What is your book about?
The theme of Domino (and the entire series) is learning how to live with things you cannot change. This is one of the toughest realities we all must deal with, and I’m surprised it isn’t addressed in fiction writing. There’s a quote in Domino where the detective tells the protagonist “One thing they never tell you in those ambitious graduation speeches is that the unexpected happens. Failure happens. People betray us. Circumstances change in ways we can’t foresee. Our life plans fail by middle age because we don’t calculate for failure or uncontrollable circumstances — The most painful lesson any of us learn is that some things can’t be fixed, and you have to learn how to live with it.”
It is true that we can do a lot with perseverance, tenacity, self-discipline, and self-control, but we can’t control reality. The world is unpredictable, and there’s no cure for that. I recently saw a billboard that read, “When you can’t change circumstances, you’re challenged with changing yourself.” This is the reality I’m living, and I want others to know it isn’t unusual for your experiences to change who you are and how you think about life.
What inspired you to write the book?
I’ve read many things about how integrating with technology is the next step in human evolution, and I imagined how we would approach this in the future. Then the COVID pandemic hit in March 2020, and my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer in May 2020. We were told it was a small, curable mass and he would be ok. He died from complications with chemotherapy in late August, two days before my birthday. Nothing shifts your paradigm like planning your father’s funeral and burial on your birthday.
After that happened, my husband made a request: don’t give my work in progress a happy ending. Make it as real as life had been for us in the summer of 2020. I decided he was right, and my writing needs to reflect finding beauty and meaning beyond the ugly aspects of reality. Domino is better as a story of an experiment that failed, and building on the lessons from that failure to the next steps in overcoming assumptions and advancing technology.
What is the target audience for the book?
The target audience is young and middle age adults who are struggling with failure or shocking circumstances. Life isn’t always a road or path. Sometimes it’s a mosaic. You have to pick up the pieces of your broken dreams and expectations to create a more beautiful reality that you could have imagined, and then continue on life’s journey with the lessons and depth of character that these things build in us.
What do you hope readers get of your book?
To never give up! I want readers to understand that life is unpredictable, but you can still enjoy it. In fact, you should, because the bad things give you a deeper appreciation for the good things. You will be happy again. You will succeed. You will find meaning, purpose, and joy if you decide to keep moving on and doing your best every day. That isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary. So don’t give up.
One thing people kept telling me after Dad passed away was to take a day at a time. Really, that’s how we live every day. We’re more aware of it when a tragedy has shaken our world, but the truth is that all we can do is take a day at a time. You need long term plans, but you also need to commit to doing your best every day. Your best will also vary each day. Today’s best might seem pitiful, but that’s all right. Small things matter, so appreciate them as much as the big things. Tomorrow will come, and if you don’t give up then your best will become better, until you build up to achieving the hope you’re dreaming of.
What are your future goals/plans for the book?
The Sentience Series will resume twenty years later, when the Advanced Artificial Intelligence that’s mentioned in Domino has been developed and put into widespread use. Integrating personal assistants through the neural chips is our greatest technological advancement, until the system starts to randomly crash. The research team is confounded as to why a system that was working flawlessly is showing signs of instability, leaving them to wonder who – or what – is responsible for the glitches in the system. Phantasm, Book Two of The Sentience Series, is coming in early 2022.
Something about yourself.
Obviously, I am a stubborn optimist. I believe that all things work out for good in the end; even if the road is bumpy and leaves you beat and busted. You have to have faith and keep doing your best every day. And you can’t give up.
I’m also a borderline introvert/extrovert, which makes it a pain to be my friend because you never know which you’re going to get (neither do I). I tried to be a hermit and built a home in the woods on family land but the world wouldn’t give up on me, and my love for the Internet and technology left too many clues to my existence. I’m forced out by a day job and other endeavors that are too interesting to pass up, even in my most introverted states. I share this secluded home with my husband of 23 years and two parrots, who fill our lives with joy and happiness. My birds are also nerds, probably because we love sci-fi, and fill their world with the wonder of science, technology, and grand possibilities for the future.
Domino, Book One of The Sentience Series is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08T7WJM9H
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