What inspired your idea for the book? 

There were two driving factors behind my writing Blue, 1st being the BLM protests in 2020 and the 2nd being the work done by Jane Elliot, who I think is one of the greatest minds in America. The protests following the deaths of Geroge Flloyd and Breonna Taylor exposed the horrific undercurrent of racism permeating North American culture. In my research surrounding white supremacy, violence against minorities, and the effects of intergenerational trauma, I discovered her blue-eye/brown-eye experiments from the 60s and 70s. Her idea to put people in the shoes of ignorance to create empathy and education inspired me to imagine a world where division based on the colour of one’s eyes was reality and the lived experience of blue-eyed people across North America.

What was your favourite chapter to write vs to read? 

A few chapters were more complex, like The Southern Raiders or Sunbeams, but some chapters flowed out of me, like The Man in a Suit and Tie. At the end of the day, most of the chapters were equally spectacular to write. I think it depended more on my mood at the time and whether I was…willing or even receptive enough to put myself in Wolfe’s shoes and really feel how he was feeling. As for reading, my favourite is The Metropolis. 

What is your favourite thing about writing?

It’s so much more than the act of writing for me. I think it’s all about the story. I’ve played out many, many, many made-up scenarios in my head since I was a kid. The only difference now is that I’ve managed to write it down on paper, so everyone else gets to join me on this adventure. As for the writing itself, there is nothing better than watching all these different characters, plot pacing, ideas, settings, meanings, etc…come out of this…primordial goop when you first start and pan out into a beautiful story where everything has it’s place. It’s almost like magic.

What does “writers block” mean to you? 

In my personal opinion, I don’t think ‘writer’s block’ or ‘the muse’ or ‘divine inspiration is the driving force behind a book. As a matter of fact, I know it isn’t. If I waited to write every time inspiration struck, I’d be 2 or 3 chapters in, and Blue would never be finished. In the middle of writing Blue, there were times I felt unmotivated, defeated, and tired of everything I’d written. The word perseverance comes to mind when I think of the term ‘writer’s block.’

What are the most essential elements of writing?

You have to ask yourself a million questions. Like…a million questions. Really. You also must find a balance between building your world, advancing the plot, and tying in your novel’s meaning. Ask yourself the questions everyone else is going to be asking themselves. Does this make sense? Would this be the case if that was true? Would he know they’re lying? And so forth. It makes a world of difference.

What is a significant way the book has changed since the first draft? 

Blue has been through 17 separate iterations. Fun fact: Originally, Blue started with a 12-year-old girl in the sweltering fields of Indonesia. One of the most amazing things about being an author is knowing all the million other tidbits about Wolfe and the characters that had to be cut. Even looking back, the 1st iteration is an entirely separate book. No one will ever know who The Woman was. There was a scene where Wolfe infiltrated a BESNA community centre dressed as an officer. Scott and Wolfe got married. And so, so much more that is only in my brain now. 

What are your plans after Blue? 

I’m currently working on two novels, one being 273 Days and the other being The Homesteaders. I can’t share much about 273 Days. Still, I can tell you that The Homesteaders is a horror novel set in the late 1920s and early 1930s as a family of German immigrants homesteading on the Canadian prairies begin to experience a host of horrific experiences. It’s a dark, twisted, macabre, and fiendishly creepy book, imbued with a very Miguel A. Fenrichish strong message about society.

What about a sequel to Blue?

I don’t think Wolfe’s story is over, and I always have future plot lines and ideas floating around in my brain, but if there is a sequel, it’s years and years out. I’m going to focus on the novels that I think give more to the current conversation and return to Wolfe’s story when the timing is right. I want to let the reality of Wolfe’s life settle before bringing more to the discussion.

What advice would you give to budding authors? 

Write. Write. Write. Write when you’re tired, when you’re happy, busy, bored, and everything else in-between. Set a lofty goal of 1500-2500 words daily and hit it every single day. It doesn’t matter if you write the most horrific nonsense; you’ll look back on it in a better light. So write whenever you can, as often as possible, and make it a habit. Inspiration will strike, but don’t wait for it to come; seek it out.

What excites you most about the future? 

The possibility. The world is my oyster, and there are so many people I can touch and lives I can change with my stories. In the future, I’d love to help other people make the jump from writer to author. Of the thousands of different scenarios I can imagine, all of them are more exciting than the last, and I can’t wait to share them with everyone.

And lastly, how do you hope Blue will resonate with people?

I hope they’re equally horrified and ready to put apathy behind them. We as a society have so much work to do, so many things we can save, help, and rebuild, and we genuinely have to mean Never Again. Hate crimes, racism, white supremacy, facist rhetoric, anti-Semitic tendencies, colourism, and domestic terrorism are rising. Our modern society is at a crossroads, and we, at some point, will have to choose if we’re okay with dehumanizing entire groups of the population again. Maybe next time, it won’t be Jewish people, Africans, or the LGBTQIA+ community, but blue-eyed people, black-haired people, or people over 6 feet tall instead. Are we going to allow this again? I hope people take Blue as the huge, poignant warning it is.