Jonathan Freisen’s latest book
Aquifer (Blink) tells the story of a
futuristic world where two societies co-exist: one above ground and the other below. Both civilizations have essential
needs in order to thrive, thus creating a power struggle for survival.
YOUR RECENT BOOK IS ABOUT A FUTURISTIC WORLD WHERE WATER EQUALS
TO ITS RARITY. WHERE DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR THIS NOVEL?
I was thinking about those things most precious to me: family,
and faith, and in the physical world, water and light. How long
survive without those needs? Not long. I imagined a world absent of
things I hold most dear. What kind of world would that be? How could
needs be restored to society? I created a thirsty future in which
civilizations developed independent of each other, yet dependent on
other; one on the surface, one deep below the surface. Those below
need light. Parched surface dwellers would need water. There would
be an exchange. And what if that life-giving exchange fell on the
shoulders of a sixteen year old boy? What a terrible weight for one
man to bear. That idea was the genesis of the story.
DID YOU FIND YOURSELF LOOKING TO PLACES ON THE PLANET WHERE WATER
AS VALUABLE AS GOLD IN ORDER TO WRITE THIS BOOK?
As I thought about the setting, I wanted to find regions where giant
underground aquifers truly do exist. One tremendous aquifer, which
scientists believe contains the majority of fresh water on our
stretches beneath Asia and Australia. Australia then became a
choice given the language issue. Ironically, Australia is also the
many gold mines. This made for an interesting paradox: in the
dig and scratch for shiny rocks, which end up in the hands of a few.
not a stretch to imagine a future in which we dig and scratch for
water to sustain us all. Would it also end up controlled by a few?
WATER CHARITIES ARE VERY POPULAR RIGHT NOW. DO YOU SUPPORT ONE
Our family loves the gift magazine put out by Samaritan's Purse,
Graham's organization. My kids always gravitate toward the giving of
animals which in turn sustain poor families. My wife and I tend to
excited about well projects. While on a mission trip to Mali,
saw how a new well became the lifeblood of a village. Those images
clean water means to people who do not have it have stayed with me,
truly animated this book!
YOUR MAIN CHARACTER, LUCA, IS THE HERO FIGURE IN THE BOOK. WHAT IS
ABOUT LUCA THAT WILL CONNECT WITH READERS?
His sense of being Other. In this future world, yes, water is power,
the council which controls the Topper civilization realizes that
water is the currency of the day, passion is the real threat to
control. People who are passionate are difficult to manipulate, and
strong emotion has been bred out of the citizenry. Except for Luca!
the one who must make this terrible exchange is isolating enough.
the only one who feels, who appears to love, to feel rage; this
feel alone in this world. That feeling of loneliness is one of our
universal emotions. We all want to know that people see us, and like
they see! Readers will connect with this ache strongly.
HOW DID WRITING THIS BOOK CHANGE YOU?
It made me realize how deeply I need real relationship. Luca's
find this is, and has been, my own life's struggle. Those precious
my life are now impossible to take for granted!
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOU IN THE FUTURE?
Two exciting new young adult books! Next April, look for Mayday to
with Penguin, and later in the year, keep your eyes peeled for
another Blink title. I'm returning to smaller stories. Sometimes the
profound truths can be found in the simple things, and I'm thrilled
how these two stories about returning home turned out!