Hey, everyone. For this brief moment, I am Shannon. The rest of this post has been written by the fantastic author, Raymond Vogel. You see, I’m out of town again due to a death in the family, but I’ll be back on Tuesday, and Ray has graciously agreed to help me keep my blog going while I’m gone. That being said, if you’ve sent me an email or message or any kind, I will reply when I return :]
One last thing: I’ve added my book signing event to both Facebook and Goodreads. Click the links to join either one. I hope I get to meet some of you again! It’ll be a lot of fun–a BBQ, music, authors, and other artists to mingle with.
I can’t wait! But I have to get back to my travels–so without further ado:
Matter of Resistance is being re-released next month, at last a product I can say I’m proud to have authored. It’s literally been “in work” for six years now, so it’s also a great relief to call it complete. Here, briefly, are the forces of fate that collapsed on top of me to make it possible. Special thanks to Shannon Thompson, a wonderful writer in her own right, for allowing me her page to share them with you.
For almost three years, starting in 2007, I worked as a Systems Engineer on the NASA Orion Program
. As a dreamer and philosopher, I couldn’t help but work out the future details about actually landing on Mars and colonizing it as we humans finally begin our disbursement out into the universe. With a strong background in material science, and three previous years holed up in a lab working with advanced materials, I also suspected there had to be another reason for us to go.
With these two things in mind, I invented Mangematter – a material that doesn’t exist on Earth but that I theorized could hold some unique properties. And it’s not as far fetched as you might think (see articles like this one
on the uses of magnetic pinning). Incidentally, Magnematter
was the working title of the book for quite a long time.
Also occurring at that time, as you may remember, was a war in Iraq. A war many conspiratorially believed (reference
) was really being fought for a healthy supply of oil – a material we’re consuming rather quickly (See sites like oilddecline.com
). A war waged over a critical material, plus the idea of Magnematter, gave me the epic-sized conflict I was looking for.
With a relevant and scientifically feasible setting and a conflict in hand, it was the simple matter of creating the characters and plotline to fill in the details.
Having made several failed attempts to write novels before, I waited to write anything until I had first turned to the magical land where all answers appear in seconds: the internet. In one swift google search, I landed on the Snowflake Method
. If you’re a writer, and you haven’t heard of this method, consider looking at it very seriously. As a logic based life form (aka engineer), it jumped out at me as the only way to write. It employs software development processing to writing – an unlikely combination if ever there was one – and it works.
I followed the Snowflake Method diligently, making the one sentence version of my book, then the paragraph, and so on. I’ve been told, even on the original version, that the result was a “perfect plotline” – coherently linked from beginning to end. And I’ve been recommending the process ever since. In case you’re curious, the one-sentence synopsis I created for Matter of Resistance was:
“An evolved and brilliant youth must save Earth from devastation at the hands of his fellow Martian colonists.” – Aug 6, 2007
Of course, the details changed CONSIDERABLY since the writing of that sentence, but it gave me the foundation I needed to write my novel. Using the Snowflake Method, it only took me about 6 months to finish the first draft of Matter of Resistance (Magnematter, at the time). I then spent the the next few years polishing my manuscript to get the grammar errors out, began the slow process of looking for a publisher, got bored waiting for rejection letters, and then put it up on Amazon in about 3 hours in October of 2011.
Although my book was doing well and receiving good reviews, there was a universal comment from my most honest friends that was bothering me. No one was finishing the book. It simply took too much brain power to get through, and most people read that kind of book to escape rather than to learn. Of those that finished, all enjoyed it, but they were too few in number for my ego.
Myself being rather talkative, I talked often about my book, to any that would listen. The results was a run-in with paranormal thriller and speculative Christian fiction author Marc Schooley
. I was beginning to work on a new book, which will remain nameless for now, and he gave me a lot of advice on it that dramatically changed how I saw writing. This included referring me to the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
by Renni Browne and Dave King, a book I also often recommend to others (amazon link
). After talking with Marc a few times and studying the book, I took another look at Matter of Resistance. And, boy, was I disappointed!
So, I sat down in the summer of 2012 and wrote it again, from the beginning, keeping the story in tact but changing almost every word.
Updating for re-release:
After Matter of Resistance had been rewritten to take advantage of my new and improved writing ability, I followed a much smarter method of editing – I hired a professional, Heather Hebert
to do it. I also hired a professional artist, Viola Estrella
, to create a suitable cover. And, finally, after a series of beta readers, rounds of editing, and iterations, I finalized the manuscript this summer (2013).
And I can’t wait for you all to read it.
8 thoughts on “Guest Blog: Matter of Resistance – Six Years In The Making”
Book sounds awesome, Raymond! I love my sci-fi.
So when’s the release date exactly? Also, feel free to contact me for an author interview on my blog if you wish when the release date gets closer.
You’ll be the 2nd person to appear on my blog who has worked with NASA.
I’ll let him know!
Tuan – thanks for the vote of confidence. It’s actually being released this week (on 8/22/13). 🙂
It may be too late to get an interview together and make it part of the week’s postings, but I’m willing to try if you are – just DM me on my facebook page!
I’ve just sent you a facebook message, Raymond. 🙂
My Condolences for your loss!