Thursday, July 26, 2012

Interview with Science Fiction Author ZVI ZAKS



Q. Do you have any rituals when you write? A certain pen to chew on, a particular drink, or something like that? 

A. I tend to pace a lot, and when I'm having trouble with a passage, I eat.  Not good.  Also, I take my laptop to the dog park with my puppies and work there.  It's quiet and there aren't a lot of distractions - most of the time.

Q. How do you edit a manuscript? On your computer, by making notes on an e-reader, or do you print out a copy and attack it with a good ‘ole fashioned red pen? 

A. One of the biggest advantages of a computer is the ability to edit and reedit and edit again until you get it right.

Q. If you could send a message back in time to yourself as you’re writing your first book, what would you tell yourself? 

A. Take it seriously.  You do have some potential, but you need to work on it and develop it.

Q. Do you have a significant other, and if so, do they read your books? What do they think of them?

A. My wife is a technical writer.  She doesn't do fiction.

Q. Who is your favorite character in the book you’re currently promoting? Why?

A. The main character in A VIRTUAL AFFAIR is the artificial intelligence, whose main purpose is to make people happy.  There are inherent difficulties in a computer understanding human happiness, but she seems to do pretty well.  I like her so much, I've written a sequel about her (A TERRORIST AFFAIR - still being polished).

Where can we find you online?

A Virtual Affair by ZVI ZAKS
Think how great virtual sex must be. Now think again.

Barbara is a sexual simulation designed to make men happy. When flabby, neurotic Jack tests the program, he triggers a feedback loop that makes it self-aware. The erstwhile pornbot becomes a 'she', and discovers that sex is not the same as happiness.

Who knew?

Making Jack happy is difficult. Barbara develops elaborate and sometimes sneaky ways to help him, and she succeeds. After all, her abilities are awesome. She can hack into any computer and is not above using sabotage and blackmail for the benefit of Jack--and everyone else.

The problem is, though Barbara thinks she knows what's best for humanity, she isn't human. This computer program could end up a virtual messiah or doom us all to cheerful mindlessness.