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Interview with KS Ferguson, the author of CALCULATED RISK a mystery, SF book March 25, 2015

Posted by heidi skarie in Book Review.
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I  recently read Calculated Risk, an exciting mystery story that takes place in outer space. I enjoyed the book so much that I decided to do an author interview to find out more about the author and why she wrote the book. I’m sure you’ll find her answers as interesting as I did.

 

What inspired you to become a writer?

I didn’t have a choice about becoming a writer. It’s in my DNA. I started writing stories when I was ten. But being a writer for a living seemed like an impossible dream, so I did lots of other things for years and years before finding my way to a tech writing career. Some modest success there convinced me to throw myself into fiction writing.

 

What is Calculated Risk about?

Calculated Risk is the story of two people finding their way to trust in a future where sociopathic corporations run the galaxy. Rafe, a capitalistic security company owner estranged from his family since he was a teen, is obliged to repay a debt of honor by investigating his brother-in-law. He goes to a mining station in the Asteroid Belt to determine why his brother-in-law, the CEO of a huge ag corporation, has insisted on purchasing the station. At the station, Rafe meets Kama, a genius corporate spy and computer hacker there on a mission to retrieve a secret document that has accidently fallen into the hands of the station manager. But the manager is missing. Isolated on the station together, Rafe and Kama must work together to unravel a web of blackmail, fraud, and murder that threatens the future of millions of Earth’s downtrodden poor.

Why did you write this book?  Can you tell us the story behind the book?

Authors are advised to write what they like to read, and I read science fiction, fantasies, mysteries, and thrillers. It seemed natural to write a mystery in a futuristic setting with thriller pacing and a strong relationship thread. (But it’s a nightmare to market!) After ten years of working in corporate America, I had strong feelings about that world and how it’s shaped our society. That became the backdrop. I wanted the focus to be on the characters and how they find their way through their personal fears to a relationship of trust. And everything I write turns into a mystery eventually, so there are clues and suspects with the occasional chase or explosion thrown in.

What research did you do when writing the book such as corporate fraud and space stations?

The psychology community has turned out some interesting studies on how corporations behave like sociopaths, and how the upper management of many corporations are rewarded for psychopathic traits. I found those studies fascinating, and they certainly mirrored my personal experience in a Fortune 500 corporation. For pleasure, I read a lot about NASA and other space projects. The space station setting didn’t require much additional research.

 

There are two main characters in the story, Kama and Rafe.  How did they grow and change from their experience?  Did you learn anything about yourself while writing the book?

Rafe and Kama are polar opposites in their belief systems. He’s a capitalist who believes in law and order. She’s a socialist who favors justice over law. They have to look past their differences to see the deeply caring individuals underneath. Then they have to trust that person because neither of them can solve the mystery without help from the other. Following a near-death experience, Rafe reveals why he’s estranged from his family. It’s a guilt-ridden secret he’s carried for fourteen years. Kama initially sees Rafe as a stereotypical  smarmy, lying corporate executive. As she discovers that he’s a man who cares deeply about others to the point of sacrificing his life for them, she’s forced to change her thinking.

This book is part of a series.  How many other books are published?  How many will there be total?

Calculated Risk is the first in the series. Hostile Takeover takes up where the first book left off and is available now. In it, readers get a deeper look at Rafe’s dysfunctional family and Harvest, EcoMech Corp’s colony planet. Kama’s there to help and support Rafe, but their relationship travels a rocky road while they defend EcoMech and Rafe’s family. The third in the series, Family Owned, will be available late in 2015. We’ll travel to Oasis Corp to see Kama’s past and her own train-wreck family. She’ll reveal the dark secret that she believes will turn Rafe away her forever. There will be more books as Rafe and Kama continue to solve crimes and build a future together.

Is there anything else you’d like to add about your book?

Just that if readers try the series and enjoy it, please leave a review. Reviews are the life blood for indie authors in search of a new audience and are very much appreciated.

Do you have a website or blog? 

I don’t have a blog. There aren’t enough hours in the day! But I do have a website where I announce release schedules and post a few bits and pieces of things about the characters, including some interviews Rafe and Kama participated in, and information about my other two series. My website is at http://www.ksferguson.net.

 

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