Deter Edison is an ordinary girl, or so she thought…
After a brutal kidnapping, Deter finds herself propelled into a world that she knows nothing about. Her scientist captors want something that only she has – an incredibly rare gene – and they’ll stop at nothing until they get it.
Feeling betrayed by her guardian, Amery, Deter’s world turns upside down when she’s plummeted into a war with the government and her captors. She must flee to London to seek protection there, but she doesn’t know who she can trust. And even if she does make it to safety, how can she remain hidden from the Establishment?
Sophy, where did inspiration for Measure of Days come from?
For the past few years I have been defined, and it might sound odd, but inspired by the death of my daughter Jemima. She dedicated her diary ‘to those who have made the world a better place and those who never had a chance to.’ The main characters and themes have Jemima at the heart of them, their resilience, bravery and desire to change the world, come from her. They face day-to-day challenges that as yet, the human race doesn’t have to; the environment is very different from today (climate change has meant water levels are now incredibly high), food and energy resources are scarce and people are battling a terrible disease that has no vaccine or safe cure. As well as that, ‘The Faction’ led by young people, have had enough of being told how to run the world by the old order, ‘The Establishment’.
Who is your target audience for Measure of Days?
It is classed as Young Adult fiction, but many of my friends who are mainly in their 40’s like me have read and enjoyed it too. I think anyone interested in climate change; political unrest and human survival in a science fiction context will find it thought provoking. There are some pertinent issues, quite challenging topics that are very relevant to today.
Was the relevance of these topics anticipated? Or entirely co-incidental?
I finished writing this book two years ago, so had no idea that the law around organ transplants would be changing in the UK. The issue of organ transplants is very much part of my characters lives and with the Opt Out law coming into effect on 20th May 2020, highly relevant to us all today. Part of my inspiration when writing comes from my daughter Jemima Layzell who is the UK record holder for the most recipients following her donation of all her major organs. (A percentage of the profit from Measure of Days will be donated to her charity The Jemima Layzell Trust.)
Also, who knew two years ago that a virus could change the landscape of the world? When I first began writing I sat and thought about what most terrified me, and I imagined a contagious disease with no vaccine or cure that literally eats away at people’s flesh. I had no idea then that the whole world would have to change and adapt to coping with Covid-19.
Of course necrotizing fasciitis is a real thing?
Yes, but luckily not contagious! How the disease behaves in my novel is complete fiction.
So lastly, when there are so many other new novels out there, what makes yours different?
Everyone loves a fast paced adventure to become lost in and by writing this I have created a unique world that reflects Jemima’s and other young people’s influence on my life. Having worked with students aged 8-18 for many years, helping them write plays to express issues they are passionate about, this book is very much inspired by them too. Our world is a better place with stories in it.
Thank you, Sophy Layzell
About the Author
Sophy Layzell lives in Ilminster, Somerset and is the founder and trustee for the Jemima Layzell Trust, Artistic Director of Make Performing Arts and bookkeeper for J Layzell and Sons. Her daughter Jemima is the UK record holder for most organ transplant recipients. Since her daughter’s passing, Sophy set up Jemima’s trust and has been fundraising ever since.