Interview with Mark Mann

What inspired you to write The Stone Gate
I wanted to write something about climate change that actually painted a picture of what it might be like. It's a subject I feel is very important and I follow closely, but it seems to me that for most people it's all facts and figures and it's hard to imagine what it actually means. I realised, paradoxically, that the problem doesn't seem real to many people because they can't imagine it. Imagination makes things real.
Why did you write it as a Young Adult novel?
Basically for my kids. I thought it would be fun to write something they could read. And also because the YA fantasy genre is a great medium for speculative fiction. Kids and teenagers are very open to that sort of imaginative fiction.
What were the main challenges writing about climate change?
Mainly, I didn't want to lecture people - you must do this or else. I just wanted to explore what might actually happen, and also, in contrast, what might the world look like if we actually prevented global warming. Again, that - sustainable living - is something that you hear a lot, but probably not many people can imagine clearly what a 'sustainable' society might be like to live in.
But The Stone Gate is about more than just climate change, isn't it?
Yes, actually I started with a lot more climate stuff and cut it right back, so you could say the climate aspect is in the background now and first and foremost it's a straightforward adventure story about Jack and Kaya trying to work out what's going on and how they get back home and facing various obstacles.
As a writer, what books inspired or influenced you?
My favourite author is probably Philip K. Dick - I love the way his stories pull reality apart. Specifically in relation to The Stone Gate, there's a brilliant book called Climate Wars by Gwynne Dyer that goes through a number of fictional yet frighteningly plausible scenarios about how climate change could lead to conflict around the world.
Published 2014-09-04.
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Books by This Author

The Stone Gate
Price: Free! Words: 71,980. Language: English. Published: August 8, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
(4.00 from 3 reviews)
Jack and Kaya live in a small seaside town in Australia. When they see a strange white light shining from a giant rock in the forest, it takes them to a place both familiar and yet like nowhere they know. But where exactly are they? And can they make it back in time? The Stone Gate is an exciting action adventure that brings climate change / global warming vividly to life for young adult readers.