Saturday, 29 January 2011

CyberDublin: Blurb

Imagine a not-too-distant future where world commerce runs from one huge hyperserver: Oodles. Wallscreens and podphones connect to the all-powerful hub’s online personal computing applications and data storage.

Not only that: Oodles has bought out television, communications, shopping, banking and social networking, as well as the entire Internet. The economy is digitised and cash has become a collector’s item, but in one corner of Ireland the old ways fight to survive.

Enter Rachel, part-time Oodles sysadmin, about to launch into her university career. Her Da, shocked at the Oodles takeover, reveals she’s adopted. Questions plague her. Who are her real parents? Why did they give her up? And why did her Da wait so long to tell her?

Rachel, determined to leave home, rents a big old house near the city. She and her friend Talitha find strangers willing to share it: Bethany, the snarky librarian biker chick; Louise, the fish-and-chips diva with a pregnant tomcat; and Zehrani, the queenly African from the high echelons of Oodles Security.

But all is not rosy in Cyberdublin. Oodles introduces holographic status graphs to display personal information to the world. Rachel, disgusted by the invasion of privacy, refuses to wear it in public despite her Da’s peculiar liking for the new social technology.

Then there are the ragged religious saboteurs, convinced they can delay the end of the world by destroying the dominance of Oodles. But somebody else is quicker. The churchgoers find themselves acting against their own would-be ally after discovering what lies behind the plot. What will Dublin—and the world—look like without the cyber?

Follow Rachel’s search for identity in the midst of global crisis, as the sabotage mystery unfolds with a twist she’d never dare imagine.

With today’s cloud-computing technology, this scenario is possible even now. Cyberdublin will appeal to the Celtic fascination within those of Irish descent and those who wish they were. Web users will find laughs aplenty, too.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Book Lowdown - CYBERDUBLIN

This survey is going around amongst my writer friends at the moment and I thought it looked like fun, especially since I just got some major work finished on my next novel, CyberDublin. So here goes...and I've taken the liberty of deleting those questions I didn't like.

1. What’s your word count? 57,000

2. How long until you finish? A few more tweaks, maybe another scene or two.

3. If you have finished, how long did it take you? I wrote the first draft in one month - yes, in Ireland. It then languished for over two years until I finished it last week - finished as far as I know.

4. Do you have an outline? Yes, but I changed it SO much as I went - when it proved boring.

6. How many words do you typically write a day? During the stint in Ireland I did about 5k a day - three in the morning, and two in the evening.

7. What was your greatest word count in one day? Dunno, maybe 6k.

9. What inspired you to write? Google. Not a search, but the business entity itself. Plus my devious mind.

10. Does your novel have a theme song? Be Thou My Vision - drum and bass version by Clank. Hang on, let me grab it for you. Have a listen to this while you read the rest of the post.

11. Assign each of your major characters a theme song.

Rachel: All Shook Up (Elvis)
Talitha: Lean On Me (DC Talk version)
Conor: Not Afraid (Eminem)
Louise: A Hard Day's Night (Beatles)
Zehrani: Material Girl (Madonna)
Bethany: Signs of Life (Steven Curtis Chapman) 

12. Which character is most like you? Rachel

13. Which character would you most likely be friends with? Talitha

15. Who is your favorite character in your novel? Conor, actually.

16. Have your characters ever done something completely unexpected? You bet. Conor was meant to be the bad guy, but he absolutely refused.

17. Have you based any of your novel directly on personal experiences? Mainly the settings around Dublin from time spent there.

24. What is the best line? 

I threw the book aside. My task was real. Not fantasy. And here was the wannabe hero, reading of magic and monsters. Some good that would do. I sat there for the longest time, until the last sip of cold coffee trickled down my throat and the light of morning announced itself at the kitchen window.
God help us all.

28. Summarize your novel in under fifteen words. 
The all-encompassing cyberworld crashes, causing chaos in its Dublin heart and in personal lives.

29. Do you love all your characters? Yes, except maybe Sweeney.

32. Describe your main character in three words. Longings, questions, determination.

35. How many romantic relationships take place in your novel? One.

36. Are there any explosions in your novel? Only the virtual kind.

45. Who has pets in your novel and what are they? Louise has a cat she thought was a tom but then turns out to be pregnant and the household ends up with four kittens.

46. Are there angels, demons, or any religious references/figures in your novel? Nothing supernatural this time, but references, yes.

51. Is there humor? It's Irish, for goodness sake! It better be funny.

52. Is there tragedy? Only in economic terms, mostly for big business.

57. Has your novel provided insight about your life? I suppose so. I certainly built in lots of intimate encounters with actual locations I experienced.

58. Your personality? Perhaps. Whenever I got bored, I switched POV, which may or may not be a good thing.

59. Has your novel inspired anyone? Not yet as far as I know. Maybe this year. But don't anyone go sabotaging the Internet, now! It's more of a light-action humour fling than a deep-and-meaningful thing.

68. How would you react if your novel was erased entirely? Not happening, because so many people have got copies of it :)

71. What advice would you give to a fellow writer? In writing this book I learned to have fun in the process. If you're forcing it out, it's probably not good writing.

72. Describe your ending in three words. Housewarming. Confession. Hope.

75. Was it worth it? Of course!