This next guest post is from Michael Poeltl, author of the apocalyptic book series The Judas Syndrome Trilogy and more recently, a picture book called An Angry Earth. These guest posts are even more fascinating than I anticipated as we get to see why some writers choose to write about the end of the world and what comes after. It turns out Michael Poeltl’s motivations are essentially altruistic as he seeks to use his fiction as a learning tool for change. Read for yourself below. Enjoy!
Why a Picture Book about the Apocalypse? It all began a long time ago…
In 1999 I had just completed my first novel. It was nowhere near polished enough to be published, but it was finished in that unedited, unformatted way that most unrepresented author’s works end up. It was a book about an Apocalyptic event which took a group of teens out of their comfortable summer vacations and into survival mode after a nuclear war erupted around them. That book was professionally edited and self published in 2009, and was well received by indie-readers, which stirred enough confidence in me that two more books in the same, evolving storyline, soon created a trilogy – The Judas Syndrome.
This was my first foyer into writing at the novel level, and as The Judas Syndrome went on to win awards and accolades, its successes prompted me to continue the writing and self publishing journey.
Apocalyptic books took a back seat to experimenting with other genres until the summer of 2016, when a story emerged during a bedtime reading to my six-year-old daughter. Eyes too tired to read another page from her children’s books, I turned out the light and this story about environmental awareness popped into my head. I went on about how the earth rumbled and the sky fell and the water rose and all because of the damage we were doing to the planet. When she was asleep I sat down and wrote what had poured out of me and thought; ‘there’s a book in there somewhere’. As it turned out, it was to be a picture book.
It’s a tell it like it is story which includes dark pen and ink illustrations to help visualize the story. I wanted to make sure people take away the vision I had for the book. Be scared. Be very scared that our world could end up like the one in the book. Do something about it. Stop the apocalypse before it becomes unstoppable.
I’m marketing An Angry Earth to adults and parents rather then to children, leaving it up to them whether they want to share the potential of a dark future with their children. I will be sharing it with my daughter. I think it’s important to teach consequence where their actions or inactions effect the health of their environment and their very lives.
Being a picture book, it makes sense to want it in print format, which is available and recommended, but I have also made it available as a Kindle for those who are done with printed volumes.