Lost in the System by Nancy Jo Wilson: Author Interview, Tour, and Giveaway with Celebrate Lit.
About the Book
Book: Lost in the System
Author: Nancy Jo Wilson
Genre: Christian Science Fiction
Release date: September 7, 2021
Jaded, 24th century grifter Smullian O’Toole has been sentenced to 1000 days of Life Modification Therapy. All is well until the glitch.
Smullian enjoys serving his prison term. Other than the daily upchucking, Life Modification Therapy is the sweetest sentence 24th century Earth offers. The system biotransposes his essence into a different 21st century person daily, whereas his body stays in the future. The therapy rehabilitates felons by teaching them the value of honest labor. On day 777, Smullian hears a disembodied voice utter, “Father to the Fatherless.” Thus, begins the mother of all system glitches that shatters Life Mod rules and regulations.
Instead of following the usual program, the system thrusts Smullian into the case of David Hawthorne, a missing teenaged orphan. The case cuts a little too close to home for the grifter, who has been on his own since he was twelve. As Smullian bounces from host to host, he realizes the glitch shows purpose and design. Someone, maybe the Father to the Fatherless, controls the situation, not the technicians at Life Mod. This someone peels back the façade Smullian has placed between himself and the world. Against his will, he begins to care about the kid and his older sister, Lydia. Each new host forces him to confront his own inner demons—as well as pointing him to David.
What initially seems the clear-cut case of a runaway—grows more ominous with every clue. Smullian knows he’s not the hero type. But he’s all David has.
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What makes your main characters tick?
Interesting question. For Smullian, he’d say crafting the perfect con. He considers grifting an art form. Properly reading his marks, choosing the correct scheme, and putting on a stellar performance mean more to him than the money he’ll earn from it. I’d say, a love of learning drives him. He wouldn’t say that. He never had formal education and mocks it. But deep down, he loves learning new things—that’s why he studies people and situations intensely. Smullian wants to know what makes things tick.
What was the highlight of writing this book?
Finishing it. I know that sounds like I’m joking, but that was the highlight. Between
homeschooling and ministry, I have little time to write. When I finished, I had the greatest sense of accomplishment—I’d finally resolved the conflict and tied up the loose ends. It felt fantastic.
What authors would you say influence your writing?
Every book has its own voice. Douglas Adams and Dean Koontz influenced Lost in the System. Douglas Adams sparked the funny, random science fiction side of the story, and Koontz’s Odd Thomas series inspired the scattered first-person point of view.
What’s your favorite writing snack?
Since I usually end up writing at McDonald’s, I’ll have to say fries and a Coke.
Do you write in one genre or several?
I write science fiction, fantasy, and dark fantasy. While those are separate genres, for me they’re all the same thing. World building excites me. I love creating new places with their own flora, fauna, and language. Then when I add stories to those worlds, they explode with life. No longer imaginary, they become real. For me, those genres are about generating new spaces and journeying through them. The only thing that changes genre to genre is the type of space.
About the Author
Nancy Jo Wilson wrote her first short story in second grade and continued writing throughout childhood. In high school, she wrote for the teen section of the local newspaper and received a writing scholarship from the state of Tennessee. After high school, she moved on to the college of her dreams—Florida State University. The dean who spoke at the college orientation encouraged students to major in what challenged them, not what came easily. So, she pursued science, majoring in Biology Education, as well as Theater electives. She came to regret the decision, because her first love was always the written word.
She returned to writing in her mid-thirties. Through mystery shopping reviews and online writing challenges, she sharpened her skills. Many times, she earned the distinction of editor’s choice on Faithwriters.com. She published a few articles, but mainly focused on her blog, six5mom.com. She wrote her first book Escape the Amoz, for her oldest son and published it through Kindle Direct. It won second place for science fiction in the 2009 Do it Write! competition. Lost in the System, her current book hit stores in fall 2021.
Now, she balances ministry, writing, and homeschooling. A Jacksonville, FL native, Nancy currently resides in Thomaston, GA with her husband, younger son, dog, and three cats.
More from Nancy
Street signs often inspire my character names. Not kidding. Drive through downtown Jacksonville, and you’ll see many of the names from my first novel spelled out on those green rectangles. When I drove past Smullian Trail, a handsome, charming, fast-talking character popped into my head. I immediately thought, “He’s mischievous.”
Before long, I wondered what would happen if Smullian, who has no knowledge of Christianity, meets the holy God. What obstacles would Smullian have to overcome? How do you explain to someone who views love as a transaction that God is love? Lost in the System tackles the tough questions unbelievers ask about Christianity but wraps the heavy content in a fuzzy blanket of sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek humor. Science fiction may be the core of this story, but mystery, romance, and redemption fill it out.
I hope you enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 7
Inklings and notions, September 8
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 9 (Author Interview)
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 10
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 11
Blossoms and Blessings, September 12 (Author Interview)
deb’s Book Review, September 12
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 13
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 14
A Baker’s Perspective, September 15 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, September 16
Through the Fire Blogs, September 17 (Author Interview)
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 18
Guild Master, September 19 (Author Interview)
For Him and My Family, September 19
Blogging With Carol, September 20
To celebrate her tour, Nancy is giving away the grand prize package of $50 Visa gift card and a signed copy of the book!!