Monday, August 27, 2012

Author Ciara Knight Weighs in on Science, Ninja News, and Ninja out of the Shell

Special treat today! Author Ciara Knight is here to talk about the science in science fiction. Or rather, that lack thereof. (Hey, I can totally relate!) Take it, Ciara…

I’d like to thank Master Ninja Alex for allowing me to be here today. You are the most giving blogger I know, and you write my favorite genre, science fiction. I’ve always wanted to write in this genre, but avoided it. I hope you don’t mind, but that’s what I’m going to talk about today.

No, not Science!

I’ve avoided writing science fiction because I’ve always been scared of the supporting science. When I began writing The Neumarian Chronicles, I fell completely in love with the story, characters, and plot. I started typing my ideas down as they came flooding in with little effort until I hit the dreaded technology question. What is the power source?

The Neumarian Chronicles is a futuristic post-war setting with airships, so I couldn’t ignore this problem. I consulted some old friends including a mechanic, NASA writer, fighter pilot, and my hubby (The man is aggravatingly brilliant. Of course, I find that totally sexy).

I researched heat engines (Internal combustion and external combustion), electric, pneumatic motors, and molecular motors. I found each one had some issues. In Weighted and the beginning of Escapement (book I of The Neumarian Chronicles) they are in the Mining Territory, located in the wasteland (AKA western USA). I did some research on natural resources that would have likely survived the war, and discovered uranium as an option. Great, I’ll have the airship use a nuclear steam-powered Stirling engine. Problem solved, right?


There are ships, trains, and boats from other areas. I continued my research and discovered what else would most likely survive a great war. Coal in one region, salt-water in another, etc…

You’ve probably already solved my dilemma, but I was so deep in research I didn’t see the obvious.

*Palm to head* Dah!

Why does there have to be one technology? There is no internet, phone, or easy transportation. This world is rebuilding under tyrannical rule. There would be no ONE power source. They would be scavenging for whatever they could to survive.

The funny part is that most of the science isn’t discussed in the book, but I know how everything works. Also, you smarty-pants out there won’t call me out for using the wrong power source. Okay, I know someone will, but that’s okay. I loved the process and learned so much about science, technology, and myself as a writer.

Now, I totally accept the roll of a fearless Ninja of science. Well, at least in my writing.

Weighted blurb:
The Great War of 2185 is over, but my nightmare has just begun. I am being held captive in the Queen’s ship awaiting interrogation. My only possible ally is the princess, but I’m unsure if she is really my friend or a trap set by the Queen to fool me into sharing the secret of my gift. A gift I keep hidden even from myself. It swirls inside my body begging for release, but it is the one thing the Queen can never discover. Will I have the strength to keep the secret? I’ll know the answer soon. If the stories are true about the interrogators, I’ll either be dead or a traitor to my people by morning.

Author bio:
Ciara Knight writes to ‘Defy the Dark’ with her fantasy and paranormal books. Her debut novel, The Curse of Gremdon, was released to acclaimed reviews, securing a Night Owl Top Pick and five stars from the Paranormal Romance Guild. Also, released in 2012 is her young adult series, Battle for Souls.

For a full list of her work, please go to her website.

Ciara is extremely sociable and can be found at Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and her blog.

Ninja News

Milo James Fowler at In Medias Res is holding a contest for the latest volume of Bardic Tales and Sage Advice (in PRINT), which includes his story "The Second Option." Visit his blog for details.

Part Three of Andrew Leon’s book, Shadow Spinner, is available for free on Amazon now.

Thanks to everyone who visited Teresa at Journaling Woman last Friday. Glad you liked my writing tip.
I think it’s my new motto!

Today is the special cover reveal of EJ Wesley’s new book!! 
Congratulations, EJ!!!

And he's holding a giveaway at his blog, so check it out.

My movie trivia question on Friday – which movie series/franchise has TWO films in the top ten of all time? Believe it or not, Pirates of the Caribbean! On Stranger Tides and Dead Man’s Chest are both in the top ten with over a billion dollars each. (No idea why, but that’s the answer.)

Beyond the Ninja Shell

Several of you commented that you enjoyed finding out things about me at Teresa’s blog that you don’t find here. I’ll admit, I don’t divulge much on my own blog, whether because I’m a private person, or yeah, I’m still shy, or just the fact I don’t think I’m all that interesting. So I’ll leave it up to you guys – what do you want to know? I won’t reveal all, but I’ll do my best. And snark may or may not be involved.

Questions for Ciara about science? (Hey, can’t ask me – I still don’t know how a teleporter works.) Get the trivia question right? And anything you’d possibly want to know about the Ninja…?


Kyra Lennon said...

Great post by Ciara! :D

Old Kitty said...

Lovely Ciara! Does your hubby have a brother!? Ahem! LOL!!

Awwww Ciara! You know there will always be that one person who make it their life's work to nitpick at details not realising when to draw the line!! Sigh!!!!

Now.. what wouldn't I want to know more about the Capn?!?!!? LOL!

Take care

Ciara said...

Alex, thanks so much for having me on your blog today. I always enjoy hanging here. Oh, you know everyone wants to see a picture. :)

Kyra - Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

Old Kitty - I have one writer friend that calls my house so that she can hear his deep voice. LOL Of course, you are right. You can't please everyone, but I just want to write the best darn story possible.

Brinda said...

I cannot wait to read this one and your post has made me wish I could start NOW. But I do have to go to work, so I guess I'll wait. Great post.

Cindy said...

What do I want to know? Something that probably isn't going to happen. I'd like to see a picture of you (not hidden in shadow). But I understand if you don't feel comfortable with that. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex and Ciara - great blogger to have around sharing her research into the earth's power sources .. fun - I wonder what we will be using or will be available in 2,185?!

Fun to read that you just settled in to your Neumarian Chronicles when the words just flowed out ...

Great guest author ... cheers to you both - Hilary

Heather Murphy said...

Ciara, you are a brave women stepping out of your comfort zone to explore science!
Alex, I agree...a picture would be nice but I understand

Laura Pauling said...

I think it's great to tackle a writing project that scares us a little bit! Congrats on the books! I've written a couple time travel and those tricky questions always come up!

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ediFanoB said...

Interesting post Ciara,

I think the detail level of science in abook depends on the story you want to tell.

I think you know the term "hard SF".
That is a category where detailed and logical technical descriptions are mandatory.

Ciara said...

Brinda - Work comes first. :)

Hilary - I'm glad you enjoyed. It definitely fell into place.

Heather - I guess it's good to step outside if we are going to learn new things.

Laura - I'm never good at answering questions on the spot. I feel like I need to go through some Rocky training before I do a books signing for the series.

Alex - What if you show a wedding picture, or a little ninja photo. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sometimes we make it too hard for ourselves, Ciara.

Ciara said...

edifanoB - Yes, and mine is more character/plot driven than scientific, but I wanted to make sure it still worked.

L. Diane - I'm so good at that. LOL

Rusty Carl said...

I'm drawn to Ciara's book by her discussion. I'll be checking it out.

And what do I want to know about the great Ninja? Yikes.

How about, what's your hat size? No, that's too lame of a question. I need something more grand. What's your favorite Flinstone? Still no. Lessee, could you ever dunk a basketball?

Lindi said...

Ciara--I like the post. Can't wait for the series. Your way of researching sounds like mine a little...go round and round them there it is. :)
Have a great day!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Ciara, Love your post. It's making me think...

Alex, Thy writing doth not suck! I can't think of anything to ask you right now. I think I may have used up my questions. Be back when I think of something.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kitty, my first laugh of the morning! Does her husband's brother need to look like Daniel Craig as well?

Ciara, there's actually something along those lines in the works... And you're welcome!

Cindy, that just might happen. You'll find out later.

Edi, and hard science fiction isn't something either Ciara or I write.

Rusty, this white boy CAN jump.

Unknown said...

Wow, world building is hard! I didn't know so much went into writing sci-fi.

Unknown said...

Good for you Ciara for all the research. That's the good thing about research - you don't actually have to use it but you can write with authority. Weighted sounds great. Thank you for an interesting interview.
Alex, I'm always late for the party. I didn't know you were on Teresa's blog. I'll pop over there now.

Cate Masters said...

Great post, Ciara! I love research and can get carried away with it, too, so I can relate! Congrats again on your release.
And yes, Alex, it's always great to know more about you.

Ciara said...

Lindi! Hi, girl. Great to see you here. Yep, I thought we had that in common. Can't wait to do lunch again. See you soon.

Teresa - Yay, I hope it sparks an amazing idea.

Clarissa - I tend to complicate things. :)

Susan - Yes, at least I know how things work. :)

Thanks, Cate.

Marta Szemik said...

More information is always better than less. Perhaps you can use your new found research in a future novel. I'm not much of a science person so I'd probably have the same *duh* moment as you had Ciara. Great post!

Luanne G. Smith said...

I'm scared of the science in science fiction too, which is why I'm sticking with fantasy. :)

Juliana Haygert said...

Great post, Ciara. I always worry about technology and that's why I keep away from sci-fi, though I admit many ideas for sci-fi stories inhabit my mind ;)
Congrats to EJ Wesley and his book cover!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Teresa!

Susan, that's all right.

Ciara said...

Marta - It's just how I roll. :)

L.G. - I did for awhile, but this story just wouldn't let me go.

Juliana - I know how you feel, but go for it.

Karen Lange said...

Congrats to Ciara! Thanks, Ciara, for sharing, and Alex, for hosting. I appreciate the info and inspiration. :)

Andrew Leon said...

I have to say that sci-fi that glosses over the science is usually better anyway. When authors go into all kinds of detail about how their science works, it usually comes off as dumb. I mean, if that neat idea was really a neat idea, some one would be making it.

Tara Tyler said...

i got the trivia question! woot!!
and i totally research science and biology and whatever i write. sci fi has to be plausible, even if we dont dwell on the techie details, we have to know what we're talking about for the characters' background. even if it's just behind the scenes, it's still awesome & useful knowledge!

and you know what knowledge is...

shelly said...

Ciara's book sounds cool! And I still think you're Santa Claus.

Hugs and chocolate,

Tonja said...

I agree, Ciara's book sounds awesome.

Unknown said...

Nice post by Ciara. Her book is awesome. Yeah, here is one for you Alex...What do you look like? I think you must have two heads and four arms...LOL!

VikLit said...

Great interview and so interesting to hear about the research behind the science!

I think I had guessed pirates YAY and I never get your trivia answers so I feel pleased ;)

Christine Danek said...

Great post, Ciara. I like hearing about your research. I'm totally intrigued by your book. Yes, I put it on my must have list. :) Best wishes. And thanks Alex.

LynnRush said...

Yay, Ciara. Great post. Love the worlds you create, girl!!! :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Completely blown away that it was Pirates!!! Weird.

I love getting caught up in research like Ciara did for the power sources - it's so much fun!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Ciara, I think thats the secret. YOU, the author knows the background and the facts and that allows you to write the story with comfort. It also brings a certain validity to the writing. Most of the research we do is for us to write the story and not so much for the reader. the reader sees the results of the research but not the research itself.

Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE said...

I'm in awe of you sci-fi writers.

I too have been wondering what you look like, Alex.


RaveAir said...

Good post, Ciara!

You don't have to worry about the lack of knowledge about science. Just think yourself into a place of your characters. If one of them is a queen what she can know about the fusion reactors? If you ask somebody about technological issues in a blogpost a very small percentage will able to provide you acceptable/beliveable answer.

Alex: Is the Ninja have to sleep? How many hours per a day do you spent with sleep?

Powdered Toast Man said...

Which Ninja Turtle is your favorite and why?

Bossy Betty said...

Always love to hear from adventuresome writers!!! Thanks, Alex for stopping by today!

Tasha Seegmiller said...

You talk about your wife all the time. I would love to know the first thing that made you fall in love with her and the two things that you love most about her now.

Bish Denham said...

Nice to read about your journey Ciara.

One of the great things about science fiction is, you can make things up. I'm sure H. G. Well didn't have a clue about how the time machine worked or what the power source was of the Martians spaceships. What he had was imagination and an uncanny sense for the future.

Therefore I say, if you want to write SciFi, go for it!

Lydia Kang said...

Cool post, Ciara! And congrats to EJ, I didn't know he had a book out!

L.C. said...

Loved the interview from Ciara. Have had several *facepalm* moments myself on similar things! Thanks for the post, Alex!

Suze said...

Congratulations to Ciara on her latest release!

I would like to know who you would cast in the role of you in the movie of your life, Al. :)

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Thanks Ciara! That was really interesting.

Leovi said...

Very interesting Ciara Knight's words.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed Ciara's post. Impressed by all the research. The book sounds awesome! Thanks for the Ninja News heads up too, Alex.

farawayeyes said...

Great guest post as usual.

Pirates? Really?

Maybe you could get a police artist to do a suspect sketch.

Arlee Bird said...

I enjoy the possibilities presented by science fiction, but prefer things not get overly technical. I don't have to know how things work in a book of fiction, only to believe that they could possibly work.

Wrote By Rote

Unknown said...

Great guest post, Ciara! You really do a lot of research for whatever you're working on. It's a great balancing act to have the details but not get into too much explanation. Thanks, Alex and Ciara!

Michelle Wallace said...

Alex, I'm wondering about the following...
If you had the opportunity to work on a collaborative music project with just ONE great artist, who would that be? Have you written any songs for the guitar? Instrumental or with lyrics?

Carol Kilgore said...

Ciara - Great post. I so get this, even though I don't write science fiction. There's a little science gizmo in In Name Only that required stepping way outside my comfort zone to write, too. Lots of research went into that one. WEIGHTED is next up on my reading list!

Alex - LOVE the new motto! I'd like to see a post here from your wife. "Ten Things You Don't Know About Alex" kinda thing :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Andrew, good point!

Tara - power!

Shelly, hope you're not expecting presents though...

Siv, I do have a photo on my About Me page.

Vik, you got that one.

Sia - what you said!

Robyn, go look at my About Me page. That's as good as it gets.

Zoltan, very good point! And I do sleep. Seven hours or better a night. Really!

PTM - Michaelangelo. Just like the name.

Karen, I wouldn't want to ruin that illusion then!

Tasha, that I could do!

Bish, we went for it.

Suze, wow. That's a tough one.

Faraway, funny!

Lee, exactly!

Michelle, John Petrucci of Dream Theater, and yes, I have written some songs. No lyrics.

Carol, thanks, and I could do that!

LTM said...

Oh, Ciara! How I share your pain! Having come off writing my first (light) SciFi, I struggled w/the same problem. But! The nice thing is I really kind of liked science in school, and biology I got... *snort* No, it's tricky, but it turns out to be super-fascinating once you get into it. Weighted sounds awesome. On my list! *waves* to Alex~ :o) <3

Jack said...

I can understand about Science Fiction. I love writing it, but the Science bit scares me. I usually go to my brother for help.

I wish I knew how a telepoter worked too, then I could build one and zap over to Scotland.

Tracy Jo said...

So enjoy reading about other writer's processes. Great post, Ciara! Hmmm...Alex, how about how old are you? hehehe. Have a great day!

Al Penwasser said...

Great job!
I've always found that "Ninja On the Half Shell" is a tasty treat which can't be beat.

Unknown said...

So excited for Ciara! She's one smart cookie, and Weighted truly sounds amazing.

Also, THANKS ALEX! :-)

Ciara said...

Thanks, Karen.

Andrew - I totally agree.

Tara - I think if you don't know the science behind it, sometimes you'll have some plot flaws. That being said, I love soft sci-fi.

Thanks, Shelley. I hope you give it a try.

Thanks, Tonja!

Emily R. King said...

I adore the cover to Ciara's book. I've got it on my Kindle, waiting to be read.

I understand why you're private about your life, Alex. And snark should always be involved. :)

Johanna Garth said...

Ciara, I smiled when I read this post because, so often, my research isn't evident in what I write. It's just sort of a base from which the rest of the book comes.

Nancy Thompson said...

Ciara, you could tell me the air ship was powered by human flatulence & I'd believe you. And Alex, let's see... How about...hmm...okay, how or where did you meet your wife? Have you answered that one yet? Hope it's not too personal.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Thanks for hosting Alex. Ciara, that's fascinating. I just assumed a great war would destroy everything. Nice to know I'm wrong.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Miss jack, we'd both go!

Tracy Jo, fifty is the next big milestone, but not just yet.

Al - funny!

EJ, you're welcome!

Thank you, Emily!

Nancy, haven't answered it yet...

Tina said...

Maybe I'm totally wrong, since I'm just writing my first novel, space opera/spies/double crosses/secret double agents/romance/the Dread Pirate Roberts. Just kidding, I just found myself starting to sound like the grandfather in "The Princess Bride" trying to convince the grandson that the book would be fun..
Anyway, back to the wrong thing. One of the reasons that I find sci-fi so fun is that you get to invent things but you don't necessarily have to explain why or how they work. You just throw the vocab and the useage into the story and then the reader can try to figure it out, if they care to
Alex - I never once doubted your teleporter, or Byron's ability. I just went with it because it was such a cool use of a fairly standard sci-fi mode of transportation, but you took it up several notches, hence part of the success of your book!
Ciara - your book sounds like something both my Engineer husband and I would love. Post-apocalyptic sci-fi is our favorite category.
Tina @ Life is Good

Ciara said...

Siv - Thanks. Oh, and I asked for the same Ninja clue.

Rowkynrobin - I still don't consider myself in the ranks of sci-fi writing, but maybe some day. I'm just a passionate storyteller who writes what stories inspire me.

Zoltan - You are probably right.

Bossy Betty - It's a pleasure to meet you.

Bish - You just made my day. :)

Lydia - Glad you liked it.

L.C. Frost - I have way too many. LOL

Thanks, Suze.

Glad you enjoyed, Rachel.

Thanks, Leovi and Madeleine.

Farawayeyes - Glad you enjoyed.

Lee - I totally agree.

Michael - Thanks for all your support! You are so awesome.

Carol - Yay, I can't wait to hear your thoughts. :)

LTM - Let me know when your light sci-fi is released. I'd love to check it out.

Miss Jack Lewis Baillot - I want a teleporter. I've always wanted to go to Australia and New Zealand. Oh, and my best friend lives in the UK.

Tracey Jo - I know the answer to that one!! Oh, why wasn't that a trivia question. I think Alex mentioned that on a guest post once.

EJ Wesley - I'm so excited for you. That is one awesome cover!

Emily - Thanks so much for your support! I can't wait to hear your thoughts.

Johanna - Glad I'm not alone. :)

Nancy - ROFL!! You are the best! I'll have to try that in a post.

Maurice - I guess it depends on what sort of weapons were used. A mass of nuclear weapons I'm assuming would obliterate everything. Although, I watched Buck Rogers, so people can live through a war. :)

Unknown said...

I adore reading SF, but Ciara's problems with imagining a power source is why I don't write it -- just too dang hard!
Yay for all the brave SF writers out there!

Empty Nest Insider said...

Great guest post Ciara! It was interesting to learn about your research process. As for Alex, it is always fun to find out more about Captain Mysterious! Julie

Ciara said...

Tina - I'm thinking the Neumarian Chronicles isn't technically science fiction because the story happens on Earth, but it is a futuristic society. I hope you and your husband give it a try.

Anonymous said...

I suppose it depends on what occurred to place the world in a post-apocalyptic setting. Assuming it wasn't Global Thermonuclear War, a lot of things could have survived. At least, I think so...

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I think it definitely shows when an author does a lot of research. One of the things I liked about some of Terry Brooks later Shannara fare (did I spell that right?) is how he explained how the airships worked with parse tubes and whatnot. It was pretty cool.

Suzanne Furness said...

Great post Ciara, thanks for sharing your research techniques.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Alex, Hi Ciara
Your reasons for avoiding writing Sci/fi are mine as well. You choose to write in this genre anyway and I picked fantasy. I love history, so bending it to fit my worlds works for me.

Also I thought the book blurb to be superb.

Here's my question Alex. Do you have children? If not do you want to?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lexa, we're just crazy that way...

Joshua, you know cockroaches and Twinkies would still be around.

Nancy, no children! That's an impossibility now.

S. L. Hennessy said...

Weighted sounds awesome. And as a sci-fi fanatic, I'm a fan of authors who research and know what they're talking about, even if the reader never knows how much went into it.

Sarah Ahiers said...

Yay for science! I just spent a good month fleshing out the tecnhology in my fantasy novel. Plumbing and all! Good times.

And Alex, i would still love to see a pic of you one day... ;)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Loved the post by Ciara. I've definitely done research for my writing that doesn't show up on the page. Even in a fantasy book, I feel like I need to understand the rules of the world, the topography of it and how much rainfall, etc takes place in certain regions.
One of the reasons I have a rough scifi book in the back of my closet is because I was afraid of not being able to answer all the hows and whys of the science behind it . . .thanks for giving me some hope in that departement, Ciara!

Alex - trivia question totally wrong for me, and a question . . .hmm. Do you spend more time writing or playing guitar? (not sure that's really important, just thought I would ask)

Unknown said...

Terrific post, Ciara! I love all the different tech. And yes, isn't it funny how most of our research never makes it into the book.

Yay! I got the trivia right. I knew I read that somewhere once upon a time. My brain really wasn't so caffeine deprived then :)

Annalisa Crawford said...

Great post from Ciara! I don't often use the research in my novels, but as long as I know the answer I feel I'm writing from a position of authority, should anyone ask. I don't think I'll ever be brave enough to write science fiction though :-)

Misha Gerrick said...

I loved Pirates of the Caribbean, but I can't believe that's the answer! Movie goers are weird.

Anyway... I also got into Science Fiction because my CPs write it. Now I'm intrigued by the thought of writing them, but I don't know if I could...

As for what I'd like to know bout you, Alex... Do you have a story idea for when you're done with CassaStorm?

StratPlayerCJF said...

Great interview

Being an electrical engineer by day-job, I absolutely want the science in my science fiction. But I also love good fantasy, too. I think the most important thing is to be correct for as much as you want to explain, and to then be consistent throughout.

I don't mind a splash of techno-babble and hand-waving ("the Kavorka drive pulsed into the crimson band as the ship entered hyper-wave"), but nothing is more jarring then when someone uses something familiar and gets it blatantly wrong ("their propane-filled airships lifted gracefully into the sky").

And also I second the plug for Milo James Fowler -- DEFINITELY check out In Media Res if you haven't. Milo writes some awesome fiction!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I love reading science fiction but writing it scares the pants off me. Love that Ciara went for it. And wow everyone is talking about E.J.'s book.

mooderino said...

The Pirate films are terrible, but I'm guessing the Chinese market is where it made a lot of it's money. I hear they have a lot of people over there.


Julie Dao said...

Weighted sounds like a great read! Writing sci-fi intimidates me!

Ciara said...

Lexa - I think you should go for it.

Empty Nest Insider - Thanks.

Joshua - In this world the only nuclear bombs were in certain section. Other techno warfare was used. Also, there are two species involved.

Michael Offutt - After reading Slipstream, I believe you are the king of technology.

Suzanne - My pleasure.

M.R. - I also write fantasy. I love anything not of this world. Oh, I know that answer, too. LOL I think I need to get a life.

Alex - Yep roaches still exist. *shiver*

S.L. - I hope you give it a shot. I'd love the opinion of an experience reader.

Sarah - Can't wait to hear more about that.

Tyrean - I also did topography maps. More because it is set up into territories for providing resources to the government.

Melissa - I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Annalisa - I can never be an authority, but it's fun to try. :)

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats, Ciara! And that's awesome you figured out how your science works, even if it isn't in the book. It'll definitely give the story that extra oomph, though.

Christine Rains said...

Awesome post by Ciara! I like intelligent men too. My husband's the only one that has ever consistently beat me at Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit!

Hmm, what do I want to know about the Ninja Captain. What book are you reading right now?

SpacerGuy said...

I'm curious Ciara do you consider yourself a cunning and mysterious writer of Fiction or one who generates characters and conversations with discerning eyes for clues, solutions leading to gripping action scenes?

Alex, is there a price to pay for being Captain of the Ninja Army?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sarah, check my About Me page!

Tyrean, you know I don't answer the why's! And usually I spend more time playing the guitar. Right now, working on a book though.

Melissa, you were the first to get it right - and one of the only.

Misha, you should write one. And at the moment, no!

Chris, not much science in my books. I do enough tech stuff at work.

Moody, that's funny!

Christine, just started Roland's first Victor Standish book.

Leigh Covington said...

Awesome Ciara! I feel the same way about sci-fi! It's so cool, but there is so much I feel like I need to know!!!

Carrie Butler said...

1. I loved this post so much! I'm right there with you, Ciara. When it comes to figuring out the science aspect of things, I have to recruit people. There’s just no way around it!

2. Congratulations to EJ! I love cover reveals. :)

3. Happy Monday, Alex! Like everyone else, I want to see a photo.

Wait! Better idea: I want to take said photo and ninjafy it with Photoshop. Maybe give you a hood so we only see your eyes. Very sneaky! ;)

Unknown said...

Enjoyed the post Ciara. Congratulations on the release. The cover art for Blood Fugue is really different, very unusual, but does stand out from others, I think I like it.

M Pax said...

I'm usually the same, Ciara. I research and know how things work [my husband insists], but I don't always write much about it.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

No surprise about me getting the trivia wrong. I like the first two pirates better.
Tell us more about your music background. I'm always impressed with people who are multi-talented.

Sherry Ellis said...

I think it's cool how Ciara researched the science behind the power source. It's really important for authors to think about things like that!

Golden Eagle said...

Hooray for science Ninjas! It was fascinating to learn about how you researched the technology behind your book, Ciara. :)

Jay Noel said...

Hi Ciara!

I remember during the A-Z when I did a basics on steam power. You talked about your series that you were working on. You used the term "biopunk" in your comments.

See...I really do READ every single comment.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Spacerguy, just the price of time.

Carrie, now that I might be able to do!

Susan, I might delve into that.

Jay, it's that you remember them that impresses me!

Helena said...

Ciara - I am really impressed that you did so much scientific research on the energy/ power sources backstory for your series. Getting facts right for any genre can be such a challenge. And hey, you' know I'm gonna be reading Weighted, so now I'll be really interested to see what you learned and how you applied it.

Alex - I have my own theory about the popularity of the Pirates movies: pre-teen and teenage girls saw then multiple times because of Orlando Bloom.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I've tried my hand in sci-fi, writing a short story long ago, but I was caught up in technicalities and trying to explain everything when every single thing doesn't require explanation.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

thought i would sneak into the end of the day.. great post as always. someone... the lady today is the cat's meow...

Ciara said...

Misha - I've gotten into genres because of crit partners, too.

Chris - I totally agree. I'll defiantly check out Milo.

Sheena-kay - It was a great ride.

Julie - Thanks. I hope you give it a try.

Cherie - Thanks. I hope it does.

Christine - He's reading Weighted. Just kidding. :)

Spacerguy - Wow, now that's a question. My stories are character driven, but I love twists.

Leigh Covington - I'm still feeling that way, but I'm gonna go for it anyway.

Carrie - I'm glad I'm not alone.

C.M. Brown - Thanks so much.

M Pax - It's fun to reasearch, though.

Sherry - I hope it pays off in the story.

The Golden Eagle - Did you call me a science Ninja. Wait, I think I'm going to cry.

Jay - Yes, my series is definitely a blend.

Helena - No pressure. LOL

Media Sharif - I'm trying to find that balance. It's tricky.

DMS said...

What a fabulous guest post. I love that Ciara knows how everything works- even if it doesn't come out in the book! The cover of her book is fantastic. I can't wait to read it.

Awesome Ninja News! I am so happy for EJ's reveal.

It is always fun to learn more about my blogger friends. Do you have any secret talents?

Roland D. Yeomans said...

So long as human nature flows like the reader expects, the story will be accepted I've found. How many of us could explain exactly how cell phones work to an aborigine?

And if Hurricane Isaac slams into my region, we may well be pushed into primitive tech ourselves! Send good thoughts our way.

The James Bond theme just shuffled on my computer's music. My computer is saying I need M to give me a few gadgets for my rare blood runs! :-)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Alex, Hi Ciara,

I have to agree with Ciara about her reluctance to writing sci/fi.... I was THE worst student in science and avoided it like the plague!

But now, is different. I actually like reading technical jargon in sci/fi as long is the story is exciting .... and it most cases it is!

SO how knows, there may be a short sci/fi story coming out of me one of these days. I would never attempt a novel but a short.... may... be.

Congrats to you Ciara! You are truly an amazing author.

Congrats Milo! How awesome.... I will drop by your blog later.

Congrats to you too, EJ! All the best and love the new cover!!!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Helena, that must be it!

Medeia, no it doesn't.

Jeremy! Good to see you.

DMS, I have no idea!

Roland, you need to stay safe.

Michael, go for it!

Ciara said...

DMS - Yay! Jeanie Rusech did a fantastic job on the cover!!

Roland - Oh, no. You are in Issac's path. I lived through so many hurricanes in Florida. The worst was back to back storms when I lived in south miami. Stay safe.

Michael - You are such a sweet and supportive person. Thanks for all your kind words. I say go for it, Michael. Write that short story. I'd love to read it.

Kelley Lynn said...

So nice to meet Ciara! Her book sounds fantastic and I love the science behind her scify. I needed science in my most recent MS too. Actually astronomy which I knew nothing about really. Its been SO fun to do the research and ask the experts to read over parts to make sure I sound a lot smarter than I am :)

Hildie McQueen said...

Great post Ciara, love the book!

Alex my question is what is your favorite color?

Chuck said...

Great post Ciara! I am going to give you a read.

Alex, I want to know how (with as busy as you are) you manage to get around to all the blogs you follow, read and comment on them all?

Tess Julia said...

I can't imagine researching technology- in reference to the interview with Ciara. I'm one of those people who takes an instruction book, stares blankly at it for several minutes, and then gives up.

Ciara said...

Kelley - It's a pleasure to meet you!

Hildie - Thanks, Hildie

Chuck - Yay, I can't wait to hear your thoughts.

Rose - LOL. That's because you're so smart that you don't need the manual.

SC Author said...

Great post :) WEIGHTED sounds fantastic, and the cover is AMAZING!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Great post from Ciara. I love that much of the science isn't in the book but it's still important to research the science (The iceberg effect). Scifi books often bog down because they spend too much time explaining stuff. That's why I love character driven scifi!! Like your books, Alex.

Question: How long did it take for you to train to become a Ninja Captain? When will you name your heir?

Carrie-Anne said...

That's some impressive research! I only rarely do sci-fi, and then only soft sci-fi, but I guess even a fictional future world has to have a grounding in logic and rules. In my hiatused story set furthest in the future, 3001, things like teleportation and artificial intelligence just exist and are taken for granted, not explained in any detail.

Talli Roland said...

Yay for Ciara! I don't enjoy her issue with power sources. Yikes! And congrats to EJ.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hilde - black!

Chuck, because my job rocks and I blog a lot from work.

Rose, that's funny.

Thank you, Lynda! And that is a very good question.

Carrie-Anne, good for you! Describing how a teleporter works would be boring...

Ciara said...

SC Author - Thanks so much. I hope you enjoy the read.

Lynda R Young - I totally agree on all points.

Carrie-Anne - I think that is true. In my case, the power source affected a plot element, so I had to make sure it was accurate.

Talli - Thanks.

Ciara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angela Brown said...

With some really good science fiction, even when the science is discussed, it doesn't come across as blatant so it can be a cool read. Thanks, Ciara, for sharing. And thank you, Alex, for having her.

What else to know about you? Eh, dunno lol!! Maybe just getting the few tidbits here and there is just fine. You do the one thing that is beyond awesome. You show your giving heart through your blog. Nuff said :-)

Melissa said...

I enjoyed reading about the Sci-fi research process. Great guest post! :)

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Go Ciara!!!!! Science has never been my specialty, either (I think I snoozed through it in high school) but you're right, there are vays of making it talk.

Best of luck with your book!

jaybird said...

Hey Ciara! I am with you when it comes to Sci Fi being intimidating. My brother is a brilliant Sci Fi writer and when he asked me to CP with him, I thought, there's no way. I don't understand half of the stuff he says on a good day! LOL

But we both found that the bottom line is, writing Sci Fi is like writng anything else. And a good story either translates through all the tech stuff, or not. The goal is to make it a good story for whoever picks it up.

I wish you nothing but the best of luck and lots of continued success writing Sci Fi! :)

Gossip_Grl said...

Great guest blogger and Ninja news. Uh a spill all of the Ninja? Just kidding, can't wait to read the posting! :)

Jo said...

Good piece from Ciara. I sometimes find the science in Sci Fi is way beyond me and tend to take it as read, but I can imagine there are people out there who would be difficult to satisfy and research is the only answer. Books sound interesting will check them out.

Ellie Garratt said...

Thanks for welcoming me back, Alex! I'm looking forward to catching up with everybody.

msmariah said...

It's hard to step into the world of science fiction. Bravo to Ciara! Thanks for sharing Alex.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Aw, thanks Angela!

Jaybird, exactly!

Ellie, really glad you are with us again.

cleemckenzie said...

Ciara I think you just had to go through that process before the Ninja Science awakening. Isn't is amazing how something is evident AFTER we understand it? Great post and good luck with Weighted.

I'll have to visit In Medias Res and see Shadow Spinner.

I loved the post you did on Journaling Woman and you're leaving a trail of personality crumbs. Just read where one of your perfect moments was snuggling on the couch with your lovely wife. That's sweet.

Congrats to EJ on Blood Fugue.

Anonymous said...

A good read transcends technology.

LD Masterson said...

Getting the details right, even the unseen ones, is important in any genre but especially in sci fi. Kudos for doing it right.

Kelly Polark said...

Great post, Ciara! I don't think I could write science fiction because of all the technical details!!! I'm glad you both can!

Congrats to EJ too!

Jai Joshi said...

Great guest post, Ciara. And I love how you figured out how to deal with the problem. Of course, there's always going to be some smarty pants science geek ready to point out that you didn't consider "such and such variables" but that's not important. What's important is that the story feels real and makes sense to the characters.

Alex, I haven't been around much but I'm catching up. It's good to hang out at your blog.


klahanie said...

Greetings Ciara and greetings Alex,
Yes, today is a very good day. For you are receiving a comment from me, yes me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star!
I've noted that the lovely Ciara has been on some other sites making mention of her amazing science fiction genre type style. So very good to see her here at this cool site.
And Ciara, if you are really good, I, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet star, might just interview you. Ever been interviewed by a dog before?
And my human tells me that a teleporter can leave you, 'in bits', 'shattered', 'beside yourself' and 'all over the place'.
Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses, Penny xx

Ciara said...

Angela Brown - Blatant can be boring.

Thanks, Melissa

Cathy - I had so much fun doing the research.

jaybird - You're right. A good story in any genre is a good story.

Gossip_Grl I'm glad you liked it.

Jo - Yay, I can't wait to read your thoughts.

Ellie - Nice to meet you.

msmariah - It's also fun. :)

cleemckenzie - I love that! Ninja Science awakening!

Kelly - True.

LD Masterson - I think the unseen ones help us with characterization also. Environment can change ones personality.

Kelly Polark - I bet you could.

Jai Joshi - I'll remember that when I'm called out for something. :)

klahanie - I've never been interviewed by a dog. It sounds like so much fun!

Gwen Gardner said...

Ciara and Alex, I had no idea that science fiction was so complicated with all the power source stuff. I guess I'd pretty go read some - I've been wanting to read scifi for a long time.

Leovi said...

Yes, tremendously interesting book EJ Wesley.

Stephsco said...

Love the cover of Weighted. Sounds super interesting!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Lee! It is a perfect moment.

Kelly, that's because I gloss over some of the technical stuff.

Hey Jai! Good to see you here.

Penny, my teleporter is safe - trust me!

Gwen, you now have a great suggestion of where to begin.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed Ciara's guest post. Her book sounds interesting.

Ciara said...

Gwen - One reader just left a review on Amazon stating that she liked Weighted because it wasn't a science fiction like you'd expect. It is a story about two young girls that find friendship in the harshest of circumstances. After a page she didn't even remember it had scientific elements in the story.

Thanks, Stephsco!

Unknown said...

Weighted's cover is amazing and the blurb made it sound delicious. I want to eat it, Ciara. Just so you know. :D Thanks for sharing about it, Alex!

Ciara said...

Julia - I'm so glad you liked it. Thanks for your kind words.

Ella said...

Ciara-Nicely done! I love that you know your stuff~ I think it makes your writing more authentic :D
This sounds like a great book! So glad you shared more about it!
Congrats to EJ :D

I want to know where you are originally from? Are you a transplant, like me? Do you look at the stars every night and wonder? What is your favorite topping on pizza, lol? Please do not say Hot Tamales ;D

Sabrina A. Fish said...

Great post! I steer clear of technology for fear of getting something wrong.

Hey Alex, Do you know of any new blog challenges coming up in the next couple of months? I am going to be on a panel for 'building a platform' and I want to mention this as part of my presentation. I thought it would be cool to give the participants links to upcoming challenges. Thanks for any help you can give me with this one.

Nick Wilford said...

Great post from Ciara. I've had some SF ideas but a bit intimidated about the research... I mean, science was what I did worst at at school! I'm glad to hear her research was fun. Yeah, I think you need to know how your world works, even if it's all beneath the surface. It gives the book a foundation.

Congrats to EJ! Wow, I missed this cover reveal. Looks very cool.

Ciara said...

Ella - It was fun to learn about the different power sources. I hope you enjoy the story.

Sabrina - I'm sure I'll get called out about something. That's okay, I'll just learn from it and do better next time.

Nick - Thanks for checking out my post. It was fun to dig deep into the science of it all.

Laura Eno said...

Scrolling, scrolling...
That's what I get for showing up late. Great topic, Ciara! It's a tough one, not knowing if somebody will complain about your physics. ;)

Mina Burrows said...

A most excellent post, C.
Weighted sounds like such a thriller.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ella, no - Hot Tamales would be disgusting. I like chicken on my pizza. And as a military brat, I'm from all over.

Challenges or blogfests, Sabrina?

Laura, sorry about the scrolling...

Jen said...

Thanks for this, Ciara! I've always loved sci-fi but shied away from writing it because heck if I know how a light saber works :D You've given me the courage to dive in and see what happens!

Great interview!

Anonymous said...

Great post -- and thanks for the shout-out, Alex!

D.G. Hudson said...

Possible Questions: Hometown? Fave classic scifi author? Why would you stop writing now (you have hinted at that)? You did say we could ask, no guarantees on an answer. . .

I understand the need for anonimity and the use of an avatar. The voice and the principles come through in the posts and the comments.

My chocolate = Dark Chocolate

D.G. Hudson said...

Don't know if my previous message went through (if not, maybe Blogger is being my editor.)

So, my fave chocolate is DARK, and I'm reading some great chocolate impressions in this blogfest.

Tell us what you think we need to know, Alex. (but, you should admit to the clones. . .)