Last month's publication day unleashed a whole host of fantastic books; one of these being R.E. Boucher's dazzling dystopian novel "The Electi". We got the chance to speak with her recently about seeking inspiration in dreams, music and LGBTQ+ literature!

You can find "The Electi" on our website, and you can connect with R.E. Boucher via her socials. 

You’ve said that the initial idea for “The Electi” came to you in a dream, which is fascinating to hear. Could you talk a little more about this, and how you formed the idea for the novel?

R.E.B: It does sound bizarre but I've always had very vivid dreams, almost like movies in my head. The first ideas came from one of these, and were how I came up with the Electi/Treb class system for the book. Once I started writing those thoughts down, further ideas naturally followed. Once the characters were born, I was hooked and knew it could be a full-length story.

You are a creative soul, and writing is not your only pursuit in the world of the arts, as you’re a lifelong musician as well. We’d be curious to know more about your experience as a musician, and the kinds of music that spoke to you growing up.

R.E.B: Music has always been my first love, as my father is a musician. He raised me on classic seventies and eighties rock like Bon Jovi and Aerosmith, while my mum loved ABBA and my grandma introduced me to musical theatre. I therefore ended up with a very eclectic taste in music! As a child I learnt the guitar and had singing lessons, and I still perform now with local groups. I'm in a rock band with my dad at the moment as well as a local musical theatre group. I'm actually writing my own musical at the moment about a cult. It's a comedy, not dissimilar to The Book of Mormon.

It seems like literature has been with you for your entire life. What are your earliest and fondest memories of reading?

R.E.B: My earliest memories of reading are in libraries. I spent a lot of my childhood with my grandma and she always took us to the library. Our local libraries used to run a summer holiday reading challenge and my brother and I would always race to complete them. When I was a teenager, my mum worked in a library and just about kept up with my love of Malorie Blackman novels. I was honoured to have met her at a signing of Noughts and Crosses in Christchurch, and it remains one of my favourite novels as well as significant inspiration for The Electi.


As someone who is a writer and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, how would you describe the state of LGBTQ+ literature at present? Is there anything you would like to see more of?

R.E.B: It is incredibly exciting to see the range of LGBT+ inclusive literature available now. When I was first out, at fifteen, I had to sneak to the little LGBT shelf at the back of Borders, which usually just had the same three novels I'd read a hundred times. I think it's still very important to keep pushing for all kinds of representation though. I was part of the 'Harry Potter' generation that grew up with the characters of the books and fell in love with that world. When J.K.Rowling started making anti-trans comments it was devastating - especially as so many of her fans are part of this community. We all felt betrayed and I think we are still looking for an antidote to that. I have purposely included LGBT characters in my novel and have plans for developing those and adding more in further installments. I suppose I am writing the characters I wanted to see when I first came out, but didn't.


“The Electi” inhabits the dystopian genre, which often draws inspiration directly from real world politics and social and humanitarian issues. What real-life parallels have you drawn with “The Electi”?

R.E.B: It's actually quite funny, I started writing the Electi a few years ago now, and some of the things I wrote about started to come true, like the pandemic. Unfortunately art mirrors life a great deal in my novel and the issues of racism, homophobia and climate change were included as very real warnings to the younger generation of what can happen if we don't change things. I think that's my greatest hope for The Electi - if it can change some young people's minds and influence their decision making to create a better world - I would be very pleased with that.