Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Borealis Genome Blog Tour: Author Interview and Book Review


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Gene manipulation, mind uploading, and nanotechnology combine to alter the definition of being human. Synthetic-life and genetic engineering allow the world’s greatest minds to live forever, uploading new life to perfect their craft.
Tim and Nora confront the dark side of eternity and threaten to expose the source of gruesome attacks. Conspiracies uncovered create a battle for life, love, and humanity with the sinister byproducts of evolutionary science.


Review: 


I'll keep this one short and sweet. I loved the premise of the novel, the whole thing about gene manipulation
and altering DNA. The premise was well developed and explained clearly and thoroughly, making it easier for me to follow the plot line of the story.

The writing style was good as well. There were enough visuals were I could vividly picture the scene and not an over-abundance of dialogue. However, a few of the descriptions between Tim and Nora were really overly cheesy and overdone. Luckily, there weren't any more overdone and cheesy scenes aside from this.

cheesy
The only other problem I had with this book is that it seemed a bit too lengthy to the point where it was making the book's plot move slower. This is the kind of book that needs a plot that hits the reader with one thing after another and the lengthiness didn't work.

However, I liked the changing of character viewpoints for each chapter. It really worked to develop each individual character and was was moved the plot along, and I liked that I got to see things that were happening to each character but didn't have to go through the changing of narratives. I didn't find myself favoring one character over another, and this was beneficial as I wouldn't skip ahead to particular chapters.

Overall, this book was a pretty intriguing read. The premise of the book was very well developed as well as the factual science and the changing of characters each chapter worked well. I think my biggest concern with this is actually the cover. I feel like it could embody the wonderful premise much better and be more aesthetically pleasing as to draw in new fans. I recommend this if you're a sucker for sci-fi novels.

Interview with the authors


1. The premise of the novel is my favorite thing about the book, how did you come up with it? 

The premise was something that really kind of grew on me. Studying for my dissertation lasted for about 7 years as I worked my way through the doctoral courses, and while studying and preparing to write the dissertation I did a lot of reading regarding neural networks and AI. This peeked my interest and caused me to wonder just how far the science of neural networks could be taken. While reading more on the subject I began to run across new discoveries in mind uploading. 

Now this really got Nancy and I to speculate the “what if” of the story line. Much of the science is doable today with a few limitations, and so the story holds before the reader a moral, ethical, and spiritual dilemma that runs deep underneath the original speculative thriller. Aside from the science a lot of the scenes come from our childhood experiences like the scene with Tommy and his friends exploding little green plastic soldiers. That really did happen, but of course the personalities are mixed. They are put together from several people we know.

2. As a writer, are you plotters or pantsers? 

Probably a bit of both. The Borealis Genome grew from one of our children’s favorite evening routines when they were small. We lived in what you would likely call a rural little town in Illinois and would often spend our evenings sitting around a campfire, cooking hotdogs and marshmallows and telling scary stories to each other. We all loved those times together, and over time the stories would build into bigger stories. As the children grew and our time to meet around the campfire dwindled we decided to write a story together that everyone could participate in creating. This story, to get back to the question, began in the middle and grew from there. We started the story by writing out a few chapters as a prompt or a framework. This is the pantser part of the process. Then we’d get together and talk about what might have driven Tim, or Tommy, or Nora to do this or that, or maybe how they might react or respond. This is the plotter part of the process because we would then create a high level outline to guide me in writing it out. Then back to the pantser process.

3. It's interesting that you co-wrote the novel. How did that work? Did you alternate every other chapter?

Tom would do the actual writing and Nancy would do a lot of the thinking. Guiding the story line, making sure the story stays real and doesn’t cause the reader to struggle when they get into the story and suspend their belief system. Her fingerprint is deeply imbedded in the plot and characterization. Much of the story becomes a negotiation as we work to build a character and fill out the environment. It was a lot of fun. (LOL) Well, you’ve heard that building a new construction home tests a marriage. . . . Let’s just say we had a few battles.

4. What's one piece of advice you would like to give to aspiring young writers who plan to participate in this year's NaNoWriMo? 

Dig deep into your experiences. Search your days and years and create a world based on the things you have seen and people you have met. I wouldn’t write a person into your story, but everyone you meet can contribute a small amount to the character and behaviors of your subject. Enjoy the process and enjoy your story, because your readers will know. If you don’t enjoy the story then neither will your reader.Then edit, edit, edit, and hand the work to someone who can professionally edit. One thing I have discovered in writing this and other works is that I am not an editor.

Get the book here

Thanks to everyone who stopped by!


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for a mostly positive review! As we read through reactions & comments, we try to learn from them to improve our next projects. As we are just beginning our next book in the series, what would you like to see as an improvement between Tim & Nora? Can you expand a little or how or what made the relationship come across to you as overly cheesy? I can't make any promises, but I love the feedback!

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