Do You See a Dystopia in America?

Dystopia is all the rage right now. Nearly every day in America, someone refers to a dystopia. From The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu to the current administration in America. A dystopian American society seems closer than ever. Discussion usually becomes a lament that “America is turning into a dystopia.” Do you see a dystopia in America? It’s both in the present and the past. We’ll take a look at a few historical examples, but first… What is Dystopia Dystopia is “an imagined world or society in which people lead wretched, dehumanized, fearful lives.” Merriam Webster Dictionary Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin (1884-1937), a Russian novelist, wrote the first dystopian novel, We. Also a playwright and satirist, he was a “chronic dissenter.” Tsarist censors condemned, arrested and tried Zamyatin. He won an acquittal. He wrote a novel, We, in 1921. His manuscript circulated in Russia but he could not publish it there. An English translation was published in the United States in 1924. The original Russian text was published in New York in 1952. The story tells of a “Single State” where workers live in glass houses and have numbers rather than names. According to Goodreads, the novel is “ a resounding cry for individual freedom.”  […]

Images from the My Soul to Keep Series

Images from My Soul to Keep, my alternate history dystopian novel, represent various bits of research. Enjoy the images or follow the links to learn more. Concept Art For your viewing pleasure these are concept art pieces my husband, Robert W. Burrows, created to inspire me as I wrote My Soul to Keep. (Yes, he’s a keeper!) In an early draft, I described the Fellowship symbol. He used that description to create the image below. The Azrael wear body armor, communications gear, and an assortment of weapons. The Clothes Images of clothing that appears in the novel. Transportation Images from My Soul to Keep include vehicles used in the story. The Doll Finding this doll on the web inspired me to include it in the story. Read more about that here. Developing the Cover Searching for a cover designer was scary and fun at the same time. Here’s an article about how I chose my cover artist. Book In Hand There is nothing so thrilling as holding your book in your hands. Except selling your book…and getting great reviews…and writing the next one…and…having great readers. Want to see more? Take a look at my Pinterest Inspiration board. I hope you’ve […]

Unimpressed to Loving the Blue Ridge Mountains

A soft blue haze enveloped the first mountains I ever saw. They didn’t impress me much. In the distance, they looked like rolling hills. Then came the drive up the mountains, through the mountains, and along the ridge. Each curve, dip, and climb yielded breath-taking vistas of forested mountains, bald knobs, and valleys swathed in the blue haze. I was in grade school during that first trip. I went from unimpressed to loving the Blue Ridge Mountains and that mysterious blue haze. I made many trips to the area as a child. I no longer recall all the details, when and exactly where, but there are moments etched in my memory. Memorable moments include a walk to a gorgeous waterfall, a climb to a rocky knob, and the larger-than-my-sister bear cub that sat three feet behind my little sister who played on the picnic table in the next camping site. Little did I know then that these mountains would become the backdrop and setting for the world of My Soul to Keep. They are integral to the story of Fellowship. World’s Second Oldest The Blue Ridge Mountains formed about 1.1 billion to 250 million years ago. South Africa’s Barberton greenstone […]