did you come up with the idea of floating farms, a USA transformed to having Vegas on the coast, a devious female terrorist, and hybrid plants with magical breeding ability?
I’ve had versions of this on my mind since the late 80s. I created an 80-page text, with complex illustrations of floating ocean farms, an army of dolphins and a psychic scientist. At that time, you could walk into a publisher and show your goods. I took it to Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The AD gaped at it and said, “You ought to take this to California.” Translation: This book is wacky, and probably ahead of its time, like those weirdoes out on the west coast. I put the thing in a drawer and sat on it through my subsequent publications. But I never, ever forgot about it. It was always percolating, transforming, like the strange hybrids in Fireseed One.

You say that you have an unorthodox way of figuring out scenes.
I do creative visualizations. Not so unorthodox, but a sort of quasi-spiritual exercise. I’m also an artist, I’m highly visual, so this comes naturally. I call on my creative force—you could call it a higher power, instinct, whatever you like—and I concentrate on my fictional characters moving through scenes. It runs like a magical film. It almost feels as if the book has already been written, and I’m given pieces of it, on a need-to-know basis. It’s amazing what complex worlds are stored in one’s brain.

So, would you consider yourself a spiritual person?
Not religious, but spiritual. That means the coming together of all parts; taking brave actions. That means writing, even though it’s a continual challenge. I like the quote from Steven Wright, who wrote a novel about his time in Vietnam, Meditations on Green: “Be primal. Write from beyond what you know.” That quote speaks to how ideas flow out, flow in, flow out. Having finally illustrated Fireseed One, I feel that fusion strongly—that my art and writing are one—thus creating a more fully imagined world. 
JUKO, art by Catherine Stine

Where can people purchase Fireseed, and where can they find you on the web?

Many places!  It's available for Ipad and Iphone, etc. here:


 “Like” Catherine's Fireseed book page!
Goodreads author page:


Catherine Stine said...

Thanks,, Helen!

HelenQP said...

You are most welcome. I was really interested to learn about your visualization process...always good to learn new ways to get into the work.