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Thursday 22 September 2016

ℚ♫ Ghosts in the Machine: The Babel Trilogy [2] - Richard Farr

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Ghosts in the Machine (, Skyscape, 414 pages), a Young Adult Science Fiction novel, book second of The Babel Trilogy series.

The Fire Seekers, the first book in the trilogy, currently has nearly 1,000 4- and 5-star reviews on Amazon:
 “One of the best books I've read in a long time.”
“I COULDNT PUT IT DOWN! Awesome blend of mysteries of the ancient, crazy fanatical religion, and intelligent characters doing believable things in a believable world that has just he right hint of other worldly elements.”
 “Intriguing, interesting, and well researched. The writing is extremely good.”
“Excellent! Very, very well-written, thought-provoking, detailed, well-developed characters and intriguing story.”
 “I can't wait for more in this series.”

Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Richard Farr; thank you for joining us!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Ghosts in the Machine, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"I’m a bit stuck on this, because I’m one of those Absolute Silence writers—I wear earplugs even if the room is quiet, and listening to music while working would be impossible for me. But if I did, for the right atmosphere, for this book? Hmm … I think the whole trilogy demands dark, electronic, and spacy. So below is a very random collection:"
"I listen to classic rock – Credence Clearwater Revival, the Stones, maybe Roxy Music or Dire Straits - while cooking …"
Excellent! :-D

What was the inspiration for Ghosts in the Machine?

"The inside of your head is a spooky, strange, unexplained place. Lots of books are about the supernatural. As a philosopher, I thought two things about this. First, I just don’t believe in most of the stuff people usually call “supernatural.” But, second, we all believe in one thing that anyway seems to be supernatural—only, no one can work out what it is! I mean consciousness—the fact that we experience the world inside our heads. (Hitting your thumb with a hammer doesn’t just cause nerves to fire that make you say “Ouch!” It also hurts!) What’s going on here? If we evolved from bacteria that (presumably) aren’t conscious, where did this thing come from? The Fire Seekers (Book One of The Babel Trilogy) suggested that religion doesn’t necessarily have good answers; Ghosts in the Machine suggests that science doesn’t either …"
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"The whole trilogy is a puzzle – but not a “made up” puzzle, It’s about aspects of the real world that truly continue to intrigue and baffle me, and that I think should baffle other people more. Also, as any reader can see, I love researching obscure topics and learning new stuff—archaeology, ancient languages, evolution, computer encryption, you name it. (The end of my research is always this, though: having a better sense of how much there is that I don’t know!)"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Ghosts in the Machine - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Writers sometimes don't get much say about their covers, but I was very lucky with this one. I told the publisher I wanted something abstract, and dark, and I didn’t want it to have any specific images or faces. (I don’t even know why. It just seemed important, to fit the book.) Not only did they listen, but brilliant designer Will Staehle somehow captured exactly what I had in mind."
Why should we read Ghosts in the Machine and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"The Babel Trilogy is a supernatural / sci-fi / mystery / thriller, but it’s set in the real world, right here, and it’s based on a real philosophical puzzle about something inexplicable – something that’s going on inside your head right now as you read this sentence! It’s been billed as a “YA sci-fi thriller,” but it’s hard to find a box that it really fits into – and that’s completely intentional on my part."
Can you tell us something quirky about Ghosts in the Machine, its story and characters?
"Aside from the above, I’m betting that no other novel you’ve read recently has fifty pages of endnotes about the story behind the story – including everything from what Socrates would have said in the Garden of Eden, to Frankenstein, to genetics, to whether thinking machines are really possible."
Who would you recommend Ghosts in the Machine to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"This isn’t a book that’s just driven by what happens to the characters; it forces you (like them) to confront and think about really difficult questions, like what we can and can’t know, whether “the supernatural” even makes sense, whether life after death is possible - or even desirable, and, ultimately, whether human life and civilization as we know it could turn out to be nothing but a kind of illusion."
If you could / wished to turn Ghosts in the Machine and the The Babel Trilogy series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"James Cameron, Stephen Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott, Alfonso Cuarón … there are so many excellent sci-fi directors, and you won’t catch me complaining if anyone on that list takes on The Babel Trilogy! As for actors, I don’t know—I think the best answer, especially for the younger characters, is: people we’ve never seen before, rather than current stars. People who don’t already look glossy! Locations? Ha - all you famous directors out there, please note: the locations are pretty much given by the books, and I’ve included so many cool ones. A lethal rock wall on a mountain in Patagonia. An archaeological dig at the site of ancient Babylon. A shipwreck off a Greek island. The wilder parts of Eastern Turkey, including a cataclysmic volcanic eruption … and that’s just Book One …"
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I’ve tried my hand at picture books, middle grade fiction, YA fiction, adventure non-fiction, a difficult adult literary novel that’s sort-of a murder mystery but really something else (and that’s set partly in the eighteenth century, and written partly in eighteenth century English), a memoir about becoming a parent, and an all-ages introduction to science. Yes, I read in every one of those areas, and more."
What is your writing process?
"Process? What process? I always try to write an outline, and it never works. I always try to write a thousand words in the morning and then do some editing in the afternoon, but mostly I don’t. I try to be focused and efficient, but I’m not. I often feel, at the end of a day, that I’ve been mining coal using a broken wooden toothpick. But I keep at it, and stuff happens eventually."
What is in store next?
"I’m finishing Book Three of the Babel Trilogy, Infinity's Illusion. Next up, a comic novel for middle graders of all ages. It’s set in the town of Dirtlefirkin, which for years has been ranked Thirteenth Most Boring Place in the World by the editors at Tedious Places Rated. In A Plague of Frogs, after Oliver Dreary makes an unfortunate mistake (and a mad professor shows up, and an eccentric librarian, and an alien), that's about to change."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"This is me with my last dog, Brandon—known, in his more elegant moments, as Brandenburg. He was half-retriever, half-chow, and half-yeti (and couldn’t count). A great guy, hugely missed. But recently I’ve been browsing on an extremely addictive site called …. "

Ghosts in the Machine
Available NOW!

purchase from purchase from find on Goodreads

1 comment:

Giselle said...

Thanks for hosting today! :)