The Chat with “The Biodome Chronicles” author Jesikah Sundin

Jesikah Sundin


Jesikah Sundin plans to talk about her new book, the second installment in her “The Biodome Chronicles” trilogy, from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 19 at Uppercase Bookstore, 1010 Second St., Suite B, Snohomish. Signed copies are available there and at Main Street Books in Monroe.

Who is your target audience with the trilogy? What do they want?

Originally, my target audience was 18 plus with a focus on the Millennials and Gen-Xers. My point-of-view characters, however, are in their upper teens (early 20s for book three). This automatically lands “The Biodome Chronicles” into the Young Adult Fiction category, which is fantastic. My books have so much to offer this group of readers, especially concerning topics of self-image, purpose in life, and relationships. I think both genre and YA fiction fans want protagonists who feel real and authentic. Uncensored. Characters who reflect teenage to early twenty-something experiences, struggles, and culture, even if disguised in imaginary worlds.

What is the trilogy about?

The series follows two siblings born and raised within a scientific experiment for Mars colonization who only know the Medieval agrarian lifestyle chosen for this test. They have been groomed by The Code to build a sustainable community devoid of “Outsider” interference — until the unthinkable happens. Grief-stricken and afraid for their lives, they defy their upbringing and reach out to the Outside world, a decision that connects them to a hacker, one who is linked to their lives in shocking ways. Their worlds collide in a clash of lies, truths and cultures, unearthing dangerous secrets that threaten the future for an entire generation.

How does this second installment further the story? What about book three?

The first book, “Legacy,” begins with a death, setting off a chain reaction of conflicts and secrets for the cast of characters. In “Elements,” the second installment, the reader is given answers to the many questions left dangling from book one, answers that lead to a reality none of the characters ever saw coming. Book three? Oh, you mean the tornado of plot points and doodles swirling around in my mind that is “Gamemaster?” Yes, yes.

When did you get the writer’s bug?

From my earliest memories, stories and the art of storytelling captivated me. At Monroe High School, I was part of the newspaper class and also worked on collaborative works of fiction with friends. In college, my writing turned to the more serious art of research papers. I was aiming for a degree in oceanography and geophysics. I happily settled for writing science fiction instead.

What does your family think about your writing career?

My family is wholly supportive. In fact, I recently wrote a blog about this titled “The Journey of 209,818 Words.”

What time of day do you do most of your writing?

Whenever I can squeeze in a moment, usually when my children are at school. I edit when they’re around. My love affair with reading and my dedication to the writing process help me enjoy the creative rush of building pictures with mere letters.

If you weren’t writing, what would you do?

Ha! Probably all the things I should be doing like cleaning my house and exercising more regularly. Career-wise, though? Probably make my dabbling in developmental editing a more full-time business. I love to read, garden, take walks in the woods and hang with my friends and family. And drink coffee.

What is your idea of a good time?

Any time that includes laughter and involves food. I’m addicted to laughing. The nice thing is that it doesn’t take much to make me laugh. I also love reading while sipping coffee on a rainy day. Mmmm … coffee …

What are a few things always in your fridge?

Apples and cheese. Lots of cheese. Coffee creamer.

What is your greatest fear? Greatest joy?

My greatest fear is not being good enough to be someone’s friend, to be part of a group, a published author in a writer’s community, to be a parent. My greatest joy are those moments when I forget my insecurities and embrace life and embrace myself.

Who are your heroes?

Jane Austen, for the way she revolutionized novels and paved the way for women to respectfully pen away careers as authors. Many claim her to be the first young adult fiction writer, too. But mostly, I think her brand of sarcasm would get along well with mine. Marie Curie, for becoming a physicist and chemist in an era when society punished women for believing they were equal to men in value and in intelligence. She became the first woman Nobel Prize winner, and still the only person to have won this award twice, and in multiple sciences.

What do you like most about Snohomish County?

Lush forests, mountain views, seasides, old-timey feel in many towns and the fact that a coffee stand is almost literally on every corner. The communities are down-to-earth, family-centered and possess a large pool of fellow booknerdigans.

What question should I have asked?

Have I ever been in a Mars prototype biodome? Sadly, no. The only biodome I have been in is the bird sanctuary in the rainforest jungle at Woodland Park Zoo. However, I have studied the Biosphere 2 project since the 1990s. My dream is to visit Biosphere 2 in Arizona.

— Gale Fiege, Herald Writer

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