In her spare time, Pacific Beach environmental activist Karin Zirk is active writing fiction.
The print version of Zirk’s second book, “Falling From The Moon,” came out via Talk Story Publishing right before the pandemic hit. Her novel, which follows the quest of a 25-year old character searching for her vanished father, leads to a peace and love gathering in a Sierra Nevada counter-culture community.
On Oct. 15, Talk Story Publishing is releasing the eBook version of “Falling From The Moon.”
Zirk’s novel is based on a traumatic life experience of hers.
“It is a fiction book, but it is grounded in many years of peace and healing gathering events where nobody is in charge and people are working collectively,” said Zirk, who leads Friends of Rose Creek, which is an environmental support group for the PB watershed and its popular community bike path.
A full-time IT worker, Zirk previously lived an alternative lifestyle as a young woman.
“I spent about three years traveling around the country in a Volkswagen camper van,” she said. “Many years ago I was involved in a situation where a woman was sexually assaulted. I was really struggling to understand that. I started (afterward) to write down everything that happened, and it turned into 100 pages. Then I thought I should create a story, and that turned into 200 pages. Ultimately, I created a novel. That is my driving force for writing: trying to understand how things happen, and what we as a community do about that.”
Zirk didn’t know the assault victim personally but had “interacted with the suspect” in the days leading up to the alleged crime. “I had not listened to my gut instinct that there was more going on with him than other people seemed to think, although it’s hard to do much about people before they commit a crime,” she said. “I have always felt very culpable. That is really how the novel came into being. It was my attempt to sort through it all.”
About her writing, the author, who has a doctorate in mythology, noted, “We all have perspectives on the world based on our upbringing, our culture and the era in which we live. All of these things have an undercurrent of mythological themes. Think of it as an iceberg that is controlling our lives, not visible to us.”
Zirk characterized her second novel as a “hope-based narrative.” She added, “When we function as a community and work toward the betterment of everybody, we have hope in happy endings.”
Will there be a sequel?
“It ends at a jumping-off point where the two main characters can see their futures,” answered Zirk of her new novel.
Of what she hopes readers will get out of her novel, Zirk said, “I would hope that this book gives people new perspectives on life and humans and communities. I would also hope that this book inspires people to maybe think outside the box for solutions.”
Watch Karin’s talk, “The True Price of Activism,” for a short reading and to learn about the inspiration behind her new novel on YouTube at youtu.be/baIEPyagtUY.