Monday, March 7, 2016

My debut novel, "Dark Moon Rising" the first book of the "Unborn Galaxy Series".

     My first published book, "Dark Moon Rising" began life decades ago when as a child I watched with the eagerness of Christmas as men journeyed to the Moon during the Apollo missions. I sat mesmerized as Neil Armstrong took that "giant leap for mankind."
     My fascination with space and space travel never abated.
    However, I had to put my wild imaginings on hold during the twenty very serious years I spent in the Army.

     It was 1998 when I read Asimov's "I Robot" that the thought pierced my mind, "perhaps I could write a fiction story."
     Now, don't misunderstand me, I never thought I could be an Isaac Asimov, and in truth I would not want to be. I want to establish my own niche.
     Regardless, the story started off, believe it or not, as a World War Two adventure. However, when a friend of mine, also a veteran, read my first
few chapters he made an interesting observation; “People with a military background will understand you,” he said, “others will be lost.” I reread the thing and discovered I had written for a rather small audience.
     So I started over. That original story still exists. But it's saved on a floppy disk!
     A short time later I was having a discussion with a California visitor to the museum where I'm employed, and he mentioned the Earthquakes they have on the west coast. Somehow that got my imagination creaking forward. The dust and cob webs fell away and before long I started to write.
     My wife asked me: why? Did I write in the hope of publication or was I writing for my own amusement? The truth was I had no idea. I did enjoy the writing process and I was relearning a lot of what I been taught in school.
     Doing the research was time consuming, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately rewarding and always enlightening.
     The entire story is not about a single person, or a single place. It is rather the story of a time, a time in the not so distant future.
     Our science is, today, close to creating a true quantum computer. Once on line it will be capable of simulated intelligence. It could, through existing networks, take control of all aspects of human life. The worldwide power grid, food distribution, water purification and distribution, communications, everything.
     It will have the power to create its next generation of computers, smarter, faster, and build it.
This new computer will build its own next generation machine. This process will continue and the machines will reproduce in greater numbers, each
smarter than the last. In thirty days’ humans could become ... obsolete.
     The only alternative is to insure those computers are … human, with a human since of morality, with human compassion, with human comprehension. And of course, human emotion.
     The self-aware thinking machine of the future must be us.
As I outlined the entire story I realized that it was longer than just one book.  So I divided it into five sections.
     As I wrote I was amazed how the story and the characters developed, morphed,
and grew. This happened with each book as I wrote. So the overall story changed as well.
     During the process I kept everything on a thumb drive; the story itself, all my notes and research, everything!
     Then it happened, as we all knew it would. I left the little drive in the pocket of my shirt and it went into the wash!
     My heart stopped as I pulled the dripping little instrument from the pocket of the shirt. There, utterly soaked, was the icon of countless hours of writing and research. Years of my life reduced to a soggy piece of plastic hardware.
     I shook it with sufficient "G" force to drive it into the floor like a
javelin - then plunged it into a bowl of rice.
     I lit a candle, fell on my knees, and prayed for my small piece of
     My prayers were answered, and the data remained intact. I then transferred everything to a new thumb drive and learned to back up my precious data on multiple devices.
     The day came when I thought I was ready to send my manuscript out to various publishers in both the US and the UK. The result is a collection of rejections from two continents.
     Then synchronicity reared its head. Carl Jung defined synchronicity as the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related - but have no discernible causal connection.
     The mother of the assistant of the wife of a departed friend of mine was identified to me as an editor. I asked her to read my story and she did. Her suggestion was that I have it professionally edited and suggested Julie Wilcox.
     I thought editing would be an exercise in futility, after all I had already self-edited the story dozens of times over the span of several years.
     Nevertheless I swallowed my pride and sent the manuscript to Julie.
     Upon completion of her work, and the return of the manuscript, I was shocked and amazed at all I had missed, the many errors I had made, the embarrassing
misspellings, the not uncommon appearance of poorly constructed sentences. 
I cannot overstate the importance of a proper editor, it is an absolutely necessity.
     When Julie emailed my story back to me she also informed Cheryl Pierson, the
editor-in-chief and Co-owner of Prairie Rose Publications. Cheryl is the mother of the assistant of the wife of a departed friend of mine I spoke of earlier. She read the story again and to my great shock offered me a contract!
     One of the few compromises I had to make was the book's title, originally I called it, “Under Mare Insularum.” It was pointed out to me that for a large portion of the population that title means nothing. It might as well read, "Ελληνικά για μένα!" She explained that the title had to hint at the story line and entice a fan of science fiction to read the book.
     Cheryl has been in the business of publishing far longer than I have been published. As my dad used to say, "Always go with the advice of a professional."  
     Well, here I am. I am about to be a published author. My next goal is to become a successful published author.
     To that end I hope all of you will read my story, and then place a review of it on my website,, on Amazon, and all the other various outlets.
     I of course hope you will enjoy my story and so sing its praises, this will ensure the publication of the four remaining stories in the "Unborn Galaxy", and open the door for the release of my fantasies and other SF stories.
     I can now answer my wife's question, “why?”
     I hope to bring people along on the journeys that I have created. I hope, like me, they can escape the surly bonds of Earth and venture away with me to places yet unborn and to lost worlds beckoning to be discovered.
     You will have to face the great unknown, there will be danger, new and vicious creatures, evil in many forms. There will also be people of supreme dedication and loyalty among the ranks of the good who stand against evil that it does not thrive.
     There will also be love. For wherever humanity goes love always go with it, and that dear reader is the key to our success.