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March 3, 2015

The Veil - Guest Post by J.L. Morin


Every book has an origin story; maybe someone saw a girl with green hair on the subway and thought she'd make a great protagonist, or dreamt about aliens going to prom and thought it would make for the most unforgettable dance --- or novel --- ever. NATURE'S CONFESSION has an origin story too, but it's a slightly more sobering one --- J.L. Morin couldn't help but notice all of the pollution that surrounded her every day. Read her blog post below for more details on this cli-fi dystopia, and a few topics that we all should be thinking more about.


It all started when I was watching the ‘workforce’ at its daily grind, driving by at rush hour, commuting to wherever, to do . . . busywork. Polluting up a storm, each war-gray car with only one human in it doing nothing at best, damage at worst. The news was saying there wasn’t enough work to employ the next generation, but I could see plenty of work that sorely needed to be done all around me just to clean up the mess that the ‘workforce’ was making. I began to wonder, Why doesn’t the work that really needs to be done, pay?

When you can’t get a thought out of your head and it becomes an obsession, there’s a good chance it’s a golden nugget --- the kind of seed that can sustain you on a long literary journey. Soon I had my protagonist, asking himself as he walked across his gravel lawn, “Is that the meaning of life? Is that all we were put down here on Earth to do? Pollute?”

That’s when Boy meets girl (Valentine), and every little thing takes on so much more meaning. They get tragically separated, and Any Gynoid appears on the scene, posing a multitude of dilemmas for the human race and uncovering top-secrets Nature has kept hidden for eons. But the heroes battle on with integrity.

It took a year to map out NATURE’S CONFESSION and another year to run it by my writers workshop, get feedback, and re-write and re-write. I lost count after re-writing it eight times.

For all the interest in horror stories, there’s a veil over most people’s eyes when it comes to the horrors of reality. 

As my busywork theme nagged at me, more questions arose, leading me to more research. I wondered why palm oil was cheaper, and learned it’s because it’s produced on stolen land. I also learned that in Indonesia, palm oil and pulp wood companies have hired mercenary soldiers to slash and burn 90% of the country’s national parks, rendering countless species extinct. Furthermore, palm oil contains carcinogenic fatty acid esters (3-MCPD and glycidol fatty acid esters), which are hazardous substances and often added to infant formula, chocolate spreads and peanut butter. You rarely see these studies in the news --- you have to look beyond US borders to the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).

NATURE’S CONFESSION is not just another love story. I wanted to write a book that would inspire people to think about real problems and come up with creative solutions!  What I found was tremendous resistance to thinking about things like “clean air” and “where our food comes from.” For all the interest in horror stories, there’s a veil over most people’s eyes when it comes to the horrors of reality. Addressing reality is a labor of love. We all live on the planet. How could it be in anyone’s interest to cover up these problems?

Award-winning novelist and adjunct faculty at Boston University, J. L. Morin, was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2011. Her cli-fi novel NATURE'S CONFESSION January, 2015. Her Japan novel SAZZAE won a Gold medal in the 2010 eLit Book Award, and was a 2010 winner in the Living Now Book Awards. She started writing it as a creative thesis at Harvard. J.L. Morin wrote her second novel, TRAVELLING LIGHT on sex slavery. She is also the author of 'Occupy's 1st bestselling novel' TRADING DREAMS, a humorous story that unmasks hypocrisy in the banking industry and tosses corruption onto the horns of the Wall Street bull.