Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Seeds Of Transition The Genesis Project Book One by Carolyn Holland Interview

Seeds Of Transition
The Genesis Project Book One
by Carolyn Holland
Co-Author: Kef Hollenbach

Genre: Speculative-Fiction, Science-Fiction
Publisher: Books, Authors, and Artists
Date of Publication: July 19, 2013
ISBN: 978-1482657647
Number of pages: 150 pages
Word Count: 54,184
Cover Artist: Shae Thoman 
Available on: Paperback | Amazon  

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Seeds Of Transition: Book One - The Genesis Project is full of gripping adventure, psychological thrills, and emotional conflict from start to finish.

As the world’s population approaches 10 billion people, and severe weather extremes impact crop and livestock production, the demand for and price of food is rising. The American government, as well as other powerful individuals, find themselves looking for intelligent, albeit unlikely heroes in the world of academia.

Jarod Farra, a professor of agriculture at Cornell University, quickly finds himself at the forefront of both his longstanding dreams, and perhaps, some of his worst fears. Out of the turmoil and fear of an impending international food shortage, a range of characters come together to perform an experiment that will forever change the world as we know it, and provide new hope for generations to come.

Chapter 1
Noakhali, Bangladesh
2030 AD
“Vows made in storms are forgotten in calm.”
~Thomas Fuller ~
The warm air enveloped the sleeping village as if the dawn would bring with it the start of a day like any other. Farmers slumbered, their bodies fatigued from the hard day’s work in the paddies. Mothers rose quickly and quietly to nurse crying babies, hushing them so their fathers could rest. The wind was picking up, ushering with it a blanket of clouds that blocked the light of the full moon, making the night very dark. The rain started to come down, softly at first and then more heavily as the night wore on.
The slosh of waves slapped against the hulls of fishing boats tied to submerged docks. The thumping sound of wood meeting wood as the swells pushed the boats against the quays was getting deeper and deeper as the rain filled the crafts, making them heavier and heavier. Soon they would sink, their tethers preventing them from reaching the muddy bottom. Oars and net staffs would soon float away.
Not so very far away the balmy, moist air was rising from the water’s surface and mounting the wind on its trek toward the sky. More warm air rushed in to replace it and then it too began to rise. The repeating cycle continued and went on through the night; air swirled in and up, over and over again.
Overhead, a platform of cool air waited to meet the rising warm moisture, the collision transforming the mist into heavy, thick clouds. The wind swooped in and the dance commenced, slowly at first but steadily gaining pace. It tirelessly whirled the new clouds around and around as the phase below repeated over and over again. The tempo swelled and the wind began to howl its delight as more clouds rose to meet her, whirling and churning, the action became more savage, more intense, building, and building until finally, she was delivered and the tempest was born; beautiful and exquisitely formed liked no other before her.
 The rising warm air fed her, and the wind strengthened her and her rage grew more powerful with every passing hour. Soon, she would realize her full potential and she would be unstoppable and unforgiving as she fulfilled her destiny. All people would remember her name, she would never be forgotten.
Not so very far away, slumbering in their tiny homes, farmers rested from a hard day’s work and mothers gently placed their sleeping infants back in their beds. It was still hours from dawn; still time for sleep before the new day began.
Ghazi woke suddenly, startled as he shot straight up in bed, his heart beating so hard that he could hear it; a steady, deafening thump in his ears. A desperate look around the room assured him that all was well within the walls of his tiny home. Aala and Jarood were sleeping peacefully. He realized that he must have been dreaming although he could not remember it, his heart slowed to a normal pace but he was wide awake now and not likely to go back to sleep.
The sounds of rain falling hard outside and the gustiness of the wind caught his attention. It was still dark outside, at least two hours from dawn but he looked out the window anyway. Nothing; at least, nothing that he could see. He glanced at the small table in the corner which held the union VHF radio. Had a bulletin come across and awakened him? Something was wrong, he knew it, and he felt it. He watched the radio intently for a few minutes, waiting, and then it happened.
The cyclone warning came in a frantic voice, thick with the Noakhali dialect of the area. It said that the BMD, Bangladesh Meteorological Department had issued a cyclone warning at 4am.  The storm had developed overnight and was expected to make landfall in the Noakhali district in the Upazila of Hatiya in two to three hours. Village units were to proceed immediately with warning and evacuation procedures. Maximum sustained winds had been recorded at 225 kilometers per hour, and the tidal surge was projected to be approximately 4.5 meters.
Ghazi’s blood became ice in his veins.  He looked over toward his bed and saw Aala staring back at him, wide eyed as the fear gripped her; she had also heard the alert.
He sprang into action, all of the volunteer training coming back to him now; he remembered what he had to do. He pulled on his day clothes hurriedly; Aala roused the boy and directed him to dress quickly while she went behind the curtain to do the same. Within seconds she was back in the center of the room. She held two bags, one she handed to her son and the other she filled with the most important items in the room. The boy gathered food from the shelves, knowing exactly what to grab as his father had performed this drill with his family many times; only this time it was not practice. Ghazi donned the sash and hat that identified him as a Red Crescent volunteer, and seized the megaphone that had been assigned to him.
Exactly three minutes had passed since the warning had come across the radio, and the Farra family was at the door ready to leave their tiny mud brick home. Ghazi quickly ran through what they were to do and where they were to go. He would meet them at the shelter as soon as the warnings were out to the people of the village. A quick look into each other’s eyes, and everything that needed to be said between them had been said. Ghazi opened the door and they entered the windy, wet darkness.
They separated; Aala and Jarood went in one direction, Ghazi in the other. Mother and son trudged through the water and sucking mud that had been the road just yesterday. She clutched at ...

Have you always wanted to be an author?

I have always been an avid reader, my love of books started at a very early age. I so admired the authors, the creators of these wondrous stories and characters and daydreamed about joining their ranks someday.
Yes, I would have to say that I have always wanted to be an author, since I can remember.

Can you share with us your typical writing day.  Is there anything you have to have while writing?

My writing routine is simple actually. I am most creative and productive in the early morning. When I am working on a project, I usually wake up with ideas so it is best for me to get started right away. I often joke that it takes one pot of coffee to create one chapter.
 My desk is situated in front of a large window that overlooks my garden and I prefer to have the curtains pulled back so that I can see the outdoors while I am working. I typically “camp” at my desk for many hours at a time, so comfort is important. I have an old office chair that has fallen into ill repair from so much use, we purchased a new one, but I just did not seem able to concentrate while sitting in it. If there is a “must have” item for me while writing, I would have to say it’s this old chair.

What would you say is the most challenging or rewarding part of writing?

For me, I would have to say that the most challenging part of writing is deadlines. Creativity does not always flow on command, and the pressure alone of a deadline can squelch the artistic bug. When this happens, I have found that it is best for me to step away from it for a short time, take a little walk or wander in the garden and then come back with fresh eyes and renewed purpose.
The greatest reward of writing for me is the completion of a project. As soon as I typed the last few words of Seeds of Transition, I felt an immediate sense of accomplishment and pride. It was far from finished at that point, there was still editing to be done, final rubbing to polish it so to speak, but the idea was complete.

Can you please tell us about your latest book?

Seeds of Transition is the first book in The Genesis Project trilogy. While the story surrounds a very real problem of today and our near future, we took a very creative approach in the telling of it. We created strong characters, the kind of people we think it will take to bring positive, necessary change to the way we grow our food and wrote our story about them.

The setting is 2057 America and worldwide crop loss caused by extreme weather events coupled with a population explosion have created global food shortages. The increased demand for food has caused prices to soar at an alarming rate. Average working class people are finding it difficult to buy the foods their families need and the problem is escalating.

Our characters, unlikely heroes if you will, strive together to conduct the largest agriculture experiment in the world in an attempt to solve the problems before it is too late. They employ new, brilliant technologies and use these tools to find answers and solutions against all odds.

Conflict arises when those who benefit most by the rising demand for food find that the “New deal” of agriculture threatens their control of the world’s food supply and they will stop at nothing to maintain their power.

The story is full of twists and turns, and in the good spirit of science fiction it contains fantastical technologies like we have never seen before. It contains suspense and betrayal, and “roller coaster” quality action in the form of extreme weather events.

How did you come with the idea for this story?

Kef and I share a concern for the future of agriculture and the effect we are having on the environment. We were both inspired by Dr. Dickson Despommier’s concept of the Vertical Urban Farm and what it could mean to our future as it could potentially solve several problems simultaneously. We were further intrigued by the fact that even though his concept has been around since 1999, it has still not been put to use in any great scale.

It seemed at the time to be a great idea, to take an existing concept and write a fiction work where we explored some of the challenges to vertical farming and overcame them in a setting where its success was crucial.

In writing Seeds of Transition, it was our hope that through an entertaining fiction work, we might be able to inspire people to think about the future of Agriculture, and to stop and realize, wow…this really is everybody’s problem. While our agriculture system is having a major impact on our environment, our environment is likewise having a major impact on agriculture. I think it is a reality that we are going to have to change the way we grow our food in the very near future.

Can you share with us your current work in progress?

Presently, we are working on the second book in “The Genesis Project” series titled Stems of Discord. All of our favorite characters will return, and many new ones will appear as The Genesis Project continues its quest to reestablish food security and expand its efforts into our water crisis. Our heroes work harder and our villains become bolder.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

My all time favorite author is John Steinbeck. He was a bold writer and a very forward thinking individual. My favorite science fiction author is L.Ron Hubbard, particularly his “Mission Earth” series. As a fan of fantasy, it is a tossup between Terry Goodkind and George R.R.Martin as to who I would say my favorite author for this genre is. What I love most about these two authors are their heroes. They are often ordinary people who find they have an extraordinary purpose.

Do you feel that any of your favorite authors have inspired your writing style?

Good stories are always rooted in well developed characters and all of my favorite authors have a gift for character development. It is this talent that I admire most about all of them and the skill that I concentrate most on developing.

Open your book to a random page and please reads us a few lines.

“The anger escalated, and the lightening became fiercer, cloud to cloud, illuminating the dark masses from within with explosions of light. The rotating winds continued on their separate quest to become mesocyclones, frightening and terrible children of the super cell, determined to outperform the other. They began their southeasterly journey, their race to determine which was the fittest; would their rivalry make them stronger? Would their short lives have been for naught? Or would man remember them for all time?”~Seeds of Transition; Chapter 4

What is in your To Read Pile that you are dying to start or upcoming release you can’t wait for?

I am eagerly awaiting the release of Veronica Roth’s third book in the “Divergent” series titled Allegiant. I am also dying to read the fourth book in George R.R. Martins “Song of Ice and Fire”: series titled A Feast for Crows. Although this title is available, and I do own the book, I have been too busy to pick it up. I am saving it as a special treat for after we have finished Stems of Discord.

Have you ever used anyone from your real life encounters in any of your books?

Not so much individuals but I have met people and know people whose personality dynamics are just too hard to resist, and I have developed characters fashioned after them.

What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself while you were writing?

Oh my, well I would have to say that I was quite surprised at how involved I became with the characters in Seeds of Transition. These people became real to me, like people that I knew on a very personal level and at times, I would catch myself talking about them. My family was quite amused when I would tell them something that James Hilder had said or how Ras Advani felt about this or that.
But my most surprising discovery was that I realized just how deep my passion for agriculture reform really is, and through writing, I have the opportunity to share that with others. 


Carolyn Holland grew up during the 70’s in the coastal wetlands of North Carolina in a small, rural fishing village. She married right after high school and started her family, in the same community where she grew up. Though life took her to other places, she lived in the Appalachians for a time and later in Alabama, she found herself drawn back to her roots in Coastal North Carolina. With her three children grown now, she resides there still with her husband James Holland, a retired US Marine.

Kef Hollenbach was born and raised in Kentucky, USA. Going into business management after graduating from university yielded an eclectic set of experiences ranging from production work to mid-level management to business owner.

The very proud parent of a son and daughter and husband to a deeply appreciated wife, Kef revels in learning new things and visiting new places. With a strong propensity for sharing, he strives to weave his experiences and what he has learned into all of his writing.

Additional information about the authors may be found at:
On the Books, Authors and Artists Facebook page at

Carolyn Holland Sites:


  1. Thank you so much for hosting us on our book Tour ! I really enjoyed the interview as I found many of your questions to be very unique ! I will be around to answer any questions. Hope everyone is having a good day !

    1. Thank you Carolyn for being on my blog today and I am glad you enjoyed my questions! I try not to have the authors answering the exact same questions that they always do.... gives the readers a new aspect they don't usually get from the author. :)

    2. That's great thinking Bridgette, and I will say this, after doing a few interviews, it's quite refreshing to have some new questions to answer :-) Love your site, it's warm and cozy, I will definitely be back to visit !

  2. I am still trying to understand the economics of a skyscraper farm.
    I do see how long-distance transportation is almost nil when the food source is located next door to the consumer. But there is still distribution, How do you envision distribution taking place?

    Also, just how many people can a skyscraper farm feed? That has a definite impact on distribution.
    Also, is your speculative distribution refrigerated?
    Also, does a skyscraper farm grow one type of vegetable, like so many current hydroponic operations, or does it grow different vegetables?
    Also, what about fruits? Most food fruits are perennials, not annuals.

  3. Hey there Sean, thank you so much for your comment !

    Well, I imagine that there would be many ways for local distribution which could vary from city to city but we have played around with some ideas of our own.
    The number of people the farm could feed would have a lot of impact on distribution. It is probable that a 30 story, vertical urban farm could efficiently provide 1500 calories per day for 50,000 people and have a "footprint" equivalent to one new York City block. According to Dr. Dickson Despommier,120 of these buildings would feed New York City, which has an estimated population of an amazing 8.3 million people as of a study conducted in March of this year.
    I imagine small local deliveries could be made using a variation of a rickshaw, but something we discussed recently that is particularly exciting to me would be a traveling farmer's market if you will. These markets would pull up outside of apartment buildings, pre-ordered baskets for residents would already be put together, and volunteering residents, in exchange for a nice discount on their groceries, would pick up the pre ordered baskets and deliver them to the door of folks who may not be at home, or elderly folks etc.
    But we need to remember, that not all sales would require distribution. We envision a huge market place just outside the vertical farm where people living or working close by could stop in every couple of days to purchase foods for their households in much the same way as they visit grocery stores today. These market places could also sell prepared foods by means of a small restaurant or deli with take out services.
    Other residents of the building could if they preferred, come on down and visit the traveling market and purchase fresh produce and fish. The traveling market would have an established route and schedule and at the appropriate time, they would move on to the next stop.
    The only products that would require some refrigeration would be meat or dairy products and this could be done rather simply. I envision highly insulated ice chests if you will.
    The Vertical Farm concept that we wrote about would produce a wide variety of vegetables and fruits as well as fish, prawns, mollusks. The goal being to meet nearly all of the consumers dietary requirements.
    Some vertical farms would have sections dedicated to perennial fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, grapes etc. These types of plants would simply add to the balance within the vertical farm and add to the overall health of the farm itself.. Other, annual varieties would also be present such as melons.
    Someday, there may be vertical farms that dedicate portions of their structure to citrus trees, apples, peaches etc. Imagine the production possibilities of these "indoor" orchards and groves without the threat of weather or harmful pestilence. The need for pesticides eliminated. Now imagine that you live in a city like New York, and you have available to you, fresh oranges, grapefruit, mango...just harvested. These fruits would normally have to travel on a truck either across country from California or from South Florida. It could be weeks before they arrived in your city where you could purchase them. If you paid the same price for your locally grown fruit and the quality was ten times better for the same price, would you buy it ? The possibilities are endless.