I have to come clean.

I love fantasy and Sci-fi anything. From Star Trek to Harry Potter, I have consumed them all. I haven’t stopped at movies and books. Video games like Mass Effect and Final Fantasy, anime like Sword Art Online and Trigun along with a myriad of other works have shaped my worldview over the years.

In my younger days I would curl up with novels until they were finished. I often passed nights sleeplessly devouring the written word. My mother would come downstairs to find me still curled up, finishing the final pages of a Terry Goodkind or R.A. Salvatore novel. Instead of letting me pass out after my 35 hour journey through the written page, my mother expected me to perform my normal duties.

It was tough on my young body whenever I pulled an all-nighter but I learned how to push past my weariness, imagining myself as one of the characters in the stories. I would challenge myself to be as strong or as unwavering in my own life as the characters I read about were in their lives.

While the characters I filled my head with were fighting dragons or bringing down galactic federations, I got to combat stuck on grease and keep toddlers from getting eaten by coyotes (no joke, close calls happen in the closest neighbor is a mile away).

After I turned 17, I left home for the first time. I rode a bicycle 10 miles to interstate 50 and threw it over an 8ft fence so nobody would find it and track me. I then hitchhiked over 100 miles to a place I had previously arranged to stay until I could get out of the state. I was tracked down and taken back to my parent’s house before I could finish my plan. I eventually convinced my parents to let me leave but there were stipulations and I continued to chafe under my parents social shackles.

This was all half a lifetime ago and in the years since, I have continued to follow my passion for adventure though fiction and personal challenges. My most recent foray into fiction takes the form of a manuscript. In fact, I am about 7 chapters into my first novel called Please Press Play and have decided to enter the Geek and Sundry Hard Science writing competition. This is a competition through the publishing website Inkshares.com and concludes on May 16th.

There are many talented and even previously published authors competing this year and I am excited to throw my hat into the ring with them. I don’t expect to win the competition since I just entered my work over the weekend and the event is already half over. What I do hope to gain from this experience is an opportunity to get feedback on my work.

Please Press Play is set in the near future. Virtual reality has gone mainstream and replaced traditional media like movies and games. The global economy is driven by MMO’s and AI has replaced most humans in everyday work. I follow three individuals as they learn the truth behind what it takes to be a professional gamer in this world. There is sex, drugs and violence everywhere, bringing a level of danger and excitement to even the most mundane tasks.

One of the main characters deals with the emotional fallout of having survived a mass shooting. She struggles with how to control her pain while she tries to find a way to pay the mounting debts her condition is accruing. Cannabis offers her body relief and allows her the mental clarity to push onward but has become so expensive that it is a struggle to stay medicated.

Reina learns that not all help is given freely and that the price can often outweigh the reward. With the help of the other characters, she finds the strength to resist the overwhelming pressure and terrible situation she finds herself in. Along the way she learns that the weakest among us can have the greatest impact on the world.

While I would love to go into greater detail, I need to get back to finishing the story. This is a hard science fiction novel, meaning that all of the gizmos and technology is based on real world science. The struggles and life events the characters experience are the way real people would struggle and live, adding a layer of realism that helps the reader to suspend disbelief. At least that’s the plan.

If this book sounds interesting to you, check out a few sample chapters I have posted on Inskhares.com. If you want to help support the project, you can preorder a copy today. The writing contest I’m in bases the winner off the number of preorders that get generated by May 16th 2016 so preorder a copy before then to help out the most. Otherwise, my funding campaign will be going on for the next 90 days.

I hope you order a copy but even if you don’t I want you to know that I’m glad you stopped by. Have a great day and thanks for reading!