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My Interview with Alice N. York
Alice N. York, author of Game – Faint Signals, was kind enough to answer some questions for me. In this article, I share the first of the questions and her answers with you.
1) On the papers that I received with the book, it says that this is your first published novel. Has publishing a novel always been one of your dreams?
No, I wouldn't say that publishing a novel has always been a dream. To be honest, I didn't like writing essays, etc. in school at all. But over the past 10 years I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about writing a book. Life and in particular, business life, presents you with so many little stories and curious situations. Friends that were working in different fields (e.g. sports club, community office etc) or friends that were “home with kids” and did not travel or have to deal with different kind of cultures / people were always interested in these stories. Then several things happened in my life that finally presented me with the opportunity to write a book.
2) One of the projects talked about is using robots in a greenhouse to grow organic vegetables even in unfriendly arctic conditions. Does this technology and the others that you wrote about really exist?
A lot of the technologies described do exist in parts, but at the time I wrote the book, they did not exist in the combined way I described them (at least not to my knowledge).
For example, the greenhouse using robots to grow organic vegetables does exist. But as far as I was aware (and as far as my research showed) it was not used together with solar cells in arctic conditions. As my research means are limited to public knowledge and what´s available on the market now, however, I couldn’t say for sure that nobody’s been secretly working on an application like this. Gesture based controls for vehicles do exist and are already being developed.
This was a fun part of writing the book as I scanned for new technologies that excite me and combined them with something else that sounded realistic or useful to me.
3) The way that Alex was treated at work really made me angry. What response do you want people to have to what she was made to endure from those she worked with?
Answering this question taps also into questions 6 and 7: The primary focus of this book is not to achieve a specific reaction from the reader. In fact, its intention is more to give the readers the possibility to follow Alex’s story from a bird’s eye view and then make up their mind if they would have done the same as her, or felt the same. They can be the grand jury, sparking up discussion.
Alex is certainly not the only person to have gone through a situation like this. There are so many other people who have experienced something similar. People in a situation like Alex’s often have a hard time talking about it. Openly admitting to having been in a similar situation might make others judge them as weak (they can’t handle it). The person affected starts questioning even the most minor comments or reactions, and this in turn has a major impact on their self-esteem.
This book could serve as a vehicle for discussing such things. One could deflect the problem on to Alex, using her as a sort of replacement character. My experience is that talking about a problem that another person has is much easier, as reactions can´t offend the person who has that problem because officially it´s not theirs.
What’s important to me is that the response is an honest and heartfelt one, no matter the outcome. I wouldn't want to say that Alex represents the “know it all” character, as every person is different and would handle things differently.
The reactions we got in Germany, for example, were like the two sides of a magnet. Some felt exactly the way you described – they were angry, had a hard time believing that something like this could actually happen. They also loved the book because of the insights it gives behind the scenes, making them somehow a part of it all, and taking them to fascinating places they would normally never go. Equally, others dismissed the book as “half-assed” wannabe management knowledge that kids the reader with its ending. So they couldn't take the story seriously and they couldn’t imagine something like this happening (to them). One reader even stated that she was fascinated by the book. It made her happy as it confirmed for her that working in a small family owned company rather than a large corporation was the right decision for her. The book gave her the chance to see things from another point of view.
If you would like to purchase your own copy to read and enjoy, for your convenience I have provided an Amazon link below.
Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Binion. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lisa Binion. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Lisa Binion for details.
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