Josephine Lamont's new work-in-progress brings forward the worst case scenario- a drought that turns a democratic nation into a futuristic dictatorship.
The new YA, dystopian novel will introduce a future where a once democratic nation becomes a ruthless dictatorship as a result of a drought. Josephine Lamont shared that her inspiration came from the current drought conditions in the state of California, where several lakes are dangerously low and many cities have had to enforce water rationing.
“My father was born in Cuba and lived to see the country decimated by extreme socialist policies put in place by Fidel Castro during his dictatorship. The horrors that the Cuban people endured also gave me some ideas of what would happen to Telvia.”
Drought conditions in California have led to an increase in severe wildfires, burning over 2,569,000 acres across the state in 2021 alone. Many lakes are largely depleted, filled only to a fraction of their full capacity. Lake Oroville in northern California, for example, is only 39% full, exposing dry, desert-like banks, while Big Bear Lake in southern California is only 55 ft deep, 16 ft under its full capacity.
YA Dystopian Novel Takes Us into a Drought Stricken Future
After camping with her family in Big Bear, California, Lamont witnessed how low Big Bear Lake was, seeing 800 acres of the lake floor exposed due to low water levels. The experience caused Lamont to question what would happen to the state if the drought was to continue? What would happen if the drought not only impacted California, but the nation at large?
Lamont also shared that the drought was not the only thing that provided inspiration to her new novel. "My father was born in Cuba and lived to see the country decimated by extreme socialist policies put in place by Fidel Castro during his dictatorship. The horrors that the Cuban people endured also gave me some ideas of what would happen to Telvia," she revealed.
The novel stars a female hero, Mara, whose father is the dreaded dictator of Telvia, a land stricken by drought and forced into a totalitarian government and a caste system as a result. A rebellion rises to help free the people of Telvia, and Mara is thrown into the middle of the fray when she is kidnapped by rebels and forced to choose between her family and the freedom of the Telvian people.
"Of course there's a love triangle in this whole thing. I wouldn't dream of writing a YA novel without it," Lamont added. She also shared that, currently, The Dissenter Saga is shaping up to be a 2-book series, but Lamont expressed that there might be a third book in the works, giving readers a trilogy. "I don't want to give too much away, but I'm very excited to share this world with readers. A future where socialism goes horribly wrong and fear, driven by climate change, leads us into a world where some old, nasty habits, like slavery and corporal punishment, come back to bite us in the butt. That gives me lots of material to work with."
Lamont is aiming for Dissent, the first installment in The Dissenter Saga, to be released in early 2023.