The book jacket for Periphery has finally come in and you know what that means...Periphery is being published today! Here is a preview, the left side is the back cover. I hope you all enjoy :)
The initial response to Periphery has been wonderful! So Mia and I have decided to include short author bios.
Hi guys, I’m Deja Johns. I have been a writer for quite some time now. I used to study law, but I wasn’t feeling it anymore, and that’s when I met Mia. As soon as we met, we connected instantly, and our ideas started flying. We did several projects together, and then we made our little baby Periphery. The idea stemmed from today's society and how we’re so obsessed with our technology. The idea all started from how we’re connected to the outside world, but disconnected from the society we live within. It’s a good read.
Hello all! I am Mia Flower. I have only been a writer for a short time and it was really through my collaboration with Deja that I have found a new voice. She truly brings out the weird in me. Periphery was definitely our brainchild. We were talking about the ways in which 2015 humans have isolated themselves and that's where Periphery came from. I don't ever think we will write a novel. The form of short story intrigues us in the way that you have to tell a good story in such a short amount of time. I'm excited to see what we come up with next. In my spare time I sculpt and peruse my ridiculously large collection of organic herbal teas.
Hey gang. This morning Deja and I got the wonderful opportunity to speak with Lilith Jones about Periphery. For those of you who don't know Lilith is the host of the extremely popular podcast The Nook. She had lots of questions and I hope we answered them well! Check it out (sorry the audio file was to big).
J: Hello bookworms, today on The Nook we have two very special guests. The authors of Periphery, Mia Flower and Deja Johns.
D: Hey guys.
J: So tell our listeners a little bit about yourselves.
M: My name is Mia. And I like to sculpt. I actually wasn't a writer until I met Deja and we started doing collaborative project so that was how that came about.
D: Yeah, I'm Deja and I like to read. I'm actually a writer and yeah.
J: That's so cool guys, Um, after reading this short story I have to say that I was extremely disturbed. Where did you get the idea for the book?
D: Well yeah that was what we were aiming for. The idea really just came from us just brainstorming the craziest way society could end up. We wanted to take things that could happen today, like of course with technology and hyperbolize it so that we could make a horror outcome.
M: Yeah and then the added layers of Caeci's isolation symbolized how our complete access to information and connection often keeps us from the real world instead of bringing us into it.
J: Wow. That's really cool. I wanted to know so much more about what was happening on the outside. I know from talking to you previously that there was a whole government simulation situation going on. Could you tell us more about that? Um, like why wouldn't they stop it?
M: Yeah so we wanted to add another layer of sorts so we set it up that the government made a simulation like a century ago to see the progress of humanity's awareness. So they chose this set group of people who were very active on social media and set them up in the simulation where all of their bodily functions were taken care of. So the point of the simulation was to see who would look up and away from their phones but no one did. So now after the generations of those people the ones in our story are stuck in this reality and forgotten about.
D: So yeah the story is kind of how the world is today. We are largely unaware of the decisions made by the government, unless you follow closely so we are also stuck in this unreal reality. And the way we observe other people's lives. We only see the highlights on Instagram and we think that's their life.
J: Wow. That's some heavy stuff. It's kind of like the Matrix.
J: Um on a lighter note, where did you get the idea for the title and like the name where did it come from?
D: The title came even before the story. It was a basic idea and we just went from there.
M: Yup. And the word Caeci as it's spelled in our story C-A-E-C-I is latin for blind.
J: Wow. It sounds like you've put a lot of thought into this. Alright so I was very intrigued by like the imagery that you guys put into your story and I wanted to know where that came from and if you had like a specific image in your mind when you were writing because like I was trying to picture it but it's kind of hard with like this disturbing topic?
M: Um, what I pictured while we were writing was like if you had, kind of like a dome type situation. Not necessarily big but um so you've got the outside world and you've got the inside world that we're dealing with. And um so there's like 50 maybe people in these chairs if you can call them people, now they're kind of gross and weird. Um.
D: That's not how they started though.
M: Yeah that's not how they started, but now they are. And um so they're like staring at their phones and all of the social media and all of like the platforms on their phone are from people outside, but they don't know that. So I kind of picture people with headphones in, their necks are craned, so their looking at their phones and it's like constant chatter and constant media, but it's nothing from inside this like dome.
J: Oh wow, so their necks are kind of craned. So has the human species evolved in a way.
D: Not necessarily. It's just the ones that are in the simulation. Like and they didn't start out that way. What happened was like the government took a set group of people to see like what would happen if they were set inside this little area like cut off from the outside world. And to see like what would happen and it got to the point where we as people now, we're so like stuck in technology and we're focused on like more on social media. We just look down constantly. We're unaware of our surroundings. And it's just like in the book that's how they evolved, everyone just looks down so that's how it came like they evolved into that. They didn't start out like that.
M: And also I think that one of our initial thoughts, or mine at least, was when I was thinking about how we look down at our phones and it can be like we look at our phones when we're walking, while we're on the bus, while we're in the car like we are always constantly looking at our phones and just missing everything that's happening around us. And like I've run into things because I'm walking and looking at Facebook for no reason or like someone would be like "Oh I saw you on the street and i tried to say hi, but you were on your phone." So like you just miss so much and that's kind of where this story began.
J: So you guys are kind of looking at the negative side that like technology brings plays; do you ever like um, do you think that there are ever positives, like personally? Because your story was very negative.
D: Of course, there are positives to social media, but the book was basically like the the negative, it was just hyperbolizing our reality. So, it was basically like an exaggeration. Like of course, no one's neck is stuck down looking at their phone.
M: We hope not.
D: But like, we are so unaware as a people like due to technology. So it's like what we emphasized in our book.
M: Yeah and another interesting kind of theme was that we're super connected and um this age is the age of information. We have all the information we've ever needed, but that often keeps us from then talking to people. Because I never need to discuss with you like you're experiences like I'll Google it later. So like..
J: It's kinda creepy.
D: So we're connected but we're disconnected.
M: Yeah, or I'll talk to people half way around the world instead of talking to you.
J: Oh. Yeah. That's true. Alright so I'm going to go to a totally different topic now. I wanted to know like how they live? In a way you don't know if they have children, how they eat, how they sleep, do they sleep?
M: So this was kind of a, a non-scientific science fiction book. So we were like, tubes! Everything is tubes. So, um their water, all their bodily functions, all of that is taken care of. It's kind of like being in a comatose state, where everything, medically, is taken care of. And then reproductively we figured since they don't know, they aren't aware there's other people, obviously natural reproduction wouldn't work. So if the stem cell research of today was like heightened they could take the genes from these different people and make more. And that would kind of explain why they've evolved that way. So if each year that this happens the genes mutate a little bit then by the time you get to our story they are...weird blobs.
J: Interesting. It's kind of like they're in a liquid state in my mind.
J: Like they aren't--they don't even have bones.
M: Yeah it's uh, it's actually like something that I thought of from this book, this short story by E.M Forester that's similar. It begins with this woman who, he describes her as a lump of flesh which is pretty gross.
J: Yeah I wouldn't want to be a lump of fur-flesh.
J: Alright so uh, what about that really crazy ending
D: Well I mean if you want to know about the ending and how crazy it was, you gotta read it. You gotta finish reading.
M: But it's pretty, it's pretty insane so I recommend it. But I'm the author so...
J: Well I think it's safe to say that this is one of my favorite new short stories on the market. It was great to have you guys here. Thanks for tuning in to Author Hour on The Nook. Next up we have the authors of Butterflies With Curly Hair. Stay tuned.
Hello! We are Deja Johns and Mia Fowler and this is our website for our upcoming short story, Periphery.