Welcome to my site

What can I say? I'm so pleased that you've come here. I've spent 5 years blogging, more than that building websites and have been writing "professionally" since 2003. I'm here to help writers with their writing, encourage people through this life, and point them to Jesus. That's the most important thing. So stay tuned. Check this site regularly as "some of the features" may change. I'll need help from time to time, because I'm not perfect. If you're perfect, please go to another site. I'm pretty sure you won't fit in here.

Unbalanced Scales

I'm sure everyone in the U.S. already knows that we are in danger. The problem is that so much of the rhetoric and the old rules are just antagonizing things.

For instance, only weeks ago all the media could do was talk about going over a fiscal cliff. Now, however, that cliff seems to have disappeared and they are talking about spending ceilings. I don't know about you, but this tells me that the people in Washington (D.C) don't know what they're talking about.

Then comes the IRS looming on the horizon. It's hard enough to get around with their hands in our pockets year round, but they expect an extra-special bonus via our Income Tax. We've been gritting our teeth and baring this for years, but now it's becoming harder and harder to find the forms to fill out, even if you can understand them, so you can send them in and pay that tax. I'm of the inclination that if they want my money they should come and fill out all the forms and make it easy. I'm not one of these people who expect freebies. It's just that the founding fathers didn't get paid, and if they did it was by their district, and probably in feed or livestock. I say we go back to that. You want to get out of our $15 trillion debt, then stop paying the people who aren't listening to us when we say, "No taxes."

I know, that's idealistic, but this country was built on ideals, and hard work made it work. That is until the government decided to pay for those who didn't want to work. Take a good idea and present it to Congress or the Senate and the first thing they do is appoint a special task force to investigate the problem. Oh, and all those tax problems we face, they do not face. How'd that happen. Whatever happened to "We the People..?"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Interview with P.A. Baines

It's been a while since I've written an interview, but I thought it would be good to do so with P.A. Baines. Author of Alpha Redemption, which is being toured by CFRB this week, we are proud to have him with us to answer a few questions and get to know him better.

David: We don't know much about you. Is this your first book?

Paul: Firstly, thank you David for inviting me for this interview. This is my first published book but I have been writing on and off for about thirteen years now. My first novel was accepted by the Pema Browne agency in New York. They liked the story and it "came close" to being taken by a major publisher, but never quite made it. I recently started a degree in Creative Writing and both the tutor and course assessor said my work was of publishable standard, so I wrote two novels (including Alpha Redemption). I like to think that I have served my apprenticeship in the trade of writing and can now hopefully serve God effectively.

David: Do you only write SF, or do you like other genres as well?

Paul: I like sci-fi because it offers so much creative freedom while demanding a degree of scientific accountability. I enjoy science and marvel at the discoveries being made. Sci-fi allows us to take these discoveries to the next level and ask, what if? Apart from sci-fi I also enjoy writing humor, although the two often overlap

David: So, Paul, where do you hail from? I notice that this takes place, or rather begins, in England. Is this your homeland?

Paul: Actually, I'm from a few places. I was conceived in the US, born in England and raised in Africa. For the past ten years I have been doing contract work in Europe. I am a bit of a globetrotter but consider England my home.

David: You deal with a great tragedy in an interesting way. Have you had any personal tragedies that helped you create the feelings for this or see what Brett was going through, or did you just make it up?

Paul: We had quite a few dramas in my family when I was growing up, and there are one or two scenes in the book based on my own experiences. Happily though, I have never lost anyone in a plane crash. I had to dig deep to imagine how that must feel.

David: I don't think I've ever seen someone tackle conquering the speed of light light the way you did? Where did you get the ideas from?

Paul: The idea of travelling to Alpha Centauri came about as a matter of convenience. I needed a man (Brett) to spend a long period alone with a sentient computer, and it seemed logical to have that take place on an epic journey across space. And I wondered what reason a man could have for travelling so far by himself, other than if he is taking part in an experiment of some sort. I had Brett take part in a mission to Alpha Centaur because it fit his situation perfectly. The attempt to travel at light speed gave the experiment a purpose as well as providing the means needed to generate Brett's genetic-reversal crisis. To discover more about the potential effects of light speed travel I spent a lot of time doing research. It is currently theoretically impossible to reach light speed, but then they have always said that about speed barriers and we always cross them sooner or later. I am certain that we will one day find a way to travel faster that the speed of light.

David: I liked how you developed Brett throughout the story. It was as if he was heading towards something and it wasn't Alpha Centuri. You even handled "Jay" in much the same way. How did you get the idea of showing the reader Brett's past the way you did, and what clicked in you to have a computer that could evolve to the point where it experience feeling?

Paul: The original idea for the story came from watching, and taking part in, forums where Christians and atheists came together to discuss their beliefs. The atheists generally held the view that Christians (and their faith) are completely illogical and that no rational person could ever believe in God. This made me wonder what would happen if a purely logical being were presented with God. Would such a being reject Him or believe? And would such a creature be able to convince an atheist that God is real? It was then a matter of finding a purely logical being, which is where Jay came in. And the man whose faith is in tatters is played by Brett. I chose Brett because he is a man who, like so many non-believers, has been hurt by life and can see no place in so much pain for a loving God. And he, like so many non-believers, did once have a child-like faith which faded as he grew older. Later, he tries to believe for the sake of his wife, but it isn't a genuine faith. Then when his family dies, he rejects God completely. He claims to not believe, but he actually blames God. The story begins not long after the accident, when Brett is at the lowest point in his life. The journey to Alpha Centauri is a physical representation of his journey back to God. The whole book is about a journey of some sort, and all of these journeys are towards Alpha. Brett and Jay are travelling towards Alpha Centauri, but also towards Jesus, the Alpha and Omega. And thanks to the genetic reversal effect, Brett is also travelling towards the beginning (or Alpha) of his physical life. The idea of switching back and forth between the present and Brett's past came from the genetic reversal idea. It occurred to me that I should show the events in Brett's life at each reduction in age so that, in effect, the story is travelling in two directions at the same time.

David: Just how much do you identify with Brett and why?

Paul: I identify quite strongly with Brett. My family joke that he is me when I'm grumpy. Then again, I also identify with Jay. I suppose the act of drawing on my own experiences for inspiration results in all of my characters having at least some of me in them. For Brett, however, there is more of me in him than any other character I have written. I have faith in God but I also have times when I doubt. I tend to be a contented person, but I can also get depressed. For Brett, I took these traits and amplified them to the point where they were big enough to be able to destroy him. It is for this reason that his journey back to God is so urgent, and why God goes to the lengths He does to find someone who is so utterly and completely lost. I consider my writing to be a ministry, and my hope is that Alpha will show people a little bit of God's love and mercy. I wrote Alpha for all the Bretts out there, that they too may find their way home to the Father.

David: Thank you Paul for taking some time out for this interview. It has been a delight and an honor.

Paul: Thank you for touring Alpha on the CFRB site. You really dig deep into the stories. Your comments are always very insightful and, best of all, you seek to glorify God. I'm honoured to be a part of that.

David: Well, rather than fight over who's more thankful, let's just give the glory to the Lord and praise Him for bringing us together. Once again, P.A. Baines (Paul), author of Alpha Redemption.

Be sure to visit:
Splashdown Book's Alpha Redemption page

In addition to being able to purchase the book there you can find it on the following sites:

Splashdown Books
Barnes and Noble.

Check out these other member blogs this week for more info.

Legal Stuff

By law I have to tell you that I received this book for free in order to write a review of this book. The review, is therefore, in their opinion, payment for the book. I have received this book for the express purpose of writing a review. This is true. However I would not have requested it were it not a quality work. My payment is to Mr. Baines as a tribute to the quality and message of this work. It is only right that I should do so.

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