It isn’t always clear from my stories, but I’m a fan of fan of science as well as science fiction and fantasy. While writing the first Mystic Rampage book I was working on a biochemistry degree and tried to incorporate some of the concepts into how the Genie’s powers work. In a way, it helped me through classes by providing a reason to study more closely and fit concepts into a fictional story in a way that made at least kind of made sense. That process became more difficult after introducing Dr. Wicker, whose powers are based on physics. In case it wasn’t obvious from my writing, physics is not my strongest subject, especially when it comes to the quantum level. Everything about that character was based on a Kindle-fueled crash course in sub-atomic particles. Most of it was from books by Leon Lederman (God Particle, Beyond the God Particle) and Brian Greene (The Elegant Universe, The Fabric of The Cosmos), as well as other science fiction authors who incorporated the standard model or similar concepts into their work like Douglas E. Richards (Quantum Lens) and Douglas Phillips (Quantum Space). While these authors were helpful and got me to the point where I could make general statements, I had to avoid going too deep into any details since I can’t explain what I don’t know. Hopefully that will change soon. Earlier this year I decided to go back to school. I was accepted into a graduate program and signed up for classes earlier this week. It’s still a chemistry degree, but one of the classes involves quantum mechanics and how it relates to chemical reactions. It sounds like a complicated course and I’m sure there will be a lot of late nights but I’m looking forward to studying leptons in terms of their quantum properties instead of picturing them as just dots on a Lewis diagram. Hopefully there will be some information to work into the series and give it more impact to any readers who also happen to be science geeks. Book 2 isn’t scheduled to be released until 2021, so there’s still time to absorb new information and try to build it into Dr. Wicker’s world.
There have been some new faces in the critique group. I’ve been bringing in pieces of the final book so one of the newcomers asked for a synopsis of the earlier ones to get them caught up. It didn’t seem like a difficult request and I figured it wouldn’t take too long to put something together. After all, everything is written down, so all I had to do was review them chronologically and bring up the main events. It turned out to be a very difficult request and it took a few days to put something together. The first book is just over 250 pages. That’s less than half the length of any Game of Thrones book, and compared to some Stephen King books it’s practically a pamphlet. In spite of the relatively short length it sounded very complicated when I tried rushing through all the events. Nothing seemed clear, especially when trying to explain how magic works in my world, and as soon as I had a page written I felt the need to delete it and start over. It seemed most coherent when instead of selecting important events and trying to explain why they happened I focused on conveying the themes and portrayal of the characters. This is something I’ve been dwelling on a lot lately since current events have made me consider how the characters might be perceived (especially Officer Tymbir; he’s an aggressive person who happens to be a cop but I never intended for him to be depicted as a bad cop). The main themes I emphasized, and the ones I hope readers take away, are people finding their purpose in the world and finding someone to carry on in their place. That was the reason behind Flarence and Soleil’s disagreement about their mysterious rulers. It was also the reason Darren and Tyrell had such a close relationship and why Claire was never far from Flarence. If I had those themes in mind when I was pitching this book it probably would have been easier to find a publisher. I guess every work of fiction gets needlessly complex when trying to go through the series of events and explain why they happened. That’s part of what keeps people interested and sometimes readers have a sense of pride when they’re able to make sense of it all. Still, getting too deep into those weeds makes it easy to lose sight of the main purpose behind the story which is more important than any plot twist.