As you all know, I love reading other blogs, and I recently came across Author S. Smith: of the Seed Savers Series. As well as being an author, S. Smith is in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and an OSU Master Gardener. So I asked her to guest blog, and here it is: Welcome, S. Smith!
The great thing about my books—the Seed Savers series—is that there are many strands, many possible themes. Before I explore some of these, a brief summary is needed. Seed Savers will consist of five books: Treasure (book 1), Lily (book 2), Heirloom (book 3), Keeper (book 4), and Harvest (book 5), the first three of which are currently available. The series is geared toward the middle grades, but the plot and writing are interesting enough for adults as well. Seed Savers is set in a not-too-distant future where (in the USA) gardening is against the law, and food has been reduced to five overly-processed food groups known only as Vitees, Protein, Snacks, Carbos, and Sweeties. In this future, our main characters Clare, Dante, and Lily find out about real food and try to make a change.
Obviously, gardening is one of the major themes of the series. If the books seem to “teach” anything, it’s about how to grow food. A second theme is self-actualization. Because Lily and Clare are twelve when the series begins, we get to watch them grow and discover who they are and who they can be. This is a really wonderful age to write about. I spent the better part of the past ten years teaching in middle school and it’s why I wrote the book for this age group. As awkward as this age sometimes is, it’s also a wonderful time in terms of the kids coming into their own sense of being.
Also enjoyed by my readers (probably the older ones), are the political overtones of Seed Savers. Every day it seems we hear more and more about GMOs or about corporations in cahoots with the government, government spying through computers or drones, etc. This has always been a thread in the books and particularly in Heirloom, we learn the history of how the United States went from where it is today to the loss of freedoms evidenced in Seed Savers.
When I first started writing Seed Savers it was all about the food. I love good food. So I grow it myself, cook it myself; I know where it’s been and what is in it. But as the series continues, my favorite part has become the characters. In both Treasure and Heirloom some of the characters are on a journey. This lends itself to the reader meeting a lot of “side characters” along the way. As a writer, I’m more of a pantser than a plotter so I never know who might be walking down the street, slowing in the car behind you, or waiting to answer the door. I have to say I really like the characters in my books and I would love to have more of a dialogue with my fans about the various characters, both main and secondary.
I would be remiss if I ended without mentioning the slight romance in the books. Especially in Heirloom.
So what is Seed Savers: Heirloom about? Why should you read it? Some people would say you should read it because the kid across the street doesn’t know that carrots grow underground. Older readers might enjoy the nostalgia of growing up on the farm, reminiscent of Little House on the Prairie. Maybe the kids like the adventure, the romance, or the futuristic “what if.” I like it because of all those things combined. It’s a fun book. It’s an interesting book. And it speaks to some important issues of our time.
Oh, and it has short chapters. I like short chapters.
Thanks for letting me post on your blog today!
Thank you for guest blogging, S. Smith!