Greg Zeigler Interview

Interview with local author Greg Zeigler who had a lovely event with us last week!

1. Your latest book, The Straw That Broke, is considered “climate fiction” (a.k.a. “CliFi”). What can you tell us about this new subgenre and what drew you to it as an author?

1) To be perfectly honest, I didn’t realize what I had worked on for ten years was climate fiction. It was only after expat blogger Dan Bloom read a very positive review of The Straw That Broke and contacted me from Taiwan. He said thatStraw was cli fi and recommended that it be accepted at joining some very impressive company such as Barbara Kingsolver and Margaret Atwood. Dan Bloom, has been quoted in Time magazine and is considered to be the father of the cli fi or the climate fiction genre. Cli fi, according to Dan, is any work of fiction that deals with climate change. Even last summer’s film, “Godzilla” and the recent, “Snowpiercer” are considered to be cli fi. But then so are Flight Behavior and I’m proud to say, The Straw That Broke.
2. Do you have a “writing ritual” that helps your creative process? 
2) I do some of my best “writing” while walking. I love to walk or hike and I always carry a pen and notebook. Often before starting a hike I jot down a few problems I’m trying to solve. Typically, by the end of the walk, I know where I’m going next in my writing.
3. What were your inspirations for The Straw That Broke? How much of it draws from real world experiences?
3) I read an article in the Salt Lake Tribune about ten years ago that indicated that a new billion dollar tunnel or “straw” was being built from Lake Mead to Las Vegas and that Nevada had not sought the approval of the Colorado River Compact, the consortium of seven states and Mexico the members of which signed an agreement in the 1920s dividing up Colorado River water. I remember thinking, that’s hubris, what if someone tried to stop them. I never dreamed when I started my eco-thriller that the situation on the Colorado River Basin would get drier and more dire every year until the crisis that currently exists (the worst drought in 1200 years). My novel has been compared to Polanski’s film “Chinatown” loosely based on the California water wars of the 1920s and to Marc Reisner’s Cadillac Desert. I consider both of those seminal works to have influenced The Straw That Broke.
4. What advice would you give aspiring authors?
4) Have a good idea, do the research, make yourself put in the “seat time,” push through to a finished draft, and then enjoy the editing and refining.
5. Any new projects in the works?
5) Ah yes, Some Say Fire, the sequel in which Jake Goddard and Susan Brand return to try and stop terrorists from intentionally setting fires in the forests of the increasingly drier (thanks to climate change) Southwest. There is a chapter ofSome Say Fire at the end of Straw. I’m anticipating a fall of 2015 release. Read more at
You have a great bookstore! Thanks for the interest in my work.

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