Tuesday, April 23, 2013

De Novo Syndrome by Jim Buckner: Character Interview and Excerpt


Interview with my main POV character
(from De Novo Syndrome), Jim Buckner.
(I wrote the book under his name.)

Who is your favorite author?

Other than me? I kid, of course. But honestly, I never read much growing up. Over the last several years I've only had time for technical papers and such, very boring. Then of course I discovered the pulp of David Mark Brown--brilliant in its intricacies.


What do you think makes a good story?

People. How's that for a vague answer? You'd like a bit more? Well, how about people on an old-fashioned juicer. You know, the kind our parents used. Cut a person open and twist and mash em back and forth on that baby until there's nothing but pulp and rind. If the person was a particularly interesting one, you might get hundreds of stories. It's just not so fun when you find you're the one getting juiced.

What was the scariest moment of your life?

The moment I literally found my baby daughter left on my doorstep in a basket. I was twenty-four, single and completely ill-equipped to care for myself or anyone else. Here it is fourteen years later, and nothing has changed!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Like many little boys, I wanted to be my father. In my case, that meant being a great scientist and adventurer. When I was eight, my mother bought me a mini field jacket and pair of boots like my father's. She even dug up an old Pith helmet. It wasn't quite like my dad's safari hat, but close enough. I wore them to church on Easter. Which might sound a bit odder than it was, especially after knowing my father wore his field getup too. That was the last year my mother forced us to church. Of course that was the last year we had together, but that's for another question.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

Now this is an interesting question for me. As you may know (I've written several papers on the matter) for most of my life I suffered from what I call cascading thoughts. I won't go into detail other than to say relaxation wasn't really possible in the classic sense.

Anywho, as a youth I tried booze and drugs to dull the edge. After my daughter came along, I discovered free climbing. I know, I know. Some would call such recklessness anything but relaxing. But it brought me a certain quality of focused peace. Now my daughter and I watch spaghetti westerns.

What is the next big thing?

The truth. It might sound kind of corny, but humankind is just around the corner from making its biggest discovery of the nature of the universe and our place in it since Copernicus. I've already learned enough to blow my mind a dozen times over (and my brain is wired for more juice than most). Hold on to your garter, because it's coming.

Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it?

Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you? If so, what was it?

My father told me over and over when I was a kid, "Failure is the beginning of adventure." That little bit has saved my life more than once.

He'll do anything to get her back, including evolve.

"The rabid, frothy pacing gripped me like the iron jaws of a junkyard dog and left me crying out for a literary tetanus shot! More please."

When Jim Buckner's daughter is kidnapped, his obsession shifts from discovering the lost genetic sequence for awakening human immortality to discovering who took her and how to get her back.

The journey reveals a hibernating side-effect of his research, telekinesis. At the heart of a secret war raging for over a century, Buckner discovers how far he'll go to get his daughter back--as far as it takes.

A father-daughter story written as paranoid thriller, De Novo Syndrome centers on a father learning to dedicate his heart, rather than his work, to his daughter. The fact his life's work has been to save his daughter's life, complicates the matter.
“You’re going to need this. It’s a standard 9mm.” She handed the weapon back to me without taking her eyes off the small space in front of the elevator.
I clutched it. “But I’ve never killed—”
“I’ve never been killed. If forced to choose, I’m asking you to maintain the truth of the latter.” She ducked her head out and back. “Can you do that?”
I nodded before realizing she wasn’t looking at me. “Yes. Yes, I can.” It wasn’t just my work or my people on the line. It was my everything, my Evie. If I’d finally found the lost gene, no way would I let someone take it now. I slid the cocking mechanism back and released it, loading the first round into the chamber with a metallic slap.
“Good. When we move out don’t get distracted. I had to lay down considerable damage in the central ring to force the hostiles away from the war room.” She inched into the lobby, the very heart of the three concentric rings of the lab.
“The microfluidic sequencer and sample storage freezers.” I hissed the words. “They could destroy everything—”
“It was either the sequencer or Sandra.” She spoke through clinched teeth as she waved for me to follow. “Stay tucked in close and keep eyes on our six.”
She was right, of course. The lab’s intelligent computer, Sandra, along with her regimen of unique algorithms, were more important than the sequencer. Only Sandra could interpret the sea of data into something useful—something worth stealing.
I turned my back to Marisol’s and tried not to plotz when I saw the smoldering shambles left of my lab office. “Wait. I thought you said—”
“Level one. I did.”
“Why am I seeing—”
“I don’t know. War room’s open too.”
“They shouldn’t be able—”
“I don’t know how, but they’re overriding the system, one lock at a time.” With a quick lunge and sweep she cleared the war room. For a moment longer, I stood in the lobby, mourning the loss of my office hardware, before backing into the war room.
Tugging me against the wall next to her, she must have caught the wistful look in my eye. “Sorry about your office. Concussion grenade must have started a fire. They do that sometimes.”
I ignored her sympathies. “What if they’ve split up? Interested in those reinforcements now?”
“I almost hope they did. No le miento, Buck. These guys are formidable; almost as good as any I’ve come up against.” 
Fluidly, she snaked her way around overturned chairs and Sandra’s central gesture recognition processor, holographic imager and table computer.
At least Marisol had thus far preserved the lab’s single most valuable piece of equipment. If the sequencer and frozen cores were lost, the test results would be recorded with Sandra, waiting for me to initiate the final algorithm. “But you’re not—”
“I said almost as good. We’ll be fine, no problema,” she winked. “And I promise you will never hear me say this again, but every time I stop I want to feel your butt touching mine.”
“Well, if you put it that way.” We crossed the corridor to the far wall of the second ring. The second ring was large enough for over two dozen doors to open off of it, yet small enough that it curved out of sight quickly. In my direction the circular hall dead-ended into the greenhouse. Other than a few scorch marks on the bioclad walls, nothing stood out. “Clear.”
Bueno. We follow the trail of hacked barriers until—”
“What are they using for weapons?” We scampered across an open barrier and stopped at a spoke leading toward the outermost ring, its barrier also open.
“Didn’t see any.”
“Weren’t you in a firefight—”
“Buck.” Marisol clutched my arm.
I jerked my head front. A scuffling echoed from around the corner, like that of shuffling feet. Marisol indicated for me to stay put while she prepared to make for the opposite side of the juncture.
“Dr. Buck—” a familiar voice choked out most of my name before deteriorating into a coughing fit.
I held up Marisol. “Haru? That you?”
“Thank God.” The steps sped up, moving in our direction.
I didn’t dare push Marisol out of the way to confirm the voice was that of Haru Ito, my leading geneticist.
“I think they’re gone.” She continued to move closer, only a few yards around the bend. Something wasn’t right about her speech, too mechanical.
“Let me get her,” I whispered into Marisol’s ear. “One more out of harm’s—”
Marisol turned to face me. “Down!” Plowing me over, she unleashed a narrow beam of microwaves before somehow tumbling upward and smashing into the ceiling.

David has published novels, shorts, novellas and serials within the DMB universe. After fabricating the life of a dime novel writer by his own name, he began producing lowbrow pulp fiction known as the Lost DMB Files. Convinced he could do further damage to genre fiction, he took on the pseudonym, Jim Buckner, and sullied it with rollicking science fiction thrillers known creatively as the DMB Files. Never content, David muddied the waters of young adult dystopian literature with his serial based on The Green Ones.

Feel free to google, poke, fan, or like him. But do so quickly, before he is disappeared by the FBI.

Having been labeled master of the tightly-focused action scene and lord of diabolical dialogue, David turned his double-barreled literary genius toward the familial relationship. Blasting relationships apart with all the subtle grace of a two-bit thug sticking up a Kwik-E-Mart, he deftly stitches them back together without losing sight of tightly paced plotlines. Whether reading Fistful of Reefer, De Novo Syndrome, Paraplegic Zombie Slayer or the first season of The Green Ones, readers can expect flawed characters, atmospheric worlds and gripping stories.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks, Laurie, for hosting me! Good times. And if anyone has any questions for Jim Buckner or David Brown, feel free to ask.