Mood Swings is a science-fiction novel for young adults. Over 27 chapters and an epilogue, it tells the tale of 15-year-old Saffron Cooper’s development of a neural viral infection and the peculiar friendships that it brings about. Saffron discovers that she is not alone in her illness, which exaggerates her emotions to the point of fever, but that each of her allies is affected somewhat differently: one can hear emotions; one can see them; one can smell them. Once the four have met, they set about searching for the cause of their disease and the possibility of a cure. For Saffron, however, the factor with the most transformational impact on her life is not the virus but the people that she unwillingly accepts into it.
Enthralled by my then new knowledge of viral pathogens and genetic engineering, as well as my reading of Sophie Mackenzie’s The Medusa Project series, I began writing Mood Swings in 2013. Another source of inspiration were the emotionally-charged teenagers whom I encountered almost every day in secondary school. Being a very calm person myself, I couldn’t help but wonder: what could have made them this way? What if there were an external force that elicited the infamous adolescent volatility? Mood Swings is my answer to that.