Bonnie Calhoun is inviting readers into an alternate existence—one where the world as we know it is over. Life looks very different since The Sorrow, a series of apocalyptic events, which changed life forever. Our journey into this new and different world begins 150 years after the destruction of the United States. We see the world through Bonnie’s main character, Selah.
If someone isn’t familiar with the series or the world in which it exists, can you summarize it for readers?
Our story starts 150 years after the Sorrows. The Sorrows was the name given to a series of catastrophic occurrences that came together in the United States, over the space of one week, to create the dystopian world you will be traveling through.
Back in the days of Sorrow, the favorite saying was, “God created the world in seven days but it only took man five days to destroy it.” A miscalculated suitcase nuke in Washington D.C. begins the cascade, causing an earthquake in the Canary Islands which creates a 70-foot tidal wave that wipes out the East Coast of the U.S. The ensuing assault to the coast created an earthquake that dropped California into the ocean and stirred the super volcano in Yellowstone to erupt and take out four states, covering two-thirds of the country in 20 feet of ash.
Everything, including technology and infrastructure, is lost and only a sliver of the East Coast survives the devastation … and now odd strangers keep arriving from the sea.
This is where you, the reader, come into the life of Selah, a young woman about to be sold off into marriage with a man she hadn’t seen since childhood. Her act of defiance propels her headlong on a strange journey that could end in her death.
Your third full-length book in the Stone Braide Chronicles is releasing in November. Can you tell us where this novel will plant us in the story line?
This final saga of the series takes you to the moon. Well, not literally to the moon, but to the gray, ash-covered, and barren world on the other side of the Appalachian Mountains that has been inaccessible for 150 years. With the aid of magnetic storms, this new world blossoms into a place where ancient and future technologies collide in an attempt to thwart Selah’s future with the Third Protocol.
Finish this sentence. Readers who like _____ will love Stone Braide Chronicles.
Readers who love Hunger Games or the Divergent series will love Stone Braide Chronicles.
What authors and stories inspired you while writing this series?
When I’m writing, I don’t read other authors to avoid unconscious similarities to their works. But there are a lot of authors whose great works inspire me to labor at finding the “new story.” When I’ve read a really good story I think, “What can I write that would top that?” I’m always trying to go to the next level of storytelling … to come up with that new story. I do give MAJOR kudos to the news! I am inspired daily by the world our Lord has given us, by the crazy stirring of natural disasters, by breakthroughs in science and nano-technology. Everything inspires me to create futuristic stories that may someday come true!
How many more books do you think you will write in the Chronicles?
Surge and Storm are the last two stories in this series. Surge is the FREE digital short story that you should read between the books Lightning and Storm. It came out in August and can be downloaded FREE from your favorite online retailer. It will tell you what happens in the days between those two books, and give you another unexpected piece of the puzzle. (Actually, each of the free digital short stories—Tremors, Aftershock, and Surge—gives you another piece of the puzzle.)
What sort of age range does this series appeal to?
The Stone Braide Chronicles were written for a young adult audience because of the struggles and subject matter, but they will appeal to teens through adults. The teens in this series are facing real-life adult struggles, so the writing needs to be mature and reasonable for the situations. Therefore it is also interesting to adults.
How have your characters grown and changed throughout the series?
The character arc for both Selah and Bodhi brings them from immaturity to adulthood. Selah begins as a headstrong young woman whose biggest worry starts out with her being promised in marriage to a total stranger and ends up with her fighting to save her family and her own life. Bodhi’s obvious maturity has only served to give him a longer time to become self-centered and non-committal … until he meets Selah.