My name is Chris Shockowitz and thank you to ReadersMagnet Authors’ Lounge for having me. Many people have asked me why I wrote my award winning novel, Silent Invasion.
Video Trailer: https://vimeo.com/329476448
I started writing because I had a message I wanted to share. You see, I started to study the genocide in Rwanda, and I couldn’t understand how two tribes that lived in harmony for over 400 years could be turned against each other in less than a decade. It really bothered me. As I researched it further, I found similar patterns in human behaviour throughout history. One night in 2000, I was up late watching an old science fiction show called the twilight zone. The next morning, I remembered my dream. The dream was complex and interesting. After I thought about the dream a little, I realized that the main message of the dream was that no alien race need risk their own lives to invade Earth as long as humans are so willing to kill each other. This dream and this message are the basic building blocks for Silent Invasion. I dedicate the book to the Rwandan genocide. May it never happen again. Below is a short summary of the book.
Amber van Hosteen is working at her dream job at News Corp in New York City. That is, it’s a dream until she discovers large corporations are corrupting governments around the world, sponsoring questionable projects, and building huge factories in lawless places for an unknown purpose. Determined to learn who is behind these crimes, Amber follows a trail of clues to a remote village in North Africa. Jeff Smith is a senior CIA agent. When his team discovers a material that cannot be made on Earth, and his director does not want to believe him. Jeff is reassigned to follow Amber to Africa, little suspecting it will lead him to the answers about the mysterious material. Amber and Jeff have met before. He once tried to stop her from getting a story, so when he comes to her rescue in a dire situation, she is less than grateful. Soon, however, they find themselves forming a fragile alliance. When they discover an unimaginable nightmare, they quickly realize they can trust no one except each other. Soon, Jeff and Amber are being chased around the world by members of the Hidden Hand, a secret society with influence at the highest levels across many governments. What Amber and Jeff have discovered will change the world forever if they don’t put a stop to it. But who will believe them, and will they even live to tell the tale?
I not only write books and blogs for sites like Readers Magnet’s Author’s Lounge, but I teach people how to write books, both fiction and non-fiction. My partner and book coach, Patrick Snow, and I have a website called https://BecomingA BestsellingAuthor.com/ if you’d like to learn more.
If we talk about fiction for a moment, Patrick Snow always says, “bestselling fiction novels need their pages filled with stories of love and death.” When you’re writing fiction, you are taking people away to another place or time. You get to walk in their shoes. See what they see, but more importantly, feel what they feel. The stronger the emotions your readers feel, the better the fiction book. Science Fiction in particular also should have a story arc that follows the “Heroes Journey”.
Star Wars is a great example of this story structure. Luke is unhappy with his life. He is confronted with a dilemma, but chooses the safe path when he refuses Old Ben Kenobi. Then, his adopted family dies and Luke chooses to accept the role he previously refused. He goes on a magnificent adventure and the story ends in a confrontation with the antagonist. You don’t have to follow this formula, but your hook only works if the reader buys into the main charter’s (MC) inner struggle. Once their hooked on a believable story, they enjoy the ride no matter how crazy or fanciful. They have empathy for the family that died. They have love for the heroine, and fear that the conflict the MC will face is too much for them to handle. These are two of the three most important things I teach others about writing science fiction.
Follow these and you’ll be popular with readers, publishers, and movie producers. My books also have an underlying story, which is the reason I wrote the book. For example, we all know that no human is perfect and we all have flaws. Taking the most relatable flaws and playing them out in a story is not only fun and entertaining, but can also teach a lesson. In the Zalthuras Series, the lesson is that humanity must build more trust between races and between nations.
If we could spend as much energy helping each other as we spend killing each other, the world would be a much better place and no alien race (or human leader) could use our differences to drive a wedge between us. In the Outward Bound Series, the lesson is that humanity will need to partner with others races or become the next species to go extinct. Humanity has a destiny. We just haven’t finished inventing it yet. Our role in our galaxy could be mercenary or peace maker. It could be conqueror, colonizer, trader, explorer, or some mix of all of the above. The stories we could create from just this last sentence are endless.
First contact could bring about the greatest intellectual boon our species has ever seen or our destruction. It all depends on who we meet and how we treat them. I personally like to write content that is technically feasible in the timeline I write the story for. I do a lot of research and then try to extrapolate what this new tech will mean for human society and the characters in the story. There are still some authors out there that do this like Ian Douglas or Peter Hamilton. I also prefer to keep my stories PG rated, so readers 11 years old and up can read them. A little more about me, I live is El Dorado Hills, CA. I’m married and have two children in college. I have only been a serious author for a little over two years. Before that, I worked for 25 years at Intel Corporation in application development and improving Intel’s business. I was Director of Application Development when I retired from Intel and immediately started writing my first novel, Silent Invasion, under my own name.
My Website is at https://ShockowitzSciFi.com My Blog is at https://ShockowitzSciFi.com/Blog My Facebook Page is at https://www.facebook.com/Shockowitz_scifi-1607762022663821/ The Silent Invasion video trailer is at https://vimeo.com/329476448
Thank you again to the ReadersMagnet Authors’ Lounge for having me.