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Meet hte Author: TK Orbelyan

  I am happy to be welcoming author, TK Orbelyan to Books, Life and Everything today. His latest psychological thriller, Fangs of Deception was published by i2i Publishing on February 1st 2023.   Welcome to Books, Life and Everything !    Would you like to start by telling us a little about yourself and how you started as a writer? I have been an avid researcher for years, ever since I began realising that the world we live in is based on an intricate web of lies. In recent years I have worked as an editor and investigative journalist, but the transition to becoming a writer – especially of novels – arose when I realised that the truth about what is really going on in the world could be more easily conveyed through interesting easy-to-read novels rather than fact-heavy journalistic articles. In addition, the platforms that tend to publish factual articles of this kind typically have readerships who are already fairly aware of the true nature of reality, whe

Meet the Authors: Robert Lanza and Nancy Kress #AuthorInterview #BookSpotlight Observer


Today I am delighted to start the new year by welcoming not one but  two authors to the blog: Robert Lanza and Nancy Kress. They have co-written Observer, which is published on January 10th. Before we meet them, I thought you might be interested to read some praise for the book which is available ahead of publication! I think it will whet your appetite to find out more.

"Nancy Kress is one of the greatest living science fiction writers, and her particular talent for telling stories about people on the cutting edge of science tipping into something new and marvelous is perfectly suited to the ideas that have come to Robert Lanza in the course of his groundbreaking scientific research.  Together they've written a startling, fascinating novel."  
―Kim Stanley Robinson, New York Times bestselling author  


"Real science and limitless imagination combine in a thrilling story you won't soon forget." 
―Robin Cook, #1 New York Times bestselling author 


"Lanza, a pioneer in the fields of stem-cell and cloning science, makes his mind-blowing theory of biocentrism the focus of this brilliant Crichtonesque thriller, coauthored with SF veteran Kress ... The authors imagine what the implications of that would be, integrating them into a page-turning plot complete with betrayals, violent deaths, and difficult moral choices." 
―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Robert Lanza has taken the gigantic step of incorporating his ideas into a science fiction novel with Nancy Kress. This brilliant book will take you deep into quantum physics, where these often-complex concepts are illuminated through a riveting and moving story." 
―Rhonda Byrne, #1 New York Times bestselling author, The Secret

First of all, welcome to Books, Life and Everything, Robert


Would you like to start by telling us a little about yourself and how you started as a writer?

Actually, my scientific career long preceded my work as a writer.  As a young student I worked with noted scientists, such as Jonas Salk, BF Skinner, as well as a few Nobel laureates along the way. By the turn of the millennium, I was carrying out stem cell and cloning research (which received a very public slap on the wrist from two US Presidents and even the Pope—not to mention two Senate hearing on my work :) 

Although I’ve edited and/or written over 30 nonfiction books, they were mainly textbooks for scientists and professionals. My real interest in writing stems from my interest in the nature of reality, which goes way back to early boyhood. My home life was less than the Norman Rockwell ideal. As a child, my parents didn’t allow me to hang around the house unless to eat or sleep. I was basically on my own, and for play I took excursions, walking for miles deep into the forests of eastern Massachusetts, observing nature like Emerson and Thoreau did (two other transcendentalists who grew up just a few miles from me). There I followed streams and animal tracks. I visited places that teemed with as much life as any city -- snakes, raccoons, turtles and birds all caught my attention. My understanding of nature began on those journeys. I rolled logs looking for salamanders and climbed trees to investigate bird nests and holes in trees. As I pondered the larger existential questions about the nature of life, I 6 began to intuit that there was something wrong with the static, objective reality I was being taught in school. The animals I observed had their own perceptions of the world, their own realities.

Indeed, my first science project―“Animals”―included souvenirs from these various excursions: insects, feathers, and bird eggs. It won me second place behind my best friend's project on “Rocks.” Even in fifth grade I was convinced that life―not material and rocks―was the cornerstone of existence. It was a complete reversal of the natural scheme of things taught in our schoolbooks―that is, atoms and physics at the base of the world, followed by chemistry, and then biology and life. This fascination with the nature of life infused my entire career, leading me to the very frontiers of biology and medicine. Later, as a scientist, I began to put my thoughts on paper. In fact, I wrote a book proposal on the idea in my early 20’s. One prominent agent told me I was trying to “slaughter the sacred cow.” Another agent told me that it was the kind of book you write at the end of your career, not the beginning. His advice was to “go build your career” and that I should write the book after I became successful. It turned out to be prophetic advice.


Actually, my scientific career long preceded my work as a writer.  As a young student I worked with noted scientists, such as Jonas Salk, BF Skinner, as well as a few Nobel laureates along the way. By the turn of the millennium, I was carrying out stem cell and cloning research (which received a very public slap on the wrist from two US Presidents and even the Pope—not to mention two Senate hearing on my work.

Tell us about your latest book without giving the plot away.

My latest book OBSERVER is co-authored with Nancy Kress, the 8-time Nebula and Hugo award-winning author (regarded as one of the greatest Syfy writers alive).  OBSERVER confronts the space between biology and consciousness—between the self and what we assume is reality.  It asks the question: If we can alter the structure of reality, should we?

OBSERVER takes you on a mind-expanding journey to the very edge of science, and quantum physics in particular—and challenges you to think about life and reality in startling new ways.

Caro, the book’s main character, is a brilliant young neurosurgeon whose career has been upended by controversy.  Broke and without a job, she accepts a mysterious proposal from her great-uncle, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist she barely knows.

Her great-uncle—Sam Watkins—has invested an untold amount of money to build a medical facility in the Cayman Islands.

He’s very sick, but the technology he is developing isn’t for the cancer surely killing him. It is to offer life of an altogether different kind. Helped by an eminent physicist, they have gone far beyond curing the body to developing a technology that could solve the riddle of mortality ... and give Sam a new life of a truer kind!

They are on the verge a humanity-altering discovery, which throws Caro into danger—and love—that she could never have imagined possible.

How fascinating! Now it's time to meet Nancy Kress. Welcome!

Would you like to start by telling us a little about yourself and how you started as a writer?

I began writing out of desperation.  I was the mother of a toddler, pregnant with my second baby, living far out in the country with no car and no neighbors my age.  The internet hadn’t been invented yet.  Daytime TV was unwatchable.  In order to have words with more than two syllables and not presented by Big Bird, I began writing while my toddler napped.  It was a few more years before I took this hobby seriously. 

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

Before I married, I taught fourth grade.  In later years, I taught high school, then college, and now creative writing workshops for adults.  If I hadn’t started writing, I guess I would have stayed a full-time teacher.  What I’d really wanted was to be a ballet dancer, but as my teacher told my mother when I was eleven, “She lacks rhythm, coordination, flexibility, musicality, and she’s too tall.”  I still lack all those things.  Plus, I have it on reliable authority that dancers do not go to bed at 9:00 p.m. 

What are you interests apart from writing?

I play chess.  Badly.

What is your favorite childhood book?

I loved THE BOXCAR CHILDREN, which a teacher gave me to read in the second grade.  Kids living alone without adults!  Having adventures, earning food money by mowing lawns, being inventive and flourishing!  That was probably my introduction to fantasy literature. 

Tell us about your latest book without giving the plot away.

Talented neurosurgeon Caroline Soames-Watkins has an impossible choice.  After a vicious, prolonged, and unjustified internet campaign against her, she is jobless, broke, and the sole support of her sister and two nieces, one profoundly disabled.  She can search for a lesser hospital post—or she can accept an offer from her great-uncle, a Nobel Laureate who disappeared fifteen years ago to run a mysterious facility in the Cayman Islands doing research into the nature of consciousness, reality, and life after death.  In the Caribbean Caro finds a lot more than she bargained for, including murder,  love, and compelling science that tests her understanding of reality.

What are your writing routines and where do you do most of your writing?

I write in the early morning.  The very early morning, due to an inability to sleep past 5:00 a.m.  This makes me a dud at parties, but is a good time for fiction.  The world is hushed and dark.  Not even the dog is awake, and my husband, a night owl, will not rise for hours.  I drink my first cup of coffee while making my on-line chess moves, brew a second cup, and settle down to work.

       After that, the day is all downhill.   

How do you go about researching detail and ensuring your books are realistic?

I read, research on-line, and talk to people (I collect scientists like lepidopterists collect butterflies).  For OBSERVER, I read memoirs by neurosurgeons, taking notes and absorbing this (to me) alien world.  I discovered what actual doctors think of as the dangers and rewards of their profession. I discovered the range of neurosurgery, from the “easy” removal of a meningioma conveniently located outside the brain and away from major cerebral arteries and veins, to the long, risky operations battling multiple traumas or deep-seated glioblastomas.  I also discovered that some neurosurgeons write much better prose than others

How do you select the names of your characters? Are they based on anyone you know?

Names are important to me.  A name suggests a certain type of person in my mind, a wordless feel, and I can’t write point-of-view characters until I have their perfect names.  For secondary characters I’m not so picky.  I just slap a moniker on them and then later do a global search-and-replace to make sure I haven’t called the same character Betsy, Beth, Betty, Liz, and Paula.  Very seldom are my characters based on real people, although—like all writers—I will use observed details from life to embellish my fictional people (“May I borrow your mustache?”)

Do you have any guilty pleasures which stop/ help you write?

Stoppers: Chess and reading other people’s books, both easier than writing my own. 

Do you have any other writers as friends and how do they influence your writing?

Most of my friends and my husband are all fiction writers.  A few act as my beta readers, reading an almost-final draft and then giving me feedback on what works and what needs changing.  And I, of course, do the same for them.  We also recommend books to each other to read: “Look how relentlessly he maintains tension in this one?  Let’s talk about how he did it!”

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

The trajectory of most writer’s careers are not steadily rising x-axes.  You will have hits, ho-hum books, and outright failures.  While you’re writing books, you won’t always be able to tell which is which, and when they leave your hands, you have very little control over the spikes and pits of your career line.  Success or failure is in the hands of your agent, editor, publisher, reviewers, and of course, the reading public.  So, Younger Nancy, cultivate resilience, and write what sparks with you, because the sparks may die, smolder as embers, or burst into flame, and none of those fires predict success or failure for the next book.

Do you believe in writer’s block? What do you do to break its spell?

I don’t get classical writer’s block, which is being unable to work on a piece you’ve already begun due to psychological factors.  When I’m reluctant or downright unwilling to work on something, invariably it’s because I’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere with the plot or characters.  Then I have to go back to the last place I wasn’t reluctant, figure out what went wrong, and dump everything past that point.  It’s painful to toss out 30,000 words, but that’s what occasionally happens.  One the decayed tooth is out, the pain lingers, but  my reluctance to write disappears.

It's been a real pleasure to have you on the blog today and may I send you every good wish for your book?

 About the Authors

Robert Lanza 

Named one of TIME magazine's "100 Most Influential People," Robert Lanza is a renowned scientist and author whose groundbreaking research spans many fields, from biology to theoretical physics. He has worked with some of the greatest minds of our time, including Jonas Salk and B.F. Skinner. A U.S. News and World Report cover story called him "the living embodiment of the character played by Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting" and described him as a "genius," a "renegade thinker," and likened him to Einstein. He is the father of Biocentrism, the basis of Observer, his first novel. He has been pondering the larger existential questions since he was a young boy, when for play he took excursions deep into the forests of eastern Massachusetts observing nature (like Emerson and Thoreau, who grew up just a few miles from him). This fascination with the nature of life infused his entire career, leading him to the very frontiers of biology and science.

You can follow Robert here: Twitter  |  Facebook |  Website

Nancy Kress

Nancy Kress is the author of thirty-five books, including twenty-seven novels, four collections of short stories, and three books on writing. Her work has won six Nebula Awards, two Hugo Awards, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Her most recent works are a stand-alone novella about genetic engineering, Sea Change (Tachyon, 2020) and a science fiction novel of power and money, The Eleventh Gate (Baen, 2020). Her fiction has been translated into nearly two dozen languages including Klingon. She has taught writing in Leipzig, Beijing, and throughout the U.S. Nancy lives in Seattle with her husband, writer Jack Skillingstead. 

You can follow Nancy here: Facebook  |  Website

Book Spotlight: Observer

If we can alter the structure of reality, should we? In Observer, scientist Robert Lanza, one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People, is joined by Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author Nancy Kress to confront the space between biology and consciousness. 

Dr. Caroline Soames-Watkins's star has been on the rise. But when she accuses a superior of sexual misconduct, the Twitterstorm that follows upends her career. With few professional options and an impoverished sister with a disabled child to support, Caro is willing to consider a mysterious proposal from her great-uncle, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Samuel Watkins. Sam Watkins has invested untold sums of money to build a medical facility in the Caribbean. But he is very sick and in urgent need of a surgeon to perform a unique procedure developed at his island compound. The procedure isn't for the cancer surely killing him. It is to offer new life of a truer kind. Helped in his mission by the eminent physicist George Weigert and the young, charismatic tech entrepreneur Julian Dey, Sam has gone far beyond curing the body to develop a technology that could solve the riddle of mortality for the soul. Though wary of the project's secret aims, Caro signs on for the chance to secure a future for her sister and herself. What she encounters is something so much more profound than she ever could have anticipated. It will put her on the precipice of a humanity-altering discovery. It will lead her to a level of interpersonal connection that she thought was only for others. And it will throw her into a kind of danger she never imagined. Joining a fascinating and relatable cast of characters with a mind-expanding journey to the very edges of science, Observer will thrill you, inspire you, and lead you to think about life and the power of the imagination in startling new ways.

Book linkS Amazon UK  |  Amazon US 







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