After falling in love with Eliza Green’s Feeder I was absolutely burning with questions! Thankfully, Eliza agreed to answer a few of them for me.
You’ve tried a lot of different jobs. Why did you become a writer?
I was looking for something creative to do, so that’s where the massage course came about. The ghost hunting was purely for fun and the fashion designing was when I was still trying to figure out life at nineteen! I hadn’t planned on becoming a writer, in fact in my old job I had to do a lot of minute taking at meetings. It was pure torture typing them up and because of that I never considered it something I’d like to do.
I was reading a sparkly vampire book (you know the one) and I was sitting there wishing I could change aspects of the story. It was around Easter time, and I had some time off work. I got out my laptop and started on a story I had in my head. I found I really enjoyed the creative process. It was so different to the minute taking, which was monotonous at best. It took me years to learn the craft after that, but the bug got me from that moment.
What was your inspiration for the challenges on each floor of Arcis, and how did you decide on the nine driving principles (structure, pressure, altruism, problem solving, class structure, competition, humility, information, skills)?
In my mind I had this place where you compete through nine floors. On each of them you learn something different. I wanted to look at what it is we’re taught about life, what lessons we must face to become well-rounded individuals. The idea seemed to fit better with a teenage perspective. Our teenage years are the most volatile because of all the hormones floating around inside us. We learn some things. We give up on others. I wanted to create a place where the principles drive action. How people act depends on their personality, their life experiences thus far. The nine principles are what make up our education system. Except in this place where Anya and Dom are, there are consequences if you choose one way over another.
I also look at society as it is now, take what’s good about it, what’s bad, what’s interesting. I try to draw out a strand of an idea, apply a what-if scenario to it, and see if it leads anywhere.
On the fourth floor (class structure) the girls are forced into choosing to serve the boys in order to survive, while the boys are tempted into tyrannizing the girls in order to progress; this floor seemed particularly allegorical. What was the main lesson you hoped the reader would learn?
That no matter how dire the choice appears to be, you still have a choice. Some were eager to get off the floor, so they took the easiest route, or the hardest, depending on whether you were a boy or a girl. But there were safer choices. Desperation and feeling out of control drove some to force situations that didn’t need to happen.
Can you tell us about your next project?
Next in this world are two stories. The first is from Dom’s point of view. We learn more about what drives him, what makes him weak and why he and Sheila are such good friends.
And another from Warren. We catch up with him in Arcis and uncover a little of what happens after Feeder ends.
I’m also writing Breeder, Book 2 in the Feeder series. It will be set in Praesidium where Carissa lives.