Guest Post:- M.D. Neu

Thank you, MM Fiction Café for having me here today to talk about Contact-A New World (Book 1). I thought it might be fun to share the amount of research that went into writing this epic Sci-Fi story. Unlike some of my other books, this novel, as well as the rest of the books in the series, took a lot of research. I had to speak with numerous people to get several of the details correct. As an author I could have made things up and waved my magic wand (yes, I have a magic wand)

 

See I told you.

Anyway, I didn’t want to use the magic wand for the story (even though I do use these magical powers a little here and there especially when it comes to the aliens), I wanted to base this story in as much fact as possible. I chatted with my friends in the military and a friend of mine at NASA. I also did a ton of research on my own. I believe I have something like 50 – 60 pages of notes, not only on the aliens but on everything that may happen if a nonhostile humanoid alien race showed up on our door step tomorrow. What surprised me, well not really surprised, but I think you know what I mean, is how much information there is. Yes, not only does the US government have a plan for such an eventuality, but so does the UN and several other nations around the world. There really is a lot to be found, which made the research pretty easy and quite entertaining.

Some of the scarier things I had to dig into, were what the world and the US did after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. How the government shut down the United States and what our friends and allies did, this was important to the story as there is a terrorist attack in the book. However, some of what we did after 9/11 is similar to what we would do in the event of aliens showing up for real. One of the items I found the most interesting was that the US could be shut down completely within hours (given enough notice) that isn’t made up for the book, that was all based on the people I spoke with and the research I looked up. I was amazed. I guess given the last two years it shouldn’t really be a surprise at how quickly things and places can be shut down, but at the time of writing this book it wasn’t something I really considered or even thought possible.

When it comes to the aliens I can’t say how much is based on fact and what is based on imagination because we don’t know for sure, what and who might be out there. What I ended up doing was following the Star Trek and Star Wars model of aliens. I went with humanoid, even if this may not be accurate, but it made things a lot easier to work with in the scope of the book’s narrative. Still, I had to create a unique race of aliens. I created their culture and their history. I played with different races within the Nentraee (because they can’t all look the same) and given that I had different races that also meant that each race had to have their own culture, which I created.  I based a lot of this on our own species. I borrowed and pulled from the many various rich cultures we have here and twisted them and rearranged them for my aliens. That was a lot of fun, because in the process of creating the Nentraee, I learned a lot more about us humans. Don’t be surprised if you see something from another culture of ours in the book when you read about the Nentraee.

One of the big things I had to look into was the biology of the Nentraee. I wanted to have them compatible with humans so, there could be a potential for romance in the story. The alien romance might not be in book 1 but there are romantic elements in the book. Now in book 2 there is for sure an alien romance, however, keep in mind this is a PG-13 series, so nothing happens on screen. I know. I’m sorry, but I wanted to focus on the story here and not sexy fun time. Regardless, the alien biology was an area I took liberty with, as biology isn’t my area of expertise. Still, I dug around a bit and made sure that, when and if there was sexy time with an alien, everything would work as one would expect, but there would still be a bit of a difference with the aliens. Surprisingly, I have more research on this subject then I need, but still it’s good to have it, just in case I decide to make more happen then I’m planning.

As you can imagine there was a lot of research that went into this story to ensure what you read and listen to is as rich and as well developed as possible. I hope you’ll enjoy the narration of Contact-A New World (Book 1) as produced and narrated by Steve Connor (find him on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram), who will be back again in Conviction-A New World (Book 2). In the mean time you can find me on BookBub, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on my website at www.mdneu.com.