I have been working on the prequel to Ai Rising for several weeks now. It is shaping up to be a delightful story that I am having a lot of fun writing. The story starts before Taylor and Aiden receive their letters informing them they are admitted to MIT.
I have been using The Story Grid to walk me through the journey. I am hoping to improve my writing with each release and Shawn Coyne's book, website, and resources have been instrumental in helping me improve.
This week is a short recap because November has been busy. I hope to shed some light on this months activities in a few weeks. I consider it big news and it directly concerns Ai Rising.
I wanted a planet close in size to Earth. After searching through many candidates, I found one planet close to Earth's mass and with a good location within its solar system. More on that in a bit. First, let's discuss how this planet was discovered.
NASA's Kepler Space Telescope and Mission was designed to discover Earth-size and smaller planets in or near the habitable zone around a star. The Kepler Space Telescope (KST) was launched in 2009 and retired in 2018. During the first four years, the KST was pointed at the same tiny patch of space. Eventually, the primary mission was aborted because of a reaction wheel failure. Reaction wheels are critical in space telescope orientation operations. I have linked to a Youtube video (screened and approved for language and content) below explaining more about a reaction wheel.
Kepler-186 is a system confirmed to have an Earth-size planet, Kepler-186f. Kepler-186f is the first Earth-size planet discovered in the potentially 'habitable zone' around another star, where liquid water could exist on the planet's surface. Kepler-186f is the sixth planet from the star in the Kepler-186 system.
Having a planet closely matching Earth's size and located in the habitable zone made it unique and plausible that life could exist on the planet. Would you have preferred a different planet? If so, what planet would you have chosen for the book?
I didn't wake up one morning expecting to write a book. I did not feel I had the time or creativity to write a work of fiction. The idea came about while I was sick with a 103.1 F temperature. When I woke up from my delirious state, I recalled my dream to my wife. She insisted I write a book. I immediately dismissed that idea because I thought it should be a movie.
I thought about the dream for several weeks and started kicking around ideas that should be included in a movie or book. Before long, I thought I would try writing a book. If I failed, nothing would be lost but my time. Forty-nine writing days later, I had my rough draft that didn't resemble my dream minus the idea that artificial intelligence would be Earth's first contact and possibly its last..
This leads us back to the question of why write a book? I didn't want to write the book at first. But after asking my son if one of the main characters could take his name and he agreed, it was too good an opportunity to pass up. I also wanted to write a book he could pick up and read without worrying about the content in the book.