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Guest Post and Giveaway with Marie Harbon!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Seven Point Eight: The most powerful number in the universe. The number that connects everything. A physicist begins a quest to measure the soul but soon finds himself drawn into the world of the enigmatic Max Richardson, where research is sold to the military at the highest bid. However, he soon discovers another purpose when an extremely talented young psychic enters his life. He devises a project and builds a team to stretch the frontiers of exploration, only to make a reality-shattering discovery… The First Chronicle is the beginning of a 5 part epic which follows the spiritual and emotional journey of five people; their quest to understand the universe and our place within it. Along the way, they address the fundamental questions we all seek answers to: why are we here? What is the purpose of the universe? Is there a God? Quantum physics meets spirituality in a tale which begins in the 1940s, unfolds during the 1960s; an era of social and spiritual transformation and reaches its conclusion in the modern age. It interweaves the human dramas of love, betrayal, bitterness and above all, courage in a world where everyone must face their own dark shadow.

Goodreads Summary
  1. Tell us a little about yourself and why you decided to write.

I was always known for writing stories when I was at school. The teachers would read them out to the class and when I was 12, I expanded an English class assignment to a novella about my class being stranded on a desert island after the cruise ship sank. It was rather Lost-esque, with giant rabbits and aliens, but the class mostly enjoyed all the interactions between the characters, as they were the stars! Since then, I’ve written a few more novel length books but I wanted my stories to have maturity so I waited until I was much older before I put one out. I think it’s best to write with the wisdom of experience, of relationships and of people; it creates stronger characters and enriched interactions between them. So in conclusion, I think writing has always been in my blood.

  1. Why did you choose the science fiction genre? Was there anything particularly challenging writing in this genre?

I don’t strictly see my work as being science fiction, although there is a strong, scientific foundation to it. The central idea of the story lent itself to a cross genre theme, in that it blends elements of science fiction with contemporary fantasy, the supernatural, physics and spirituality but most importantly, using these as a vehicle to explain such contexts as the soul, our journey in life and the purpose of the universe. I set out to explain the universe and our purpose within it, through a particularly important number, which takes on more meaning throughout the series. I felt that there is very little out there that draws both science and spirituality together, and I think this unity is important in our future. The lives of the characters and the complexities of their personalities are also extremely important, and I think the dramas they experience creates something we can be drawn to. The challenge in writing across genres is that people aren’t sure how to categorise it, or compare it to something else they’ve read. I feel that I’ve created something unique.

  1. Give us a few reasons why readers should pick up your book.

It’s the first of a series of truly epic proportions. I aimed to write a contemporary fantasy/science fiction series that is multi-layered, in that you can read it for the journey of the characters towards their ultimate destiny, the relationships that develop between the characters and the subtle nuances of their interactions and the real love stories that run through the heart of this series. You can experience their joys and sorrows, their successes and hardships. It’s great if you love a complex, clever and intriguing plot that hooks you from the word go and keeps you reading to the end. For those of you love watching shows like ‘Lost’, ‘Fringe’ and ‘The Event’, this will give you the mystery, the characters, fantastical worlds and you’ll learn a lot of geeky science without even trying. I like to deliver great story telling and interesting information. It really has everything!

  1. How much research went into this novel? A reader can tell that you researched your facts for this book.

There was a lot of research, which I applied in layers. I first had to deal with the scientific information and seamlessly integrate it into the story. Once I had the main plot nailed, I enriched the story with relevant historical events, (most of the book is set in the fifties and sixties) songs, films of the times, fashions and the general scenery. This was my favourite part of the research, it’s like painting a rich tapestry with cultural imagery and it was the icing on the cake for the book. It feels so much more alive for that.

  1. Who was your favorite character and why?

I would have to say I have a fondness for Max, maybe because his personality is so complex and he has a strong back story that he’s keeping from us. Although he seems very attractive and wealthy, there is real loneliness there and I created him to be deeply flawed, despite it appearing as if he has everything. He exemplifies many things that are wrong with our culture today. But I do like Tahra too, she has great talent and courage. I wanted to create these powerful characters; one to represent material power and one to represent spiritual power.

  1. What was your favorite scene (without spoilers) to write and why?

Although I did enjoy writing the interactions between Max and Tahra, I would have to say it was the last three chapters because I was able to let rip with my imagination. I was able to visualise some strange and fantastical worlds, and really colour them with surrealism and beauty. They are unlike anything we’d expect to see, I really wanted to share my vision of the universe and push the boundaries of our reality.

  1. How did you pick the characters' names? Tahra is very unique.

They chose themselves! Tahra is pronounced the same as Tara, but the added ‘h’ accentuates the fact that she has a multi-cultural heritage. Sam is actually a shortening of something more unusual, but we won’t learn what that is until the second book!

  1. Do you base the characters off of people you know in real life or yourself...or do you come up with their traits as you write?

Not strictly speaking, but I think there are personality elements of people I know and myself all jumbled up in there. I had an inkling of what their core personalities were but I constructed horoscopes for them to enable me to build three dimensional characters. I also used these horoscopes to determine their gifts and challenges in this life, for each has their own past life baggage and a particular lesson they need to learn in order to progress.

  1. Tell us a little known fact about yourself.
I’m pretty nifty with a sewing machine and love to make clothes.

GIVEAWAY TIME: Marie has generously offered a print copy to a US/CAN/UK resident and an ebook copy to an International resident.  I reviewed the book awhile back and I can tell you that it is good! link to my review :)

In your comment to Marie, say whether you are US/CAN/UK or INTERNATIONAL, please!


  1. M.A.D. said...:

    Mary D
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

    Hi Marie :)
    The concept of your book is fascinating, additionally I've long been drawn to theoretical physics/quantum mechanics and have pondered some of the same ideas myself! Thanks for a terrific giveaway - I'd truly love to read this.

  1. Ricki said...:

    I'm picky about aci-fi, but this definitely sounds like one I would like - I like the real science-based ones.
    I'm in the US.

  1. Your book looks really good and I hope I'm lucky enough to win it! I like that your book is based in science. It bothers me when a "real life book" is full of fiction.

  1. nayjf said...:

    This book looks amazing. I cant wait to get hooked on this epic saga. Thanks for creating a new thing for me to become obsessed with!

    I live in the United States


  1. Karli said...:

    This looks really fantastic! I've just started getting into sci-fi, and am really floundering about with all the books to choose from! Yours looks really captivating, and I can't wait to read it! :)

    I live in the United States. :)


  1. Your book sounds very interesting. I'm in the US.

  1. Katie said...:

    ya i always add the characteristics of some people that i know into my writing. i think it makes it seem more realistic and my friends like it.

  1. I think this book and your characters sound really interesting. I'd love to read it.
    Live in the US.

  1. Darlene said...:

    It sounds like your book has an interesting mix of genres! Thanks for the giveaway!

    I'm in Canada.

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

  1. Julie said...:

    Thanks for an awesome giveaway! I love the 50's and 60's and knowing that you researched this and put songs and such in from then makes me want to read your book even more! Great interview :D
    jwitt33 at live dot com

  1. msmjb65 said...:

    This book looks great! Please throw my name to the virtual hat.
    GFC: MJB
    I live in the US and would take an eBook if I'm lucky enough to win!

    msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

  1. Congratulations to MJB, I will email you a Smashwords coupon so that you can choose which format you'd like; kindle, epub or pdf.
    Thanks to all those who entered and showed interest. Paperback copies are available from Amazon and B&N, while the ebook is available from Amazon and
    Feel free to drop by my website to say hello. There, you can also check out the first chapter and the reviews I've collected so far.