Store Is Closed
View artwork of main characters and photos of myself here:
- When did you come up with the idea for the novel?
- What do the nyx look like?
- What do their spaceships look like?
- Where do the nyx come from?
- What happens in the novel?
- Describe Eos Cerul.
- Describe Alex Wesley
- How long did it take to write the novel?
- How did you get the novel published?
- What kind of education do you have? Did you take writing classes?
- What else do you write?
- What authors inspired your writing?
- What places have influenced your writing?
- What do you do for a living?
- What does your family think about your career in writing?
- Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Q1. When did you come up with the idea for the novel?(back to top)
A1: About five years ago, I was studying morphology and various other life sciences when I came to realize that the human body is shaped to survive on Earth. The composition and density of atmospheric gases, gravitational pull, and proximity to the sun, among other things, shaped the way we are now.
However, Earth has a limited lifespan. Eventually, we will have to adapt to life in space and on other planets. I explore the changes that might occur by introducing a highly evolved species to our planet, the nyx. In the novel, they find Earth, and send a delegation to share their culture.
The first two chapters explore the basic science behind the nyx. I outline how they have evolved to a point where they are capable of altering their own morphology to suit survival in various environments. I call this polymorphism.
Q2: What do the nyx look like?(back to top)
A2: The short answer is that in the novel, they look just like a human, except they have blue skin.
However, when they first arrived on earth, they took the shape of a colony of bacteria. They then spread like a virus throughout our species, though they did not harm people in the process. The technical term is commensal symbiont. There were no symptoms of their presence. They merely gathered data about our species.
The next step was to take on human form. They essentially grew bodies in resemblance to humans, except their skin was blue because they use silver for electrochemicals.
The reason they took human form was to communicate with us on a cultural level. If they were simply a colony of bacteria, we would be unable to communicate with them, and might even isolate and destroy them if we perceived a threat. However, taking human form, they had broader access to our culture. Although they appeared similar to us, they were just different enough to prevent fear of confusion by not being able to identify human from nyx.
If you look at the nyx on average, they spend most of their time in space. While in space, they take the form of a gelatinous colony of bacteria in order to economize on energy consumption.
Q3: What do their spaceships look like?(back to top)
A3: I use the analogy in the novel that nyx vessels are like dead sea coral on which living sea coral builds. The exterior of their vessel is grown as a protective shell, but it is largely dead growth. Inside, the nyx live as a pink convex film a few millimeters in thickness, attached to a fractal growth matrix resembling microvilli in the human lung. The colony of cells behaves like a large human brain, with electrochemical impulses radiating throughout the vessel. However, within this brain-like growth, a variety of conscious entities form and merge. It would be like different people sharing the same brain, except they have to compete for limited space.
Q4: Where do the nyx come from?(back to top)
A4: The nyx have explored the universe for hundreds of millions of years. As a result, they are widespread throughout various galaxies. They colonize many planets and have many vessels. One thing in common among all of them is that they never stray too far from other nyx vessels as to not communicate with each other. The nyx use various electromagnetic frequencies to communicate between vessels. They are tethered together by this signal. In this way, the essence, or consciousness of a nyx entity can travel from vessel to vessel and planet to planet as information at the speed of light.
Q5: What happens in the novel?(back to top)
A5: The nyx find earth, and send a delegation to share their culture. However, one such nyx, Eos Cerul, breaks protocol and enters earth without permission. She takes human form to experience human culture.
By chance encounter, she meets Alex Wesley in the Adirondack State Park, NY. Alex inherits the responsibility of educating Eos on the human condition. It often makes for humorous interaction, as she completely lacks common sense and a basic understanding of human culture. Instead, she approaches her interactions using pure logical reasoning. However, humans are not always logical.
In return, Eos instructs Alex on nyx culture. She introduces him to the nyx datastream, where consciousness is translated into waves of energy, and the universe can be explored at the speed of light.
However, Eos’ transgressions catch up with her, and the pair discover the violent forces at work against them. In a mutual struggle for survival, they come to understand what it means to be nyx, and what it means to be human.
Q6: Describe Eos Cerul.(back to top)
A6: Eos is a nyx entity borne of the dawn. Nyx conscious entities are not like human consciousness. Nyx consciousness is borne from a thought process or idea. If the idea is powerful enough, the idea acquires more space in the nyx datastream. As it evolves, it takes up more space and becomes distinct.
Eos was born at sunrise on a methane planet. The sunrise was so beautiful that a colony of nyx bacteria coalesced into a thought process embodying the concept of transition and new beginnings. She grew from this thought to command her own presence in the datastream.
She is impulsive and tempestuous in nature, and often becomes involved in controversy. When she enters earth, it is of her own desire, not out nyx protocol. She then meets a human, Alex Wesley, and invites him into the nyx datastream. This is a major breach in protocol that leads to serious repercussions.
In the novel, she takes a keen interest in the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories. She develops such an obsession, that she becomes a consulting detective in the manner of Sherlock Holmes. As a result, she stumbles upon intricate and dangerous mysteries. Alex Wesley is brought along as Watson—not quite certain of the steps along the way to a solved case, though a faithful servant.
She also develops an obsession with manga and comes up with her own illustrated series of her most memorable detective stories.
Q7. Describe Alex Wesley.(back to top)
A7. Alex Wesley is a bit of a renaissance man. He is employed in a variety of occupations, including web development, photography, and restoration contracting. He has an interest in various fields of studies, and attempts to find the common bonds between them.
He becomes responsible for educating Eos on the human condition. He employs the help of Jamie Erickson to educate Eos on the feminine qualities of the human condition, as he has an abysmal lack of understanding of the opposite sex. However, he is proficient at educating her on the day to day struggles that make up the human experience.
He also has a haunted past. Later in the novel, he is confronted with events he has tried to bury in his memories. He is forced to deal with them or live forever in their shadow.
Q8: How long did it take to write the novel?(back to top)
A8: It took approximately two and a half months to write and edit the novel, draw the interior artwork, do the cover art, and format it for publication. I was helped greatly by small pieces of the novel I had already written months back.
Q9: How did you get the novel published?(back to top)
A9: For better or worse, I decided to publish the novel myself before trying to submit it to other publishers. I formed my own publishing company, SojournerWeb Publications, LLC. I went through a printer and distributor, Lightning Source International (LSI) to get my novel printed and to have it available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and a variety of other retailers.
This method can be very difficult and time consuming, as you are required to design your own book block and cover to LSI specifications. I used Adobe Photoshop CS4 ($600), Adobe InDesign CS5 ($700) and Adobe Acrobat Pro X ($500) for this phase of the project.
You have to do your research before you choose this path, it is very difficult. Most people would be better off submitting manuscripts to established publishers.
Q10: What kind of education do you have? Did you take writing classes?(back to top)
A10: I went to college all of five days. I quickly realized college was not for me. I learn much more quickly if I am free to pursue my own methods of study. Sometimes, I require assistance from professionals in various fields, but that is not difficult to arrange.
I am not a surgeon, so I don’t need any degree to excel. As for writing skills, I have worked on my method of writing since I was an early teenager. I simply absorb great writing and incorporate it in my own writing style. I vet my writing with other people I respect and use their feedback to improve upon myself.
Q11: What else do you write?(back to top)
A11: I write informative articles on chrisbemis.com. Right now, I am working out some guides for authors. As for fiction, I am working on the next novel in the nyx series. That pretty much occupies most of my time.
Q12: What authors inspired your writing?(back to top)
A12: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Sherlock Holmes’ short stories and novels have a major influence on my work. Neal Stephenson’s ‘Snow Crash and ‘The Diamond Age’ were formative works. Ayn Rand has had a powerful influence on my writing. Isaac Asimov, John Steinbeck, and Henry David Thoreau all play a role.
Q13: What places have influenced your writing?(back to top)
A13: The novel takes place in a fictional town, High Creek, which is essentially an amalgam of Ballston Spa, Saratoga Springs, and a variety of other surrounding places I have spent most of my life.
The Adirondacks are a major influence. I spend a lot of time backpacking there, so I tend to absorb a lot of information.
I write about Hawaii in the novel. I spent a short time there, and absorbed so much inspiration. Also, I have hitchhiked around the country, and took in the stories of the people and places I met along the way.
Q14: What do you do for a living?(back to top)
A14: Promoting my novel takes up most of my time. I also sell prints on my website at http://chrisbemis.com/gallery
Q15: What does your family think about your career in writing?(back to top)
A15: My family has been very supportive. Without their help, I wouldn’t be where I am.
Q16: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?(back to top)
A16: Come up with a good concept that can keep your interest as you write hundreds of pages. Also, try not to be too self-conscious, write an honest novel and don’t worry so much about what other people think. However, it helps greatly to have someone read and comment upon your work, that way you have a fresh pair of eyes to judge quality.
When you have a finished manuscript, make sure it is as well edited as possible. Then consider whether or not you want to find a publisher or publish your own novel. If you choose to self-publish, be aware that you are in for a very time consuming process. You are taking every element of the publishing and marketing process in your own hands.
Q17. Where is the novel available?(back to top)
A17: The novel is available in ebook and print edition on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers, as well as on my website. You can view all the links on http://chrisbemis.com/ebooks/my-travels-with-eos
Novel Images, click to enlarge.
You may use any of these images for publication purposes
Chris Bemis, author
Chris Bemis, with novel
Alex Wesley, narrator
Eos Cerul, main protagonist
Eos, more closely reflecting human morphology
Jamie, a protagonist in the novel
Shu, the main antagonist of the novel