Kathleen O'Neal Gear to The
The Ice Lion, the 1st novel in The Rewilding Reports, was published on June 15, 2021 by
TQ: Welcome to The Qwillery. You have
written more than 48 books. How has your writing process changed over the years
and what is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
Kathleen: Writing styles definitely change throughout an author’s career. When I
first started writing, I was in love with adjectives. It’s important, I think,
to find the best single word to describe something. Adjectives get old really
The most challenging thing I face is unconscious repetition. When I’m reading a
draft manuscript, I notice that I apparently like beating my readers over the
head with facts. Authors have to trust their readers: “They already know this.
For goodness sake, don’t bore them.”
TQ: Are you a plotter, a pantzer or a hybrid?
Kathleen: A pantzer. I love writing by the seat of my pants, living the story
with the characters. Toward the end of the book, however, I make a list of the
things that must happen, and the order they must happen, to bring the characters
together. I guess that’s a rough outline, so maybe I’m actually a hybrid.
TQ: Tell us something about The Ice Lion that is not found in the book
Kathleen: I’m an archaeologist. The book is a synthesis of past human behaviors
projected into the future. We are an inventive species. We can--and will--use
our knowledge to affect the climate. THE ICE LION asks a question: If we make a
mistake, how can we possibly fix it?
The archaic humans and re-created Ice Age animals in the story were the ancient
TQ: What inspired you to write The Ice Lion?
Kathleen: Geo-engineering. There are a number of proposals for cooling the planet
earth. They worry me.
TQ: The Ice Lion is described as cli-fi. What is cli-fi and in your
opinion why are we seeing more and more cli-fi novels/stories?
Kathleen: Climate fiction (cli-fi) is an examination of human responses to
climate change. Climate change is nothing new. Humans have been struggling to
survive episodes of warming and cooling for millions of years, but we now have
the technology to do something about it. That’s the scary part. Cli-fi is
becoming more and more popular because we’re all worried. How much do you trust
TQ: The book description states that the Sealion People are Denisovans. Why did
you choose Denisovans as the archaic humans for The Ice Lion? Are they
the only archaic humans in the novel?
Kathleen: There are three archaic species in the novel: Denisovans, Neandertals,
and Homo erectus. I chose them for the same reason the ancient Jemen in the
story did: These species survived in an Ice Age world, the Pleistocene, for
hundreds of thousands of years before modern humans evolved. Despite the odds,
one of them may just make it.
TQ: The Ice Lion is the first novel in The Rewilding Reports. At this time how many novels do you have planned for the series?
Kathleen: I finished Book 2, THE ICE GHOST, several months ago, and am working on
Book 3, THE ICE ORPHAN. I don’t know how many books there will be—enough to
finish the story!
TQ: What's next?
Kathleen: For now, I’m delighted to be concentrating on the Rewilding Chronicles.
There are always other stories flitting around in the back of my mind, but none
have a stranglehold on my imagination. Yet. Maybe the story about the insane
archaeologist abandoned on a distant world. Her excavation is very interesting…
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Kathleen: It’s always a pleasure! Thank you.
The Ice Lion
The Rewilding Reports 1
Daw, June 15, 2021
Hardcover and ebook, 304 pages
This cli-fi novel from a notable archaeologist and anthropologist explores
a frozen future where archaic species struggle to survive an apocalyptic Ice
One thousand years in the future, the zyme, a thick blanket of luminous green
slime, covers the oceans. Glaciers three-miles-high rise over the continents.
The old stories say that when the Jemen, godlike beings from the past,
realized their efforts to halt global warming had gone terribly wrong, they
made a desperate gamble to save life on earth and recreated species that had
survived the worst of the earth’s Ice Ages.
Sixteen-summers-old Lynx and his best friend Quiller are members of the
Sealion People—archaic humans known as Denisovans. They live in a world
growing colder, a world filled with monstrous predators that hunt them for
food. When they flee to a new land, they meet a strange old man who impossibly
seems to be the last of the Jemen. He tells Lynx the only way he can save his
world is by sacrificing himself to the last true god, a quantum computer named
Kathleen O’Neal Gear is a New York Times-bestselling author and
nationally award-winning archaeologist who has been honored by the U.S.
Department of the Interior and the United States Congress. She is the author or
co-author of 50 books and over 200 non-fiction articles. Her books have been
translated into 29 languages. She lives in northern Wyoming with W. Michael Gear
and a wily Shetland Sheep dog named Jake.