Firstly, a big thank you to Random Things Tours for having me on the tour for ‘We Go On Forever‘. I’m absolutely thrilled to bring you all a Q&A with Sarah Govett. I’m sure this Q&A could convince anyone to buy it immediately – I know I want to!
An exciting head’s up – If you buy the book direct from the publisher, the author will sign and dedicate copies of the book at no extra cost. Plus, you get free postage and packaging!
Arthur is dying. He must transition within the next four weeks or face permanent memory loss.
Alba is studying, preparing to impress the Mentors in an all-important interview. If she’s picked as the next Apprentice she will be reunited with her best friend and cross the Wilderness for the first time.
They meet and everything comes together. And everything falls apart.
What inspired you to write ‘We Go On Forever’?
I liked the idea of writing a love story set in a dark dystopian near-future Britain. I wanted to write about the very real issue of antibiotic resistance – the WHO calls it one of the greatest threats to human health today – but I also wanted to write about the very best and worst human qualities. I have always been interested in the lies we tell ourselves and others and the evils that can be perpetrated if we lose sight of our common humanity and see another group for whatever reason as lesser or ‘other’. I thought it would be fun to have two narrators with very different realities, the truth hovering somewhere between the two.
Have you always been a huge fan of dystopian fiction?
Yes, ever since I was a teenager. My favourite book aged 13 was The Crysalids by John Wyndham.
Can you give the readers some insight into the characters?
It’s a hard book to write about without giving too much away as the reader is supposed to go on the same journey of discovery as the characters – but I’ll do my best!
There are two narrators: Arthur and Alba.
Arthur is dying. He’s been diagnosed with a brain tumour and needs to transition into a new Host body within the next 4 to 6 weeks to prevent permanent cognitive damage. Heir to the MADE corporation, Arthur has Level One insurance and can select any Host of his choosing. However, disillusioned with his life and on the verge of falling apart, he keeps delaying the inevitable. Being the heir means nothing when your all-controlling father will live forever. Arthur is, and only ever will be, a disappointment – pointless – his aspiration to search for new vaccines constantly thwarted by his father’s strong-arm tactics. Arthur is a lost soul – searching for answers. Searching for someone who will really see him. Searching for love.
F3527 (‘Alba’ to her best friend) is studying hard, exercising, undergoing weekly medical exams and video interviews. She and her fellow students are doing their best to impress the Mentors at the Research City, hoping that one day they’ll be chosen to help cleanse the radioactive Wilderness that surrounds Centre 6. Alba’s best friend, Curly, has just been selected and Alba is desperate to join her. ‘Study hard,’ is Curly’s advice, ‘and don’t ask so many questions. They don’t like questions.’ Alba tries to follow her friend’s instructions. She bites her tongue, sits up straight for the interviews, obeys the commandments of the all-seeing Creator, growing ever lonelier as the days pass with no word from her friend. Alba is determined and curious. She doesn’t shy away from the truth, no matter how devastating that truth is.
What authors/books have played a big role in your ambition to become an author yourself?
I think the books that have made the most impression on me are the grounded sci-fi novels of John Wyndham and John Christopher. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes holds a special place in my heart even if it makes me cry. I also love the stripped-back language and magical realism of Haruki Murakami.
Is this book a standalone, or do you plan on making it a series?
There will be a sequel!
Would you be able to give us your favourite quote from the book?
‘I think he knows what’s going on. And I think he’s going to tell me.’
What lessons can be learned from reading ‘We Go On Forever’?
Hopefully, people will be a bit warier of overusing antibiotics and will be reminded of the importance of celebrating our shared humanity.