Today we're sitting down to talk with Peggy Sue Yarber, author of TARE.
FQ: How did you get the idea for TARE? You say it was inspired by a parable in the book of Matthew. Was there also something in the news that triggered the plot?
I guess at times I can be a little bit paranoid. I am not a doomsayer but I do worry when food shortages, droughts and rationing come into the news. There was no exact triggers for the idea for this book about three years ago when I started writing the book. I have been worried that we would somehow contaminate our own food shortage. One thought was that someone would contaminate our own food so that “they” could then reap the benefits of selling an antidote. I am scared to pieces about the hybrid seeds that do not produce seeds. Yes, I do have my own food stock pile and non-hybrid seeds.
FQ: Did you have to do any special research for TARE?
I read science magazines on the idea of laminin. I also read in the science magazine about a suit for soldiers that did many of the same things that my suit does in the book. I constantly read books and magazines on the food, water and soil changes. I am originally from Iowa so the idea of “doping up” our land to produce food has never been something I have understood.
FQ: The townspeople and military are initially at odds, but a few of them gradually come together. Did you see that as an important aspect of the story? Why?
I tried to make as true to life as I could the people of the town. I have led numerous mission trips and I have found that most people do not lead. Most people will follow. In this town I tried to show that when there are no leaders that the people have no one to follow and become scared. I also tried to show that when comforts and some luxury items are kept – that most people are willing to be herded like animals. As long as they have what they view to be their comforts, their privacy and individual rights seem to take a back seat.
FQ: Washington is a fascinating character. How did you see him develop through the story?
Thank you, I was hoping you would find him interesting. He was one of my favorite characters to spend time with. I wanted him to first be seen as a soldier just doing his duty – to the point that he realizes in order to do the right thing he must first do the wrong thing. He is not just another absent-minded follower in the wheel of the government but a single cog that can make a difference. He struggles with his own insecurities of not having a loving family as a child to the point that he demands that his wife sacrifice her career and happiness to allow him and his daughters to be fulfilled. Then he again must struggle with his wife being raped because he was not able to protect her because he was doing his job. He is constantly trying to balance his job and its requirements to the needs of his individual family. Does he sacrifice an entire town for his family? This is a constant question that he is trying to answer throughout the whole book.
FQ: What did you enjoy most about writing TARE? I liked the characters trying to do the right thing in God’s eyes by having to deal with man’s laws.
I wanted to show people that we are our own worst enemy and that we do have the power to change. We can make our world a better place to live. All it takes is one indivudal to break the mold.
FQ: Are there other book projects in the future?
Yes. The Judas Ride to be released in June of 2009 and Rocketship to Heaven and the SOS Fuel Station to be released in June of 2009.