Friday, 4 July 2014



Shieldwolf Dawning, a dystopian novel for children, is an educational project that emerged from my MA (graduate) research. I developed the resource to “do” philosophy with junior/intermediate readers (10+), so that the kinds of critical thinking skills obtained via philosophy as practice can be accessible to youth through story. Over the years, I've also been concerned by a lack of diversity in [strong & independent] female protagonists with regards to science-fiction/fantasy novels for children. With this in mind, I wrote the story using a non-Caucasian female as the central protagonist. The themes explored in the story include - but are not limited to - truth, reality, faith, love, fear, morality, family, and difference.

Shieldwolf Dawning is available in both e-book and paperback from major online bookstores and a selection of independent bookstores.


Title: Shieldwolf Dawning
Author: Selena Nemorin

BLURB supplied by the Author
For 13-year-old Samarra, life behind the sheltering walls of the planet Gaia is stifling. But when she convinces her brother, Cassian, to run away to another world, everything they know is turned upside-down. Forced to join the Shieldwolves, an order of shamans, brother and sister find themselves in the middle of an escalating war between two magic factions. When Cassian is captured, Samarra must break all the rules to save his life, even if it means betraying him.


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Selena Nemorin. I was born in Mauritius, grew up in Australia, and now I live in Toronto, Canada.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I do. I’m finishing my PhD in Philosophy of Education and I work as a researcher. I also teach in the university setting (pre-service teacher education).

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is Shieldwolf Dawning. A dystopian novel about a girl who escapes to another world, seeking a better life for her and her brother.

Who is your publisher?
Astraea Press.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I’ve always loved reading science-fiction and fantasy, but over the years I’ve been concerned by the lack of diversity in [strong & independent] female protagonists in these genres for children. With this in mind, I wrote Shieldwolf Dawning using a non-Caucasian female as the central protagonist. The novel is also an educational project that emerged from my MA research. I developed the text as a resource to “do” philosophy with junior and intermediate readers (10+), so that the kinds of critical thinking skills obtained via philosophy as practice could be accessible to youth through story. Children love reading fantasy stories with magic and monsters, so the genre felt like a good fit for my purposes.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
My favourite character is Samarra, the main protagonist. I admire her strength, courage, and hopefulness. She leads an almost Cinderella-like life on a planet that is falling apart environmentally. She is also a misfit given her appearance. Specifically, she has blue dreadlocks that her guardians find “not normal.” Throughout the story, Samarra consistently tries to do what she thinks is the best thing for her and her brother, Cassian, but she is sometimes led off track by her hot temper and impulsiveness. Samarra is a mischievous heroine who has some glaring flaws, but ultimately, she has a good heart.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Yes, some of what I write about in Shieldwolf Dawning relates to events that have occurred in my personal life, or things I’ve read about in the news, all of which I’ve blown up into a fantasy story.

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesop’s Fables type of “The moral of this story is…”)
I didn’t set out to write into the story explicit morals like what you would find in Aesop’s Fables, unless we’re talking about the moral duty to care for the natural environment and the consequences of not doing so. That said there are definitely messages but obvious ones, nothing hidden. For instance, a reader wrote to me about her “favourite wisdoms” that emerged from the novel, including the idea that fear is a choice and that there is no price too high to pay for the right to own your fate.  I think all writers inevitably insert their own codes of morality into their narratives—that’s just what we do as authors, consciously or unconsciously.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (ebook, hardback or paperback)
I’m currently reading Suldrun’s Garden, Book 1 of Jack Vance’s Lyonesse Trilogy. I’m loving it so far. It’s a paperback.

Is there a certain author who influenced you in writing?
I’m afraid I can’t limit my answer to just one author. There are a few authors who have influenced my writing. I enjoy the works of Lord Dunsany, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mervyn Peake, Ursula Le Guin, Jack Vance, and Michael Moorcock.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?
I love hardback and paperback. I love the smell of old books. However, ebooks are incredibly handy when I travel in terms of the amount of texts I can load onto my e-reader.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
My favourite book is Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. The first time I read it was as a teenager many years ago, and I’ve often re-read it during those moments when I need to remind myself how to find meaning in life.

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I read and wrote a lot at school and throughout my whole life. Now that I’m doing my PhD, I’ve been reading and writing non-fiction, mostly philosophical works. Although I enjoy reading philosophical texts, I do wish I had more time to read science-fiction and fantasy novels.

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

Do you have a favourite genre of book?
Science-fiction and fantasy—hands down!

What do you think about book trailers?
I think they’re a fantastic idea. I’d like to create one at some point.

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
I would invite Socrates for a chat about philosophy, Ursula Le Guin for world-building tips, and Michael Moorcock because I like his political activism.

Where can readers follow you?

Twitter: Selena N @digiteracy

1 comment:

  1. This book sounds really great and the cover is so pretty!