Kenneth G. Bennett
Note: As of January 3, 2012, THE GAIA WARS has received 37 reviews on Amazon and 41 reviews on Goodreads, for an average of 4.5 stars on both sites. On November 24, 2011, The Gaia Wars made it to number 16 on Amazon’s list of “Top 100 Bestsellers in Children’s Action & Adventure.”
How a NASA Scientist's theory inspired the YA hit, The Gaia Wars
The idea began with an article I read about The Gaia Hypothesis. This hypothesis, proposed by NASA scientist James Lovelock, says, in brief: “all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth make up a single, self-regulating entity.” In other words, the Earth itself is a living thing. A vast, “super-organism.”
I love this idea. When I first read about it I wondered how it might be woven into a novel. In my imagination, and in conversations with friends, I took the Gaia Hypothesis one step further. “What if Gaia (the Earth) is not simply alive,” I asked, “but also sentient?” It occurred to me that a lot of so-called primitive cultures believed this very thing. Understood it in their bones.
Then I was backpacking with my son Eli (age 9 at the time). After a few days in the wilderness, feeling more connected to the land, perhaps, I started to tell Eli the story of THE GAIA WARS.
In brief: troubled 13-year-old WARREN WILKES unearths a treasure deep in the Cascade Mountains while fleeing the law, and learns about an ancient Northwest culture called the Denelai. It seems that the Denelai people believed in the Earth goddess so profoundly that she would sometimes appear to them in human form.
During one such visit in 1550 AD, the tribe was attacked and the Earth Goddess wounded. The Indians were slaughtered and Gaia lost her memory and vanished into the wild, trapped in human form.
As Warren discovers, Gaia is still alive, still trapped in human form, residing now in a local convalescent home, unaware of her true identity or power. What’s more, the beast that attacked the Indian village 500 years earlier is on it’s way back with an army bred specifically to capture Gaia, unlock her secrets, and seize control of the planet. Warren must fight or see his whole world destroyed.
Eli loved the story, so I kept working on it and finally published the book in August 2011. The Second Book of The Gaia Wars, BATTLE FOR CASCADIA, was published on November 10, 2011, and is receiving nice reviews, as well.
About the author:
Besides The Gaia Wars and Battle for Cascadia, Kenneth G. Bennett is also the author of the forthcoming Exodus 2018, a paranormal thriller set in the Puget Sound region of Washington State.
Ken attended Art Center College of Design and is an award-winning advertising copywriter. A wilderness enthusiast who loves backpacking, skiing and kayaking, Ken enjoys novels that explore the relationship between humans and the wild. He lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and son.
You can find out more on Ken's site, Twitter, and on The Gaia Wars site.