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Monday, March 7, 2016

#NewRelease: DARK MOON RISING by Debut Author Michael Gonzalez


 When a disastrous quake strikes the Moon, only eight survivors remain. One man rises to lead the others to safety, only to discover an alien base beneath the Moon’s surface. Can the small band of humans trust the aliens to help them back to Earth, or will they bring global genocide instead? Will Earth live to see the Dark Moon Rising?


In the beginning...

My first published book, "Dark Moon Rising" began life decades ago when as a child I watched with the eagerness of Christmas as men journeyed to the Moon during the Apollo missions. I sat mesmerized as Neil Armstrong took that "giant leap for mankind."

My fascination with space and space travel never abated. However, I had to put my wild imaginings on hold during the twenty very serious years I spent in the Army.

It was 1998 when I read Asimov's "I Robot" that the thought pierced my mind, "perhaps I could write a fiction story."

Now, don't misunderstand me, I never thought I could be an Isaac Asimov, and in truth I would not want to be. I want to establish my own niche.

Regardless, the story started off, believe it or not, as a World War Two adventure. However, when a friend of mine, also a veteran, read my first fifty chapters he made an interesting observation; “People with a military background will understand you,” he said, “others will be lost.” I reread the thing and discovered I had written for a rather small audience.

So I started over. That original story still exists. But it's saved on a floppy disk!

A short time later I was having a discussion with a California visitor to the museum where I'm employed, and he mentioned the Earthquakes they have there. Somehow that got my imagination creaking forward. The dust and cob webs fell away and before long I started to write.

My wife asked me: why? Did I write in the hope of publication or was I writing for my own amusement? The truth was I had no idea. I did enjoy the writing process and I was relearning a lot of what I been taught in school. Doing the research was time consuming, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately rewarding and always enlightening.

The entire story is not about a single person, or a single place. It is rather the story of a time, a time in the not so distant future.

Our science is, today, close to creating a true quantum computer. Once on line it will be capable of simulated intelligence. It could, through existing networks, take control of all aspects of human life. The worldwide power grid, food distribution, water purification and distribution, communications, everything.

It will have the power to create its next generation of computers, smarter, faster, and build it. This new computer will build its own next generation machine. This process will continue and the machines will reproduce in greater numbers, each smarter than the last. In thirty days’ humans could become ... obsolete.

The only alternative is to insure those computers are … human, with a human since of morality, with human compassion, with human comprehension. And of course, human emotion.

The self-aware thinking machine of the future must be us. As I outlined the entire story I realized that it was longer than just one book.  So I divided it into five sections.

As I wrote I was amazed how the story and the characters developed, morphed, and grew. This happened with each book as I wrote. So the overall story changed as well.

During the process I kept everything on a thumb drive; the story itself, all my notes and research, everything!

Then it happened, as we all knew it would. I left the little drive in the pocket of my shirt and it went into the wash!

My heart stopped as I pulled the dripping little instrument from the pocket of the shirt. There, utterly soaked, was the icon of countless hours of writing and research. Years of my life reduced to a soggy piece of plastic hardware.

I shook it with sufficient "G" force to drive it into the floor like a javelin - then plunged it into a bowl of rice.

I lit a candle, fell on my knees, and prayed for my small piece of technology.

My prayers were answered, and the data remained intact. I then transferred everything to a new thumb drive and learned to back up my precious data on multiple devices.

The day came when I thought I was ready to send my manuscript out to various publishers in both the US and the UK. The result is a collection or rejections from two continents.

Then synchronicity reared its head. Carl Jung defined synchronicity as the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related – but have no discernible causal connection.

The mother of the assistant of the wife of a departed friend of mine was identified to me as an editor. I asked her to read my story and she did. Her suggestion was that I have it professionally edited and suggested Julie Wilcox.

I thought editing would be an exercise in futility, after all I had already self-edited the story dozens of times over the span of several years.

Nevertheless I swallowed my pride and sent the manuscript to Julie.

Upon completion of her work, and the return of the manuscript, I was shocked and amazed at all I had missed, the many errors I had made, the embarrassing misspellings, the not uncommon appearance of poorly constructed sentences. I cannot overstate the importance of a proper editor, it is an absolutely necessity.

When Julie emailed my story back to me she also informed Cheryl Pierson, the editor-in-chief and Co-owner of Prairie Rose Publications. Cheryl is the mother of the assistant of the wife of a departed friend of mine I spoke of earlier. She read the story again and to my great shock offered me a contract!

One of the few compromises I had to make was the book's title, originally I called it, “Under Mare Insularum.” It was pointed out to me that for a large portion of the population that title means nothing. It might as well read, "Ελληνικά για μένα!" She explained that the title had to hint at the story line and entice a fan of science fiction to read the book.

Cheryl has been in the business of publishing far longer than I have been published. As my dad used to say, "Always go with the advice of a professional."

Well, here I am. I am about to be a published author. My next goal is to become a successful published author.

To that end I hope all of you will read my story, and then place a review of it on my website, on Amazon, and all the other various outlets.

I of course hope you will enjoy my story and so sing its praises, this will ensure the publication of the four remaining stories in the "Unborn Galaxy", and open the door for the release of my fantasies and other SF stories.

I can now answer my wife's question, “why?”

I hope to bring people along on the journeys that I have created. I hope, like me, they can escape the surly bonds of Earth and venture away with me to places yet unborn and to lost worlds beckoning to be discovered.

You will have to face the great unknown, there will be danger, new and vicious creatures, evil in many forms. There will also be people of supreme dedication and loyalty among the ranks of the good who stand against evil that it does not thrive.

There will also be love. For wherever humanity goes love always go with it, and that dear reader is the key to our success.

Find Dark Moon Rising on:

Amazon  •  Barnes & Noble  •  Kobo  •  Smashwords


 

I mentioned Asimov's I, Robot inspired me to begin writing science fiction. What sci-fi story has inspired you in some way? To celebrate the release of my debut novel, I'll give an ebook of Dark Moon Rising to one of the people who answers that question in the comments.

 


A lifetime spent in the US Army serving his country and its people saw Mike awaking to harsh realities and extreme conditions in forward deployed outposts, on two continents, every morning for twenty years. He took up writing on a whim when friends commented how well he told the stories of his adventures. While writing those stories, he realized, they might be of interest to other veterans with similar histories, but few others. Where might he go, he asked himself, to give vent to his imagination, which by virtue of his profession had be so long imprisoned? Where else might one’s imagination lead but to the doors of science fiction, fantasy, and romance? In these arenas, while leaning on his own experience, he has set his characters to strife beyond the past, and the now, to struggle into the future.

Find Michael on his website, Facebook, and Prairie Rose Publications.

19 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your debut, Mike! I wish you much success with this series. :-)

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    2. Kathleen, Thank you so much, and thank you for all your help!

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  2. Congratulations, Mike! I really enjoyed this book, and I know you have many more stories in your soul to share!

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    1. Cheryl, what can I say? You've made my dream come true.

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  3. Congratulations Mike! To answer your question, it wasn't a particular book, but a series of books by Roger Zelazny, the Amber series. Particularly the Guns of Avalon. It is a sort of Science fiction fantasy.

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    1. SiFi fantasy? I've written one! Perhaps you see it published also some day ... soon, eh?

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  4. Huge congratulations, Mike. I love science fiction. Ray Bradbury and Asimov are two of my favorite sci-fi authors. Mostly I liked short stories back in my childhood.
    Your story line with aliens populated the subsurface of the moon may not be so far fetched after all. I watched a series on The History Channel and it was stated the first astronauts who landed actually saw what they thought was an alien base there. Pretty dang wild, huh?
    I admire sci-fi writers because they have to have a good handle on real science and then add some imagination to what could be.
    I got into science fiction back in the dark ages of the original Star Trek TV series. I liked that Earth had settled its cultural differences enough to explore space with a united and varied ethnic crew. That just gave me hope in all kinds of ways. I read Carl Sagan's "Contact" and loved his idea that all the answers could be found in math--and that the ultimate message from God (even though Sagan was an atheist)would be in a mathematical equation...don't think that was noted in the movie they made later from his book. But my favorite would have to be Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451". I loved how the people each memorized a story in order to keep it alive and passed that story on. Sometimes when people get up in arms about a book and want to burn it, it reminds me of this this story, and it sends a chill down my spine. My niece and I memorized Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet"--the whole dang thing way back when I was young and had a good memory. I can still quote blocks of it. So, I guess I have my "book". LOL
    I attempted a sci-fi short story early in my career. It was published, but I have to say, sci-fi writing is out of my skill set.
    I want to wish you every success with Dark Moon Rising. And I cannot leave until I tell you thank you for your years of service on our behalf. Thank you so very much.

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    1. Sarah, Thank you for your appreciation. We vets are starting to hear that more and more often. It’s very gratifying to know we’re remembered.
      The thing about SiFi is you can let your mind roam free. With each story I develop I find my imagination becomes more and more wild. I’ve even had to reign it in when my concepts become so radical that I can’t support them even with quantum physics!

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  5. Congratulations on becoming a published author. This book is such an exciting start to what I feel will be a successful labor of love for you. I can't wait to see where this story leads my imagination. Salute!

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    1. Thanks Steph. I do hope you guys like it. And I cant wait to read it to the boys (That's means Troy too!)

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  6. Congratulations on your debut novel, I look forward to reading it! Star Wars Episode IV was my intro to the world of sci-fi. These days, my sci-fi love affair continues with the Mass Effect video game series, which has even sparked ideas for stories of my own.

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    1. Isabella, Inspiration can and does come from anywhere. Dark Moon Rising started as a WWII story.
      Defense of JILL (the working title for book two) came to me after reading about a battle of the First World War! Book three sprang from a piece on the internet about a supposedly secret Apollo 20 mission!
      Fun, ain’t it?

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  7. Sounds like a great story. What an adventure getting it to the point of being published. And that story about the flash drive going through the wash--oh, how I can relate to that! Best wishes.

    Robyn Echols w/a Zina Abbott

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    1. Many thanks. Yeah, it's been a ride. I hope to go around again!

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  8. Congratulations. Always fascinated by space and this story sounds wonderful. All the best. Doris McCraw/Angela Raines

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    1. Thank you so much! The thing about space, it's as vast as the human imagination.

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  9. Sarah J. McNeal - you have won the free E copy of DARK MOON RISING. Please Email me at Gonzales-scribbler@cox.net to receive the coupon code!

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    1. Thank you so much, Mike. I'll get in touch with you pronto!

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