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Interview with YA author, Gila Green about her new novel, NO ENTRY
Apr 12th, 2020 by Liza Wiemer

Buying links:

Everything is located on this media page: https://stormbirdpress.com/media-content-no-entry/ 

Purchase availability:

Paperback and eBook

Stormbird Press
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com.au
Blackwells
Barnes&Noble
Booktopia
Books-a-million
Waterstones

Meet Gila Green

About NO ENTRY from Goodreads:

Broken-hearted after losing her only brother in a terrorist attack, 17-year-old Yael Amar seeks solace on an elephant conservation program in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. She is soon catapulted into a world harmonious with nature where she can heal and devote herself to the wildlife that is so important for the continued existence of all mankind. She is dazzled by her new best friend, reunites with her devoted boyfriend, and is fascinated by a local ranger who peels back another layer of meaning in her surroundings with each lesson. Then, on a drive through the safari, she sees something shocking. Soon her haven on earth is seething with blood and betrayal and she is warned that she is no match for the evil that lurks in the men’s hearts around her. Now she has a secret she must keep from the people she loves the most if she is to stand against the murderous forces that threaten Kruger, her new friends, and her own life. But will taking a stand do more harm than good?

Interview:

Question: Your publishing house burned down. Obviously, this impacted the ability for readers to get physical copies. Please share how the Australian fires impacted your book—expected and unexpected—and is there a chance another publishing house will pick it up?

Stormbird Press was evacuated and burned to the ground in mid-December. They lost all their equipment, everything. The press was located in a senior staff member’s home that was also an animal sanctuary. It’s all gone now. 

I am sure this impacted my book No Entry in ways that I don’t know about (you don’t know what you don’t know, right?). 

On an immediate level, No Entry and my novel-in-stories White Zion were both accepted to the Vancouver Jewish book festival that took place the week of February 9. It’s a big trip from Israel and I was preparing in terms of places to stay, flights, book deliveries and promotion, and so on and the press burning down meant there was very little they could offer by way of support for the festival in the fall while I was planning. Then there was zero support from mid-December. There was hardly any internet connection at all between Israel and Australia as they are located on Kangaroo Island which was destroyed. 

In addition, I was thrilled when the Biblical Museum of Natural History (https://www.biblicalnaturalhistory.org/)accepted my book for their gift shop but their order could not be processed by a press that no longer existed. In the end, I gave them a handful of my own courtesy copies when I returned from the Vancouver festival but now their move to their new location is stalled by corona virus. So, the wildfires burned down my book launch in many ways and then corona virus hit my relaunch so to speak. 

In addition, I was invited to speak at a couple of synagogues and Jewish organizations in Toronto in the fall and I had tentatively been speaking to Hadassah Brandeiss about speaking in New York, although that was for my novel in stories White Zion, not No Entry but, of course, I cannot book any overseas trips right now. 

You ask if there’s a chance of another publishing house picking it up. That’s a difficult question to answer. Originally, Stormbird suggested a sequel -though it was not on contract—I wrote the sequel anyway and it’s already gone through the beta reader stage and I’m really happy about my manuscript. 

Stormbird was also hoping to make some sort of a comeback, no matter how small by end of March/beginning of April. Then corona virus hit the world. So now things are entirely up in the air. 

I cannot predict what will happen and I’ll have to start exploring options soon. I am not giving up on the series and I believe I’ll find a way forward with it, the precise way is still unknown. No Entry has five-star reviews from conservationists and it has an important message about the dangers of elephant poaching and extinction, a heroine many people can relate to and it’s a fun and educational read—some of the messages have led to the pandemic we’re in right now. I believe important messages will find their way to people ultimately. 

It is still possible to buy No Entry on Kindle and there are still some physical copies people can order on Amazon USA and Canada but stock is limited. 

 I was thrilled to see today that No Entry today is at number #341 on Amazon Kindle for Teen & Young Adult Diversity and Multicultural Fiction. 

Share with us a novel secret: It could be special research you did, a character you named after someone you know, an event that takes place that’s based on your life or someone close to you.

Nothing in No Entry is based on my real life. I’ve never been in a position to take down a murderous poaching ring or anything similar and I think I’m grateful for that. If you read the dedication to No Entry, you’ll learn that while I was writing the novel there was a terrible car ramming in Jerusalem. Four soldiers on a cultural visit to the city were killed. I felt such a sense of loss and hopelessness and I wanted to do something—anything. I changed the names of four of my main characters (their first names only) to the names of those four soldiers: Yael, Erez, Shir and Shira. It’s a tiny thing but it was all I could think of to honor these senseless deaths and in turns this connects one of the messages of the novel: that the same people willing to profit off of blood ivory are often the same people willing to profit off of human slavery and terrorism. These people bring nothing but misery to the planet and we need to do more to accept our responsibility in stopping them.  

Question: What was one of the most interesting things you discovered while researching your novel?

One of the most interesting things I discovered is that the frozen land of Siberia is rapidly thawing due to climate change. As such, wooly mammoths that have been buried for 10,000 years are now accessible to tusk hunters. Tusk hunters are racing to retrieve them due to the very unfortunate demand for tusks, particularly in China.  This is bad news for elephants because inexperienced people cannot tell the difference between illegal elephant tusks and wooly mammoth tusks. This enables elephant ivory traders to pass off their tusks as “ice ivory” or mammoth tusks. It’s very bad news for elephants. It would mean we would have to ban trade in an extinct species (wooly mammoths), something that’s never been done as far as I know of to protect elephants and right now that’s not happening.  

Bonus round:

What do you prefer?

Dessert: Ice cream, brownies, fruit salad, cookie (what kind?) I live in Israel which has a hot climate, so hands down ice cream. 

Places you’ve been: Canada, Australia, United States, Africa? I’ve never been to Australia. I’ve been to South Africa many times and to Swaziland. So out of Canada, USA and Africa, I’d have to pick USA but that’s a hard one. 

Desert, rainforest, beach, marsh, urban park? Beach, particularly a beach in Cape Town, South Africa. 

Movies, musical, play, ballet? Play. 

About Gila Green:

Canadian author Gila Green is an Israel-based writer, editor, and EFL teacher. She is the author of Passport Control (S&H Publishing, 2018) and White Zion, a novel in stories forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press. Her first young adult eco-fiction novel is No Entry forthcoming from Stormbird Press, Australia. She is working on a sequel to that novel with the view of turning it into a series. Her first novel is King of the Class (NON Publishing, Vancouver, 2013). 

Gila’s short fiction appears in dozens of literary magazines in the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, Israel, Ireland, and Hong Kong including: The Fiddlehead , Terrain.org, Akashic Books, Fiction Magazine, The Saranac Review, Arc Magazine, Many Mountains Moving, Noir Nation, Quality Women’s Fiction, The Dalhousie Review, Jewish Fiction, Mom Egg Anthology, Tel Aviv Stories, Jane Doe Buys a Challah, The South Circular, Kunapipi, Yuan Yang Journal, Arc Magazine, 100 Pages of Canada, An Artistic Collaboration of Canadian Artists, and Boston Literary Review.

Her work has been short-listed for the Doris Bakwin Literary Award (Carolina Wren Press), WordSmitten’s TenTen Fiction Contest, twice for the Walrus Literary Award, and twice for the Eric Hoffer Best New Writing Award. 

Gila’s fellowships include the Summer Literary Seminars Program (Montreal). She has lived in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Johannesburg, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem.

Find Gila: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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