Eric Klein Author

Interview with Stephanie Barr (3)

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Today we have another friend returning to tell us about her latest book. So let’s welcome Stephanie Barr here to tell us about her newest book
Ideal Insurgent and a related short story addendum Easy Prey.

  • Ideal Insurgent will be released March 13 but is up for preorder now.
  • Easy Prey is already available on Amazon or free on Smashwords.


So let’s get right to the interview.




What was the most surprising thing you found out while researching/writing your latest book?

Well, while this *is*hard science fiction mostly, I didn’t really research it because I’m a rocket scientist and I was using the kind of science I know. Tin (and other metal whiskers)? I’ve dealt with them and did research on them. Orbital mechanics? I love the stuff and eat it for breakfast. EVA? Used to be an EVA Safety engineer so I used more of my own know-how.

However, writing this strained my own ingenuity to the breaking point. Took a long time because both of my characters are uber smart the way I am only more so, so, in order to challenge them, I had to give them almost impossible scenarios to get out of and then *I* had to figure out how to smart my way out of them. I was worn out.

Why did you choose this setting?

Setting is almost always driven by my characters. Both Nayna and Dylan Chroz from Saving Tessa are souped up variations on my own smart but social backward persona. Science fiction seemed the logical setting for both. In Saving Tessa, I have Dylan unprecedented power for someone his age, wealth and autonomy. In Ideal Insurgent, I wanted to do the opposite, put someone in a position with no power and see how she did it, so I made her an analyst in a distant future and/or locale with an intergalactic empire of particular callousness. She’s been working for them literally since birth and has been fed propaganda since day one and she’s just now starting to understand that the Empire she’s worked for is pretty rotten and lied to her to make sure she didn’t know it. Settings like that lets me play with futuristic space stuff and still have some real physics in it.

What’s unique about your world?

From a world standpoint, not much. I’m not breaking world-building new ground. I do have a couple interesting creatures (Smoke, the methercat and Dragon the were-dog, a sort of dog-like lizard that can, er, breathe fire) but it’s the characters that are interesting to me in this book.

How real do you think the science is in your book?

Most of the concepts and details are pretty good. I pure handwaving on jumps and gravity simulation, but most of the rest, including radiation effects, metal whiskers, EVA, spacesuit concepts and limitations, orbital mechanics, hardware troubleshooting, etc, I think, are very spot on.

What was the most mundane item that you used that really has cool tech behind it? What is the tech?

I probably put the most cool details in the suit I described, with its layer of gel for cooling (and so it wouldn’t have inflate the whole suit).

What did you include that you wish was real today?

Tranquilizer glove. No harm done to anyone but you could shut down a kids’ public tantrum in a heartbeat.

What technology or science do you think will most affect the world of tomorrow?

Green energy, though it’s not a big player in my books.

Anything else you would like to share with our audience?

It’s also really funny. I love characters with good chemistry and these two have some of the best chemistry ever.