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Behind The Book: COSMIC BOOM PROJECT ENTERPRISE 9

The (mostly true) story behind the writing of the book!

Cosmic Boom Project Enterprise 9 by Pauline Baird Jones

Welcome to the mostly true story of how I came to write another scifi and fantasy (fantasy as in the made-up science part) book in my Project Enterprise series. 

This is where I break down what happened behind the scenes. I’d dish the dirt, but there isn’t much to dish. Most of the crazy happens inside my head. 

I do this by interviewing myself. (It all started back when I was a new author and no one wanted to interview me and I won’t stop doing it. Even though I probably should.)

I: So let’s talk about the science in your science fiction. How did that go this time?

Me: Well, I did push the boundaries of the science (shocking right?), something that caused my wonderful editor, Alexis Glynn Latner, many headaches. She’s very nice about dialing me back into the somewhat belieavable range (this is science FICTION after all). 

I: So there’s that. And then there are the characters. What do readers need to know about your characters?

Me: Ever since we all met the robots of the Najer in Lost Valyr, they’ve been jostling for their own stories. I have been trying to keep track of who has been in what book and who is a robot and who isn’t. 

I: There’s not that many of them. It shouldn’t be that hard. 

Me (gives myself/I a LOOK): So in this book, BoomerJ (aka Boom), won the draw, mostly because I knew he was still a robot. 

I: What I find so interesting, you start with the same basic thing: a robot who used to be a human and is now trying to be human again and they should all be kind of alike. And yet, somehow they aren’t.

Me: I guess it is that human factor that makes the difference. And they help with their story.I know, it sounds crazy.

I: It is crazy.

Me: But that is how it goes inside my head. 

I: There is something else unusual about the characters in this book.

Me: Yeah,  I usually make my heroines tall, a bit flat-chested, and loaded with issues. 

I: I wonder why that is?

Me: [ignores I/myself] But this time? Hedy Quinton is a total bombshell. Holywood vintage bombshell type and named after Hedy Lamar. This never comes up in the story, so this is dishing a real secret. Maybe. 

I: It’s not like she’s trying to keep it a secret.

Me: No, but it didn’t come up in the story because she doesn’t care how she looks unless it helps her get done what she needs to get done. And her biggest issue is learning how to navigate her first command.

I: So that’s Hedy. A bombshell who falls for a former robot. Anything else we should know about her?

Me: She’s got daddy issues, but not that kind, so the road of their love story is not smooth. 

I: And then there’s an AI. 

Me: I know, I keep thinking I should stop with the AIs, but they keep popping up. I suspect an AI plot. 

I: Tell us about Roy.

Me: Roy somehow manages to be unique and even has a few secrets that cause problems for Hedy. 

I: And of course, you know there is at least one villain. 

Me: Well, we’ve got to have someone making trouble because Hedy and Boom don’t have enough problems already. 

I: How does that even work?

Me: Well, so what happens behind the scenes is all these characters start to take shape and bump against each other in a random and yet VERY scientific way. Okay, it’s probably more like a very fantasy way. That science is probably made up, too. 

I: Your science is always made up. 

Me: [ignores I/myself again] But they bang around inside my head and surprise me over and over again. So I hope they will surprise you, too!

I: I know they surprised me. Us. Whatever. Any final words for our viewers, er, readers?

Me: I had a lot of fun writing this book. I know, I always say that, but if I don’t have fun, you won’t have fun. And I’d quit writing because it isn’t fun. 

I: I need the fun, too. It was a tough year. 

Me: Indeed. 

I: You said you had something else to share with readers?

Me: And because this rarely happens, I’m going to share an “outtake” scene. (This usually doesn’t happen because I dump scenes that just don’t work or I gut them. However this one worked just fine, but the story didn’t need it. Poor scene. It might have been sad, so I told it I’d share it in a post instead. It helped.)

Here you go: 

The trip to the surface felt longer and it felt as if the heat built under their feet. He’d have put it down to imagination, but his suit registered the rise in temperature. Boom shone his light around the box and saw no access points. But then, he’d seen none in the room. 

“When the door opens, be ready,” he told his companions. 

Tiger stepped up to his side without comment. He didn’t know if the two robots had weapons, and he hoped he didn’t need to find out. He remotely triggered the shuttle’s engines, but he wouldn’t lower the ramp ahead. If there was trouble out there? He’d use the hatch. It was quicker open, quicker close. 

There was a small bump of warning before the door slid open. Boom didn’t hesitate. He ran to the other hatch and triggered it. Tiger stayed with the robots, but his weapon was in constant motion. The door didn’t open. And Boom heard that ominous rustle once more. Jet shot over next to him rammed something into the panel and the door popped open.

“Go!” he shouted. Were the things outside, too? 

Tiger stayed with the robots, waiting until they were almost to the shuttle before he triggered the hatch. Good man. Boom backed out after them, as that ripple once more appeared in the small room. He slammed a hand to the door and it closed with a couple of jerks as if someone or something had tried to stop it. Had it been his imagination something had flown toward him before it closed? He hoped so because whatever it was had gleamed metal.

“Come on!” Tiger called. 

Boom turned and ran, leaping through the opening. The hatch closed as he slid into one of the piles of metal. Tiger already had them lifting on the surface. Boom scrambled into the cockpit and strapped in. Wooly and Jet didn’t follow them. The hatch to the passenger compartment closed. 

He looked at Tiger.

“It wasn’t me,” he said. The shuttle suddenly tilted sideways. “And that wasn’t me either. What was that?”

“Unknown.” Boom shivered as he remembered the eyes. 

Then something crawled up over the nose of the shuttle. It had a flat body and arthropod legs, at least six of them. And eyes, at least six of those, too. 

Boom’s thoughts raced. They were already surviving at nil atmosphere. Could they use spin and speed to dislodge them? They couldn’t rendezvous with the Vega with those on their exterior. 

And then a small robot came up over the nose, grabbed the bug, and tossed it off. It raised one arm, giving them a version of thumbs up. It crawled up over the top and out of sight and then the hatch opened and Wooly entered.

“The outside of this ship has been cleaned.” 

So Roy had sent backup? It couldn’t have known what they’d run into, could it? No, Roy would have warned them. Boom had a feeling that Roy had used the situation to either teach or learn about the robots’ capabilities. He wasn’t going to complain about it because the robot had dealt with the bug problem, but that didn’t lessen the feeling that he’d somehow been—Boom wasn’t sure what he felt, except uneasy.

Tiger heaved a sigh of relief and eased the tightness of his grip on the controls. “Rendezvous in five minutes.” He eased his shoulders now and sent a grin Boom’s way. “I’ve been in some hotel sierra situations, but that’s the closest I’ve come to doing some bad in my drawers.”

Boom wished he did not feel certain that they were going to experience worse before they got home. 

I: So basically you dumped the space cockroach scene. Are you glad? 

Me: the real question is for readers! Do you wish I’d kept it out of sight? Lol 

I: All right, let’s wrap this up!

Me: Here’s a short blurb for Cosmic Boom: Project Enterprise 9. 

Cosmic Boom Project Enterprise 9 by Pauline Baird JonesA critical mission, a cosmic event, and a secret. Captain Hedy Quinton and former robot, BoomerJ face unexpected challenges when they undertake a mission to an unexplored region of the galaxy. If you love your chemistry interstellar, your action fast-paced, and your space opera sprawling, then grab COSMIC BOOM, the ninth entry in the award-winning Project Enterprise series, and take an exciting adventure into the unknown.

Me: If you haven’t already grabbed it, I hope you’ll give a try. You can read it as a standalone, even if you haven’t read the other eight books (of course, there are some Easter eggs for people who have read all the books). 

I: Stop now.

Me: okay. 

Perilously yours,

Pauline

2 Comments

  1. Enjoyed the outtake scene! And you interviewing yourself was fun too. Congratulations on the new book!

    1. Thank you so very much! I know, it’s crazy, but now that I started interviewing myself, I can’t seem to stop. lol

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