Obsessive Writing

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    Sep 12, 2012
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So it was being not so far from the nuclear partial meltdown at Three Mile Island on March 28 1979 that spun my life around. The obsession started when I heard the radio announcements to 'simply stay indoors and keep calm'. I wanted to flee back to my nuclear-free home country. When I did get home two months later I began to research nuclear technology in earnest and I was obsessed until I completed my novel, Death of a Sparrow, now in second edition, the eBook, Terror Down Under. This was still the 1980's and I 'knew' that climate change was happening. It wasn't difficult to write a story because of this knowing. I knew also that power companies would be state owned and that the government would be a National Government who increased their ties with Australia and the United States. Even though I questioned experts in the field of nuclear science and health I didn't tell anyone my story line except for one person and I ran my scenarios past him convincingly but when it came to my knowing that it would be Asian people who would swell the number of immigrants to capacity he asked me "What Asians?" I couldn't give him clarity because what I knew was based on an inner knowing not facts so took that out of my story. There were other aspects to the society I wrote about that are significant but not as overriding as the ramifications of climate change, state ownership of electricity companies and ANZUS. I refer to attitudes of leaders in society; power games of bureaucracy and the public reaction of us, the little people, to laws passed in urgency without public assent; the threats reported by news media that some Arabs hold vendettas against the United States even in other countries; and more personally affecting regulations such as water metreing and unemployment, scientific inventions such as video conferencing and, more intimate still, the sonic headband which, incidentally,was first used last year in real time. As you will appreciate, my obsession took hold of my imagination and Terror Down Under is bound to ring a bell here and there for my readers but I am sure you will be compelled to think that I was way off track in the final scenario and never never will nuclear power reactors be our source of electricity in New Zealand. No, never. I consciouly wrestled with where to build my nuclear facility and put the single wind machine that I envisaged as being in Wellington and decided to set them in Gollans Valley between Wainuiomata and Baring Head. This was chosen by careful thought about geographic features and away from housing . It is obviously ironical that I created the SOLAC community not so very far from the nuclear power station but it had been suggested by a film producer that when my book became a film it would assist greatly to have both insallations in close proximity. So there it is. My husband found my typeing the story and my constant cutting and pasteing rather worrying, so he offered to get me a computer. I really was not a good typist and new nothing at all about computers but I did feel grateful enough to go sleep in another room and keep at the final script day and night for six weeks until I finished the story. I was dependent on my memory because I was unable to look at script at the same time as finding the letters on my keyboard and, as imagination will have it, a murder came up that I had not expected and was still trembling when I stood in Whitcoulls needing to buy more reams of paper. Yes, finally, Peter, Jenny, and Sam,the staff of the nuclear power station, and the vengeful Arabian had written their story which seemed even more plasuible then my 'knowing'.

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Amazon Kindle EBook - Terror Down Under by Barbara Ker-Mann

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