BY BILL PHILLIPS
It’s one thing to envision a different world. It’s quite another thing to actually bring a different world to life.
That’s exactly what author Denise Lammi has done with her first novel Lucid World, a tale about a 15-year-old girl who is among a group of teens chosen to travel, via avatar, into a remote, and hidden technologically-advanced society housed inside a vast mountain cavern. Their task? Save the world from an emotional disease called khaos, that has infected all of humanity.
The tale is seemingly far removed from Lammi’s real life, who is a chartered professional accountant, lecturer and seminar presenter. She also writes professional development seminars for other accountants. For Lammi, the idea of a totally different world was the inspiration for her novel.
“I started thinking about what I was interested in,” she says about the decision to actually write a novel. “I’m fascinated about the idea of negative emotions and where they come from. As humans, when we evolved we needed to have a fight or flight response or we would never have survived. But now, it’s so seldom that we have life threatening situations that require the fight or flight emotion, but yet we continue to apply it. When you look at every negative emotion we have, when you drill down, you’ll actually find there’s some illogical or misdirected fear.
“I thought what would it be like if there was a society where there were no negative emotions caused from illogical fear. So I created that world.”
The protagonist in her story is Morgan, a 15-year-old girl living in a small rural town, called Coyote Flats, in southern Alberta. There are some similarities as Lammi grew up in Picture Butte, Alberta. Lammi drew on her experiences growing up in rural Alberta for the book, and Morgan.
“She’s a loosely based version of me,” she said. “Certainly there’s components of Morgan in me. Some of the trouble she got into, that never happened to me. A lot of her insecurities and fears, I can identify with those.”
In the book, Morgan and her new friends in Lucid World live under a dome beneath an ice cap, with cats, culture, and a harmonious way of life uninfected by the khaos of the world above.
Shifting from Morgan’s family and school life to the education she receives in Lucid World, the story shows Morgan applying the understandings of khaos to problems in her life, and in the town. Her family and friends have no inkling of her Lucid World contact. But when communication breaks down, Morgan’s secret is exposed.
The book is technically a young adult book and it crosses the lines between fantasy and science fiction. However, Lammi wanted to write a book that has broad appeal and has certainly succeeded.
“It’s a fairly unique book in respect to genre,” she said. “I had a hard time pegging the genre. It’s got small town Alberta, coming of age, New Age … it could be sci-fi or fantasy.”
It certainly has adventure a good positive message.
“There are a lot of strong messages here for young adults and teens, but it’s a story that can be enjoyed by anyone,” she said. “When I first started writing, I wanted a book that everyone can read. I’m familiar with the young adult genre. It’s the best platform to deliver a feel-good read with a strong message.”
The book was published in October and officially launched in November. You can find out more about Lammi and the book on her website
You can get a copy of her book on Amazon
And Lammi isn’t done yet.
“I certainly didn’t start out with the intention of writing a sequel,” she said. “But as I got to the end of writing it I realized the story is just beginning.”