By Jeannie van Rompaey
Publication Date: 12th April 2016
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Meet the MUTANT HUMANOIDS. They may look a little different from us, but inside they’re much the same as you and me. Left on a diseased Earth, they live in windowless compounds, safe from the contaminated wilderness outside. Safe, yes, but their lives are restricted. When the mutant humanoids discover that some complete human beings, COMPLETES, have also survived and are living greatly improved lives on satellites, they determine to rectify this imbalance and claim their share of Earth’s heritage. Three-headed RA rules the humanoids with ruthless precision, but others are involved in a power struggle to depose him. Who will succeed in being the next CEO of Planet Earth? Sixteen -year-old MERCURY plans to start a new life on Oasis. Will it prove the Utopia he expects it to be?
ASCENSION, the first novel in Jeannie van Rompaey’s Oasis Series, explores with humour and compassion the way humans respond to change. The future worlds of Earth and Oasis mirror our contemporary society. The division between the haves and have-nots widens and the lust for power leads to corruption. But there are idealists determined to build a fairer, more egalitarian society.
What would readers be surprised to find out about you?
I’ve always thought I might have an identical twin sister. From time to time I feel as if we are exchanging thoughts and feelings. This could be true as I was adopted soon after birth.
Tell us about your writing process. Do you start with an idea or a character?
I start with two characters and a blank page on the computer. I put them in a situation and allow them to speak and act for themselves. The theme, something that concerns me, seems to emerge naturally.
Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?
The first time I read Dianne Doubtfire’s seminal book, The Craft of Novel-Writing (1978) I was impressed by the first sentence of the Introduction: “Writing a successful novel demands not only talent and determination but also a high degree of craftsmanship.” I agree with this and would recommend reading this book to any budding novelist.
Is there one thing you have to have when writing?
Chocolate plus a glass of water to wash it down. Once I’m writing I often forget to eat. That’s my excuse anyway.
When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?
Not one moment. Lots of moments. Every time I browsed in a bookshop or library I knew I wanted to my books to be on the shelf beside the books of the writers I admired.
What book is on your nightstand?
I don’t read in bed, but almost everywhere else. I’m currently reading The Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa, who was born in Peru in 1936 and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010. I’ve only read three or four chapters but am already gripped by it. He has a talent for making history come alive through fiction.
What’s your favorite scene from your books?
Three-legged, power crazy mutant humanoid, Heracles, transports himself to Planet Oasis, where only completes are allowed. He’s arrested and put in a cube with a transparent wall. School children arrive and point, make faces at him and laugh at and mock him. Heracles gives as good as he gets, He roars at them, beats his chest, walks about on all fours (fives) and bares his teeth as if he’s an animal in a zoo. The teacher reprimands the children and moves them on. It seems that Heracles has become an exhibit in a museum.
If your book was being made into a movie, who would you include in your dream cast?
A great question.
My protagonist, Mercury aka Michael Court must be played by Ben Wishaw. Please let it happen.
Snake woman, Kali, Mercury’s adoptive mother, should be Whoopie Goldberg.
Heracles, Henri Cavill, and his sidekick, Thor, the thug with two mouths, Ray Stevenson.
Warrior Queen Durga could be Indira Varma.
The two headed Mata Kbula, Idris Elba and Bathsheba, his faithful deputy, Sophie Okonedo.
How’s that for diversity? I could go on, but read the book and you might have some ideas yourself. Do let me know, just in case….
Do you have any hobbies or activities that you enjoy outside of writing?
I’m passionate about reading, art and the theatre. I live on the subtropical island of Gran Canaria and run a poetry and play-reading group at The British Club in Las Palmas. I’m interested in current affairs and politics, although often disillusioned by politicians. I also paint – mainly abstracts and faces. Not realistic portraits – I only wish I could do that. The character of three-headed Ra in Ascension was inspired by one of my paintings. This picture still hangs above my desk as I write.
Award-winning author, Jeannie van Rompaey, MA in Modern Literature, has enjoyed a varied career as lecturer, theatre-director, actress and performance poet. As Jeannie Russell, she is a senior member of the Guild of Drama Adjudicators and adjudicates at drama festivals in Britain and Europe. Originally from London, she has lived in various countries including America and Spain. She now resides in Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, with her historian husband, Tony. She spends her time writing novels, short stories, plays and poems. When not writing she enjoys painting, and has had several art exhibitions on the island, and runs poetry and theatrical events at The British Club in Las Palmas. She has written eight novels including After (CreateSpace 2014) and Devil Face (Create Space 2013), as well as a number of short stories, two books of poetry –Straight Talk and On the Move- and a series of plays.
Website – http://jeannievanrompaey.com/