Facsimile by Vicki L. Weavil
Publication Date: March 8, 2016
For a ticket to Earth, seventeen-year-old Anna-Maria “Ann” Solano is willing to jettison her birth planet, best friend, and the boy who loves her. Especially since all she’s required to do is escort Dace Keeling, a young naturalist, through the wilderness of the partially terraformed planet Eco. Ann‘s determination to escape the limitations of her small, frontier colony never falters, until Dace’s expeditions uncover three secrets. One offers riches, one shatters Ann’s perceptions of herself, and one reveals that the humans stranded on Eco are not its only inhabitants.
Ann’s willing to sacrifice friendship and love for a new life on Earth. But when an entire species is placed in jeopardy by her actions, she must make a choice – fulfill the dream that’s always sustained her, or save the planet she’s never considered home.
Without giving away spoilers, can you tell us a little bit more about Facsimile?
FACSIMILE is a young adult science fiction novel set on Eco, an isolated planet. Eco is rocky and barren, inhabited by a small colony – the original scientists and engineers sent to terraform the planet, and their descendants. The company that hired the terraformers went bankrupt, stranding them, so the colonists must scratch out a living using their skills with things like hydroponic gardening and solar power. Although they are connected to Earth and other planets via the ‘Sphere (an expanded version of the Internet) they have no spacecraft and no money to pay for transport on the few ships that visit their world. Basically, it’s a frontier settlement – think something more like Firefly than Star Trek.
Ann’s dream is to travel to Earth, where she believes she will have opportunities denied her on this “backwater” planet. For a ticket to Earth for her and her family, Ann agrees to escort Dacian “Dace” Keeling, a young naturalist, around Eco. Dace is following in Darwin’s footsteps by studying the flora and fauna of all the planets visited by his uncle’s trade ship. Ann believes this is an easy way to get the hell off of Eco – until Dace’s explorations uncover something surprising in the caverns below their feet. Not only is there is an extensive underground river system, but the humans on Eco may not be its only inhabitants!
Describe your writing process for Facsimile. Character names, world building, plot, etc…
I based my future world on what I see happening in the world today – the stratification of society into “haves” and “have nots,” the growing obsession with living virtual lives, the takeover of national interests by corporations, and the seemingly intrinsic human need to label some group as “the other.”.
I also considered history. When I contemplated who would be most likely to sign up to live and work on the “frontier,” I decided it would not be those who are already “privileged,” Rather – as we see from the past – it would be those seeking to make a better life for themselves by escaping limitations forced on them by race, ethnic heritage, economics, religion, cultural background, and so on.
Thus, corporations now rule Earth, not nations, and the inhabitants of Eco, while they represent diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, all come from a background of economic deprivation.
For the character names I simply have tried to represent a blend of international surnames with equally diverse first names.
The plot evolved from the idea of an ambitious young person who is trapped on an isolated planet (not that much different from a small town). What would drive her to leave everything and everyone she has ever known? What might make her stay? The story basically evolved from there.
Is this your first book? If not, how many have you written prior to Facsimile?
No, my debut novel was CROWN OF ICE, a YA Fantasy retelling of H.C. Andersen’s “The Snow Queen.” It was published by Month9Books in 2014. A companion book, SCEPTER OF FIRE, will be published this fall.
I have also completed two novels in an adult science fiction trilogy, but they have yet to be published. (The first book is on submission right now).
If you could cast your characters for a Hollywood production, which actors/actresses would you choose?
I really have no idea. I would want “fresh faces,” I think — young actors and actresses who have some training and experience but who are not yet famous. I would definitely insist that they reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the characters in FACSIMILE, because that is important to the world of the book.
Did you listen to any tunes while writing this book? What were they?
I always listen to music when I write, but I wrote FACSIMILE over a year ago, so at this point, I am not sure what my playlist was! I do love a wide variety of music – everything from classical to pop to jazz to show tunes to alternative rock. My playlists are pretty eclectic. I do recall “discovering” Ed Sheeran around the time I was writing FACSIMILE, so I expect I was listening to his music quite a bit.
About The Author
Vicki L. Weavil was raised in a farming community in Virginia, where her life was shaped by a wonderful family, the culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and an obsession with reading. She holds a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Virginia, a Masters in Library Science from Indiana University, and a Masters in Liberal Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After working as a librarian at the NY Public Library at Lincoln Center, and the Museum of Television & Radio (now the Paley Center for Media) in NYC, she is currently the Director for Library Services at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Vicki loves good writing in any genre, and has been known to read seven books in as many days. She enjoys travel, gardening, and the arts. Vicki lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. A member of SCBWI, Vicki is represented by Fran Black at Literary Counsel, NY, NY.
Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Facsimile by Vicki L. Weavil (INT)