Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Feature: Nicole Sallak Anderson, author of eHuman Dawn


The Great Shift is coming.... are you ready to Jump?

                Fast forward to the the year 2242; A world in which death, disease, war and famine have been conquered, and where everything, including humans, are devices on Neuro, a complex network operating system that is controlled via human thought. Adam Winter has lived for nearly two hundred years in an eHuman body--a man of metal, fiber optics and plastic, on a world where no one dies and no one is born. Paradise on earth, until Adam discovers that the World Government is cutting power to entire cities, and his own city is on the list!

                Trapped in a body that must recharge on the network, Adam is swept up into the underworld of an eHuman anti World Government resistance, led by Dawn, the very first eHuman created. While the Resistance wages war against those in power, Dawn reveals to Adam a shocking secret about their past that not only bonds them together, but is also the Resistance’s ticket to gaining control over Neuro and taking down the World Government once and for all.

                Caught between the past and the future, Adam must rise up, claim his inheritance, and face his destiny-- before eHumanity is powered down, forever.

Author Interview

What inspired you to write this book?

Three years ago I had a dream in which I was living in an android body that had to recharge on the network to keep me alive and the government was powering down our Electrical Grid in order to flush out terrorists. There was chaos in the streets and when I woke up, I realized I had a story to tell.


Can you give us an interesting fact about your book that isn't in the blurb?

At its heart, eHuman Dawn is a love story. It's also about a choice we all may have to make in our lifetimes--to become devices on the network ourselves. When we do such a thing, we're giving our hopes, our dreams and our thoughts to those who own the technology. Can we trust those who own the technology to use it to our betterment, or will their gift be to our detriment?


How did you choose your title?

It's named after the main character, Dawn, who was the first eHuman ever created.


Tell us about the cover and how it came to be.

I'd always imagined Dawn's eye peering out at me from the cover. My agent wanted to create a cover when we submitted to publishers, so we hired a designer. He took the idea and ran with it, creating what I think is the perfect representation of Dawn and all eHumanity.


Did you self-publish or publish traditionally and why?

I chose to publish with Story Merchant Books because the independence they provide is wonderful. I have full control over my content and artistic development, yet I have an editor and staff to help me make the best of my work and get the word out. So I'm not alone trying to self-publish, but I'm not with a traditional publisher either. I like the blend.


What do you consider the most important part of a good story?

I look for stories that have meaning and touch me in an archetypal way. Fantasy and Sci-Fi are my favorite because many aspects of our world can be challenged and held up for reflection in various ways within that type of story. Heroes and legends make my day.


What is your writing process?

It took me three months to write the first draft of eHuman Dawn. It took another two years to edit it and get it right. In general, the first draft of a novel will "fall out" of me quickly. I allow this to happen and just go with the flow. I also outline the overall story line as soon as I get it. Once this first version is birthed, then I go in with a critical eye, but never before that. If I try to make it perfect the first time through, I'll get stuck. Instead I let the words come out until there's nothing more and then go back to see what I've got. It's a wonderful thing to write the first draft of a novel.


How long have you been writing?

I wrote when I was a child. Then I stopped as a young adult and picked it back up ten years ago.


How did you get started writing?

I always wanted to be a writer, but when I turned 18 and began applying for college, my father informed me he wouldn't pay for a degree in journalism or the arts. Being a practical person, he wanted me to do something guaranteed to get a job. So, I became a software engineer (coding was my other love.) Years later, I returned to writing as a way to manage stress in my adult life. The funny thing is, it turns out I needed knowledge of computers, networking, encryption and data processing to write eHuman Dawn--the one novel that finally got the attention of an agent. So my Dad was right, my engineering background would end up being very helpful in so many ways.


Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I can honestly say I'm both. The overall story line will come to me and I do write that down, and then all hell breaks loose for a few months while the story just falls out and I write like a maniac. So what do you call that? A partially plotting pantser?


What part of the writing process is the hardest for you?

Editing. And having to stop writing in order to cook the family dinner.


What tips can you give on how to get through writers block?

I have a soundtrack for every novel I write. The songs come early in the process. In order to get right into the story, I play the music and enter into the world I'm building. I also do many of the techniques found in, "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. I journal every morning to get the junk out of my head, I go on Artist's Dates and I make sure to exercise.


What kind of music do you like to listen to while you write?

Depends on the novel I'm writing, each one has its own soundtrack.


Who is your favorite author?

Hard to say, right now it's Patrick Rothfuss. I love both his books.


Who is your favorite character from a book?

Auri, from, "The Name of the Wind."


What is your favorite book?

Oh, that's hard. I have a library filled with books. I love books. I can't pick just one. How about three? "The Catcher in the Rye" "The Fountainhead" and the entire LOTR trilogy.


Read anything good lately?

Patrick Rothfuss' "Kingkiller Chronicles." Just about the most beautiful writing ever.


What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I'm trying to learn every dance on the planet. Recently I've taken tango, belly dance and tap. I also garden and knit. Sounds grandmotherly, I know, but all of these things keeps me open to the muse.


What advice would you give an author just starting out?

Find quiet time and guard it. Honor it. Put it above all other things. You're worth it and the story you're trying to share is worth it. I want to read it, so make writing the most sacred thing you can do.


Have you had anything else published?

Nope, this is my first!


What's your next project?

I just finished the first draft of the sequel to eHuman Dawn. I hope to bring it to my publisher by the end of this summer.


Nicole Sallak Anderson is a Computer Science graduate from Purdue University. After graduation, she developed encryption and network security software, which inspired both the storyline and the science behind her transhumanist novel, eHuman Dawn (Story Merchant Press, 2013.) She currently lives with her husband and two teenaged sons on two acres in the Santa Cruz mountains of Northern California, where she indulges in a variety of homesteading hobbies, from beekeeping and raising chickens and goats, to gardening, canning, spinning, and knitting.
She blogs and speaks on singularity, transhumanism, internet privacy, data manipulation and human consciousness. Follow her at www.ehumandawn.blogspot.com or on Twitter @NSallakAnderson.

Blog: www.ehumandawn.blogspot.com

Twitter: @NSallakAnderson or check out the eHuman Dawn Facebook page

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