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May 9, 2016

Creation Born in Fear --- Guest Post by Joe Hart, Author of THE LAST GIRL


We've all heard the old adage "write what you know," but some authors, like Joe Hart, are much more interested in what they don't know --- or, more specifically, what totally terrifies them. Hart is the author of several books and has recently released THE LAST GIRL, the first installment of a trilogy that imagines a world without females. In this post, Hart discusses how he found inspiration for his new book and what it means to be truly afraid.

Readers sometimes ask me where I get inspiration for my work. Normally the answer is very simple.

I’m afraid all the time.

Not to say that I cower in the corner of my bedroom, rocking and sucking my thumb or anything like that…at least not all the time. Instead I have a constant fear in the back of my mind about everyday things that could go wrong. I’m sure everyone has at least a hint of this but I believe writers are more in tune with the undercurrent of terror that runs beneath everything we do. I’m sure overactive imaginations might be to blame.

So when I started contemplating how fragile the human species is as a whole it was no surprise when I stumbled upon the horrifying scenario which became the basic premise to my new novel, THE LAST GIRL.

What if females weren’t born anymore?

The concept struck me like a mallet. Imagine a world, not torn apart by nuclear bombs or flesh-eating zombies or the aspirations of presidential candidates, but imploded by the lack of female births.

Immediately the current social issues such as gender inequality and misogyny leapt to the forefront of my thoughts and I knew I had to write this story.

My main character, Zoey, is a woman on the brink of turning 21 who has never seen the outside world. She is a resident of a high security research facility that holds some of the last women on Earth. 25 years before the Dearth occurred; the global phenomenon which dropped the birthrate of female infants from 50% to less than 1%. Mass panic ensued followed closely by civil unrest along with war. Zoey and the other remaining women were told the virus that caused the Dearth became deadly and wiped out the rest of humankind. Now the walls and guards surrounding them are the only thing keeping them safe and alive.

But Zoey’s not so sure.

Because on her 21st birthday she will be ‘inducted’ into the last round of tests, tests that no woman has ever come back from.

THE LAST GIRL kicks off what will be a trilogy that examines what the world would be like with very few women left along with the implications and subsequent fallout that would inevitably follow.

It was a blast writing Zoey and following her journey. And even though the premise terrified me, examining the human condition and our will to survive a situation such as this was very enlightening.

Maybe being afraid isn’t so bad after all.