The book is set in a society completely separate from ours, built inside a series of ascending concentric circles that correspond to socioeconomic status – the higher the circle, the more wealthy the citizens.
The plot is set around Anders, the behind-the-scenes man for the business that owns the whole society. He decides that the best way to achieve social stability is to make up an outside force for them to fear.
The story follows several characters from different circles, from the poor outlands to the posh inner circles. Readers get to see their day-to-day lives and how they react to Anders’ schemes as he puts them in motion.
Sound like a good read?
It’s the concept behind “The Walls of Samwel,” a self-published fiction book written by 2005 Poynette High School graduate Andrew Krause, an aspiring, promising young author. Krause, 26, has been writing “ever since I can remember,” though he’s been taking his craft much more seriously in recent years.
“It’s funny, the last time I was home I looked through an old binder my mom kept of all my grade school stuff and there was a little one page story in there about a detective chasing a wizard I had written in the second grade,” he said. “So for better or worse, I think I always knew this was what I wanted to do.”
Krause’s preferred medium is fiction.
“I think that there are some things that people deal with that can’t be handled with non-fiction,” he said. “I’ve always liked the maxim that a fictional story is a lie that tells the truth.”
Krause points to some of his former Poynette teachers as being instrumental for nurturing and growing his interest in writing.
“Ms. (Susan) Dobbe-Chase was definitely one of those early inspirations that everyone needs,” he said. “Come to think of it, Poynette High School had an astounding amount of quality teachers for how small a school it was – Mr. (Dan) Barber, (Jessica) Kindsche – they were all fantastic.
“They were great at creating an environment conducive to growth,” Krause continued. “The students really benefit from them.”
One of Krause’s favorite tales about his early writing career at PHS concerned a story he wrote about prison for Dobbe-Chase’s class.
“If it were any other teacher I might have been sent straight to the school counselor, but she understood that I was just trying to explore what could be done in the medium and helped me edit it into a decent story,” he said. “She really had patience with me and the honest desire to help me learn.”
Science-fiction and fantasy have always been fodder for Krause’s stories.
“When I was young and would stay home sick from school, I could plow through one of the Redwall books in a day,” he said.
These days, he leans more toward “speculative fiction,” dystopias in particular – books like “1984,” “Brave New World,” “We” and “Fahrenheit 451.”
“George Saunders is an especially good contemporary author who plays a lot with alternate realities and makes them seem entirely plausible,” Krause said.
As for his writings, Krause hopes “The Walls of Samwel” will mark the start of his own successful career.
“I already have a second book completed called “The Woman They Kept,” and a third one in the rough draft stage,” he said. “Whether it fleshes out to a full fledged career or not, I’ll keep writing them, it’s just too much fun to play around with the ideas and characters.”
Krause and his girlfriend now live in Oakdale, Minn., a suburb of St. Paul.
His books are available through Amazon or by visiting andrewjkrause.weebly].com.