Today, I have the privilege of interviewing the author of the Corwint Central Agent Files Series, C.E. Kilgore!
1) What does the title, Ghost In the Machine, signify?
It actually has a double meaning. Isaac Asimov proposed that as A.I. develops, it will one day hold the potential to have sentience, secrets and dreams. These were the ghosts within the machine – the early hints within the lines of programmed code that gave whispers to a hidden future intelligence and the potential to evolve beyond what was initially created.
My story is centered around a Mechatronic Automaton (an android), named Ethan, with highly developed sentience, but who struggles with concepts like love, dreams and going beyond his protocols. When Ethan meets Orynn, she becomes the ghost within the machine, both literally and figuratively. Her kind are ghosts of existence, living outside of it with rules not to interfere. When she connects with Ethan, she causes unintended reactions within his system, giving him new understandings of the world around him.
2) Do the names of the characters in this novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…
Ethan’s name is an acronym given to him by his creator: E.T.H.A.N. – Every Thing Has A Name. It builds on the dichotomy of Ethan’s existence. He is a living being with as much life as an Organic, but he is made of mechanical parts – things, objects – that would otherwise be lifeless.
Beyond that, most of the names are just ideas that pop into my head.
3) What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?
Asimov and Huxley drew me into science fiction, but I knew I wanted to write with a romantic angle. Space Opera allows me to do that. I also like the epic nature of Space Opera. I can explore a vast universe full of the planets and cultures I put in it, and I can explore existential questions while creating histories, wars, and characters for this universe.
4) What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and does your characters reflect some of these attributes?
Sanity? I think the trick is not to worry too much that you might be going slightly insane. I live a good part of my day inside a universe I’ve created. If i wasn’t a writer, I’d probably be a resident in a rubber room somewhere.
My characters certainly reflect that and some of my own personality traits. I think it’s impossible, as a writer, not to influence the characters you create with pieces of yourself.
5) What kind of research did you have to do for these novels that was different from other types of writing that you have done before?
As the series has progressed, I’ve had to do research on everything from mechatronic engineering to genetics, from wormhole theory to occular implants, and from nanites to graphene. I’m not a hard-science writer, but I want my science to feel plausible. I’ve also done research on a multitude of Earth cultures to help give authenticity to the ones within my universe. My own background in anthropology helped with this immensely.
6) What makes you laugh?
My cats, my husband, Spaceballs and my bank account.
7) What makes you cry?
Unrealized potential, abandoned dreams and ignorance.
C.E. thank you so much for taking time to answer my questions!
Check out the first title in the Corwint Central Agent Files Series for free: Ghost In The Machine