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Coffee chat with Aussie author Martin Rodereda, author of dystopian novel Salvage

Can you believe it's only 10 days until Christmas, and 16 days till the end of 2016. I hope that when you reflect back you won't put too much pressure on yourself. It was another year - good or bad - and we need the yin and yan to keep the balance.

You're almost there, just one more coffee chat for this year.

Today's guest is Martin Rodoreda, a Sydney born and based writer with a love of speculative fiction and ancient history. Martin’s writing draws on contemporary themes and seeks to combine action, fiction and social comment into worlds that are simultaneously familiar and foreign, realistic and extraordinary. His debut novel Salvage is set in Sydney in the near future, Salvage projects current political and environmental trends into a dark and dangerous future world. His second novel will transport the reader backwards in history by nearly 2,500 years to the ancient Greek civilisations of Sparta, where a young boy must find a way to grow and thrive in Sparta’s militaristic culture.

Please join me in welcoming him to my virtual cafe.

DL: Firstly, as this is a coffee chat, what's your favourite coffee/tea/other? And what's your favourite time of the day to partake; morning, afternoon?

MARTIN: I'm a latte man. I tend to prefer my coffee in the morning after breakfast, though will sometimes have a second in the early afternoon.

DL: Salvage is a story about a future depleted of resources by mining and pollution, obviously a topic close to your heart. Do you then prefer ebooks over print books? If yes or no, why?

MARTIN: I still have a leaning towards print books over e-books, though I'm not against the ebook option and have read a few in my time. I like the look and feel of a print book and the ability to share it with others. I am passionate about the themes in Salvage, particularly when it comes to clean energy sources and sustainable options. There's no reason why human's can't continue to use paper based products as long as we are sourcing them in a responsible and sustainable way. My biggest gripe is with fossil fuel mining; it is an old and out-dated technology which we know is doing considerable damage to our environment. There are completely viable clean energy alternates that we should be transitioning to at a far greater pace that we are. Our progress is slowed by the fear campaigns run by the mining companies speaking of economic demise if we legislate to hasten the transition. It's rubbish of course; history is full of examples of industries that have declined and others always rise to take their place. 

DL: Do natural events feature in the world building within Salvage, or are they predicted based on current events? And where did you go for your research?

MARTIN: The events that I have created in Salvage are predictions based on my observations of current events. They are at the extreme end of the scale. Bodies of work like An Inconvenient Truth and other climate change science formed the basis of my research. I also reference a number of actual events from the last 10-15 years. Some of these I've witnessed myself but much was researched online.

DL: What are you working on now? Is it the same genre?

MARTIN: I'm working on an historical fiction set in ancient Sparta at the moment. It is a period of time that I have always been fascinated with. The seeds of the idea for this book came after reading Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (an excellent book!). I loved the idea of taking real people and real events from history and turning them into a compelling story. I'm attempting to do the same with this book; it is set during the Peloponnesian War, a civil war between Athens and Sparta about 50 years after the more well-known events in Ancient Greece (the Persian Wars and the Story of the 300). The majority of characters are people that lived at the time.

DL: And lastly, are you a biscuit or cake sort of person? And what is your favourite biscuit/cake?

MARTIN: One of each? I definitely have a sweet tooth. I'd probably lean towards the cake over the biscuit, though it would be a tough decision.

Thank for the chat Martin. We wish you much success.

About the book

Excessive mining, human pollution and war have left the earth devastated and all but inhabitable to humans. A Dome built over the city of Sydney and controlled by the tyrant Silmac protects what is possibly the last bastion of civilisation. When Silver is abandoned out in the badlands by her salvage crew, she must fight for survival to make it back to safety. But she soon finds that the Dome no longer offers the protection it once did, as she faces betrayal, makes new alliances and uncovers secrets that will bring her into conflict with Silmac himself.

About the Author

Martin has many and varied interests. He loves to read all manner of books, though his first love remains the fantasy genre along with ancient history, myths and legends. He grew up playing table-top miniature games and role-playing games, and still enjoys these when he gets the chance. He loves Australian Rules Football and, while he hung up the boots a few years ago now, he enjoys keeping fit and healthy and having a kick with his boys. He is environmentally conscious and is keen to do his part to ensure a healthy world for future generations.
Connect with the author

Buy the book


This was the final coffee chat for 2016. The coffee chats will resume in January 2017. Thank you to everyone who has participated, both authors and readers. I hope you've discovered books you otherwise would not have.

Have a great end of 2016 and see you in the new year!

D L Richardson


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