Independent Author
<i>The Female Breeders</i>  <i>by Melanie Bokstad Horev</i>
  • © 2024 J.C. Gemmell 0

The Female Breeders by Melanie Bokstad Horev

Melanie Bokstad Horev discusses her novel ‘The Female Breeders’

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A bit about The Female Breeders

In The Female Breeders, I explore a number of topics. My inspiration stems directly from today’s society. Aside from gender roles, it also examines oppression, corruption, politics, science, and morality. The story takes place in a near-future all-female dystopian society where brilliant, blunt scientist Neen Salvek uncovers an unsettling truth about the use of males as breeding stock. This leads her on a path of discovery toward the true agenda of the self-proclaimed leader of the propaganda-driven society.

The book was solely inspired by the Texas abortion laws of 2022, essentially taking away women’s rights. The slippery slope of this abhorrent decision ended up being my fictional work, The Female Breeders. I decided to write it in a split second, and then it developed into a story over the next month or two. In response to the decision that changed a lot of lives in Texas and the United States, I sat down and tried to imagine what it must be like to live there. Not just there, but to live in any place where the oppression of women is the ruling agenda.

I tried to get into the mindset of women in these places, and what happened: Rage started to build within, bubbly gut-wrenching angry, red-faced rage. What would I do in this situation? I would fight (or I would hide or flee). I thought, however, that if enough women fought together over many years and years in underground movements, in sneaky ways, they might succeed in changing things. This could actually be done, I was convinced. This is how the idea for the book came about, as well as the ideas for the sequel and, more importantly, the prequel.

I am currently working on both the sequel and writing the story beats for the prequel. I have gotten requests (and doubts) as to how the females in my story could gain control in the first place. This is certainly interesting and something I considered from the moment I wrote the book. Throughout the Female Breeders, Neen (and her surroundings) refer to the time before, and the revolution, but not in any detail. So there is a whole book coming out about the uprising, which I am SO excited about. I think it will be ready in early 2024. I am putting all my work into the sequel at the moment, wrapping up Neen and EVE’s story properly.

About the author

As a first-time novelist and scientist with a Ph.D. in molecular cell biology, I tend to incorporate light science and microscopes into my stories. The Female Breeders was no exception. There is lab work, tubes, and genetics in there, but so much more. I take my everyday experiences and apply them to the story and its settings. I think when we write, we always reflect on some part of ourselves or the people close to us. I think Neen, the main character, is a super-pumped-up version of myself. It was only in hindsight, and with enough pipettes between us to build a castle, that I realized it. Neen’s best friend is named Ems, and she is reflected in my daughter’s name Emma, and her character. What I want her to become and what I see in her future.

Literature comparisons

Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, along with Naomi Alderman’s The Power. In my opinion, those are the most appropriate comparisons for readers who are considering reading my book. Unlike Atwood’s work, The Female Breeders is not as dark.
For more details about books by Melanie Bokstad Horev, visit or follow @MelanieBokstad on Twitter.
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