I recently asked Irish novelist Peter Brennan, 67, a few questions about his new novel titled ”Iceapelago.”
“I’m a big admirer of people who coin new words,” I told him. “What was the process by which you came up with the term and and the title ”iceapelago”? Did it come to you before you started writing the book, during, or after you completed it and were looking for a title?
Dr Brennan replied: ”At school I listened attentively as my geography teacher taught us about archipelagos and the moderating effects of the Gulf Stream on Ireland’s climate. Through my recent research I found climate scientists reluctant, at least in public, to speculate as to what might happenif the melting of Greenland Ice Sheet caused the Gulf Stream to collapse: as happened some 20,000 years ago. As my basic plot focuses on this dramatic tipping point I came up with the word ‘Iceapelago’ — as defined in the top of the book’s cover page — shortly after I started writing. As the weeks and months went by I couldn’t think of a better title to describe the new world of frozen lands and islands that result when my three stories come to a dramatic conclusion. I am proud of my new word that now runs to ten pages on Google!
How is Peter going about promoting and publicizing the novel?
”I am a total novice to the world of social media, marketing and PR for books,” he said. ” I was advised before I published that having a professionally-designed internet site was essential: I am glad I heeded this counsel. I used a London based PR firm to send out a press release about the book across the globe. I am also using my wide network in Ireland to promote ”Iceapelago,” but with bookshops closed due to Covid-19, I am having to rely more on social media. The ‘Irish Times’ newspaper carried an article the other day. I am trying to get interviews with radio shows that feature new authors.”
”Outside Ireland, I am using Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to highlight the reviews I
have received from Readers Favorite and will continue with social media as I have a few
more reviews in the pipeline.”
Have there been any nibbles yet for foreign language translations rights, or for a movie deal
Peter replied: ‘ I asked a close personal friend who is in the film business to read ”Iceapelago” to assess its potential on the big screen. Like most others who reviewed the book he agreed it would make a great movie. There was a big ‘However’, however.”
”Because there is no stellar (Tom Hanks-like) central character and as the plot is not aimed at Middle America, Netflix is unlikely to spend US$100 million to produce a movie.”
”I need an investor to fund the development of a screen play based on the book. I live in hope that someday I will make it to Hollywood!”
”Early days to be considering foreign language translation rights or indeed an audio version.”
My final question was: Who is your book aimed at primarily, in terms of age of readers, kinds of readers, climate activists, climate denialists, countries in Europe, North America, Australia, and island nations worldwide?
Dr Brenna replied: “As climate change is discussed by school children, grandparents and everyone in between, ”Iceapelago” should, in theory at least, be attractive to a large audience regardless of their location and age-bracket. However, I do recognise that ”Iceapelago” is a dystopian thriller so the target readership is, in reality, quite small.