Thursday, November 15, 2012
Author Interview :Spectra by Joanne Elder
Describe your book in five words or less.
Sci-Fi, Thriller, Murder, Mystery, Betrayal
How did the ideas for your books come to you?
Often science fiction plots involve extraterrestrials carrying out ruthless experiments on humans. With Spectra, I loved the idea of switching it up and stirring in some deadly consequences for those immoral enough to exploit a newly discovered, peaceful and intelligent life form.
In my writing, I like to explore the unknown and science fiction is the perfect avenue to do that with. Past experience has shown that today’s speculative fiction may become tomorrow’s scientific fact. A subplot in Spectra narrows in on the human soul and what it is. Scientifically speaking, if it exists, it has to be something. So does God for that matter. Perhaps I was inspired to explore this particular unknown after losing my father and questioning the scientific rational behind an ever-after.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In Spectra, one man’s life crumbles as he struggles to stop the genocide of newly discovered energy-based life forms so unique they cause humans to acquire extraordinary intelligence for a brief period following exposure to them. Flirting with genius is too intoxicating for the chief antagonist in the story, and he decides to exploit the power of the entities with little regard for the fact that he’s killing them in the process. Spectra explores the fact that human greed doesn’t necessarily come with a dollar sign, but can be manifested as something entirely different. In this case, power and control come with extreme intellect.
What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?
I write science fiction thrillers and, where possible, I like to back up elements of the plot with real science to make the story thought provoking. The challenge is to take the science and convey it in a completely non-technical manner so it will be merely entertaining for the reader. The easy part of writing comes with planning out the plot. I’m very imaginative and rarely get writer’s block.
What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?
The sequel to Spectra, Entity, was just released by MuseItUp Publishing. Right now, I’m writing another science fiction thriller. I have yet to give the book a title, but it centers on a frightening misuse of nanobots, which are tiny machines injected into the body to treat disease.
Why did you choose to write for specific genre?
I’ve always been a science fiction fan, dating back to the first Star Trek series. Certainly, with my engineering background, it seems to be a natural genre for me. I love thrillers, so all my science fiction novels have a strong thriller component to them.
What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?
I have had several readers email me after they read Spectra asking when Entity would be released. I was happily able to respond to them a short time ago letting them know it is now available. It’s very rewarding when your reader’s take the time to contact you directly.
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as an author?
I submitted Spectra to RT Book Reviews Magazine for review. It earned their rating of TOP PICK, which they give to few books. I was very pleased.
What was your road to publications like?
No doubt all debut authors follow the same path I did. Once Spectra was complete, I queried literary agents and large presses to find a home for it. Although it’s not impossible for a debut author to land a contract in this manner, it’s very difficult and the waiting time for responses can be painstakingly long. After all, agents get bombarded with queries on mass. Ultimately, patience got the better of me and I started to submit the manuscript to smaller presses. For submissions, many smaller presses allow you to send in your entire manuscript rather than just a few chapters, which I feel serves to the author’s advantage. I very quickly signed a contract with MuseItUp Publishing and I’ve found them to be excellent.
About the Book:
SPECTRA, the thought-provoking and potent sci-fi thriller debut from Joanne Elder (BESc, MESc, PEng), dramatically explores the age-old question of the existence of the human soul, with cutting-edge science to back it. Set against a backdrop of mystery, murder, betrayal, and extra-terrestrial life, SPECTRA tackles a host of cosmic issues, such as the terrible dangers of mankind’s materialistic and intellectual greed; life forms beyond our current comprehension; the deadly consequences of tampering with the essence of life; and, if the soul exists, what exactly is it made of? When a mining exploration crew, light years from the earth, discovers intelligent life forms comprised entirely of energy so pure and unique they give unimaginable cognitive abilities to those exposed to them, their minds — and lives — are forever transformed. The fast-paced plot of SPECTRA takes its reader through a wild journey of deep space exploration, ruthless scientific experimentation, and the real possibilities of the physical manifestation of what we call the soul.“The underlying theme of SPECTRA is that if the human soul does exist, it has to be manifested as something in the physical universe. It can’t be nothing, nor can God, for that matter,” says Elder of her literary debut.
About the Author:
Joanne Elder is a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Engineering Science at the University of Western Ontario. During her professional career, she spent several years in the aeronautical and nuclear industries, published numerous technical papers in the field of Metallurgical Engineering and presented at international conferences. She now resides in King City, Ontario with her two teen-aged children and husband. Spectra, Elder’s debut novel, and the sequel, Entity, were published by MuseItUp Publishing.
You can visit Joanne Elder’s website
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