Today I’m pleased to welcome Scarlett Fisher to the blog. For those of you who don’t know, Scarlett has the distinction of being one of very few survivors of a plague that strikes in the novel, The Girl at the End of the World. Scarlett has been kind enough to take time out from her busy schedule of surviving the apocalypse to answer a few questions.
RL: Welcome, Scarlett. I hope you’re well.
Scarlett: Doing fine, thanks. All things considered.
Scarlett: Well, I’m 15. I live in Pasadena with my mom and my sister, Anna…I mean, I lived in Pasadena before everything fell apart. I’d hate to get a look at my old neighborhood now. But before that, it was just the three of us. My parents divorced when I was little. My dad tried to spend time with me while I was growing up, but he had his new wife and my little step-brothers and we weren’t always as close as we should have been. I really regret that now.
RL: A lot of people worry about the world ending. Can you tell us a bit about how it happens?
Scarlett: I don’t know how much I should say [laughs nervously]. It’s not zombies, though. Or anything like that. It is fast for the most part. I guess that’s a blessing. There’s not a lot of time to panic. For most people, it’s just over.
RL: You can’t be more specific?
Scarlett: [shrugs] It’s a disease. I honestly don’t know that much more about it. There were a lot of rumors that got spread around at the beginning. I never knew which ones to believe–just that all the terrible things that were happening somehow weren’t happening to me. There’s really no way to know if you’ve got it until it’s too late.
RL: Thanks. You said you used to live in Pasadena. Where are you now?
Scarlett: I’m not sure I want to broadcast my exact location–you never know who’s reading. I will say that I’ve found sort of a fortress. Definitely taken the high ground. It’s a good spot, where I can see for a long way to make sure I’m safe. I feel kind of like Rapunzel sometimes.
RL: What’s the worst part of surviving a plague?
Scarlett: The loneliness. The quiet. Night time is the worst. Every little noise you hear, you have to wonder what it is, if someone has found you. It’s been really rough since all the electricity went out.
RL: You mention other people, and the need to keep safe. So you’re not all alone at the end of the world?
Scarlett: Well, right now I am…but you never know who else might have survived. I mean, I can’t be the only survivor, can I?
RL: And if there are other survivors…?
Scarlett: [nods] They may not be so nice.
RL: I understand. So, can you tell us anything about how you’re spending your time?
Scarlett: There’s a lot of scavenging. I’m having to make a whole life out of the bits and pieces everyone else left behind when they died. That includes finding plenty of food and water. Everything I counted on growing up…electricity, running water, toilets…it’s all gone now. None of it works. There’s no power company to call up and complain to, you know? [shrugs] I guess when I do have some down time, I spend it reading.
RL: You were a reader before the world ended?
Scarlett: I was. I mean, you’d find me on my phone about as much as any other 15 year old girl, but I’d pick up a book whenever I had the chance.
RL: Any favorites?
Scarlett: I’m reading To Kill a Mockingbird right now. Always wanted to read that one, so I was happy when I found a copy in somebody’s house I was scavenging in. I liked Lord of the Flies a lot. We read that in school. It made me wonder how the story would have been different if it had been not just boys on the island, or maybe if it had been all girls.
RL: That’s interesting. What do you think would have been different?
Scarlett: [shrugs] I don’t know for sure. A mix of boys and girls, and you’d have people pairing up more than making a couple of big groups. All girls…I bet there’d be similar problems with strong personalities, leaders and followers. But I’ll bet they would have resolved things differently, not let it get so bad.
RL: And how about one girl all by herself?
Scarlett: [smiling] Well, we’ll have to see, won’t we?
RL: Yes, the book comes out soon. We’ll find out how you do at that point, right? [Scarlett smiles and nods] Thank you for coming in, Scarlett. It’s been a pleasure. All the best to you. I do hope you find a nice person or two to ride out the apocalypse with.
Scarlett: Thanks. Maybe I’ll see you there.
RL: [laughs] Here’s hoping.
The Girl at the End of the World is now available in ebook and paperback formats from Amazon.