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“The Island: A Dystopian Novella” by Jen Minkman

“The Island: A Dystopian Novella”  by Jen Minkman

A dystopian novella which the author wanted to be different from most dystopian books. It is about a post-apocalyptic society whose members live according to a very strange life philosophy, caused by events in the past that their ancestors misinterpreted.

The inspiration for this novella was a picture book that Jen Minkman read as a child, presented as a journal written by people in the very distant future.

It was a hilarious way to show how historians and archeologists might be on the wrong track (...). And it raised the question - would people living 1500 years from now be able to make much sense of the ruins of our civilization?

“The Island” is a story told from the perspective of a young girl who lives on an island where children, when they are 10, are separated from their parents and live and survive together in a mansion. They have life lessons from their leader but some of them begin to question the truth. The author hopes, when readers finish this book, that they will think about how society's rules came into being, and why people sometimes follow them even though they are nonsensical to outsiders.

Jen is often asked how she gets inspired to write.

Just by watching the world and asking myself what if...

For her the best thing about writing is being able to share stories with others and entertain them with characters and situations. She is an avid reader, and if she can make people simply lose themselves in her books, she is very grateful for that. And she never has writer's block.

The only thing I have is a lack of time, and I deal with that by just not sleeping if I'm obsessed with finishing a certain book I want to write!

For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack. 

Jen is from the Netherlands but translates her books into English herself. Sometimes she changes the names of the main characters to make them more “palatable”. Or changes jokes that are too “hollandaise”. And she often realizes that she can shed a few sentences.

If there’s one effective way to edit your stories, it's translating them to become more aware of superfluous text.

She gladly offers her book via OpenBooks. After all, the best thing about being a writer is sharing your gripping stories with the world!

Most popular reviews:

“A simple, fluid way of writing... The foundation the author gives to her characters and the society they are part of is very inventive and visual.” - Jennifer Murgia, author of the Angel Star series

“The references are very important to the plot, but Minkman does an excellent job making this her own story. Characters might share names, and there are Star Wars characters mentioned and talked about, but that's about it. The plot is totally original.” - Ashley, AP Book Club

“I found The Island to be a quick, interesting read. The ending left me both satisfied and interested in knowing more - I think there is the potential for a longer story here, even novel-length, but it also works as a novella.”  - A. Arendt on

What do you think of this story?

Heart eyes Beautiful  
Thinking face Thought-provoking  
Nerd face Inspiring  
Grinning Entertaining  
Open mouth Jaw-dropping  
Cry Moving  
Money mouth face Biased  
Triumph Annoying