Today I'm interviewing Dawn Jackson, published author of four erotica shorts with Ravenous Romance but a SFR writer at heart, and one of my IPs (Indispensable Peers).
Dawn is posting her serialized free novel CLONE on our Take it the the Stars blog. The introduction, prologue, and chapter one (in two parts) is currently up. Here's a shortcut to the posts.
This dark Science Fiction/Futuristic is one of my favorites of Dawn's many projects. Here's a mini-interview with Dawn about why she decided to share CLONE with our blog readers.
Q: Being a big fan of the CLONE wip, I was very surprised when you began posting the story on the Take it to the Stars blog. Why did you decide to offer it as a free novel on the internet?
A: Clone is probably my darkest story. Finding a home for it, I think would have been nearly impossible. Still, I wanted to share it. It contains a lot of unrestrained feelings. It's me uncensored and raw. I'll make no apologies, ugly things happen. When I started it, I told myself no rules. I wasn’t going to worry about offending or making someone uneasy. I hope it will grab the readers emotionally the way it did me when I wrote it. Eva is an anti-heroine, who if I’m successful, the readers will both love and hate. Clone allowed me to say and write what I needed to, to be able to tell this story the way it should be. I let myself lose on the ugly side of human nature and I didn’t cover anything up. Because of that, it would be a hard, hard sell. It doesn’t have fuzzy bunnies and fluffy kittens and the ending is the only one I could justify. You'll have to follow along with me to find out what I mean.
Q: Can you explain a little about the characters, premise and/or world-building in CLONE?
A: There are two major players in Clone. Eva, who is a clone, escaped from her keeper and Dante, who befriends her when she reaches the UR. After a great war, the earth is divided into two sides. Europia and the United Regions. Throughout the story I hope the reader will question if Dante is as he appears. I wanted to get into Eva’s head so this story is in first person. I wanted to portray her with realism and that realism might include delusions, anger and paranoia. She’s never been loved or treated with kindness, had a family or belongings of her own. She’s been beaten as a child, raped multiple times as a young woman and her babies were aborted for their stem cells. Blood, tissue and organs have been harvested from her countless times. She’s suffered horrific abuse and it leads to who she becomes. As I wrote her I had to ask myself several questions. Is she capable of love? Could she trust after suffering abuse her entire life? I tried to put myself in her shoes, when I did, I realized her views of Dante would not always be sweet, and sometimes you might think this girl just isn’t sane. Would you be? So I wrote her as I felt she would be. At times she’s cold and unfeeling. Now take someone like this and give them power. That’s Eva.
World-building. Pretty simple. Post WWW III. In Europia they started cloning to save themselves from extinction, but soon realized that not only could the clones save their lives, they could be used for labor and to build a greater empire. Soldiers, workers, child-bearers and organ donors, the clones served multiple purposes and were nothing more than human livestock and were treated as such. Escaped clones would flee to the UR, a place that accepted them into society and didn’t condone the slavery. Eva escapes, only to be caught up in a plot to overthrow the Europian government and replace her keeper, the Europian First Lady, Anna. She ends up back in Europian and for the first time in her life she has power. A massive amount of power.
Q: What inspired the story idea? Does the story carry a message?
A: What happens when man plays god? Does it give him the right to the lives of those created through cloning? Are clones the property of the human whose DNA was donated? My story has parallels to Nazi Germany. You might have caught that in the prologue and with Eva's name. Also, I wanted to make readers think what if? What if, man started cloning for the sole purpose of creating humans for organs compatible to the host or host’s family? What laws would govern clones and their creation? Would they have rights? Could we harvest their organs if they did? Could they feasibly be used for other purposes?
Human cloning has been ethically questioned for a reason. Think about it. People have had babies to save another child from cancer. Would they, could they use clones for the same purpose? For what other purpose would man need to clone? To resurrect genius? I feel it is our environment and experiences that shapes us into who we become, and cloning a genius is not a guarantee you’ll get the same. If not for genius, what other reasons? If war corrupted our environment, caused cancers, disease, the inability to reproduce normally and mankind faced extinction, would we employ something like this to save ourselves? Our loved ones? Is it ethical?
Ethical or not, somewhere, sometime, someone is going to do it and you have to wonder the outcome of such a monumental choice.
Q: Do you consider CLONE a SFR? If not, how would you classify it in terms of genre/s?
A: This one is hard to classify. It is a love story, but it’s also a tragedy. The science isn’t about space ships or alien worlds, but a possible future we could feasibly face if we break the laws of nature. It’s a story of “what if.”
Q: How would you rate the heat factor for CLONE?
A: This is mild heat. I’m hitting the reader with plenty of other questionable things, so I felt I needed to keep something tame.
Thank you, Dawn, for taking the time to answer a few questions for those who are curious about CLONE. I hope readers will enjoy this dark, thought-provoking SF/Futuristic as much as I did.