Welcome to Barren Island Books, an interview show in no way related to a popular music-based radio programme. Every Thursday, I will be exiling my latest guest to a remote island with only five books for company, selected from the categories I give them. It’s up to them to make sure they choose wisely, because they’re going to be stuck with these books for a long, long time …
My interviewee this week is Paige Daniels, author of Non-Compliance: The Sector. When she's not being banished to a desert island, Paige can be found at nerdypaige.com.
Paige, thanks for joining us. First of all, could you please tell us a little bit about yourself – just so we know who it is we’re sending into exile. Illogical fears, unusual birthmarks, whether you’d rather wrestle a bear or punch a shark, that kind of thing.
I’m a part-time writer, half-assed hobby farmer, and full-time mom, wife and engineer. That’s a lot of fractions so I’m pretty tired most of the time. Illogical fears: dusting, I hate dusting. No, really.
Sounds like a completely logical fear to me. And what about your own work? What are the inspirations behind it? What would make someone else choose it to accompany them into exile?
Non-Compliance: The Sector is a fast-paced science fiction cyberpunky tale with a spunky heroine and a colourful cast of characters. Some of the books that inspired my writing were Kim Harrison’s Hallows series (although there are no paranormal elements in my book) and Snow Crash. I also had some inspiration from the small screen – you can see elements from shows such as The A-Team, MacGyver and Chuck. I think people will like it because it is fast paced. There isn’t a lot of fluff in it and I use humour throughout the story.
Great, now let’s move on to the books you’re going to take to the island with you. First up, it’s your favourite childhood book – perhaps the one that got you interested in reading in the first place, or the one you read over and over when you were young. Which will you choose, and why?
When I was a kid my mom would always read us stuff like The Hobbit, A Wrinkle in Time, or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. However, the one book I remember reading through myself that really got me into science fiction and fantasy was Terry Brooks’s Sword of Shannara – I was totally hooked after that. I literally read it until it fell apart. I don’t think I could ever get tired of it.
Next, the book that made the greatest impact on your life. This could be one that inspired you to become a writer, or one that made you look at the world in a whole new way – maybe even one that resulted in real-life romance or adventure.
Ooh, good question. My deep and dark secret is that I never set out to be a writer – I mostly did it because there was nothing good on TV and I had a story floating around my head that I thought I would give a shot. So a book that made a big impact in my life was probably Asimov’s I, Robot. One of the main characters throughout the different stories was Doctor Susan Calvin the robopsychologist. As a woman interested in science I found there weren’t many characters like that in fiction. Even though her character didn’t have the most personality I thought she was totally cool.
For your third book – and you’re probably going to need this one, all alone on a remote island – I’d like you to choose your greatest comfort read. You know, the one you turn to when you’re sad or ill or just need a little pick-me-up.
I’ve recently discovered the wonderful world of Gini Koch and her Alien series, starting with Touched by an Alien. It is action packed, laugh-out-loud funny, and sexy. If I was on a desert island, this is definitely a book that would make me forget for awhile that all I had to eat was coconut and my only friend was a volleyball named Wilson.
Fourthly, it’s your unexpected treasure: a book you didn’t expect to like but did, maybe one outside your usual genre or that you picked up with low expectations but were pleasantly surprised …
That would probably be The Help by Kathryn Stockett. As you can see by my other choices, I read lots of science fiction and fantasy, but I’m not prejudiced – I say a good story is a good story. I heard a lot about The Help and decided to give it a try and I really liked it. Great characters and I loved the different voices the author used.
And finally, I’d like you to choose your instant classic – the book you think most deserves to be read and reread by future generations. It’s up to you whether this book is already considered a classic or is something more obscure.
Since I’m a sci-fi nerd I’m going to stay in that theme and say Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. It is probably one of the most original books I’ve read and for a sci-fi nerd it is a must-read.
Right. We’ll get those five books packaged up ready for your journey. Since we’re not completely heartless here at Barren Island Books, we’ll also let you take one song/piece of music, one film and one other item of your choice into exile with you …
One piece of music: that is tough because I love music – it gets me through the day – but I guess I would choose Vivaldi’s Winter, because I’ll probably want to remember cooler weather.
My one film would be Serenity so that I can ogle Adam Baldwin.
One item to take would be an iPad with an extra long battery life so that I can watch and listen to a bunch of stuff hee hee hee.
Oooh, sneaky, but I guess we'll let you get away with it! Now, before we whisk you away, you have one last decision to make: where you want your remote island to be located. You can choose anywhere you like for your exile, in this world or another.
Anywhere warm with a source of fresh water – I definitely do not want to be exiled to some Arctic wasteland.
That’s it, then – you’re ready to go. Thank you for joining us, and enjoy your trip!
Thanks, I had a lot of fun!!!
If you are an author and would like to take part in a future edition of Barren Island Books, please get in touch with me via the Contact page.