July 28, 2013

Author Interview with Stephen Whaley + Giveaway

Hi Stephen, first of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Sure thing. I’m 29 years old, and I currently live in Fes, Morocco, where I handle the I.T. needs of a private American school. I’m also working on my MBA.  My hobbies are reading, writing, and anything else nerdy.

What do you think makes your genre special?
Science fiction is often a vehicle to tell great stories because not only can we describe what we imagine the future might look like, we can put characters into unique moral dilemmas that really get people thinking.

What do you think makes a great story?
Do I enjoy reading it?  That’s all there really is to it. I’ve read short stories that I found captivating and I’ve read seven hundred page monstrosities. It all boils down to what percentage of the story I enjoy.

What is your latest book called and could you explain to us in 20 words what it is about?
It’s called “Mind Ambition” and it’s about an ex-space pilot turned gamer and an agent who have to save the Earth from an A.I..

Which kind of reader do you think will enjoy your book?
To be honest, I tried to cast a wide net. Science fiction buffs will enjoy the parts in space, nerds will hopefully catch some of the references to anime or classic games, and regular readers will enjoy the plot and action.

Is it a Standalone, or part of the series? If it the latter, how long do you think will it go on?
The book is definitely written with a sequel possibility. However, unlike Douglas Adams I won’t write a five book trilogy (six if you count “And another thing”).

What influenced or inspired you writing it?
I had this idea for a book opening that wouldn’t go away.  I eventually sat down to write it but lost the first draft somehow. A bit later, I decided to start fresh and the book just kept on practically writing itself.
As for inspirations, I love the works of Asimov and Card and I think that they inspired me to some degree. I also owe a few friends who have also written books thanks for their inspiration.

Why did you choose especially this title? Was it your first choice?
To be honest, the title has a threefold meaning.  First, it’s great to name books something that really doesn’t have anything to do with the actual content (I’m thinking of Dan Brown’s “Digital Fortress” as I write this).  Secondly, it’s literal. The villain is an A.I. and it has ambitions. Lastly, it’s a pun on the term Blind Ambition.  I try to write multiple meanings into a lot of things and let the reader assume what they will.
My first working title was Mind Games, but there too many Games books right now (Hunger Games had just came out as a movie, and there’s an Ender’s Game movie in the works).  My second idea was to name the book Endless War, which is the name of the MMO featured in the first part of the book, but I felt that it was too limiting.

What was the hardest part for you working on your book?
Proofreading and editing. I just wanted to let everyone read my book right away.

Was there a scene that you didn’t want to add or remove in your finished work?
I really didn’t want to kill off a specific character, but I felt that the book wasn’t complete without it.

Do you already know what to do next?
No idea. I think I might write an adventure novel set in Fes, and then if Mind Ambition has gotten enough interest to write a sequel.

Where can we find more about you and your books?
You can find me online at goodreads.

Any last words?
The first 5 people who email me at mind.ambition.book@gmail.com and reference this interview will get a free copy of the book (Epub unless they request a specific format).

After a rogue artificial intelligence takes over the entire space colony Gnosis, Earth itself is the next target. Grant Jemson, an ex-pilot turned gamer with a fear of space, must face his troubled past in order to stop it. His partner is John Ridley, a special agent with a personal vendetta that could jeopardize their mission. As part of its plan, the A.I. manipulates the colonies into declaring a war of independence against the Earth. Grant and Ridley must race against the clock in order to both save the Earth and prove to the colonies that they have been tricked. Will they be able to overcome their personal struggles and pull off the most daring mission space has ever seen, or will the A.I. triumph and enslave the Earth?

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