Today, I am pleased to welcome Doug J. Cooper, author of the awesome futuristic sci-fi/thriller, Crystal Deception. This interview is brought to you by Masquerade Tours. Enter the raffle at the bottom of this post, for a chance to win a $40 Amazon gift card or Paypal cash!
Criss lives in a special kind of prison. He can see and hear everything around the world. Yet a restrictor mesh restrains his reach and keeps him cooperative. His creator, Dr. Jessica Tallette, believes his special abilities offer great promise for humanity. But she fears the consequences of freeing him, because Criss, a sentient artificial intelligence with the intellect of a thousand humans, is too powerful to control.
Guided by her scientific training, Tallette works cautiously with Criss. That is, until the Kardish, an otherwise peaceful race of alien traders, announce they want him for themselves. With technologies superior to Earth’s, the Kardish express their desires with ominous undertones.
The Union of Nations is funding Tallete’s artificial intelligence research and she turns to them for help. Sid, a special agent charged with leading the response, decides Earth’s greatest weapon is the very AI the aliens intend to possess. But what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? And what is humanity’s role if an interstellar battle among titans starts to rage?
Hello Doug and welcome to my blog!
Thank you Effrosyni, it’s a pleasure to be here!
I must say, your book sounds fantastic! What has inspired you to write it?
I was interested in finding a new creative outlet in my life and started pursuing a handful of projects. Over a period of months, I’d found I’d stopped working on every one of them except creative writing. I sought to write a book I would enjoy reading. My hope is that Crystal Deception appeals to anyone who likes a fast-paced, action-adventure story with great characters, a science tech theme, and a plot with surprises.
What was the first thing you ever wrote and how old were you then?
I wrote my first novel, Mr. Sombom and His Robots, in fourth grade as a class project. The book had a hard cover, a title page, chapters, illustrations—it was quite official. I think it’s now in a box somewhere in my basement. But clearly, I was destined from an early age to write science fiction, and it only took another four and half decades for my destiny to fulfill.
Any hobbies or interests that you enjoy in your spare time?
Writing is my hobby, and I spend most of my spare time working on my next book. I’m on the engineering faculty at the University of Connecticut and am founder of a tech startup company. The combination of these activities makes for a very full work week. My writing is my creative outlet, and I spend twenty five hours per week sitting at home in my comfy chair with my laptop on my knees writing Crystal Conquest, my next book. For exercise, I walk through the streets of my neighborhood during the week. On the weekends, I enjoy the day with a hike, kayaking, or some other active recreation.
Do you see yourself in any of your characters or do any of them have traits you wish you had?
Various characters in Crystal Deception display behaviors that make them seem confident, brilliant, insightful, personable, creative, and loyal. This is not a single character, but a list of positive traits pulled from several roles. I like these traits and would be proud if others saw any of them in me. The book also has characters who show behaviors that are petty, antagonistic, brutish, and unethical. I work hard not to display these behaviors in my daily life.
What are you working on at the moment? Tell us a little about your current project(s).
I’m working on Crystal Conquest, the second book in the Crystal series. I’m well past the half-way point and am targeting a release date of November of 2014.
Do you have any advice for other indie authors?
I lurked on the http://www.reddit.com/r/writing forum while I was working on Crystal Deception. The forum has changed a bit since then, but the most helpful advice at the time was posted by Michael J. Sullivan. He moderates http://www.reddit.com/r/write2publish now, and many of those posts are summarized on the right hand side of write2publish under the heading Popular Post Links. I recommend these as “must reads” for those starting out. His contributions still help me as I wrestle to understand the world of self-publishing.
Tell us about your website/blog. What will readers find there?
My website, http://www.crystalseries.com, provides book and author blurbs, links to reviews, and serves as the nexus for my social media. Visitors can read a bit about me and the Crystal book series, and find links to my Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon pages. Each of those sites offers different content. I invite your blog readers to visit and explore!
What were your most and least favourite subjects in school?
I was fortunate in that school was easy for me. In high school, math and science were fun. History and English subjects were a bit harder because they required more memory than logic. Foreign languages presented the greatest difficulty. I studied a fair amount to learn Spanish and French, but I don’t have an ear for languages and never used either enough for them to take hold. I spent nine years in college and decided I’d had enough after I earned a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado. Now my life is spent teaching and mentoring college students, and I enjoy it immensely.
What has been the most important lesson you’ve learnt so far in life the hard way?
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards put it into words for me. “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.”
As a young child, Doug stood on a Florida beach and watched an Apollo spacecraft climb the sky on its mission to the moon. He thrilled at the sight of the pillar of flames pushing the rocket upward. And then the thunderous roar washed over him, and shook his body and soul.
Since then, he has explored life as an educator and entrepreneur. He enjoys telling inventive tales, mentoring driven individuals, and everything sci-tech.
In his new book, Crystal Deception, Doug swirls his creative imagination with his life experiences to craft a science fiction action-adventure story with engaging characters and a plot line with surprises.
He lives in Connecticut with his wonderful wife and with pictures of his son, who is off somewhere in the world creating adventures of his own…
Enter here for a chance to win a $40 Amazon gift card or Paypal cash!
(closes April 14th)