I’ve been honored to be a part of Tomorrow Comes Media Blog Tour in which I’m hosting Cindy Koepp and her new science fiction novel, The Loudest Actions. Here she talks a little about her characters and the problems they must overcome, and how the resolutions they find pertain to us today. Scroll down to see more of the stops Cindy has made with her tour.
Years ago, when I first started writing for more than my own amusement, an experienced writer told me that the most important thing to do was “write what you know. If all you know is plumbing, write about plumbers in space.”
Well, I know approximately zippo about plumbing, but I have been disabled for four-and-a-half decades. Many of my stories involve one or more characters who have disabilities they have to overcome as they progress through the plot.
Both Remnant in the Stars and The Loudest Actions have characters with physical or mental disabilities. Here are some of the ways they deal with it.
Rely on Your Faith
Many people turn to religion to help them when the going gets tough. Religious beliefs can give us hope in the face of adversity. Sometimes practical advice is available, too.
In Remnant in the Stars, Kirsten’s prosthetic misbehaves badly. She spends some quality time reading her Bible and praying. When Sora finds out what she’s doing, he borrows her father’s Bible and helps her search for encouragement.
Peter, too, tells tales of his wife’s battle with cancer. To keep her spirits up, he brought her recordings of her favorite Bible study teacher. They watched together to her inspiration and his edification.
Get Your Mind Off the Problem
Often, problems need to be faced head on, but other times we can’t see the obvious because we’re too close to it. The only way to get perspective is to step back and do something else for a while.
Peter has some depression to deal with after an event triggers nightmares and persistent memories. One of the ways he tries to handle the problem is to get his mind off of it. In his case, he engages in his favorite hobby: model-building. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work, and he resorts to other means.
Rely on Other Skills to Compensate
When we lack strength in one skill, we can often find a way to accomplish the same goal using a different, sometimes less orthodox means.
Kirsten’s prosthetic fails to cooperate through most of Remnant in the Stars. She finds ways to do things with only her right hand or by bracing objects with the stiff fingers of her other hand.
Pashan learns very differently from others. Most of her people are excellent at math. She can’t stand it. She can manage the calculations, but they don’t come as easily to her as others. As a result, she learns her own ways to mentally compensate.
Get Medical Help
For some of the problems we face, medication can help. Other times, the medication causes more trouble than it’s worth.
Kirsten uses medicine to help her with the pain that results from the uncooperative prosthetic. She finds that it helps some, but it’s hardly a solution to the problem.
Peter, however, chooses to forego the medication that might help his depression. He decides to stay away from the medical solutions. One is uncomfortable and another risks clouding his mind at a time when he needs to think straight to protect everyone.
This is perhaps the hardest of the ways to overcome weakness. So often we want to be self-reliant. We don’t want to be an imposition to others, when so often, they wouldn’t mind helping us out.
Kirsten asks Sora for advice when her former wingman’s emails do more harm than good.
After so many other attempts fail, Peter finally accepts Kirsten’s offer to help him overcome the depression that plagues him.
When we have challenges to overcome, there are many ways we can deal with it. Different people will find different ways to cope with the difficulties they face. As friends and relatives of struggling people, we need to offer support for them in ways that empower them to take care of themselves.
About the author: Originally from Michigan, Cindy Koepp has a degree in Wildlife Sciences and teaching certification in Elementary Education from rival universities. After teaching for fourteen years, she pursued a master’s degree in Adult Learning with a specialization in Training and Performance Improvement. Cindy has five published science fiction and fantasy novels, a serial published online, short stories in five anthologies, and a few self-published teacher resource books. When she isn’t reading or writing, Cindy spends time whistling with a crazy African Grey. Cindy is currently working as an optician in Iowa and as an editor with PDMI Publishing and Barking Rain Press.
Book Synopsis for Remnant in the Stars: Two hundred years ago, the Aolanian home world exploded and a remnant of survivors escaped. As their convoy combed the galaxy looking for a new world to colonize, they discovered Earth and were given permission to establish a temporary base while they continued their search for a new home world. When an Aolanian exploration vessel goes missing after transmitting a garbled distress call, the uneasy alliance between the humans and the Aolanians is put to the test as two anti-Aolanian groups jockey to use this opportunity to press their own agendas by foiling the rescue mission.
Because his daughter was onboard the Kesha when it vanished, Calonti Sora reluctantly signs on as an astrogator with the Gyrfalcon, one of the ships in the search party. There he meets up with an old human friend, Kirsten Abbott. Together, they work to overcome prejudice and political plots as they race toward an enemy no one could expect.
Book Synopsis for The Loudest Actions: First contact missions are hard enough, but they get even tougher when the negotiator has an ego the size of a gas giant.
Burke Zacharias, a first contact researcher, is chosen to spearhead humanity’s first official contact with Montans, an insect race that has already had a run-in with less friendly humans. Although his words and overtures toward the Montans are cordial enough, the Montans are put off by how he treats the crew of the scout ship that brought him to the world.
With other, less friendly forces trying to establish a foothold on the world, the negotiation must succeed in spite of Burke, or the Montans could be facing extinction.
Tour Schedule and Activities
11/7 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post
11/7 The Seventh Star Interview
11/8 MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape Interview
11/9 Jordan Hirsch Review
11/10 Magic of Books Guest Post
11/10 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! Top Ten’s List
11/11 Sheila’s Guests and Reviews Guest Post
11/11 Novel-ties Review
11/12 KylieJude.com Top-Tens List (Blogger Picks Topic)
11/13 Darkling Delights Guest Post
11/14 Enchanted Alley Guest Post
11/15 Bee’s Knees Reviews Review
11/15 The Sinister Scribblings of Sarah E. Glenn Guest Post
11/16 Jorie Loves a Story Review
11/16 The Word Nerds Guest Post
11/17 SpecMusicMuse Review
11/18 Jorie Loves a Story Q and A
11/18 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Guest Post
11/19 Deal Sharing Aunt Interview
11/20 Jorie Loves a Story Review
11/20 D.L. Gardner Blog Guest Post
11/21 The Swill Blog Review
11/21 Willow Star Serenity Review
Amazon Link for Remnant in the Stars
Amazon Links for The Loudest Actions