Q & A about my novel – eConscience Beta: The Peacekeeper Index (Book 1)

Update: 6/7/16

Today, I completed this novel… the rough draft of it, anyway. The editing must be done, and I want BETA READERS before I publish.  But, it is good enough for me to call the story complete. Currently, the word count is 99,032 words, which I’m sure will come down with editing. It is approximately 500 pages (in MS Word format). It has taken 329 days from when I originally started it (about 65 spent actually writing) to complete. Part of that was a six month gap for work, along with just being stuck on the plot. I thank God for letting me get ‘unstuck’ and getting this done!

Original Post: As I approach the 61,000 word mark in my first attempt at writing a novel, I am being asked a few questions about it.  I thought I’d put together this little Q&A for people to check out.   (I mean it.  Go check it out.  Don’t make me come over there!)

Q: What’s it called?

A: eConscience Beta: The Peacekeeper Index (Book 1)

That is my current working title.  It has changed several times, and may change again.

UPDATE: The current working title is still eConscience Beta as of right now. The subtitle stuff is going to change a bit though, I think. Maybe.

Q:  What’s it about?

A: Below is the blurb I’ve put together for it.


In the near future, machines can read your mind. Convicted criminals on the Peacekeeper Index are infused with Peacekeeper Nanites; specifically tailored to an individual person’s brain wave patterns, they can interpolate thought, emotion and motor cortex signals to `KNOW` when someone is about to do something that they are consciously aware of being a criminal act… and stop them.


Henry  Fain – a mostly unsuccessful petty criminal – is the first man to ever be injected with fully functioning Peacekeeper Nanites. He is the guinea pig of Dr. Percival Transki – head researcher at Peacekeeper Incorporated’s Nanite Division – whose commitment to his project knows no bounds.

Not even ethical ones.

A laboratory error leads to the termination of Jenny Hoskins, the outspoken and conscientious senior researcher of the project, leaving her career in shambles. Now it falls on the shoulders of fellow researcher Emmet Haslet to watch and record the results of an increasingly unsettling series of events set up by Transki to evaluate the functionality of the nanites in Henry’s head.

With Jenny’s once promising future destroyed; Emmet between an ethical rock and a hard place; and Henry’s very existence a complete personal nightmare – all at Transki’s hand – the three must work together to find a way to restore their lives… and possibly stop a madman in the making.

Q:  How did you come up with that?

A:  It originally started out to be just an idea for a series of short stories.  In fact, I wrote the first story called “Unintended Consequences” before this novel plot came into being.  I only decided to write this story (not a novel yet) because I wanted to explain the ‘origin’ of the Peacekeeper Nanites.  From there, it became an novelette, then a novella, and finally I bowed to the demands of the muse to make it a novel.

I still have many ideas for other stories in this universe that I really want to write.  So the plan (as of now) is to write those (after this) and put them in an anthology and call it Book 2 of the Peacekeeper Index.  Some may be long, some short.  I don’t know yet.

Q:  What genre is it?

A:  Hmmm.  Good question.  It was supposed to be Science Fiction because of the ‘Big Idea’ being nanites for behavioral control.  The characters and the book really want to be drama/thriller though, so that’s what I’m going with.  It also has a bit of humor thrown in, so….  I keep thinking that it will probably end up like a bad episode of Leverage.  The other short stories I plan in the Peacekeeper Index series may not be the same genre at all.  In fact, I think I’ll mix it up just for the fun/experience of it.

Q:  When will it be done?

A:  I don’t know, but the target is to have the rough draft finished by Mid Oct (2015).  UPDATE: Yeah, that didn’t happen. The rest still applies though…

After that, I will edit it at least once for things like overuse of passive voice (aka show, don’t tell), verb tense, grammar, etc.  I know it has lots of ‘issues’ that I need to fix.  Then I want to recruit a helper or three to read it and tell me what else needs work.  Only after that will I send it to a bigger group of beta readers for feedback.

After the beta reader feedback, I will decide if I want to pay a ‘real editor’ to look at it or not.  I will also have to get a book cover made and learn how to format it correctly for both e-book and paper.  I will then release both at the same time on Amazon.  That’s the plan.

(If anyone wants to help do a book cover, or knows a good editor, please let me know!)

UPDATE: Seriously folks, I need an artistically minded individual here… anyone?

Since I’ve never done this before, I have no idea how long it will take.  I’m still trying to self-teach the ‘how’ of it.  If it’s published (independently, of course) before New Years, I will be amazed.

UPDATE: Obviously, I was not amazed. The new target is my birthday. Why? Because I need to aim at something.

Q:  Can I read it when you’re done?

A: Yes!  Please!  I need some beta readers who will give me feedback on the book and help me resolve problems they see.  I will put together a questionnaire for anyone who wants to be my guinea pig… umm, beat reader, and they can help me make a better book before I put it out there for all the other suckers ….umm, customers to buy.

UPDATE: The questionnaire will be done in the next week. The book won’t be ready for beta reading by then, but I’ll post the questionnaire to scare off the people who hated book reports in high school.

Q:  Why are you writing a book?  I thought only weird people, pre-teens and starving artist types wrote books?  (OK, nobody really asked this, but I want to explain why, so….)

A:  I’m writing this because I am a fan of science fiction, and I want to attempt to copy that which I love.  I also want to leave something behind me that I can call a legacy, and this is my attempt.  I am not really in it to make a lot of money, although that will be the indicator of my success.  If people like it, I will keep on going.

So, I hope I’ve covered anything you might have been wondering about my crazy claims about writing a book.  If not, leave me a comment below or on Facebook, etc. and I will try to answer it.