BBB: What inspired you to become a writer?
SS: I’ve always been a writer. Even when I was a little kid I liked to write stories and tell stories. In high school I wrote a lot in journals, but I also contributed stories and poems to the school’s creative writing publication. I started my first novel about six years ago and it is still not finished because when I thought of Seed Savers I just had to write it down! (And I was working full-time as a teacher). I am no longer teaching and am really enjoying being an author!
BBB: How did you come up with the idea for your book series, Seed Savers?
SS: It was from watching the documentary Food, Inc. The part about seeds being owned and patented. About seed cleaners losing their occupations because they wouldn’t be needed anymore. It got me thinking about where things might be headed if people no longer could save seeds. The big What If? Would the very concept of seeds, themselves, be forgotten?
SS: Sure. In book one Treasure, we meet the main characters Clare and Lily (age twelve), Dante (age 7), and Ana (age 80+). The children have no idea about what real food is or where it comes from because in this future U.S. all food is super-processed and gardening has long since been outlawed. Ana, however, remembers and has been saving seed. She begins teaching the children about food and gardening until the government agency GRIM is seen lurking around. After Clare and Dante’s mom is arrested for the tomato plant the children have secretly been growing, they take off and look for help among Seed Savers. The second half of the book details their journey.
SS: Heirloom is the best of both worlds. The chapters switch back and forth between Clare and Dante’s story (told in third person POV) and Lily’s story (first person). Both parts of Heirloom continue the gardening theme with topics such as edible weeds, hydroponics, and seed banks, as well as the food politics theme. While the Clare and Dante chapters are short and gentle, the Lily chapters see more action and adventure as she travels cross-country in search of her father. As the name implies, Heirloom is about our connections to the past. While Lily connects with her own family’s past, Clare and Dante reconnect to their forgotten cultural past.
BBB: What do you think readers will find most appealing about Heirloom?
SS: It really depends on the reader. Some of the ‘tweeners might like the adventure and light romance. Some of the adults might be more drawn to the gardening and the politics. I like to think of it as Little House on the Prairie meets Fahrenheit 451. Heirloom is a fun and interesting book that takes on important issues of our time
SS: Oh yes. And I need to get started. I only have about one page written! There are already people after me to get it done. :) I’m pretty sure the title is going to be Keeper. That’s what I’ve been telling people, anyway.
You can find out more about S. Smith and the Seed Savers Series by visiting authorssmith.com.
The Seed Savers Series is available for purchase on Amazon.
View the Seed Savers Blog Tour Schedule by visiting authorssmith.com/2013/11/14/seed-savers-heirloom-book-blog-tour.