Today, I have author, Scott Coon at my pad. He's telling us about his latest release, Lost Helix.
Lost Helix is the key…
Stuck on an asteroid mining facility, DJ dreams of writing music. His dad is a corporate hacker and his best friend Paul intends to escape to become a settler in a planet-wide land rush, but neither interests DJ.
When his dad goes missing, DJ finds a file containing evidence of a secret war of industrial sabotage, a file encrypted by his dad using DJ's song Lost Helix. Caught in a crossfire of lies, DJ must find his father and the mother he never knew.
When the mining company sends Agent Coreman after DJ and his guitar, DJ and Paul escape the facility and make a run for civilization. Will DJ discover the truth before Coreman catches him?
Hi, Scott! Welcome to my pad. What inspired you to write Lost Helix?
It started with my love of classic science fiction elements. You will find many peppered throughout Lost Helix. But my ideas often come from asking the question, "Yeah, but what next?" Terraforming is a recurring concept in science fiction, like in James S. A. Corey's Leviathan Wakes, but what happens when the planet is done? How does humanity go about populating it? The world of Lost Helix is my answer to that question. Another source of inspiration was the video game Sid Meier's Civilization. Every time I built the domed spaceship bound for Alpha Centauri, I wondered what would become of it after the colonists stripped it for parts and left its remains in orbit. In Lost Helix, I give my science victory colony ships a second life as a farm, feeding the miners of Stone River.
I think you did a great job of creating a realistic scenario of what could happen on an already-populated new world. We like to think a new world would be a utopia, but really, the most likely scenario would be that it would have the same problems as the world we already know due to human conditions like greed and a thirst for power.
I missed out on learning a musical instrument when I was a kid, although I really wanted to. Later in life, I never made it a priority. Then the video game Rockband came along. I could at least pretend to play an instrument. I ended up playing the drums a lot and have even considered taking lessons. Though it's no longer trendy, I still play Rockband drums on an old Xbox 360 for exercise and fun.
In the world of lost helix, DJ's guitar is a direct ancestor of the Rockband guitar. I made several changes to turn it into a true musical instrument, something we actually have the technology to make today. I hope someone does.
I think it would be cool to have a guitar like the one in the story. Maybe someday you will learn to play the guitar. It's never too late to learn!
I personally liked Maya, the strong female side character in the story. Do you have a favorite side character?
That would be Katie. She's a little girl who pops in and out of the later part of the story. She appears shy at first but, as she opens up, she becomes a delightful character with some wonderful lines. Characters sometimes surprise the people who are writing them, doing things in the moment that hadn't been planned. In Lost Helix, Katie surprised me a couple of times. I think she'll surprise the readers as well.
I completely agree that characters can surprise even the author. Sometimes they take lives of their own.
If you could live in another universe, what would it look like?
It would look like one of my novels in waiting, where the only challenge is finding the meaning in your own life. I have two very different versions of this type of world. One is complete novel in need of another review and the other is still in brainstorming. The complete novel is a world where people have the ability to manipulate space-time at will. And they use this ultimate power to entertain themselves by turning their town into a bouncy castle, a beach, or Japanese mythology brought to life. But one fellow finds it all shallow and weird. He sets out to live a life that feels real to him.
That sounds like a great premise for a story!
Keep writing. I have other novels in the works and more short stories too. Once people have had a chance to read and enjoy Lost Helix, I will be ready to give them more. I also have a YouTube channel with writing advice, animated readings of my short stories, and videos about my inspirations for Lost Helix.
That all sounds good! I look forward to reading more of your work!
DJ is the son of a programmer/computer hacker living on a spaceship and working for a corrupt mining corporation that has taken on the role of the government. Mystery has always surrounded DJ's dad and his personal life. DJ is trying to get to the truth. What exactly does his dad do? Who is his mother? And why are the corporate executives trying to get his guitar?
Lost Helix is a coming of age story set in a futuristic society. The cat and mouse games DJ and his friends have to play to avoid the bad guys and get answers, make it a fast-paced read. The characters are realistic with strengths and flaws. It's also nice to see a strong young female in the character of Maya.
Lost Helix is a fast-paced read recommended for YA and adult readers who enjoy fantasy, sci-fi, space odysseys, and coming of age stories.
Here are the buy links, and social media links:
Scott Coon is an award-winning short story writer and former U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst.
Scott served for six years, rising to the rank of Sergeant. His service including a tour in Kuwait where he received a First Army Combat Patch and the Joint Service Achievement Award. Now a software developer for a major bank, Scott brings his computer and military experience into his work, along with a sense of spectacle.
Scott Coon's debut novel LOST HELIX, a sci-fi adventure/mystery, is available now. Scott's first published story, “Firewall,” appeared in Nth Degree Magazine in 2006. His short "Enduring Winter" was a finalist in the Writers of the Future Awards, won Second Place in the New England SciFi Writers Assn Contest 2016, and was published in Bewildering Stories, Issue 849, March 2020.
Scott Coon shares his knowledge of writing with others and helps other creatives do the same. He hosts the Writers of Sherman Oaks Critique Group meetings and National Novel Writing Month write-in events. His YouTube channel and websites provide insights into his work and give advice to writers. His Little Creative Interview series helps to foster learning in the creative community. See his websites for more information.