Guest post: An article about Delphi Federation by Bob Blanton

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Risingshadow has an opportunity to feature a guest post article by Bob Blanton about Delphi Federation and the Delphi in Space series.

About the author: Bob Blanton has been an avid reader ever since his mother first took him to a library at age five. He toyed with writing for years after finishing college, but was always too busy to complete a novel. While working for Hewlett Packard Co. and traveling on long business trips to Singapore, Europe, and India, Bob wrote books in his head. After he retired to the beach in Mexico, the only things that competed with writing were the sound of the ocean and sunsets over the water, so he was actually able to finish writing the books he started. Bob completed his first three books, the Stone Series, and he has been working on the Delphi in Space series for the past two years. ow that he has started to publish his series, he hopes you enjoy reading them as much as he has enjoyed writing them. Check back for other books as he continues to ply his new trade.

Bob was born in Augsburg, Germany, the son of a U.S. soldier and a German national. His father moved the family back to the U.S. when Bob was six months old. As a child, his family moved almost every year until Bob was fourteen, but they managed to stay in Colorado Springs, CO, for three years before his father retired from the military. The family moved to Noble, OK, just south of Norman and the University of Oklahoma, where Bob attended college. He raced to the west coast as soon as he graduated, and lived in San Diego, CA, for over thirty years while working as an engineer and manager at HP. After retiring, Bob and his wife moved a few miles south to Mexico where they are enjoying their home on the ocean.

About Delphi Federation: Delphi Federation takes place after the Paraxean war, where rebel Paraxeans had decided to conquer Earth. Earth won the war, mainly due MacKenzie Discoveries and the technology from the starship Sakira that the McCormacks discovered in book one. And the crew just happened to find a way to travel faster than light.

In Delphi Federation, the crew tries to figure out how to utilize the faster-than-light travel and continue to introduce the technology from the Sakira to Earth while confronting the powers on Earth that aren’t happy with what they’re doing. They are forced to confront what it really means to have all that power. They have to decide what to do: Do they continue to try and lie low, or do they step up?

About the Series (Delphi in Space): The series follows the McCormacks and their friends after they discover a starship on Earth early in the 21st century. They decide to keep it a secret and to slowly introduce its technology to Earth, hoping to cure some of Earth’s problems like wealth distribution and climate change. They have to fight off the powers that want to gain control of the technology as well as those that want to maintain the status quo. All this while worrying about what will happen when the owners come back for their starship.

In the series I try to show how technology can be used to solve problems, especially if you tame the greed and power that go along with the potential it introduces.


My writing method: I’ve put a significant amount of effort into creating a timeline for the book--when things happen and in which order. It would be nice to be able to have a detailed plot, but I usually find I have to start writing before some of the details come into view. I have spent a month playing with the plot trying to figure out how I want to end the book. I have to have an ending before I can really get into writing the details. I usually write in my head until I have a good sense of what I want to say in the chapter or section of the book. My wife accuses me of just taking a nap, but sometimes I do fall asleep (Okay, most of the time), I dream up what I want to put into the book. I try to put myself into the scene and think of what I would do if I were in that situation. Of course, that’s why I started writing, all those daydreams about ‘what if’. Occasionally I can type directly, living the scene and recording it on the page. I find writing to be as much, if not more, fun as reading another good book.

About writing a series: Writing a series is far more complicated than I ever imagined. Especially when you write one that is moving in near real time. Each of my books covers about three to six months and follow each other tightly; no segue . . . ‘and two years later’ . . . which can be used to wipe away lots of complications. I have a spreadsheet with each of the books outlined on a calendar so I can keep events straight. It’s considered bad form to recall events in the wrong order or at the wrong time in the past as you write the next book. I also have a page of characters, and I still find myself having to search a past book for the name of a character that I’ve resurrected. Then I have to do all that math. And that really got complex when I started sending the characters out to the fringe of the solar system. Nobody wants to have to read about a two-month journey unless all the action is happening on the spaceship, nor do they want you to violate your own rules of physics. I’ve had to invent a few things to keep things moving, but I think you’ll see they’re not too outrageous. I even had to resort to keeping action items from the board meetings; crazy.

I write three books ahead of the release. I discovered during my first four books which I wrote before I published the first one, that occasionally I would have made an offhand decision in book 2, only to find out it contradicted what I wanted to do in book four. It was easy to fix if I hadn’t published. So now I try to have the third book ahead at least well outlined before I publish a book. It’s amazing how many minor tweaks I make that simplify the forward movement of the series just before I publish a book.

I try hard to keep things a simple as possible. Because I cannot keep a bunch of complex technology straight and I’m sure my readers don’t want to. I also try to avoid the “They would never do that” exclamation from my readers. I hate it when an author has their character do something that is out of character. My beta readers call me out on it when one of those slip through, and I generally fix it. I try to avoid using my artistic license too often.