Sunday, October 27, 2013

Book Tour: The Borealis Genome by Thomas & Nancy Wise Interview

YA Sci Fi
Date Published: 6/4/2013
New novel The Borealis Genome addresses the issue of increased moral ambiguity as scientific technology advances and removes our sense of individuality. The married authors throw engaged characters Tim and Nora into a scientific nightmare where mind-uploading and a weaponized virus allow the minds of the few to control those of the masses. As the population starts turning into mental zombies can Tim and Nora find the source of this mayhem? And can their love persevere through these harrowing times?

1.            Where did you get the idea for the novel?

Tom – while working on my dissertation I ran across a lot of new science that sparked my imagination. Much of the science today is great fodder for science fiction and can really drive speculative fiction to new levels.

Nancy – I helped to enhance some of the story line as I was proofing for Tom.  We worked together to make the characters real.

2.            Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?

Tom – I have to admit the title was mine.  We had a long list of titles, and there were probably some that would have been a lot easier to remember, but I really liked The Borealis Genome.  It just seems to roll off the tongue.

Nancy – Tom is right.  The title is his.  The family had a few brain storming sessions, but Tom had the final choice.

3.            Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?

Tom - Speculative fiction is exciting.  It has the ability to take on the latest in science and science fiction and as the question, what if.  I love that question.  What if someone learned how to make zombies?  What if someone learned to truly take, not just your mind and your memories, but that essence that really makes us recognize you for being you.  I really enjoy those questions. 

4.            Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?

Tom – It floored me when several of my co-workers from my day job held up the book, waved me over, and asked me to sign the book.  I turned bright red and stammered a few unrecognizable words and admitted that I had never signed a book before. 
Nancy – For me it was actually holding the finished completed product and reading it through.  That was quite a thrill.

5.            What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?

Nancy – Usually what our children are working on for reading in school, or Tom’s other projects.  I am always excited when a new Dragon Riders of Pern novel comes out.

Tom – Well, I really don’t get a lot of time to read, but I enjoy Historical fiction.  The Shaara’s series of books is on my list.

6.            What is your writing process?

Tom – Nancy and I have an ongoing negotiation.  I’ll right a couple of draft chapters and then Nancy and I will get together and go over the details and ask ourselves a couple of questions. What happens next? How would specific characters react or feal?  She makes the plot and characters real.

Nance – Tom is my writing process!

7.            At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say? 

Nancy – Just our names unless something is requested.

Tom – I still get blown away when someone asks me to sign.  You have to help me if there is something more to say. 

8.            What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Nancy – Tom is very comedic.  He keeps the family rolling with laughter.

Tom – Well, I find it easier like Nancy did to talk about other people, but maybe that I am a health freak.  I find it really hard to eat anything that isn’t considered good for me.  J

9.            How do you react to a bad review?

Tom – I don’t think of a review as bad.  It’s more like getting feedback.  I tend to get nervous if everybody is always agreeing with me.  Every time I hand someone a copy of the book I ask them to really read it and let me know what they think.  Good or bad.

Nancy – I look at a negative as a suggestion to try to appeal to that type of reader a little better.

10.        How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

Tom and Nancy – Champagne.  We went out and bought a bottle of champagne to celebrate, but it took us a few days before we realized it was real and opened the bottle.

Thomas & Nancy Wise

Thomas and Nancy come from very different backgrounds.  Thomas was raised in a military family and lived through the separations of war and the challenges that a family faces when coming back together. Challenges such as injuries and the frailty of the body and shifts in the personality that war bring to a family can force everyone to redefine how they see the themselves and the world around them. Nancy was raised in a family challenged by severe injuries.  Her father was paralyzed and could no longer work causing the family to reform around a new breadwinner when their mother had to take over. 

We chose to write a book shaped around these realities and the challenges that new technologies will force societies all over the world to deal with very soon. Mind uploading, neural networks, and human gene manipulation combined with new medical discoveries may become a new reality that we must all understand and learn what it means to our lives. These are realities today that were only science fiction just a few years ago that will soon have a real and direct affect on our lives.
Tom earned his Ph.D. in Organization and Management in 2012 and has other books including “Trust in Virtual Teams,” and “Agile Readiness.”


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