“It’s about the story of an android, a woman and a young boy’s quest to stop the building of a sentient supercomputer that just might be the Biblical Beast. And it’s the tale of an android girl who falls inexplicably in love, and a Christian man’s dilemma about how to handle it.”
Thank you for joining us, Ron! You recently collaborated with Ferrel D. Moore to publish The Jesus Road II. How did the idea for Waiting, which is your contribution, come about?
Ron: I always look to science fiction because the freedom to ask what if is always there. I did some research into AI a few months back, so that was still in my mind and wondered how it might work if the programming was limited to the Bible. Would AI do all it could within the programming to live as God wanted us to live. And if it did, what an example that might be for us.
Nicola: In The John Murphys, Murphy the robot says, “Every thought I have, every conclusion I arrive at is measured against one fundamental concept. ‘Humans are the pinnacle of creation.’ They are the image of their Creator. Their choice to not behave as such does not negate their existence as such.”
No matter how perfect robots get they will never replace humans in God’s heart because it is not perfection He is looking for. How much of yourself and personal experiences did you put into the characters?
Ron: For Waiting I put myself in Gene’s (papa) place. I certainly don’t have the ability to create such a thing, but thought, how would I feel if I could. If I had created something as an example of my memory, how far would I go to protect that memory?
Nicola: And Waiting is your answer!
How do you think collaboration augments each writer’s skill and scope?
Ron: I got more exposure out of it, for that I am grateful to my partner. I was asked if I would like to write a story to be published in a collaborative effort, or collection. I was honored to have a story of mine published with someone I looked up to as a mentor, so I accepted.
Since both stories have an android at the center, I have to believe they will complement each other well.
Nicola: Congratulations on having your latest book, Edward’s Folly, produced as an audiobook. This is another type of artistic collaboration! How did you choose a narrator? What makes a great narrator?
Ron: There’s a lot to consider when you do an audio conversion. What is important to get across when the book is read. The words, the emotion, just an idea, or all of the above.
These two go hand in hand for me. A female could have worked, but because the book is told from two male perspectives, it made sense it should be male. So I was looking for a medium to deep steady vocal tone. With the important part being placement of the emotion from the character’s point of view.
Nicola: What advice could you give writers for narrators and narrators for writers?
Ron: Decide what is important to the story, explain that to your narrator. It was suggested to me to meet with them either in person or through electronic means. I did this and found it very helpful. For Edward’s Folly accents and such was not that important, what was important was the feelings need to be expressed. A short but important discussion cleared that up for both of us.
Nicola: Communication is key! Thank you for letting us in on your piece of the collaboration puzzle.
I hope this encourages others to seek out partners and joint projects. We vault with each other into higher capacities and capabilities when we work together!