Today I’m delighted to welcome S.C. Flynn, who recently released his debut novel, Children of the Different. Children of the Different is a fascinating post-apocalyptic journey, which occurs as much in the mind as in reality.
Q: Please tell us a bit about yourself and your new book Children of the Different.
SCF: I am an Australian/British/Irish/Italian reader and obsessive reviser. I was born in a small town in South West Western Australia, but I have lived in Europe for more than twenty years. First the United Kingdom, then Italy and currently Ireland, the home of my ancestors. That has been a great experience, but also difficult and lonely at times.
My whole life has been fairly multicultural, I guess. The town I grew up in had lots of different nationalities. And there was the Australian Aboriginal culture. When I lived in London, there seemed to be just about every culture in the world! Then I met my Italian wife and lived in Italy, and now I speak fluent Italian. So you never really know what directions life will take you in!
Oh, I have played old jazz and drunk strong coffee all my life. So not much of a morning person, no.
“Children of the Different” is a Young Adult post-apocalyptic fantasy novel set in Western Australia. The story begins twenty years after a brain disease killed almost the entire world’s population. All the survivors had something special about their brains, and now their children go into a coma at the beginning of adolescence and either emerge damaged or with special powers. The novel follows the Changings and later adventures of two telepathic twins, Narrah (a boy) and Arika (a girl).
Q: What was your inspiration for the novel?
SCF: The varied landscape and wildlife of Western Australia, above all. Australia is famous for its weird mammals, but it is above all the continent of insects. From them, I got the idea of adolescents going into a coma, like insects into a cocoon, and then emerging as something completely different. That’s a creepy idea when it is humans that are transformed like that. Once I had that central idea (or it had me), much of the rest followed: the age of the characters, the switch back and forth between the outside world and the coma world (known as The Changeland), as well as the specific sub-genre. Post-apocalyptic stories are common, but ones with fantasy elements are rare, so it was interesting and challenging to work on something that is not often done.
Q: What kind of books do you enjoy reading? What are some of your recent favorites?
SCF: When I was very young I read lots of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Tarzan, Doc Savage, Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov.
People in other countries are often surprised when I say that in school in Australia, we studied quite a bit of classic science fiction and fantasy: Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Ray Bradbury, John Wyndham. I am very grateful for that now.
For quite a while now, I have been reading or re-reading a lot of modern classic science fiction and fantasy. My favourites among those writers include Ursula Le Guin, Guy Gavriel Kay, Jennifer Fallon, Gene Wolfe and Dan Simmons.
James Tiptree Jr’s collection of stories “Her Smoke Rose Up Forever” and “Beggars in Spain” by Nancy Kress have been my favourites in the last few months.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
SCF: Not much music these days, unfortunately! Reading, watching films.
Q: If you were a superhero, what would your power be?
SCF: Like Doctor Strange – mastery of the mystic arts! The first Marvel comic I can remember reading (Defenders #13) introduced me to the doctor. I loved the idea of his “sanctum sanctorum” right from the first moment I saw it and always dreamed of having a space like that myself.
About S.C. Flynn
S. C. Flynn was born in a small town in South West Western Australia. He has lived in Europe for a long time; first the United Kingdom, then Italy and currently Ireland, the home of his ancestors. He still speaks English with an Australian accent, and fluent Italian.
He reads everything, revises his writing obsessively and plays jazz. His wife Claudia shares his passions and always encourages him.
S. C. Flynn has written for as long as he can remember and has worked seriously towards becoming a writer for many years. This path included two periods of being represented by professional literary agents, from whom he learnt a lot about writing, but who were unable to get him published.
He responded by deciding to self-publish his post-apocalyptic fantasy novel, Children of the Different and, together with an American support team, aimed for a book as good as those created by the major publishers.