Monday, October 6, 2014
Richard H. Hardy - The Infinity Program - Author Interview & Giveaway
About the Book
Jon Graeme and Harry Sale are unlikely friends. Harry is a world-class programmer, but his abrasive personality alienates co-workers. In contrast, Jon is a handsome and easy-going technical writer, the low man on the IT totem pole.
Sharing a love of nature, the men set out together, planning to go their separate ways--Jon on a hike and Harry, fly fishing. Three days later, Jon arrives at the rendezvous point, but his friend is nowhere in sight. When Jon finds Harry unconscious on the floor of a cave, Harry claims to have been lying there the entire time. But he is neither cold nor hungry. What Jon doesn't know is that Harry fell into an underground cavern, where he came into contact with an alien quantum computer.
Back at work, Harry jettisons his regular tasks and concentrates exclusively on inventing new operating language to access the alien system. In the process he crashes his office's Super Computer and is fired. Jon convinces the company to give Harry a second chance, arguing that the system he has invented will make them millions.
Jon has no idea what havoc Harry is about to unleash.
1. Why did you choose this setting?
The office setting The Infinity Program allowed me to write about what I know about from personal experience: the office dynamics of a privately owned IT company.
2. How is it a fundamental part of your overall theme?
The odd, Dilbertesque world of a software company is the backdrop of The Infinity Program. The hero of the story is a world class systems programmer. The office background shows my hero, warts and all, in his native environment.
3. How challenging was it to write about?
The challenge for me was to re-create a world that I was very familiar with but do it with original characters, not copies or re-creations of the people I actually knew.
4. How did you develop your setting as you wrote your book?
The software company I worked at was small and specialized. My fictional company, called HPTS, is much larger, wealthier and has connections to the defense industry. I had to extrapolate this world and its larger cast of characters. My descriptions of the offices and buildings were rather plain vanilla until the final drafts. At that point I added architectural and design details to make the setting more realistic.
5. How do you transport them there through your writing?
The reader is shown the office environment from the point of view of the workers who inhabit it. People in a well-run office must be focused. This is especially true in the software industry. I tried to bring the reader into the story with dialogue and re-create the hectic, intense pace of the IT environment.
6. How do you introduce them to an area they may not be familiar with?
Software developers sometimes seem to be a breed apart, but they have many of the same foibles as the rest of this. I tried to present this side of them to my readers. They’re really just like the rest of us. Sometimes they eat too much or spend too much time thinking about sex. Sometimes they create needless conflict simply because they are in a bad mood or bored. And sometimes they are just plain silly. I definitely tried to inject a little humor into the book. My friends and early readers were enthusiastic about some of the humorous bits.
7. How do you go about making the setting come alive for the reader?
I tried to make the setting realistic by using small pieces from my own life experience. For example, at one point in The Infinity Program Jon Graeme is stressed and is walking off his nervous energy in the office hallways. When he keeps running into another programmer who is also walking the halls, he remembers what his boss said about the man: “That guy is on his feet more than a cow!” This line was lifted word for word from a co-worker who was criticizing a colleague for never being at his desk. In creating some of Jon’s work assignments, I borrowed directly from my own work experience. I tried hard to give the reader a true sense of what life is like at an IT company.
The Infinity Program can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble
Prices/Formats: $5.95 ebook, $13.95 paperback
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance
Release: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Camel Press
Click to add to your Goodreads list.
About the Author
Richard H. Hardy was born in Glasgow, Scotland, during a week of relentless bombing raids just before the close of World War II. The day he was born an incendiary bomb fell on the church across the street from where he lived, so he is fond of saying that he entered the world with a big adrenaline rush.
His family later moved to England and then on to America.
After college Richard bounced through a series of temporary jobs as he traveled around the country, wanting nothing more than to write fiction. A job driving a library van allowed him free time to write several short stories and work on a novel.
He and his wife moved to New Hampshire, where he took an entry level job at a software company. He was soon promoted to the technical writing department and ended up producing over 500,000 words of online documentation. After a few years he was promoted to the programming department and ended up as the Senior EDI Programmer, creating EDI maps and writing UNIX scripts and troubleshooting on AIX systems throughout the U.S. and Canada.
After he retired, he started writing fiction again. The Infinity Program is his first published novel.
Links to connect with Richard:
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