INTERVIEW WITH SIGMUND:
1.Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Author background: With close to three million books in print, Canadian Sigmund Brouwer is a novelist and children's book author. Over the last ten years, he has given writing workshops to students across Canada and the United States, ranging from schools north of the Arctic Circle to inner city Los Angeles. One of his latest novels, The Last Disciple , appeared in Time magazine and earned him a recent appearance on ABC's Good Morning America. His books for children include Rebel Glory, part of the Lightning On Ice hockey series.
2. How did you know you wanted to be a writer, have you always had the desire or did it come later?
I remember attempting to write my first book when I was ten years old, so it must have always been there. I sent my first story out for publication when I was 20, but it took seven years and dozens of attempts for my first published story, and another three years to get my first book in print, a mystery written for children, in a series that would become the Accidental Detectives.
3. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?
A professional golfer!
4. What was your motivation for writing Broken Angel?
Broken Angel is a story about government agents chasing a fugitive on the run – the genetically-altered young woman named Caitlyn – and her two companions. It takes place around seventy years from now in Appalachia. The government of Appalachia is an offshoot of the conservative religious movement and the story examines what happens if you take the shaping a nation through religion and politics in one extreme direction. In short, the novel is a suspense thriller in a setting that prompts questions about the politicization of Christian faith. It disturbs me that religious groups -- Christian or not -- try to tell people what to believe. Jesus did not do that.
5. How do you come up with the characters for your books and are they modeled on people you know?
I have no idea where the characters come from! But the characters were there before the concept. Once I knew who Caitlyn and Jordan were, and what had happened to Caitlyn before her birth and how Jordan had been responsible, I began to wonder when and where they would be fugitives. That lead to Appalachia, a state run by literalist, controlling fundamentalists.
6. What would you like Readers to take out of this book?
Well, the main theme behind the book really is “freedom to believe.” That’s the basis for Caitlyn’s story. I argue indirectly through the novel about the critical importance of the separation between church and state. Once, during the writing of the novel, my wife, Cindy, challenged me on this. She asked what would be wrong with allowing a teacher to talk to kids about his Christian faith in a public school setting. I asked in return if she would resent a Muslim teacher doing the same with our seven-year-old sitting in the classroom. Without arguing for or against the merits of either religion, I hope my question to her highlighted a need for that separation. I read recently that a federal judge had blocked a Missouri public school from distributing Gideon Bibles to fifth-graders. My immediate reaction, as a Christian, was anger. But then I asked myself how I’d feel if the Koran had been distributed instead. I think America’s founding fathers understood that when you don’t separate church and state the end result may well lead to country ruled like Iran. You can argue all you want the truth behind our Christian faith, but when politicized and with misguided leadership it’s just too easy for a religion to disintegrate into a power structure. You don’t have to look any farther than the Inquisition to understand this.
(It has really made me think about several issues and I could see them becoming real if we don't act now)
7. Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
A sequel to Broken Angel. It ends, I hope, in a satisfying way for readers. But I’d really like to find out what Caitlyn does with the knowledge that she escapes with.
9. Do you have any final thoughts for us?
Broken Angel uses genetics as a base for the story. Everything I’ve read and understand about the direction that genetic experiments are taking suggests this branch of science is growing faster every day. And it’s apparent that science even today can go far beyond the moral boundaries imposed by the government. Once again, this goes back to the potential impact I believe mixing politics and religion could have in a future society. This theme is actually based on something I think we’re seeing today. I believe that because certain fundamentalist groups are so determined to make statements of condemnation about so many things done in areas of science, education, and finance, that they condemnation is starting to lose its effectiveness. It’s the ‘cry wolf’ syndrome. Eventually, these protests will come to be seen as little more than knee-jerk reactions and serious thinkers will dismiss them as meaningless. Fictionally, I wondered if in twenty or thirty years, wolf will have been cried so often that the ability to effectively protest any genetic experiments on humans will be lost.
Finally thank you so much for agreeing to this interview and sharing your time with us. This book would be one of the most thought provoking books I have read this year.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Her birth was shrouded in mystery and tragedy.
Her destiny is beyond comprehension.
Her pursuers long to see her broken.
She fights to soar.
A father's love for his daughter…a decision that would change both their lives forever. But who is she really─and why must she now run for her life?
Caitlin's body has made her an outcast, a freak, and the target of vicious bounty hunters. As she begins a perilous journey, she is forced to seek answers for her father's betrayal in the only things she can carry with her─a letter he passes her before forcing her to run, and their shared memories together.
Being hunted forces Caitlyn to partner with two equally lonely companions, one longing to escape the horror of factory life in Appalachia and the others, an unexpected fugitive. Together the three will fight to reach a mysterious group that might be friend or foe, where Caitlyn hopes to uncover the secrets of her past...and the destiny she must fulfill.
In the rough, shadowy hills of Appalachia, a nation carved from the United States following years of government infighting, Caitlyn and her companions are the prey in a terrifying hunt. They must outwit the relentless bounty hunters, skirt an oppressive, ever-watchful society, and find passage over the walls of Appalachia to reveal the dark secrets behind Caitlyn’s existence–and understand her father’s betrayal.
Prepare yourself to experience a chilling America of the very near future, as you discover the unforgettable secret of the Broken Angel.
In this engrossing, lightning-paced story with a post-apocalyptic edge, best-selling author Sigmund Brouwer weaves a heroic, harrowing journey through the path of a treacherous culture only one or two steps removed from our own.
If you would like to read the first chapter, go HERE.
Sigmund can be reached through his Website
This is one of the most thought provoking books I have read in a long time. the back of the books says "prepare yourself to experience a chilling America of the very near future".
In reading this book I could see what Sigmund was eluding to and could really see this book becoming a reality if we don't act now. It reminds me of a quote by William Wilberforce
"You may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say, "I did not know'"Some of the themes in this book made me think the same way. I started this book and I could not put it down. There were parts that gave me chills but in a good way and parts that really moved me. I enjoyed how the 3 fugitives teamed up and the interaction between them. I didn't see many of the twists coming which added to the story. I cant wait to read the sequel and see what happens. I couldn't stop talking about this book to anyone who would listen. I give the book 5 out of 5 and is right at the top of my best reads for 2008.