Sunday, May 17, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Unseemly Science (Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire #2) by Rod Duncan - Guest Post

Hello! Today, we've got a really great treat for you - Rod Duncan has stopped by to talk about the connections between science and writing as part of the blog tour for his newest book, Unseemly Science, out now from Angry Robot Books. We've been looking forward to this book since last year's The Bullet Catcher's Daughter! Since we both also majored and work in science/engineering fields, we also really enjoyed Rod's post and hope you find it as great as we do.

But before we get to that, how about a little bit about Unseemly Science and Rod?

About the Book

Title: Unseemly Science (The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire #2)
Author: Rod Duncan
Published by: Angry Robot Books
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Cover Art: Will Staehle

Synopsis: In the divided land of England, Elizabeth Barnabus has been living a double life - as both herself and as her brother, the private detective. Witnessing the hanging of Alice Carter, the false duchess, Elizabeth resolves to throw the Bullet Catcher’s Handbook into the fire, and forget her past. If only it were that easy!

There is a new charitable organisation in town, run by some highly respectable women. But something doesn’t feel right to Elizabeth. Perhaps it is time for her fictional brother to come out of retirement for one last case…? Her unstoppable curiosity leads her to a dark world of body-snatching, unseemly experimentation, politics and scandal. Never was it harder for a woman in a man’s world… 

Purchase Links:

UK Print & Ebook

North American Print & Ebook

Global DRM-Free Epub & Mobi Ebook

Available now from the Robot Trading Company

About the Author

Rod Duncan is a published crime writer. His first novel Backlash was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, and he has since written three other novels (all Simon & Schuster UK), and had his first screenplay produced.

His background is in scientific research and computing, and he lives in Leicester.

You can find Rod online and follow him@RodDuncan on Twitter.

Five Shared Qualities of Scientists and Writers 

by Rod Duncan

I’m often asked how I came from a science research background to become a novelist. I could answer with a history of my somewhat chaotic career but none of those jobs really pushed me towards novel writing. Real science is not a collection of factual information. It is a drive and a way of thinking about the world. Viewed in this way, scientists and writers are not so different.

So by way of a tangential answer to the question,  here is my countdown of the most important qualities that writers and scientists share. 

5) Iconoclasm. Or to put it another way, a willingness to throw away the rules and beliefs of the past. If scientists had always swallowed the established truth, we would still believe that the sun and  planets orbit the Earth. Scientific method demands that we carry out experiments designed to try to disprove our hypotheses. The best writers constantly challenge themselves to see the world and their craft with new eyes. 

4) Restlessness. To be content is a great gift. But it is not a state that usually drives people to wrestle with the world and question the nature of the universe. One of Hemmingway’s characters is asked what the best early training might be for a writer. “An unhappy childhood,” is the reply.

3) Imagination. Writers constantly imagine themselves into the minds of fictional characters to see with a different point of view. Scientists also use this quality.  It is said that Einstein developed the Theory of Special Relativity after imagining what it would be like to be someone riding a beam of light. 

2) Intensity of observation. Great writers have the ability to observe the world around them with dizzying intensity and to pick out those telling details that will make their writing come to life. Great scientific theories often begin with a period of intense observation. Examining the beak shapes of finches in the Galapagos Islands helped Darwin to crystallize his theory of evolution. 

1) Insatiable curiosity. In the Venn Diagram of scientist and writer, this is the most important overlap. This is the driving force for both. It is to be in the state of continually asking questions. It is the desire to unlock the secret treasures of reality.

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