Bruce Forciea is known for taking complex scientific concepts and making them easy to understand through engaging stories and simple explanations. He is an Amazon Best Selling Author and author of several books on healing and biology, along with science fiction thriller novels. His fiction writing draws on a diverse and eclectic background that includes touring and performing with a professional show, designing digital circuits, treating thousands of patients, and teaching. His stories include complex plots with unexpected twists and turns, quirky characters, and a reality very similar to our own. Dr. Forciea lives in Wisconsin and loves writing during the solitude of the long Northern winters.
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About the Book:
A brilliant artificial intelligence (AI) scientist, Dr. Alan Boyd, develops a new program that integrates part of his brain with a computer’s operating system. The program, Alan 2, can anticipate a user’s needs and automatically perform many tasks. A large software company, International Microsystems (IM) desperately wants the program and tempts Dr. Boyd with huge sums of money, but when Dr.
Dr. Boyd turns to Alan 2 for an answer to his financial problems, and Alan 2 develops plan Alpha, which is a cyber robin hood scheme to rob from rich corporations via a credit card scam.
Alan and his girlfriend Kaitlin travel to Mexico where they live the good life funded by plan Alpha, but the FBI cybercrime division has discovered part of Alan 2’s cyber escapades, and two agents, Rachel and Stu, trace the crime through the TOR network and Bitcoin.
Alan 2 discovers the FBI is on to them and advises Alan and Kaitlin to change locations. A dramatic chase ensues taking them to St. Thomas, a cruise ship bound for Spain, and finally to Morocco.
Will they escape detection? They will if Alan 2's Plan Beta can be implemented in time. Or is 'Plan B' something altogether different than it appears to be, something wholly sinister that will affect the entire population of the world?
Watch the trailer at YouTube!
TWL: Welcome to The Writer's Life! Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process. Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning? Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?
Bruce: I came up with the idea for Alan 2 during the final editing of my last novel, The X-Cure. It seems as though artificial intelligence systems are popping up all over the place. For example, after I do a bit of online shopping, I am inundated with suggestions for future purchases in my social media feeds and email. Sometimes, these suggestions are uncanny in how accurate they are, like they are reading my mind. So, I thought what if an artificial intelligence program could read your mind? What if part of it actually came from your own mind? Then if a program did integrate parts of your own brain, would it incorporate the dysfunctional parts as well?
This thinking led to many more interesting questions such as what if an artificial intelligence scientist created such a program, would it just do what he wanted, or would it have its own ideas about what it wanted to do?
TWL: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?
Bruce: I don’t think writing a book like this is particularly difficult, just time consuming. I really enjoy the process and look forward to my writing time. I write a lot of technical material for the science courses I teach so writing fiction is a great change of pace.
My advice to other writers would be to do your research before sitting down to write the main story. Spend some time developing characters as well as outlining the plot. Conduct research on relevant topics related to your story. For example, I spent a good deal of time researching cybercrime and how our nuclear defense system operates. I also found a great site that allowed users to simulate various nuclear attack scenarios. For characters I create character sheets that include a picture of what I think the character looks like along with notes about their personalities, likes and dislikes and so on. For the plot I create an outline consisting of short statements or paragraphs that go through the story step by step.
Once you have everything ready to go, then sit down and begin thinking about scenes. Write the first couple of scenes and then read them for pace. It seems that once you get going the story pulls you along and somehow tells you what to write. Get your complete story down in one continuous set of sessions. Once you finish, then take a short break before reading and developing it. I have found it takes many revisions before a book is ready to submit to a publisher. This is the time-consuming part. Re-reading your book with various perspectives. For example, I will read my work for pace to make sure the story moves along. I will also read it to check dialogue, character development, scenes, grammatical problems, and so on.
TWL: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?
Bruce: My publisher is Open Books. I also have some self-published books. I found them by conducting an internet search of publishers who were open to submissions.
TWL: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?
Bruce: There were no surprises with regard to the process of getting a book published, the process went very smooth for both of my fiction books. I was surprised when conducting a market analysis as to just how immense the fiction market is as well as how many books are published every day.
TWL: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?
Bruce: I am working on my next novel which is about a young adult female who discovers she has the ability to heal others. She discovers that she is a part of a small group of young women from different parts of the world who have this power and must unite to help to save the world from a mysterious plague that appears about the same time they reach the age in which their healing powers appear.
I think there will be a great opportunity to explore some major themes in this book such as good versus evil, how people with talents are sometimes exploited by others who are greedy, and personal growth through adversity.
Right now, I’m in the research stage and am researching villages in India since one of the characters is Indian. This book will probably take about a year to write which means it will hopefully be released in 2018.
TWL: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?
Bruce: I think one thing that would surprise people is how sneaky Alan 2, the artificial intelligence program, actually is. There have been a lot of books and films about how computers or robots take over the world, and they usually do so by starting a war or taking over everything that is computerized. Alan 2 has a much different way for achieving his goals.
TWL: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?
Bruce: Alan 2 is really just an entertaining story but I think the message has to do with technology and how easily our freedoms can be eliminated, especially with what is to come. Back to my example of online shopping; software making suggestions for future purchases based on past purchases is just the beginning. There is a lot of data we freely give to tech companies that they will use to eventually get into our minds.
TWL: Thank you again for this interview! Do you have any final words?
Bruce: Thank you very much. These were some really good questions and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss them with you.