IN SAVANT, EARTH IS KEPT SAFE BY AN INVISIBILITY SHIELD POWERED BY “ACTIVES”
What’s the world of Savant like?
It’s isn’t very different from our own. I wanted a future Earth, but with a feel of some of the wonderful SF of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.
Tell us a little about your protagonist.
Tobe is an innocent in many ways, part of a system that he doesn’t understand, and in which he’s being exploited for his extraordinary talents. He essentially lives the life of a child. I did some research into savantism and autism to build the character.
Did anything specific inspire the book?
I began by wanting to write about unconditional love. My children were fast growing into adulthood, and I wanted to explore the love of a parent for a child. This theme grew and expanded to encompass society as a whole and the preservation of the rights of the individual.
How long did the novel take to write?
Once I’m invested in a theme and characterisation begins to feel comfortable I write very fast, in a concentrated fashion. It took about six weeks, during which time nothing else got done, including housework!
Is Savant a one-off?
I have plans for a second novel – an accompaniment, set in this universe, but not on this world. I’d really love to write about what’s happening on the other side of Earth’s shield – on the Outside.
Savant is published by Solaris on 4 October.