J.C. McKenzie - Shift Happens - The Beginning - Jo-Ann Carson

J.C. McKenzie – Shift Happens – The Beginning

I am proud to host my daughter J.C. McKenzie as my guest blogger today. Enjoy.

Mother Nature is a Bitch!

the-hot-zone1In  The Hot Zone, author Richard Preston makes an argument that hits me hard. He postulates viruses are a part of Mother Nature’s immune system and human society is really the parasite. After all, it is only when humans try to delve into unchartered territories or cultivate pristine wilderness, that we are exposed to extremely deadly viruses, such as Ebola Zaire, Ebola Sudan, Marburg Virus and Lassa Virus, to name a few. There are other arguments for why that is, but I like Preston’s:

Viruses are Earth’s natural defense against the human infection.


As a biologist, I LOVE that argument. I sit around and think about it all the time, just geeking out by myself. I even made my husband read the book, so I could talk to someone else about it. Unfortunately, he liked the military side of the book more than the biological one.
As a writer, it got me thinking.

What a great premise for a new world! I write Urban Fantasy (with strong romantic elements), and in the world where my Carus Series takes place, all supernatural beings have been exposed after a period of time referred to as The Purge.

“During The Purge, a series of natural disasters and deadly viruses swept the world. As the fragile human population declined, the death defying presence of the supernatural led to one preternatural group after another becoming exposed—Werewolves, Vampires, Fae, Demons, Skinwalkers, Witches, Angels, everything from our dreams to our nightmares. Pandora’s Box had opened.”   

(Excerpt from Shift Happens: A Carus Novel)

Essentially, Mother Nature got so pissed off with humans, she tried to kill a bunch of them off using what powers she could – natural disasters and deadly viruses.

Shift Happens, the first book in the Carus Series takes place roughly eighty years after the Purge, and it was a lot of fun to write.
Is there a book that you really enjoyed that had an interesting premise or unique world? What was it?
J.C. McKenzie
Shift Happens: A Carus Novel will be published by The Wild Rose Press. Release Date, TBA
Webstie: www.jcmckenzie.ca
Blog:  www.jcmckenzie.blogspot.com
Twitter: @JC_McKenzie
Image and Gif Credits, in order of appearance:
The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

0 Replies to “J.C. McKenzie – Shift Happens – The Beginning”

  1. Thanks Marsha! My mom has been a great inspiration to me (for many things). She taught me the love of books. It is so much fun to share this writing passion with her. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. Fascinating premise. I’m afraid my ‘worlds’ are a little mundane, but I enjoy writing in international settings, and inviting in the local belief system. I guess that’s a bit of world building. Whatever our background informs our ‘world’ choice. Biology is such a rich place to start.

    1. Hi Judy. I love reading books that have international settings. It makes me feel like I’m actually visiting the area, instead of stuck in New West. A great form of escapism. And I agree with you. I couldn’t take the biology out of my writing or my world. Although I had to replace the word ‘ungulates’ to ‘herbivores’ because I was told by serveal people it sounded like I was ‘trying to hard.’ Psshhht. I wasn’t trying!
      Thanks for reading my post and for commenting!

  3. Well you’ve certainly hit on a unique and fascinating plot for a romance – can’t wait to read it. The Wild Rose press is the #1 e-pub out there so you’ll enjoy working with them no doubt. The best of luck in your new adventure..

  4. Thanks Mimi. Wild Rose has been awesome so far. The editor I submitted to rejected my MS at first, but instead of a form rejection letter, she edited the first 50 pages or so of my manuscript and gave me some really solid advice, along with an invitation to resubmit. They really pride themselves with the personal touch, and I really appreciate it.
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting! 🙂

  5. You have an amazing jumping off point for your series. I’m a little like Judy in my world building. I love to delve into the past and try to recreate what it was like to live then. Regency England is my time-travel destination at the moment, but I will likely try the mid-Victorian time period at some point. The mind-sets, medical knowledge of the era, and awareness of the rest of the known world, then, all go into world building, as well as social mores and clothing. I wonder how your characters will communicate? What will they do if they catch a common cold? Or will common colds even exist then? Best of luck in your writing.

    1. Hi Helena,
      I actually think you and Judy have the tougher job when it comes to world building/creating, because your places and times actually exist(ed) and there’s an accuracy component. I have to have set rules and make sure my characters abide by them, but because I’m creating said rules, I have a lot more flexibility.
      Most of my characters are supernatural, so they’re not affected by the viruses. It’s a good question though, and as the series continues and more norms are involved, the more the reader will learn about the societal changes.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! 🙂

  6. What an interesting concept. Probably true too – we’re very destructive to Mother Earth! Fortunately so far she hasn’t been able to purge us from her system.
    I’m looking forward to reading it! Congratulations and you’re right – your mother is a very inspiring woman.

  7. Congratulations, J.C. What an intriguing premise. And how great to have found such a supportive editor. Kudos to you for doing the hard work of revising, learning, and improving your work. I’m sure your book will be great.

    1. Thanks Susan! It definitely wasn’t easy. I had A LOT of passive verbs to take out! In the end, it was worth the effort and I think I’m a better writer for it. I hope people like the book! I wrote something I would like to read. At the end of the day, I’ll still love it and am super proud of myself, but it would be nice for others to find it enjoyable too. Fingers crossed!

  8. Congrats on your new release, J.C! The premise for your book sounds fascinating.
    In answer to your question, “Is there a book that you really enjoyed that had an interesting premise or unique world?” Yes, it’s Logan’s Run. I have yet to read the novel, but long ago I watched the movie based on the novel and it’s still one of my favorites. It was made 1976 but I will only admit to watching it in the 80s 🙂 Michael York and Peter Ustinov gave fantastic performances. Farah Fawcett even has a role. But it was the story, the unique worlds that the characters traveled through, the amazing plot twists, and the questions they raised that blew my mind. I think they may be making a remake of the movie.

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