A Novel Process

So…this is getting real; I have a novel coming out. The release date is not set yet, but it should be some time next month. It will be available both electronically and on paper and I will fill up this space with handy-dandy links to where you can buy a copy.

The title is To Give a Rose. Most of the book is set three and a half million years ago, in Africa in a community of proto-human apes, but the is also a human woman studying some three-and-a-half-year-old fossils. Why is the fossil of an ape woman holding the fossil of a flower? That is what the book explains.

How does a person go about writing a novel about australopithecines? It takes a lot of research (plus some creative guesswork). The challenge is to plausibly recreate not only the minds and behavior of one vanished species (the australopithecines), but to come up with a believable vision for the characters’ world–the finished product has to work both as scientific illustration and engaging fantasy.

I’m not going to give away any of the plot here, but I want to talk about that research process, how and why I made the decisions that I did to bring my characters and my world to life.

Over the next few weeks, I will publish a series of posts on different aspects of australopithecine anatomy, behavior, and psychology, as drawn from both the fossil record and what we know of modern humans and apes. I’ll also cover their environment and the other animals and plants that shared their world.

Enjoy.

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About Caroline Ailanthus

I am a creative science writer. That is, most of my writing is creative rather than technical, but my topic is usually science. I enjoy explaining things and exploring ideas. I have one published novel and another on the way. I have a master's degree in Conservation Biology and I work full-time as a writer.
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