The title is part of a poem by Bob Dylan and captures the essence of the story. This is a great read and the author’s skill in building both worlds with gifted imagery becomes apparent as the story draws the reader in. I really enjoyed it. Highly recommended.
Along the Watchtower combines the dark magic of a fantasy world with the grim reality of war trauma. Where did the idea for come from?
I began to research brain injuries. One of the books I read was In an Instant, the story of Bob Woodruff. The brilliant Woodruff had just been named co-anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight. Then, while embedded with the military in Iraq, an improvised explosive device went off near the tank he was riding in. Bob suffered a traumatic brain injury that nearly killed him.
I didn’t write Along the Watchtower to be a polemic on the state of our returning veterans. But the more I found about their situation, the more I discovered the universality of how people are affected in extremis. War, injury, illness, and personal tragedy touch all of us deeply and reveal much about who we are and how we cope with the human condition.
You’ve delved into very different topics in your first two books. What else do you have planned?
I’m in late stage edits with an alternate world story called The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky. It’s about a world divided between the Blessed Lands, a place of the spirit, and the Republic, whose people worship at the altar of reason. A mysterious nine-year-old girl from the Blessed Lands sails into the lives of a troubled couple in the Republic and seems to heal everyone she meets. She reveals nothing about herself, other than to say she’s the daughter of the sea and the sky. But she harbors a secret wound she herself cannot heal. I’m also currently planning what will be a sequel to There Comes a Prophet. I’ve always wondered what happened to Orah and Nathaniel after their world changing heroics and what became of the contemporaries of the keepmasters who had crossed the ocean. Stay tuned.
by Fiona Ingram