This whole month has been devoted to celebrating the release of my second novel, An Absolute Mind, and on this last Saturday of November, that fact is not about to change. While there are a few things about the novel that, looking back on it now, I wish I had done better, I definitely see fit to pat myself on the back on the different aspects of the story that made it what it is now. Therefore, inspired by a video released by Phil Wang yesterday, today I’m going to go over five things about An Absolute Mind I’m most proud of (and for those who haven’t read it, don’t worry, for this is a spoiler-free post). Let’s get started:
- The Futuristic Setting
From the reviews that have been done about the novel so far, the one detail that has been said for every single one is that they really liked the attention to detail in the futuristic world the story is set in. In fact, it’s often been said that if the second “Back to the Future” film were made today, this is probably how they would portray the future (and it’s funny that movie has even been mentioned, for I first saw it last year, while already in the editing process for the book). As I may have mentioned in the past, unlike many future-set novels on the market nowadays, I wanted to make this one a desirable future to be a part of; infused with half of what could happen based on the circumstances currently, and the other half being what I’d ideally like to see happen.
Apart from the existence of hover boards, crazy contact lenses, and the future of social media, the future is also expressed in other ways such as mentality and change in the population, which brings me to…
2. The Diversity
I really liked how I approached the diversity in this world; where a quarter of the population in the United States identifies as mixed race, a woman is in office, and the fight for same-sex marriage is a thing of the past. These details were planned well in the early stages of development of An Absolute Mind, before the talk about diversity in various mediums of storytelling really began to take off as a public discussion. The fact that this novel has come out in the midst of all that now makes for appropriate timing. Plus, the nice thing about it in this universe is that for the most part, it’s normalized. That’s the direction I hope my country can go in, despite the lunatic who’s to take office come January.
3. Absolute Memory
Absolute Memory, the cognitive ability that Sonya has, is a core part of this whole story; for if she did not have this ability, then she would have never gone on the journey she finds herself on in this book. An Absolute Mind originally spurred from the idea of what it would be like if a certain number of people evolved enough to where their mind can handle more than the types of memory we’re all capable of having. Once that idea was set in stone, it took off from there.
As I may have mentioned in a previous post, the novel was originally structured to be more scientifically-inclined, with its focus primarily on how the ability functions. While it’s still a core part of the story, I’m glad that it’s since become an asset to tackling the actual conflict at hand.
4. Multi-Dimensional Characters
This is necessary when creating memorable, effective characters, but sometimes not every storyteller is successful at doing so. While I definitely made the effort to demonstrate that in the characters in A Moment’s Worth, in this novel, I really wanted to kick it up a notch. I wanted to make these characters as flawed as possible; having both a little bit of good, and a little bit of bad. Much like real people, we are all various shades of gray. I wanted to make sure that came across in the story, especially when dealing with the conflicts that show up throughout. So therefore, that’s why at the end of the day, I can’t say that any of the characters portrayed in this book are an antagonist.
5. The Ambiguity
Ambiguity made a heavy appearance in A Moment’s Worth, via open-ended questions and circumstances, as well as mysterious characters. In An Absolute Mind, I wanted that to continue. It’s not out of wanting the leave the readers hanging. Rather, it’s out of both not giving them an answer to every question they may have, and instead redirecting their attention on what I want them to focus on. That’s why when it came to questions my beta-reader had about certain parts of the plot, I already knew that he wasn’t going to get answers to them. Ambiguity is key, my friend!
*6. Phil Collins
Okay, so as you can see, much like the video that inspired me to write today’s blog post, there’s a bonus item to this listicle that I just could not leave out. I liked the fact that I managed to incorporate the music of Phil Collins into the story. While this was one of many factors about the novel that did not come to mind when I first conceived the idea over four years ago, when I did come up with the idea, it made perfect sense to me. It was not only a way of thinking about how future generations will look at seasoned artists, but also as a way of applying the themes of his songs into the context of the story. While no one has said anything about this particular aspect about An Absolute Mind in the reviews so far, I hope that it’s been translating well into their minds.
With that said, these are the key things about my second novel that I’m most proud of. I hope you took something away from reading this listicle and even more so, I hope that if you haven’t read it already, you’re compelled to buy a copy of the book now. While I will reveal more details about An Absolute Mind in time, any questions that people may have about it can be left in the comment, on Goodreads, or on Twitter.
An Absolute Mind is now available for purchase from the following venues: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CreateSpace, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords! If you read it, please leave a review, for they’re greatly appreciated and help me grow as a writer. Also, be sure to check out its Goodreads page, and feel free to leave any questions you have about the book.