‘I walk toward the sea. The endless surface of the water extends to the horizon, whichever way I look.
Our world is small. We are on our own, and we only have ourselves to depend on. We rely on the Force deep within us, as taught to us by our forefathers.
If I were to walk westward from here, I would come across a barrier – the Wall. Behind it, there are Fools. At least, that’s what everyone says.
I have never seen one.’
Leia lives on the Island, a world in which children leave their parents to take care of themselves when they are ten years old. Across this Island runs a wall that no one has ever crossed. The Fools living behind it are not amenable to reason – they believe in illusions. That’s what The Book says, the only thing left to the Eastern Islanders by their ancestors.
But when a strange man washes ashore and Leia meets a Fool face to face, her life will never be the same. Is what she and her friends believe about the Island really true?
Or is everyone in their world, in fact, a Fool?
Interview with the Author: Jen MinkmanThe Island was certainly a very interesting novella, so we're very excited to be interviewing you at Looking for the Panacea, Jen!
To start, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm from the Netherlands, a very small country in Europe with quite an international character! In daily life, I am a teacher of English at a high school in The Hague. I am also a trade-published author of chicklit and paranormal romance in my country, but the books I publish in English (I do the translations myself) are self-published.
For our curious readers, could you describe your novella in three words
Mysterious, intriguing, strange
I'm interested to know, what inspired you to write The Island? And why specifically base certain aspects of it on Star Wars?
I wanted to write about a secluded post-apocalyptic society whose beliefs and values were based on a well-known story. I wanted present-day readers to gradually discover that Leia's world was based on a story that we know to be fictitious but that the Islanders believe to have really happened. I was considering two options: pick a biblical story or pick a story from pop culture. I chose the latter because using stories from the Bible might give some readers the impression that I am mocking religion. I didn't want to do that, so I chose a famous movie with human characters. (I don't think Lord of the Rings would have worked as well in this case, haha!)
Would you ever consider expanding the story of the characters from The Island? I, for one, would love to read about them past the story in The Island!
I am currently working on a sequel/companion novella, but I don't know yet when that will be out. This is a new thing for me, as I never write sequels, so it's pretty exciting!
Now onto some miscellaneous questions! Where in the Star Wars universe would you like to live?
The planet Tatooine! I actually went to the village of Tataouine in Tunisia where they shot the first movie with Ewan McGregor and young 'Anakin'. It was very impressive to walk around on the set :)
Oh no! A zombie apocalypse is on its way! Quick, grab three items that you think will aid you in the coming weeks!
A herbal encyclopedia (so I can look up which plants are edible and which ones have a medicinal use), a knife or other weapon, and some light-weight preserved food.
If you could create any sort of iPad app, what would it be and why?
I have no idea! I don't have an iPad. But if it were in the realm of possibility, I would make a 'Shazam' app for human faces... all too often, I know that I have seen a face before, but I can't put a name to it, so a human facial recognition software would help me with that.
Since our blog is named Looking for the Panacea, would you tell us some of your panacea candidates?
A book that everyone will love: wow! That's difficult! I think The Time Traveler's Wife would make a good candidate (because everybody I know loved it), but I also think Fahrenheit 451 has a good reputation.So I'll go for those two :)