Posts tagged Vision

If you like Orphan Black, try Sue!

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I just started finished binge-watching Orphan Black and have noticed many similarities between it and the three books in my Sue series: Sue’s Fingerprint, Sue’s Vision and Sue’s Voice.  If you like Orphan Black, you’ll like Sue!

Of course the Sue stories were not written to copy Orphan Black and vice versa, but the two have similarities.

In Orphan Black, Sarah and her sisters, along with all the creepy brothers, were intentionally cloned by Projects Leda and Castor.  In the Sue trilogy, the clones were intentionally cloned by the alien GOO, a substance sent to Earth by a dying alien species.  Someone intended to make the clones.  Sue and the others were cloned to survive on a dying planet and pass their genes onto future generations.  Sarah and her siblings were cloned to prove the concept of cloning for future population growth.

Sarah and her sisters freely live separate lives in society.  (I’m not sure if or how many of the brothers do.)  They didn’t actually know about each other, nor did they even know they were clones, until their paths crossed.  Mrs. S knew, but did not tell Sarah until she started uncovering clues.  In the Sue books, the clones are initially contained together as an alien threat.  But as their government handler, Ted Stevens, found out, the clones have a higher purpose.  Eventually, he released the clones, establishing new lives in society for them.

Although the clones in both series live separate lives, they always come together to help each other get out of trouble.  Sometimes that means they get into more trouble, but the clones have a community bond that can’t be broken.  And each set of clones has their own handler, as well as the evil corporation or government agency trying to control them.  Mrs S. handles Sarah and the other sisters while Topside tries to terminate them.  Sue and the clones have DHS Director Ted Stevens to monitor their activities (and help them out of trouble) while the special DHS committee, led by General Gilmore, tries to eliminate the threat from the “alien invasion”.

DNA plays a big part in the two series.  In Orphan Black, the complete gene sequence of the clones is the key to unlocking the secrets of the sisters and brothers.  In the Sue books, testing the clones by the DNA fingerprint test is first used to prove the clones’ DNA is identical to that of their original people.  With identical DNA, Ted convinces the special committee there are no differences between the clones and the normal citizens who happened to touch the goo, allowing him to release the clones from containment on the abandoned military base.  (Hence the title Sue’s FINGERPRINT)  But later in the Sue series, the complete genome of the clones is sequenced, revealing small mutations specific for the clones.  There is a marker in the DNA that can identify Sue and the clones.  Sarah and her sisters also have markers in their DNA sequence that identify them.

What about the differences detected in the clone DNA?  Whether unintentional or intentional, the clones in both series have genetic mutations.  In the case of Sarah and her sisters, the mutations lead to infertility, which doesn’t (for a reason that has not yet been revealed) seem to affect Sarah and (?) Helena.  For the brothers, the mutations lead to encephalopathy or other brain damage.  (Bummer for the brothers.)  For Sue and the other clones, the mutations were introduced during cloning by the goo and resulted in phenotypic changes that help them survive on a dying planet.  They learn and develop very quickly.  They are able to modify their metabolism in times of hunger or thirst, and regulate their body temperature as the temperature of the environment increases.  They are sensitive to UV radiation that forces them to wear sunscreen.  The clones in the Sue series pass these mutations, these advantages, on to offspring to help save humanity from the effects of a warning planet.  Over many many generations, the clones’ DNA will become the dominant DNA.  I do not yet know what will result from the mutations in the DNA of Sarah, her sisters and her brothers.

If you enjoy Orphan Black, I think you’ll like reading my Sue series.  There are many similarities between the two which should entertain readers of my books.  Give Sue a try!  Do the Goo!

 

Writing is humbling. (humiliating?)

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My thoughts…

 

Five years after I started writing my first book, I’ve now, finally, realized that writing is a humbling experience, even humiliating.  Why?

First, authors have no exposure.  Okay, some do, but only if they’re represented and have best-selling works.  But the majority of authors have to work for their publicity.  And some, those of us struggling just to break into the business, have to spend all our time with no support.  I have written and self-published two light sci-fi books in the Sue series: Sue’s Fingerprint and Sue’s Vision.  I think they’re smarty, funny, and entertaining, and I have pretty good reviews so far.  But my sales have no traction.  Yes, I have this website, an author profile on Goodreads, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account.  I tweet and post, but to no avail.  I’m sure I could gain attention if I quit my day job to focus on marketing me and my books, but I can’t afford to do that right now.

Second, to restate the title of the advice book from William M. Akers, Your Book Sucks.  My third book is a story taken from my personal experience.  The protagonist’s name is no coincidence.  After writing, I edited the book with the help from another author.  Feeling confident, I sent out agent queries.  Either my queries sucked, or the first few pages of the book sucked, or both, because I got no hits.  Nothing.  Not wanting to give up, I printed bound copies of the book, complete with cover artwork, and gave it to students in an AP English course at the local high school to read and review.  They didn’t like it.  Okay, it sucked.  But they did give me valuable feedback.  I took all their comments and suggestions, there were a lot, and re-wrote the story.  So does it suck now?  I don’t know.  And I won’t know for a while.  I’ve put it on the shelf.

Which brings me to my third point: Confidence?  What Confidence?  I’ve written my fourth book.  It’s the story that long ago I told myself to write.  It was my first idea for a book.  It’s a semi-autobiographical novel of my fight and victory over cancer—a diagnosis that occurred four decades ago when I was a small child.  This is a story very close to me, and I’ve finally written it.  It’s almost 500 pages filled with 113,000 words!  I wrote it.  I put it away.  I came back and re-wrote it.  I edited it.  Is it good?  I have no idea.  I think it is, but I won’t know until I ask others, which I plan to do.

Maybe I am insane for doing the same thing over again and hoping for a different outcome.  Maybe I have the story that will be liked by many.  Maybe I don’t.  Either way, I’ll keep writing, despite it being a humbling, and potentially humiliating, experience.

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Interview #3 with Andrew Carlson

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This is a series of blogs to introduce myself and my books.  I realize it’s a little unconventional for an author to interview him/herself, but hey… I’m a little unconventional!

 

Welcome back readers!  This is the third part of the interview with Andrew D. Carlson, author of two Earth-based, sci-fi novels in the Sue series; Sue’s Fingerprint and Sue’s Vision.  Today we’ll learn about Sue’s Vision and hopefully get a glimpse into the future of Sue!

 

Host:  Welcome back!

Carlson: Thank you again.  I’m happy to be back talking about my books.

Host: Yes, your books.  Last time we talked, you told us about Sue’s Fingerprint.  Can you tell us about your latest book, Sue’s Vision?  What’s going on with Sue?

Andrew:  When Sue’s Fingerprint ended, the clones were re-located to their new homes.  Sue’s Vision picks up a few months after, with everyone settling in nicely to their new found-freedom.  And then, Sue receives another message.  She realizes that, when she and the young clones, the kids, are close to each other, they can read and write a strange alien language, a language that came from the “goo”.

Host:  You mean the goo that they were all cloned from, the goo that arrived on Earth, correct?

Andrew:  That’s the goo.

Host: So the goo did more than just clone the people?

Andrew:  Yes.  Messages were embedded within the DNA of the goo; the message of the alien’s fate back on their planet–from the first book, as well as their alien language.  And there might be additional messages that might be revealed later on. *wink wink*

Host:  So Sue has a new language.  What does she do with it?

Andrew:  At first, Sue doesn’t know what to do with it, but she knows there’s a reason why she can read and write the alien language.  So she starts trying to figure it out.

Host:  And?

Andrew: The clones and the staff members from the base who relocated with them–at the end of Sue’s Fingerprint–all reunite in Kansas.  Twenty people get together to share their experiences in their new lives.  And a few surprises are revealed about those new lives too!  *hint*  In Kansas, the clones realize they can all read and write the alien language.  They all realize it’s another message.  They deduce the meaning of the message and what they have to do.

Host: All the clones work together to deliver the message?  And the others help?

Andrew:  Yes, they all contribute to their plan to deliver the message.  Even Ted, who still works for DHS, gets in on the plan.

Host: So what is the plan?

Andrew:  The clones use their new language to raise awareness for cleaning up the environment: You live on this planet, clean up your room!  I won’t go into more detail because I’d like you all to read the book.  But I will say the clones get even more help to deliver their message.

Host: Anything else you want to say about the book?

Andrew: Sue’s Vision is a light-hearted story. As in Sue’s Fingerprint, readers get to see the clones and their new families learn and grow.  Like high school and college students, the clones get jobs, learn more about culture and society, and even learn how to drive!  I hope readers take pleasure from seeing the clones learn these simple kinds of things.  I tried to make Sue’s Vision even more humorous and cheerful than Sue’s Fingerprint.

Host: Sounds interesting and entertaining.  I hope readers check out the message in Sue’s Vision.  Will this be the last of the Sue books?

Andrew:  No, this is not the last Sue book.  I definitely have ideas for the third swirling around in my head.  But there’s no word on when it will be finished, or even drafted.  I have to complete my latest manuscript first.

Host: Latest manuscript?  Please, tell us more about it.

Andrew:  It’s tentatively titled Senior Experiment and is a contemporary YA novel of revenge and romance.  It’s the story of Anthony Castellano, who seeks vengeance against his nemesis, Gregory Gray, who stole his A-plus idea for the Senior Experiment project in AP Chemistry class.  And at the same time, Anthony starts a new relationship with Amber Green, a girl he’s had his eye on since the beginning of the year.

Host: Sounds intriguing.  Can we hear more about it in the next interview?

Andrew:  Sure, I’d be happy to tell you about it next time.

Host:  Great!  Until then, keep writing.

Andrew:  Will do.  Thank you.

 

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Interview #2 with Andrew D. Carlson

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This is a series of blogs to introduce myself and my books.  I realize it’s a little unconventional for an author to interview him/herself, but hey… I’m a little unconventional!

 

Welcome back readers!  This is the second part of the interview with author Andrew D. Carlson, author of two published Earth-based, light sci-fi novels in the Sue series; Sue’s Fingerprint and Sue’s Vision.  Today we’ll learn more about Sue!

 

Host: Welcome back, Andrew.

Andrew: Thanks.  Glad to be here.

Host: Last we talked, you told us your motivation for writing and how science plays a part in all of your stories.  Can we talk about your books?

Andrew: I’d love to.

Host: Tell us about the Sue series.  How did you get the idea for Sue?

Andrew: The idea for the Sue books came to me as a dream.  I know, I know… how cliché.  But it’s true.  The vision I first had was for a mutant rat that was obviously not right.  The rat was at the window of a little girl’s bedroom scratching and clawing to get inside.  In my dream, the rat did make it inside.  In Sue’s Fingerprint, that vision became the opening chapter where a determined ground squirrel tries to get inside Karen’s bedroom.  Luckily, it didn’t make it.  But readers will know that the squirrel was not normal.  As readers find out, it’s a clone.

Host:  A clone.  You mean a copy of another squirrel?

Andrew:  Yes, it is an exact copy of another ground squirrel.  It was cloned when the original ground squirrel touched the alien goo that landed on Earth.

Host: Hold on… ‘alien goo’?

Andrew:  You bet.  That’s the sci-fi part of the book: an alien substance, the ‘goo’, lands on Earth.  And any mammal that touches the substance is cloned.  An exact copy is created from the goo.  But since it is alien goo, the copies aren’t really exact copies.  They’re genetically the same, but…

Host:  They don’t act exactly the same, do they?

Andrew: The cloned animals have different behavior traits as readers find out.

Host: And by ‘animals’ you also mean humans, don’t you?

Andrew: Yep, like Sue.

Host: Tell us about Sue.

Andrew: Sue was the first human cloned from the alien goo.  She appeared when Karen’s mother, Susan, was cleaning her garden and touched some of the goo that landed among her tomato plants.  When Susan turned around, she was staring at an exact copy of herself, standing naked in the yard.

Host: What did Susan do?

Andrew: What would you do if you stood in front of a copy of yourself?  She freaked out.  She ran to her neighbor’s house for help.  In the mean time, Sue went inside and sat at the kitchen table.  That’s when Karen met Sue.  And Karen also freaked out.  She ran across the street to David’s house because her mother (the woman who she thought was her mother) was sitting at the table with no clothes on and didn’t recognize her own daughter.

Host:  And then what?

Andrew: David and Karen returned to the house, and Susan returned with Petunia, her neighbor.  They all stood in the kitchen and tried to make sense of it.  They finally deduced that Sue appeared after Susan touched what she thought was a rotten tomato: the alien goo.  David called the local deputy sheriff to come around and take a look.

Host: Did he take Sue away?

Andrew: And do what with her?  No, Spike, the deputy, said he’d have to make some calls before he could do anything.  He told Susan not to let the new person have access to any newspapers or TV or anything that might give her an idea of where she was or where she came from.  They all agreed that was the safest thing to do.

Host: So they just left Sue at the house staring at the walls?

Andrew: Well, you see, she was staying at the house with Karen, who is a very precocious six year-old.  Karen started reading her books to Sue, who, in turn started to learn how to read Karen’s books.  And we find out that Sue learns very quickly.

Host:  And we also learn that more humans are cloned, correct?

Andrew: Yes, more animals and more people.  That is when the DHS Agent, Ted Stevens, has to take action.  His scientist friends at the lab in Manhattan, Kansas, have analyzed the goo as best as they can, and determined it was not from Earth.  So Ted knows that he has a problem.  The more new animals and people that appear, the more the general public will start to react.  And he knows it won’t be a good reaction.  It’d be more like panic.

Host: So Ted rounds up the new people, right?

Andrew: Yes.  He travels the country and collects the new people–the clones–that have been reported by local law enforcement, and takes them to an abandoned military base in the California desert.  That is where the ‘aliens’ are to be contained.

Host: And what does Ted do with them there?

Andrew: They’re given clothes, some children’s movies to watch and children’s books to read.  The clones are taught how to cook for themselves by the staff at the base.  They learn how to take care of themselves.  And the child clones have counselors to watch over them—like at a camp.  This is, in my opinion, the funny part of the book where the clones discover the most about themselves.

Host: So that’s it?  They just exist there and they’re happy?

Andrew: Not exactly.  You see, the adult clones talk to each other.  And being fast learners, especially Sue, they figure out that they have appeared on Earth as a result of a substance.  They realize that they, the ‘residents’ of the base, are all different.  Sue wants to know more.

Host: And?

Andrew: More ‘residents’ are brought to the base, bringing the total to 11 clones, six adults and five children.  After hearing the newcomers’ stories of how they ‘arrived’, Sue puts the pieces together.  She knows why they’re at the base.  And that’s when she gets a message.

Host: A message?

Andrew: A message that came from the alien goo.  That’s when the reader knows that the clones aren’t exact copies.

Host:  What happens?  What does Sue do?

Andrew: I can’t spoil the story.  You’ll just have to find out by reading the book.  But I can say that since there is a sequel to the story, Sue’s Fingerprint ends well enough to keep going.

Host: So on that note, we’ll end this session of the interview.  Can you tell us about the sequel, Sue’s Vision, next time?

Andrew: I think I can.  I don’t think I’ll spoil too much if I give a little about Sue’s Vision.

Host:  I look forward to it.  And I hope readers will tune in next time!

 

 

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Interview with Andrew D. Carlson

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This is the first in a new series of blogs that I’m writing to introduce myself and my books.  I realize it’s a little unconventional for an author to interview him/herself, but hey… I’m a little unconventional!

If you’re a book blogger and are reading this, I’d be thrilled to have you syndicate this interview series.  Please feel free to re-post or give a shout-out link.  Also, I’d be happy to do an exclusive interview with you on your blog.  Either way, please feel free to contact me.  Thanks!

 

Welcome readers!  This is the first blog in a series of interviews with Andrew D. Carlson, author of two published Earth-based, light sci-fi novels in the Sue series; Sue’s Fingerprint and Sue’s Vision.  I also understand he’s got a couple other books in the works that I hope he’ll share with us.

 

Host:  Welcome to this author interview, Mr. Carlson, and thank you for giving us your time.

Carlson: Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity, and please, call me Andrew.  I actually don’t like it when readers/reviewers refer to me as ‘Mr. Carlson’ or simply ‘Carlson’.  It rubs me the wrong way.  I much prefer to be addressed as Andrew.

Host: Fair enough, Andrew.  Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Andrew:  I’d be happy to.  I’m in my forties, living in California with my wife and son.  Although my exterior (and some bits of my interior) is forty years old, I don’t feel that old.  I actually think I’m still in my early twenties.  Maybe it’s a mid-life crisis, but I’ve never gotten ‘old’ in my head.  I love to laugh, and make jokes. I have a potty mouth and I talk loud.  I love to drive fast (don’t tell the cops).  I listen to punk music, 80’s rock and even a little rap (my son introduced me).  If it’s got a lot of bass and a funky beat I can tap my feet to, I’ll listen to it.  And usually the lyrics aren’t exactly approved for all ages. *rolls eyes in shame*

Host:  So what have you been doing for the past twenty years while your body aged but your mind didn’t?

Andrew:  I have a Bachelor’s of Arts in Chemistry from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. UM YA YA!  And yes, you read correctly; that’s a BA, not a BS.  As a scientist friend of mine liked to say, “I can make small-talk at parties.”  After graduation, I took a job in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry and I’ve been there ever since.  I have held positions in analytical and pharmaceutical development, project management, regulatory affairs and quality.  The closer I am to science and data, the happier I am.  Deep down, I’m a geek.

Host:  How has your professional career influenced your writing?

Andrew:  I put science into all of my books. My goal is to entertain all of my readers, but I also want to educate readers if only just a little.  I weave chemistry, biology, biochemistry and even a little astrophysics into my stories.  For example, in Sue’s Fingerprint, I introduced a gel-like substance, the “Goo” as it’s called, that clones mammals.  And the scientists in the book analyze the substance and describe how complex it is—in technical biochemical terms.  There is a non-scientist that translates from geek-speak to normal English for the readers, but the technical details are there.  I also get into a little discussion of just how big the galaxy is and how long it might have taken for the “Goo” to get to Earth.

Host:  With all the ‘geek-speak’ as you call it, do you think it’s too much for your readers?

Andrew: I don’t think so.  In fact, from the reviews I’ve received, the science details are clearly explained such that non-geeks can understand.  If I may quote Katelyn Torrey from Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands: “Andrew definitely put his knowledge of science to use in this book which I totally loved! One semester of college science was enough for me but I really enjoyed the way that Andrew introduced the science aspect in this book. He took simple terms that many people, science degrees or not, could grasp. I don’t want to say he dumbed it down by any means but he definitely took complex terms and ideas and then explained them in a way that a lot of readers could picture and understand.”

I do my best to keep the science in my books technical enough to not dilute the science, but explain it to those that aren’t science nerds like me.

Host: Are the plots of your books all about science?

Andrew:  No, they aren’t.  Sue’s Fingerprint is a story of humans cloned from an alien substance that arrives on Earth.  The ‘aliens’ are contained on an abandoned military base by a DHS agent.  But while housing the new people, the DHS agent and the staff at the base come to realize the clones are people, just like you and me, who simply want to live their own lives.  In the sequel, Sue’s Vision, the clones have a message to deliver.  And that message attracts the attention of others in the government who are not so understanding.  In my Sue books, science is just a means of enhancing the details of the plot.  I use science to explain behavior or events.  Science even helps to predict the future.  You’ll have to read Sue’s Vision to find out more.

In my latest work in progress, tentatively titled Senior Experiment, science is central to the plot, but the story is not about science experiments.  The story centers on the protagonist’s rage and desire for retribution towards another student who stole his idea for the senior experiment.  The plot follows Anthony through his ups and (mainly) downs as he struggles to right the wrong.  And, of course, there’s the matter of the romance he’s trying to maintain with his new girlfriend mixed in with his obsession for justice.  But I’ll talk more about that later.

Host:  Sounds good, Andrew, and thank you!

Andrew: My pleasure.

Host:  We’ll have to wrap up this first blog there.  But there will be more blogs in the future.  The interview with Andrew D. Carlson will continue.  We’ll talk more about his Sue series and his works in progress.  Readers, please tell your online friends and your in-person friends (or family) about this interview.  Join us next time!

Andrew: I look forward to the next round!

 

 

The Do the GOO Giveaway

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In 2013, my goal is to receive 100 additional reviews for both books in my sci-fi series, the Sue series.

To meet this review challenge, I’m giving away 100 free kindle (.MOBI) versions of Sue’s Fingerprint and Sue’s Vision.  To win one copy of each book, all you have to do is click on the CONTACT ME tab above to send me an email message requesting kindle (.MOBI) copies of the books.  Type “2013 Sue Review Challenge” in the subject field.  And please tell me more about your interest in the books. I’d like to know what caught your attention.

Sue’s Fingerprint:

A sticky, gel-like substance arrives on Earth and DHS quickly receives reports of more animals appearing in parks and zoos all over the country.  And then come the reports of new people appearing.  Sue is the first of the “aliens” cloned from the goo.  Others are soon identified by DHS.  The cloned humans are “contained” on an abandoned military base by agent Ted Stevens, while he and the special committee decide what to do.  But they’re not contained long.  Sue escapes and returns to her “family” to deliver the clones’ alien message and Ted has to bring her back.  What will he do with her and the other clones?

Sue’s Vision:

The clones have been released and soon discover they have new skills.  They can read and write the language of the extinct alien species.  They put their new skills to use; to deliver another message for the people of Earth.  Unfortunately, their plans are discovered by the FBI.  Ted Stevens is, again, called in to “deal with these aliens.”  Ted enlists the help of a few friends in the government to help.  Find out what mess the clones make this time!

To learn more, click on the SUE’S FINGERPRINT and SUE’S VISION tabs above.

Of course, this giveaway is about getting reviews, so there is another thing for you to do: please provide a review of the two books on Goodreads.com and/or Amazon.com.

If you want to help me spread the word about this giveaway, I’d be happy if you tweeted the following: Do the GOO! FREE e-copies of SUE’S FINGERPRINT & SUE’S VISION by @andrewdcarlson http://bit.ly/Y2LU0X #kindle #scifi #yalit

I hope you enjoy Sue!  Do the GOO!

 

Giveaway of Sue’s Vision

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Would you like the chance to win a FREE copy of Sue’s Vision?

 

Go to Goodreads and register to win! (or click on the link to the right)

If you win a copy, please post your review on Goodreads or Amazon.com.  I’d really appreciate it!

If you don’t win a copy, I’d still appeciate it if you’d add it to your bookshelf and read it.  Indie authors live by your reviews!

Thank you!

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